Residents of Guadalajara, or Tapatíos, claim that Guadalajara is the most Mexican of cities. There may be something to that; Guadalajara is located in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, the birthplace of tequila, mariachis, and the jarabe Tapatío, or the Mexican hat dance. All three emblems of Mexico are abundant in Guadalajara.
Known at once for quiet sophistication and for chaotic, vibrant, authentic culture, this city of four million people attracts discerning visitors of all stripes but eschews the mercenary vibe of Mexico’s more popular tourist destinations. The historic downtown is a place of colonial charm, where you can wander classic plazas, lurk in the shade of the colossal cathedral, sip espresso in elegant arcades, tour the city’s first rate museums, and sample tragos of tequila in the city’s oldest bar
Surrounded by tequila country, where rows of gorgeous blue agave grow plump beneath blue skies, Guadalajara has much to offer in the way of excursions and day trips. If tequila tours are not to your taste, you can use the city as a starting point for exploring the villages and islands of Lake Chapala, for touring Jalisco’s many haciendas, for a half day’s drive down to the coast, or for hiking the wooded mountains of Colima.