If you are looking for a well-rounded Mexican city and experience, you should definitely visit Guadalajara. Even though it’s the second largest city in the country it is not as crowded and hectic as the capital, but it’s full of tradition, rich culture, amazing architecture, delicious gastronomy, beautiful landscapes and talented artists. There is a perfect balance of old and new in this city, best of both worlds in one place.
Being the birthplace of very iconic Mexican things such as tequila, mariachis, big sombreros and charreadas (rodeos) it has been considered to be the soul of Mexico. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco, and it’s conformed by Zapopan, Tlaquepaque and Guadalajara proper, all of them with a unique flavor to them.
For tequila lovers or just for a cultural yet fun experience, La Ruta del Tequila (Tequila Route)is a must; it’s a touristic destination where they take you on agave fields and explain the tequila making process, an excursion that surrounds the Tequila Volcano and their small towns and their traditions. You can try different types of tequila, either straight or in the many refreshing cocktails.
The sound of mariachi music cheers the atmosphere with their traditional songs that can surely bring the party to any occasion. Fundamental in Mexican culture, they were named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2011. Very common to find mariachis playing in restaurants, bars and canteens. Nightlife is vibrant with nightclubs, dance halls with live music and bars with all sorts of tequila and mezcal. During the day you can visit theme parks, water parks or go ride a bike at their Via Recreativa, a well-designed path route to exercise and have a good time.
With beautiful art deco architecture and avenues with French baroque colonial mansions, Guadalajara is a city full of inspiration for all age groups; it offers tradition and innovation in all areas. When it comes to food, traditional pozole, enchiladas tapatías and tortas ahogadas are a must have, you can find them everywhere, including the very traditional Mexican tianguis (open space street markets) or you can go a different way and try their fusion food in restaurants with new spins of traditional dishes and very innovative mix of ingredients and techniques. Places like Alcalde and Hueso are some of the options for those seeking modern gastronomy.
There is a wave of young artists giving the city new life, opening galleries like Travesía Cuatro and Curro & Poncho for emerging artists. Full of beauty in every way, Guadalajara is a very well executed mix of the old and new, we guarantee that no matter your age or personal likings, you’ll find something you’ll love there and remember fondly when you return home.