The capital of the Jalisco region, Guadalajara, is known as the most 'Mexican' of cities. It is where tequila, sombreros and mariachi music originated, and the city has largely retained its colonial charm. Guadalajara also serves as a great place to stay to enjoy some of the regions other gems – the huge Lago de Chapala (the largest lake in Mexico) is south of the city, and 50km northwest of Guadalajara you can visit the local agave distilleries in Tequila!


Cathedral – located at the heart of the colonial centre, the plazas that surround the cathedral are packed with crowds, performers and bands. The cathedral itself is an enchanting mixture of styles, and its yellow-tiled twin spires are the symbol of the city.

Parque Agua Azul – although rarely tranquil, this park is the escape for many city-dwellers. Find here a zoo, playgrounds and exotic animals, birds and plants. Also situated here is the Instituto Artesania Jalisciense, a museum and shop full of regional crafts, such as ceramics, furniture and glassware.

San Pedro Tlaquepaque – this suburb is famous for its artisans and mariachi bands. The streets are lined with shops, mostly selling traditional crafts to tourists.

Barranca de Oblatos – located north of the city, this 600-metre deep canyon and series of parks offers great views and wildlife.


You can certainly find most things in Guadalajara. Regional arts and crafts from around Jalisco are found in the city, at the many local markets. The Mercado Libertad, located at the eastern end of the Centro Historico, is said to be the largest roofed market in Mexico. It offers floors and floors of food, electrical goods, craftwork and clothes. Tonola is a ceramics centre located a good 10km southeast of the city centre for those wanting to do some serious shopping.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Guadalajara offers a huge variety of places to eat, from swanky restaurants, cute cafés to street stalls and markets. The central area offers a more expensive dining experience. Head to Juarez, west of the Cathedral, for traditional cafés and restaurants. For a unique experience, visit the central market Mercado Libertad, where hundreds of stalls offer their own food specialities.

Guadalajara’s nightlife is not its main draw, although it is much improved in recent years and live music is very popular in the city. While trendy clubs tend to be out in the suburbs, Avenida Vallarta does offer a selection. A trip to the Plaza de Mariachis, where mariachi bands perform in front of the many outside bars, is not to be missed.

Tourist Information

Jalisco State Tourism OfficeéAvenida Morelos 102, Plaza Tapatía44100 Guadalajara, JaliscoTel: (33) 3668-1600 to 01Toll free (from México):


Guadalajara’s airport, the Miguel Hidalgo International, is located 17km southeast of the city. As one of the major international destinations in Mexico, you can fly to Guadalajara from a large number of US airports and from other cities in Mexico.

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