© 2018, Yasu Coronado Martínez, Mara Rosas Baños and Hazael Cerón Monroy. Purpose: This study aims to reveal the potential for ecotourism of a locality with high marginalisation index in the municipality of Tlalpujahua, a Magic Town in the State of Michoacán, Mexico. Design/methodology/approach: This case study was based on several methodologies. First, socioeconomic, environmental, sustainability, geographic and institutional variables were used in the evaluation of 62 localities of the municipality. Geographic information systems identified study areas and determined their potential for ecotourism. Second, participatory diagnosis was used to collect specific information about the locality regarding their organisational aspects, development strategies, current socioeconomic problems, land use and resources availability and interest in developing projects related to ecotourism. Finally, the authors adapted the FAS Model (factors, attractors and support systems) to include environmental and organisational variables contributing to a theoretical approach to ecotourism. To identify attractors, they applied a questionnaire to determine the profile of tourists visiting Magic Towns and their potential interest in ecotourism. Findings: The authors conclude that ecotourism is a possible alternative to highly marginalised localities within Magic Town municipalities and would be able to expand the benefits engendered by the program. Ecotourism can therefore represent a new option for tourists visiting marginalised communities in Mexico. Originality/value: A diverse methodology applied key elements to identify localities suitable for ecotourism, characteristics of marginalisation and endowment of natural heritage. The authors conclude that the benefits to localities included in the Magic Towns Program can be expanded to surrounding spaces through strategies such as ecotourism.