According to Clothesbliss, Guadalajara is the second largest city in the country and the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The birthplace of mariachi folk music, known far beyond the borders of Mexico, is famous for the best performers in this genre, beautiful parks and gardens, in honor of which Guadalajara received the nickname “City of Roses”, the colonial Historical Center, excellent gastronomy, national entertainment “charriada”, visual like a rodeo, and, of course, tequila.
The city is named after the Spanish Guadalajara, whose name comes from the Arabic Wad al-Hijar, which means “River flowing between the rocks.” It is not surprising that the “face of Guadalajara” is defined by Spanish colonial architecture – baroque churches.
How to get to Guadalajara
You can get to the city by air. Guadalajara International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de Guadalajara) or in other words Don Miguel Hidalgo and Castillo International Airport is the third busiest airport in the country, behind Mexico City and Cancun. It is located 16 km from the center, which can be reached by taxi. The cost of the trip depends on the level of service (standard or VIP) and the zone to which the trip is planned. There are 8 zones in total. The minimum cost for the cheapest option is 250 MXN. Maximum – 400 MXN.
There are two bus stations in Guadalajara: the old one and the new one. The old one is located one and a half kilometers south of the center and serves trips to the surrounding area, for example, to Lake Chapala (travel time is about 50 minutes). The new bus station is responsible for long-distance travel. Seven terminals are located 9 km from the center. Travel time to Mexico City is 7-8 hours.
History and culture
The history of Guadalajara is closely connected with the Spanish colonialists, who founded the city three times before the location of the tenth most important settlement in Latin America was finally chosen. The reasons for the transfer of the future state capital were different: either the land was too dry, or the local tribes destroyed any rudiments of the city. Only by 1542, almost ten years after the founding of the first settlement, did the inhabitants of Guadalajara find their refuge. Quite quickly, the city became the administrative center of the province and one of the most important pillars of colonial policy. Further events, participation in the struggle for the independence of Mexico, World War II did not cause great damage, and gradually the state capital turned into a major industrial, commercial and cultural center, which it is today.
How to navigate in the city
The main interest for tourists is the Historical Center (Centro Historico), with its squares, churches and museums. The starting point can be considered the Cathedral, surrounded by four squares. The area to the east of it, named in honor of the liberation, with nearby territories, is the historical quarters.
In the western part of the city there are upscale hotels, expensive restaurants and boutiques. Zapopan is a northern suburb centered on an 18th-century basilica believed to be the home of the Virgin of Zapopan, the city’s saint and patroness, whose image works wonders. Of interest are mainly places located in the immediate vicinity of this temple.
Tlaquepaque is another suburb famous for its pottery and glassware. Here, as in the suburbs of Tonala, it is best to come for shopping.
Cuisine and restaurants
Several dishes are considered local tasty attractions. First of all, it is “birria” (birria), a must for any Mexican wedding. In Guadalajara, the dish is made with goat or lamb meat and served with onion, lime and tortillas. Sandwich with pork, tomato sauce, chili and other ingredients (torta ahogada) is another popular recipe among the people of Guadalajara. Cocktail fans should definitely try “paloma” – a mixture of tequila, lemon juice and ice.
Shopping and shops
Since in Guadalajara, as nowhere else in Mexico, a rodeo called “charriada” is popular, here you can almost everywhere buy all kinds of cowboy accessories: buckles, horsehair belts, cowboy hats and boots.
Not far from Guadalajara is the town of Tequila. It was he who gave the name to the world famous drink. No wonder you can buy quality tequila here even in 5 liter plastic cans (and it will cost around 300 MXN).
Entertainment and attractions of Guadalajara
The most famous churches are San Francisco and Santa Monica. Also here is Mexico’s main arena for the charriada “Lyonzo Charro”, the state museum, the museum-workshop of the artist José Clemente Orozco, an innovator in the field of monumental painting, whose name is on a par with the world-famous painter Diego Rivera. In order to see Orozco’s paintings inscribed in a historical context, it is worth visiting Hospicio Cabañas, a hospital whose chapel walls were painted by the artist in the 30s of the 20th century. The Cabanas hospital itself is under the protection of UNESCO and is considered a unique architectural monument.
As a muralist, Orozco is attributed to the current in Mexican painting called “muralism”. Such a strange name for the Russian language is a tribute to the Spanish word “wall painting”. The fact is that in the 20s of the 20th century, the Minister of Education instructed several artists at once, including Orozco, to ennoble public buildings. The walls served as canvases.
Lake Chapala, which is the largest freshwater reservoir in the state, is located 45 km from the city and serves as one of the popular places for recreation, and many species of birds and plants have chosen its shores. For example, the pink pelican. If you are tired of the city heat, then this is the best option for a trip outside of Guadalajara.
It is best to get acquainted with the mariachi culture and listen to music in this style in late August – early September. It was during this period that the International Festival takes place in Guadalajara, which gathers ensembles from all over the world. Numerous seminars, lectures and performances are included in the extensive program. More information can be found on the festival website www.mariachi-jalisco.com.mx.
Weather in Guadalajara
The coldest month here is January, when the temperature at night can drop to +6 °C. The hottest is May: +31 °C during the day and +13 °C at night. See also the current weather forecast in Guadalajara for the next few days.