Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico and is one of the most frequented places in the country by travellers from all around the world. But why not? With its rich culture and being the origins of mariachi music and tequila, there are so many things for tourists to see and enjoy in this part of the country. From the thriving countryside to the bustling city, you will surely find something to keep you busy and happy throughout your stay.
The Town Centre
Guadalajara is the capital Jalisco, Mexico and is most famous for its radical transformation – from an ancient colonial town to a modern and industrialized city. There is no shortage of clubs and bars and high end restaurants that will keep your nights and stomachs satisfied. Despite the developments, there is one district in the city which was able to maintain the city’s wonderful history, aptly called the Historic Centre. Here you will find various religious and historic structures like the Cathedral and the Degollado Theatre. There is also the Cabanas Cultural Institute, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Venture out into the outskirts of the city and you’ll find one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Guadalajara – Lake Chapala. This is the largest among all of the freshwater lakes found not only in the area but in the whole country as well. The lake does not only offer visitors a picturesque view for photo ops, but also a place where tired visitors can come for a relaxing and peaceful retreat. The lake and its surrounding mountains are home to some of Guadalajara’s indigenous flora and fauna, along with migratory birds who are looking to escape the winter weather. Given the size of the lake, visitors can enjoy boating to the two islands of the lake, namely Escorpion and Isla Mezcalla, the latter being declared a national monument, filled with ruins and a fortress which are remnants of the place’s warring history.
Rodeo, Guadalajara Style
Yes, there are also cowboys and Indians in Mexico and you can find them gathered in the Charreria, Guadalajara’s version of the rodeo. It all started out as a friendly competition among workers of haciendas who try to beat each other in horse riding and roping, vying to become the revered charo, the Mexican image of strength and masculinity. However, this pastime has evolved into a sport and is now considered the official sport of Mexico, despite soccer being the most popular. If you find yourself in Guadalajara on a September, don’t miss out on the International Mariachi and Charreria Festival where you’ll get to witness some of Mexico’s best charos battle it out in the dirt, while mariachi bands hold concerts and parades throughout the streets of the city – the perfect event where you’ll see the best that Guadalajara and Mexican culture can provide.
Photo by danielkaempfe on Flickr