Guadalajara is a Top Winter Destination for Travelers

With its warm days and cool evenings, winter is the ideal time to visit Guadalajara, the ultimate getaway for U.S. travelers seeking sun, fun, and culture. Beat the summer rainy season by exploring the natural beauty of Guadalajara and enjoying the markets and cultural events that give the city its character. Travelers can explore the destination at little cost right now by taking advantage of a favorable exchange rate.

Markets

Known as the shopping capital of Mexico, Guadalajara is home to the largest indoor market in Latin America, the largest jewelry marketplace, and a mall entirely dedicated to shoes. Neighboring Tlaquepaque is a small colonial town home to some of the best traditional handicrafts and decorative arts in Mexico, and is particularly famous for its pottery and blown glass. The area’s high-end artisanal items can be as low as US$5. Tlaquepaque’s main shopping stores are located on a pedestrian-only street, Independencia, where shoppers can go door to door to visit boutiques selling handmade jewelry, pottery, glassware, and home goods. Travelers can enjoy an authentic shopping experience at these popular markets:

  • Mercado Libertad, also known as San Juan de Dios market (Calz Javier Mina No.52), is the largest enclosed market in Mexico, featuring three themed floors and more than 2,800 vendors. The first floor features fresh produce, sweets, and a variety of spices. Restaurants can be found on the second floor, and on the recently-added third level vendors sell items such as hand painted masks, colorful blankets, terra cotta bowls, and regional clothing. The market is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
  • Magno Centro Joyero (Paseo Hospicio 22) is the largest jewelry marketplace in Latin America, with more than 700 stores comprising four levels. Here, visitors can marvel at the sparkling sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds, as well as gold and silver, costume jewelry, precious stones, and watches. The mall is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
  • Galeria del Calzado mall (Avenida México 3225) features 60 stores solely dedicated to shoes. Leather is the material of choice for shoemakers in Guadalajara, which is known for its shoe workmanship (especially custom leather loafers). The mall is located in the district of Zappopan and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Culture and Events

Considered Mexico’s cultural center, Guadalajara entertains visitors with an array of events for everyone. As the birthplace of mariachi, music can be found year-round in many of the city’s plazas. Winter events include:

  • Many gallery openings take place year-round in venues like Ex Convento del Carmen, a 17th-century church converted into an art gallery, and Cabañas Cultural Institute, which resides in Hospicio Cabañas, a World Heritage Site and one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas. Cosmos exhibition by Roberto Pulido will be on display in Ex Convento del Carmen, December 14, 2017 through February 18, 2018, and Forever Caves by José Luis Cuevas will run through December 31, 2017 at Cabañas Cultural Institute.
  • Each month Ex Convento del Carmen presents a new theme for its “Classics in the Video Room” series. Every Friday in December, the cinema will feature a classic American Western film including Shane, High Noon, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
  • A holiday season would not be complete without a masterful performance of The Nutcracker. The beautiful 19th century Degollado Theater will be featuring the ballet on select dates, including December 14, 15, 16, 17 and December 19 and 20, 2017.

City Tours

From tequila and Guadalajara’s signature torta ahogada (a sandwich comprised of pork smothered in homemade salsa), to Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Guadalajara is filled with culinary and natural wonders. Travelers can explore its rich history through guided city tours, including:

  • Travelers often explore historic downtown Guadalajara and its popular landmarks, including Plaza de Armas, home to the magnificent twin-towered cathedral, and the colonial buildings that line nearby Liberation Square. After a guided tour through downtown and Mercado Libertad, visitors may drive just four miles southeast to Tlaquepaque to stroll the narrow cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful architecture before walking through one of the city’s many arts and crafts markets. For a Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque full day tour, visit http://www.goway.com
  • A day may be spent sampling the famous torta ahogada and other traditional dishes on a full-day gastronomic tour. Visitors will get a taste of the city’s rich history and culture on this guided tour, ending at the colorful main market in downtown Guadalajara to see the fresh, homegrown ingredients that make up the local dishes. For a gastronomic tour, visit http://www.viator.com
  • Being the birthplace of tequila means distilleries and blue agave fields are as common as Napa’s winelands. All-day packages to the town of Tequila are available from Guadalajara via the Jose Cuervo Express, Tequila Herradura Express, or Tequilacopter. Visitors can tour a distillery or two to about the tequila-making process and sample varieties of the spirit. To book a trip on the Cuervo Express, visit http://www.mundocuervo.com/jose-cuervo-express.

For additional ways to visit Guadalajara or to view a full list of tour packages, visit http://www.visitguadalajara.com.

About Guadalajara

The birthplace of iconic Mexican heritage including tequila and mariachi, Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and considered the country’s cultural center. Each year, tourists travel to this cosmopolitan destination to experience a plethora of attractions including nearby magical towns such as Tequila, where the popular spirit is produced; explore colonial architecture; and visit museums and small towns with exquisite crafts and artwork. Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco, which is located in the center of Mexico, 350 miles west of Mexico City and 200 miles east from Puerto Vallarta along the Pacific Ocean. The metropolitan area of Guadalajara consists of four urban districts – Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Tonala, and Zapopan – and three suburban districts, Tlajomulco, El Salto, and Tequila.

Travel to Guadalajara is easily accessible via the Miguel Hidalgo International Airport (GDL), which is located 24 miles from the city center of Guadalajara, with non-stop daily flights from major markets across the United States and Canada.

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