Guadalajara is Mexico`s second biggest city, and in many respects can be considered the quintessential Mexican destination. This is the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila, but also one of the country’s industrial and business centers, sometimes referred to as Mexico`s Silicon Valley. Guadalajara is a city full of attractions; the visitor will enjoy its cosmopolitan atmosphere which has not forgotten its rural traditions and customs.
About six miles southeast of the center of Guadalajara city you’ll find the trendy and artistic neighborhood of Tlaquepaque (“Tla-Keh-Pa-Keh”). A colonial town dating back to Hispanic times, today it has become the area’s boutique shopping district with trendy shops and restaurants lining colonial-style streets and alleyways, plazas, and gardens.
The town’s up-market arts and crafts center boutique shops and trendy restaurants line the picturesque colonial-style streets and alleyways, plazas, and gardens. The shops specialize in art and craft works from all over Mexico, with a particular emphasis on ceramics, bronze, sculpture, wooden furniture, papier-mâché, blown glass, and embroidered cloth.Tlaquepaque retains the traditional structure of a small Mexican community: a central plaza (Jardin Hidalgo), a parish church, central market, and old-style central neighborhoods which retain their original colonial character.
Don`t forget to try the ¨cazuelitas¨, sit at the ¨Parian¨ and enjoy some Mariachi music at this magical place.
We recommend jumping on the ¨Tapatio Tour¨ to see some of Guadalajara`s best sites. This is a double-decker bus that has several routes with guided tours in many languages.
Los Guachimontones, located an hour outside Guadalajara, is the jewel in western Mexico’s archaeological crown. Formed by the Teuchitlán culture, the site is known for its curious “round pyramid” structures.
Researchers eventually proved that the pyramids were constructed approximately 2,000 years ago by the Teuchitlán culture that had thrived in the Tequila Valleyregion between 300 BC and 900 AD. At one time, this area was home to more than 40,000 people. Very little is known about this society except that the word Teuchitlán means, “a place for the divine,” and the community was dedicated to agriculture and fishing.
The reconstructed site and its accompanying interpretive center were opened to teach people about this lost Mexican culture. In recognition of the importance of this mission, UNESCO has added the whole region to its World Heritage List.
We also recommend visiting ¨Hacienda el Carmen¨ that is very close by to experience a real mexican hacienda. You can have lunch or enjoy a spa treatment at this lovely place.
An experience of a lifetime.
Visit the charming town of Chapala where can find the largest natural lake in Mexico. Enjoy the wonders of nature, thermal baths, exclusive spas and wonderful gastronomy.
With its scenic pier, the lakefront promenade or malecón, boat rides, and restaurants along the main avenue and lakeshore, this is a delightful place to spend a very relaxing afternoon.
There are tours offered right by the water, they sail out to well known islands, the most common one is “Isla de los Alacranes” (Scorpion Island), where there is a restaurant and some sight seeing. The boat trip is worth the ride to see the immense size of the Lake along with the views that come along with it of the mountains behind you. (About 30 minutes from Guadalajara).
We recommend eating or enjoying a spa day at Monte Coxala, El Chante or visiting the thermal bathes in San Juan Cosalá.
Suggested shopping malls:
Plaza Andares, Plaza Galerías and La Gran Plaza.
If you are looking for a local market try:
Santa Tere Market, Tianguis del Sol, San Juan de Dios Market and the Corona Market
TAPALPA & MAZAMITLA ( APROX. 1 HOUR AND A HALF FROM GUADALAJARA)
Visit two magical towns surrounded by trees and nature. Both places are perfect for camping, renting a cabin, hiking, rock climbing, riding horses, etc.
NEARBY BEACHES (BETWEEN 3 AND 4 HOURS FROM GUADALAJARA): MANZANILLO, SAYULITA, PUERTO VALLARTA.