From Jarabe Tapatio (the Mexican hat dance) to zapateado to mariachi, there's only one word to describe dancing in Mexico: Spirited! And nowhere is this truer than in Jalisco, the state that gave birth to the traditional song and dance of Mexico. Guadalajara is not just the regional capital, it's the cultural center of this beautiful country, alive with the Mexican national dance of Jarabe Tapatio, which is performed expertly by locals in bright outfits. As visitors soon find out, a trip to Guadalajara reveals exciting surprises at every turn — as spirited as the dancing and as spicy as the chili sauce that drowns each serving of torta ahogada.
Attractions in Guadalajara are many and varied. Families with active children will surely find a visit to the Guadalajara Planetarium, Selva Magica amusement park and the Guadalajara Zoo fun and interesting. All over the city, cathedrals and other buildings boast of unique architectural designs. The imposing Metropolitan Cathedral with its twin towers and intriguing mix of styles is a landmark that should not be missed. The Zapopan Basilica is a pilgrimage site for devotees of the Virgin Mary and becomes a lively place of worship every 12th of October. At night, head to the Plaza de los Mariachis behind Templo Santa Eduviges east of the city center to hear and see mariachi music. To really feel the spirit of mariachi, head to El Parian, a garden complex in Tlaquepaque where mariachi bands congregate.
Guadalajara is fast becoming a gastronomic hub. Aside from the torta ahogada, don't leave the city without a taste of pozole, birria, manchamanteles and arrayan. Restaurants in downtown Guadalajara, called Centro Historico, are numerous, particularly along Avenida la Paz, Avenido Mexico and Avenida Vallarta. If you're on the northwestern side of the city, Chapultepec Norte and Lerdo de Tejada Street also have many good eateries. Traditional Mexican food is even more delicious in the nearby suburb of Tlaquepaque.
If mall shopping is your thing, head to the western part of the city where you can splurge at the Centro Magno, Plaza del Sol and the Plaza Milenium. Handicraft shopping opportunities are numerous along Casa de las Artesanias de Jalisco. If you want jewelry, wood carvings and paintings, head to Tlaquepaque for fancy and expensive but good quality options. The best tobacco and tequila vendor in Guadalajara is Viceroy Tabaqueria. Bargain hunters should find Mercado San Juan de Dios and Mercado Corona more to their liking. These crowded, outdoor shopping arcades feature a crowded maze of vendors and food shops catering to the locals – and don't forget to bring plenty of small change.
Prado 128, Colonia Americana
6 de Septiembre 710
Tomas V. GÃÂ³mez 25
Av. M.J. Clouthier 1351