Sr. Elizondo and I spent five days in Guadalajara which I think is the perfect amount of time. We stayed at Hotel de Mendoza in the historic district.
This budget friendly hotel fits right in with the historic vibe and has a friendly helpful staff. The best thing about this hotel is the location, as it’s right in the center of the touristic historic center.
The historic center is beautiful, with different government buildings and churches that are breathtaking.
Tlaquepaque is an artist town that cannot be missed when visiting Guadalajara. It’s touristy for sure, but who can resist the bright colors, beautiful crafts, and great food.
Next up was a visit to Lake Chapala, about 45 minutes outside Guadalajara. Lake Chapala is the largest lake in Mexico and it has the largest expat community of Americans outside of the U.S. This is a charming town and I immediately saw the appeal of living here. BTW: Chapala weather is considered springtime all year.
Lastly, one day had to be a throw away due to illness. What we missed would be a Tequila Tour. The state of Jalisco is the home of Tequila and there are many tequila tours of the distilleries and agave fields to choose from.
Tips for Visiting Guadalajara
- Use the historic district as your base. Much of what you want to see in Guadalajara is in walking distance from here. And if not, the tour buses are based out of this area.
- 2 full days exploring the historic district is plenty. Be sure to eat at La Chata (if you´re willing to wait in line!) Farther down that same street, on the same side and on the corner is a taco place called Las Faroles. Sr. Elizondo loved these tacos. Lastly, the café at the historic theater bldg has a good breakfast and delicious (strong) coffee.
- 1 full day in Tlaquepaque (shopping day!) We took a tour bus, but I’m sure an Uber would not be expensive as it’s not that far outside the center.
- We took a tour to Lake Chapala, but I would have liked to stay longer. I would recommend 1 full day to enjoy the town and go for a boat ride on the lake. The tour we took included a stop at the ranch of Vicente Fernandez for a picture with him and a visit to his western store. This stop took up a majority of our tour (not happy). If you are not a fan of this singer and it’s not important to have a picture with him, I suggest you find a tour to Lake Chapala without this on the itinerary. Or better yet, find your own transportation and explore Chapala on your own.