Guadalajara Travel Guide & Information

Guadalajara is the capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Mexico's second largest city is a bustling metropolis with a colonial heart and a provincial soul. It is considered a colonial city, though much of its architecture dates back to the independence period. Guadalajara's heart is the CentroHistorico, where meticulously preserved buildings from the colonial era provide a picturesque backdrop.

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Travel to Guadalajara, a city that is known as the birthplace of tequila. Visitors to the city can feast upon nearly 200 different varieties of tequila - ranging from the humblest family recipe, to gourmet bottles with exotic ingredients that will please the most refined palates. Flights to Guadalajara are your ticket to a city that offers countless charms throughout its distinct neighborhoods. Guadalajara is also the birthplace of mariachi music. Visitors to the city are definitely going to be mesmerized by the infectious rhythm of this type of music every night.

With a fantastic zoo, children's amusement parks, rodeos and a plethora of festivals and celebrations throughout the year, Guadalajara is a perfect destination for family vacationers as well. Guadalajara is not only an important tourist destination, but is a getaway to other great destinations, like Puerto Vallarta. Guadalajara is a historic city with a modern outlook and a delight for any vacationer.

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Things to do in Guadalajara

Museums:

Guadalajara hosts several museums that showcase the city’s glorious past.

Museo Paleontologia de Guadalajara: The museum houses many fossils and allows visitors to explore the history of these prehistoric artifacts. One especially interesting aspect of the museum is the exhibitions about the prehistoric animals of Jalisco. This museum is noted for its paleontological collection, with a complete mammoth skeleton and a collection of fossils found in the surrounding area.

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Museo Regional de Guadalajara: Located on the eastern side of the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, the Museo Regional de Guadalajara is an extremely important city museum and boasts a somewhat eclectic array of exhibits and collections, celebrating the history of the region. A history gallery is located on the floor above and features a series of colonial-style paintings and in-depth information about traditional Mexican cowboys.

Museo de la Ciudad: Guadalajara's Museo de la Ciudad is the perfect place for history buffs with a large collection of historic artifacts and photographs documenting various aspects of the city's past, from its origins in Zacatecas, to the conquest. The museum was founded in 1992 and is housed within an attractive building.

Prominent Attractions:

Guadalajara hosts other prominent attractions.

Palacio de Gobierno: Palacio de Gobierno is a “Must See" for any art lover; home to some powerful murals by Jose Clemente Orozco. The most famous being a huge portrait of Miguel Hidalgo in the vault of the old chambers of the state council. The building was completed in 1774 and is well known. This is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco.

Hospicio Cabanas: The Hospicio Cabanas, a World Heritage Site, is one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in Spanish America. It was designed by Manuel Tolsa, a renowned architect from Mexico City. Tolsa's design was based on classic examples, such as Les Invalides in Paris and El Escorial near Madrid. The highlight of the interior decoration is a series of monumental frescoes by Jose Clemente Orozco, including one of his most famed creations, the allegory of The Man of Fire.

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Where to Stay in Guadalajara :

As one of Mexico's largest cities, there are plenty of choices for hotels, ranging from cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99, extended stay hotels, beach resort hotels and youth hostels.

Zapopan: Zapopan, a separate city and municipality founded in 1540, borders much of the western portion of the city of Guadalajara. Many of Guadalajara's attractions are in Zapopan. The eastern half of the city is filled with large office buildings and some of the most prominent shopping malls in the country, including Plaza del Sol, Plaza Millennium Centro Magno etc. Travelers who want to stay close to the attractions might want to choose to stay in this area. The area boasts several accommodation options to suit all budgets.

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Tlaquepaque: Tlaquepaque is a highly fashionable suburb, described as hip and the colonial center, offering character and unique style. The area has lots of boutique arts and craft stores, trendy shops and restaurants, all lining colonial-style streets and alleyways, plazas and gardens. The area boasts of several budget hotels with basic amenities. Besides shopping, the variety of attractions and restaurants also makes this a top choice to stay.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information available to Guadalajara, here are the following passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.

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* All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to re-enter the United States.

* U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location.

* U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Guadalajara by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FM-T.

For Canadian Citizens:

* Canadians are not required to carry a passport to enter Guadalajara. However, in order to avoid delays and misunderstandings, we strongly recommend that you travel with a passport valid for six months after your arrival date.

* Mexican immigration authorities recommend the use of a passport to expedite passage through ports of entry.

* Canadian citizens arriving in Guadalajara from a third country without a passport may be denied entry.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Guadalajara.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Guadalajara

Guadalajara is an extremely popular destination throughout the year, primarily due to its plethora of attractions and world class festivals spread throughout the year.

Guadalajara is extremely popular amongst spring break travelers. Budget travelers should avoid this period for travel to the city.

Fall and early summer see the fewest visitors due to heavy rains and hotter temperatures.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (Mid-November to April)

Low season: (June to August, September to Mid-November)

Guadalajara Weather

Guadalajara has a subtropical highland climate featuring dry and mild winters, and warm and wet summers. The climate is influenced by its high altitude and general seasonality of precipitation patterns in western North America.

* Although the summer climate in Guadalajara can be hot, it is rarely uncomfortable and humidity levels are reasonable.

* By June, the rainy season is in full swing in Guadalajara and precipitation levels rise sharply, with hurricanes and tropical storms occurring in August or September.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

The official currency of Guadalajara is Mexican Pesos.

ATM machines can be found throughout Guadalajara. Be sure to let your bank know about your dates of travel and what the fees are for withdraws.

Languages:

* The official language is Spanish.

* Most people speak some English. However, learning some key phrases in Spanish before your departure will only enhance your trip.