Guadalajara is the second city of Mexico. Guadalajara offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Degollado theater
- Guadalajara cathedral
- Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres
- Tequila express (day tour)
- Agua azul park
- Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento
- Guadalajara zoo
- Plazuela de los mariachis
- Lake Chapala (day tour)
The best area to stay in Guadalajara is the historic center, this is where you’ll find most of the points of interest. Because Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico, you’ll find lots of cheap flights here from all over the world. To get here by bus is easy too, they even do international services to the USA from Guadalajara. I wouldn’t recommend taking a bus from the USA as flights are often the same price or cheaper.
Guadalajara cathedral, also known as the cathedral of the Assumption of our lady, is the centerpiece of the historic center of Guadalajara. The cathedral was built in 1541, but was severely damaged in a fire started in true Mexican style. It was mass of 1587 when people fired bullets into the sky and when these bullets returned, they hit the cathedral and started the fire. It has been rebuilt and repaired many times since then due to earthquakes, the spires you see today were erected in 1854 and the north spire is slightly tilted due to recent earthquake damage.
You’ll be sure to come across some folkloric dancing whilst in Guadalajara, the local dance is referred to as Jarabe Tapatio. I was lucky that there was a marque set up outside the cathedral showing off the various Mexican folkloric dances. The number one place to see traditional mariachis in Guadalajara is El Parian, Tlaquepaque. You’ll also find mariachis in the plazuela de los mariachis and often around the cathedral. They’ll approach you and they’ll want at least 100 pesos per song, if you want a performance you’ll need to know the name of a mariachi song you like!
A walk around the historic center of Guadalajara will reward you with many brilliant photo opportunities. You can also take organized tours outside of the city, the most famous being the tequila train tour. On the tequila tour you’ll visit the city of Tequila and the agave fields which are a UNESCO world heritage site. If you don’t drink too much tequila then you’ll make some great photos of the agave landscape, if you do drink too much then your photos could come out blurry!
The place to go for nightlife in Guadalajara is Tlaquepaque which is a taxi ride away from the historic center. In Tlaquepaque you’ll find lots of bars and nightclubs as well as the famous El Parian for mariachis. Legend has it that the most beautiful girls in all of Mexico come from Guadalajara, so all the single guys should venture out here if not anywhere else in Mexico!
Enjoy your time in Guadalajara!