MAGICAL TOWNS OF JALISCO
Magical Towns in JALISCO
The state of Jalisco is one of the most recognized states in Mexico and the world for being the cradle of mariachi and tequila, here you can find places with various tourist attractions such as the capital Guadalajara or one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta. But Jalisco is not only this, but it also has 8 Magical Towns where you can live unique experiences, enjoying the local gastronomy, the impressive natural landscapes, walks and ecotourism excursions, but best of all, the warmth and hospitality of its people.
The history of the city of Tequila has been marked by the national drink of the same name, which is palpable in every street of the beautiful Jalisco town.
There are shops with various types of tequilas everywhere, from the best-known big names to artisan-made ones, and many souvenirs also revolve around the spirit of Mexico.
To get to Tequila in full setting, the best thing to do is board the José Cuervo Express in Guadalajara, a train in which you can even get your body and spirit in tune with an educational tasting.
The tequila houses with the greatest tradition are mandatory stops in your visit program. One of them is Mundo Cuervo, a name that is already legendary throughout Mexico.
More than 225 years ago, they were the first Mexican entrepreneurs to obtain authorization from the Spanish crown to make “mezcal wine” and they continue to do so in quantity and quality, although it is no longer called wine.
The name of the house arose from the figure of a crow that was stamped on the barrels when large-scale distribution began at the national level in the 19th century, being one of the oldest brands in the Mexican market.
To continue in the tequila atmosphere, your next stop can be the National Tequila Museum, where they take you through all the stages of making the drink in the old fashioned way.
To enjoy Tequila and tequila in the season of maximum fun, the best occasion is the National Tequila Fair, which takes place between November 30 and December 12. Notice that in the middle is December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception, patron saint of the city.
If you think it’s time to close the bottle of tequila and open a space to architecture, the main places to admire are the Santiago Apóstol Parish, the Municipal Palace and Los Lavaderos.
If the hangover is strong, it may be time for you to take a refreshing dip in the pools formed by the stream of the beautiful Los Azules waterfall, which is reached after a picturesque walk that will make you sweat healthy.
Finally, we recommend you treat your stomach with an authentic Jalisco goat birria, although if the kid is scarce, let it be lamb.
With its cozy climate at more than 2,200 meters above sea level in the Sierra del Tigre, the town of Mazamitla is dotted with comfortable cabins where you will enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation of the highest quality.
The first thing you have to do in Mazamitla is walk through its cobblestone streets, flanked by its typical houses with wide eaves and tile roofs.
In the center of town is the José Parres Arias Municipal Square, with a beautiful kiosk, wooded areas and surrounded by hospitable cafes and artisan product stores.
The Parroquia de San Cristóbal is a rare example of Christian architecture with Chinese influences in Mexico. It has two twin towers and inside there are some highly artistic stained glass windows.
The Sierra del Tigre has its highest point at 2,800 meters above sea level and from there the views of the landscape are wonderful.
Los Cazos is a beautiful 35 meter waterfall that is located on a private property. You can visit it for a small fee and they offer horseback riding.
A practical and fun way to get to know the mountains is to do it on an ATV. The Sierra Tour Mazamitla operator offers these tours, which take you through a circuit of great beauty, including extraordinary places that normal cars cannot reach.
This operator also takes you on your favorite mountain entertainments, including rock climbing, zip-lining, gotcha, and suspension bridges.
Another place in the mountains for outdoor fun is the Tierra Aventura Ecological Park, which has one of the longest zip lines in the country, one kilometer long, as well as a camping area, grills, horses and ATVs.
Mazamitla is a place where you can forget about the scale. Be sure to order a dish called El Bote, which is a succulent combination of beef, pork and chicken, cooked in pulque with corn, various vegetables and serrano pepper. Bon appetit!
The Magical Town of Tlaquepaque, is located in the center east of the state of Jalisco was already known worldwide since before being classified as a Magical Town. Now with this appointment the place becomes even more magical and I am sure it will have much more promotion to invite tourism to visit it.
Tlaquepaque is super close to the Guadalajara international airport so you can practically take a bus and get there in less than 1 hour by car. In Tlaquepaque you will find one of the places with the greatest artisan tradition in Mexico and most of what is produced here is exported internationally.
The name Tlaquepaque derives from Nahuatl and means “place above clay land”. The area is famous for its artcrafts of pottery and blown glass. It is a suburb on the outskirts of Guadalajara, which has maintained the appearance and atmosphere of a small town colorful and cheerful.
It is known internationally for the artistry in ceramics production, pottery, blown glass, wood and wrought iron. There is a main shopping area that has been closed off to traffic, a wonderful cobblestone street where you will find all kind of shops and art galleries. Over three hundred quaint shops will make your shopping experience a real pleasure. Prices in Tlaquepaque may surprise you, as they are usually very reasonable when you consider the quality offered.
The town also offers nice sidewalk or patio cafes and bistros. A few of the shops have their own restaurants, so you may shop and enjoy a fabulous lunch. Beside, mariachi bands play in some of the restaurants and of course in the traditional Parian.
The city council offers free tours to historical sites, galleries and craft centers. The tours last about two hours may be in English or Spanish and are conducted with groups of at least ten people. The people who is interested could ask in the information booth located at the intersection of Progreso and Juarez street.
Tourist Attractions in Tlaquepaque
El Refugio Cultural Center
The Culture House is located at the former hospital. Cultural events are shown here all year long. Tours to tell the history and legends of the property are held every Wednesday and Friday night. Schdule: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturday 9:00 to 13:00 hrs.
It dates back to 1950, with a bandstand, and a fountain. The park has a wonderful atmosphere and is the venue for some local celebrations.
To get the flavor of the town, spend some time at El Parian square (built in 1878), which is bustling with mariachis, handcrafts, traditional Mexican restaurants and a beer-garden atmosphere. Schedule: Daily 10:00 to 2:00 hrs.
Casa del Artesano (Artisan House)
Here you can find all kind of crafts. Schedule: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 20:00 hrs.
Mercado de Artesanías (Craft Market)
You can see and buy craft worked by local artisans.
Museums in Tlaquepaque
Museo del Premio Nacional de la Ceramica Pantaleon Panduro (Pantaleon Panduro National Prize for the Ceramics’ Museum)
It’s possibly the best representation of modern Mexican pottery. On display are more than 500 prizewinning pieces from the museum’s annual ceramics competition, held every June. Schedule: Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Sunday 10:00 to 15:00 hrs.
Museo Regional de la Ceramica (Ceramics Regional Museum)
The 17th century building houses an exhibit of beautiful ceramic pieces. Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Sunday 9:00 to 16:00 hrs.
“Ing. Guillermo González Camarena” Virtual Museum
Located inside the “Flavio Romero de Velasco” Library. It has rooms for video conferences and a movie theater. Schedule: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 19:30 hrs.
Churches in Tlaquepaque
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Sancturary
A Neoclassic Byzantine building built in 1878 by Franciscan friars. Inside you can admire 20 paintings by renowned artists.
San Pedro Parish
Built by the Franciscan friars in 1676 with a combination of different styles: Byzantine, Roman and Barroque. It honors the patron Saint of Tlaquepaque. The interior features preciously detailed miniature pageant of dozens of Bible stories.
Tapalpa is a Jalisco town of rural charm, which expresses itself through its architectural landscape, farms, ecological developments and ecotourism parks.
The town is sheltered by the Sierra de Tapalpa, more than 2,000 meters above sea level and its friendly streets are lined with picturesque houses with canopies and wooden balconies.
In front of the Main Square stands the temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, begun in 1950 and finished in 1970. It was built with the contributions of the inhabitants, who made modest donations of 20 cents and raffled chickens, cattle and other animals to get the money required.
10 minutes from Tapalpa is located Hacienda La Media Luna, the setting where the famous novel Pedro Páramo, by the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo, takes place.
Very close to the town is also the Valley of the Enigmas, better known as Las Piedrotas, in which there are mysterious rock formations whose presence in the place seems to have no explanation.
It is said that Las Piedrotas were meteorites that fell partially burying themselves in the earth, although it is most likely that they were rocky bodies that emerged from the earth and were later eroded by rain and wind. Believers in the energizing powers of the monoliths go to the place to recharge their batteries.
The Salto del Nogal, the largest waterfall in Jalisco, at 105 meters, is 10 km from Tapalpa, through a picturesque path among the mountain flora. Mountain biking, rappelling, hiking and horseback riding are possible on site.
The Ekopark is another place for outdoor fun, with 9 zip lines, the longest 300 meters, and places for climbing, rappelling, hiking, biking, ATVs and camping.
The people of Tapalpa say that the best shepherd sheep in all of Mexico is prepared in their town, so do not miss the opportunity to verify it.
Lagos de Moreno honors the insurgent Pedro Moreno with his name and is a city in Jalisco that is passionate about architecture lovers because of the beauty of its monuments and buildings.
The most important civil constructions are the Bridge over the Lagos River, the Garden of the Constituents, the Municipal Palace, the José Rosas Moreno Theater, the Montecristo House, the Conde Rul House and the School of Arts and Crafts.
Among the religious buildings, the Parish of La Asunción, the Temple of Calvario and the Temples of the Rosary, of Light and of Refuge stand out.
La Rinconada de Las Capuchinas and La Rinconada de La Merced are architectural complexes that bring together civil and religious buildings, such as temples, squares and houses.
The Lagos de Moreno museum has its main spaces in the Museum of Sacred Art and the Agustín Rivera House Museum.
The Bridge over the Lagos River is a splendid construction that began in 1741 and was completed in 1860, and it deserved the designation of World Heritage for its sober beauty and magnificent stonework.
Casa Montecristo and Casa del Conde Rul are beautiful colonial mansions that stand out for their artistic details on facades, doors, balconies, windows, gargoyles and lanterns.
The Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is the largest temple in Lagos de Moreno, distinguished by its baroque style facade in pink quarry, its two tall towers and its dome.
The Temple of Calvary is another building declared a World Heritage Site, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The elegant access staircase, the 10 sculptures of saints on the façade and the rib vaults of the naves are worthy of admiration.
Lagos de Moreno is also a tourist reference for its beautiful estates, built since viceregal times as places of rest for wealthy people. The large houses of several of these estates have been converted into rustic and comfortable hotels.
Almost all the wealth extracted from the precious metal mines of San Sebastián del Oeste crossed the Atlantic in strong galleons to go to finance the wars and expenses of the Spanish crown, but a small part remained in the town, in the form of beautiful buildings built during the mining heyday.
More than 50 deposits were in operation during the peak period and one of the most valuable was the Santa Gertrudis mine, which is a 30-minute walk from the town and is one of the mining sites that can be visited by tourists. You can do the tour in less time on an ATV.
The mineral extracted from the Santa Gertrudis mine was benefited at Hacienda Jalisco, where the precious metal ingots were stored and guarded until, on horseback, the news arrived from ship to port, at which time the valuable cargo was carried to the coast for the journey to Europe.
Hacienda Jalisco was converted into a rustic country hotel-museum, which lacks electricity to achieve a more authentic setting of the time that it wishes to reflect. As in the old days, lighting is provided by candles and oil lamps. In the hotel there is a documentary exhibition of the old mining companies.
One of the unique buildings that mining wealth bequeathed to San Sebastián del Oeste is the church in which the martyr who gives the town its name is venerated. The San Sebastián temple dates from the late 18th century and is neoclassical in style, with a dome that was renovated at the end of the 19th century.
On one of the sides of the parish are the Portals of San Sebastián, where there are souvenir and snack shops.
In the Casa Museo Conchita Encarnación there is a small but interesting museum that shows the passage of time in San Sebastián del Oeste through a collection of photos, objects, clothing and accessories belonging to several generations of this distinguished family.
The set of attractions that Mascota offers to the visitor is very complete, since it includes parks, mountains and lakes for walks and sports; museums of various themes, architecture of great beauty, archaeological sites and delicious gastronomy.
Near the town is the Laguna de Juanacatlán, a 24-hectare body of water frequented by fans of fishing and canoeing. In its surroundings you can observe biodiversity and go hiking and mountain biking.
The Corrinchis Dam is also nearby, offering diversions similar to those of the Juanacatlán Lagoon. On the banks of the dam there are restaurants where you can enjoy the catch of the day and other dishes.
The most spectacular views of Mascota are achieved by those who strive to ascend the El Molcajete Volcano, while reaching the El Rincón de Ixcatan Waterfall is easier and there are also guarantees of excellent photos.
Mascota has 4 museums that we recommend you visit. These are the Archeology Museum of Mascota, El Pedregal, the Raúl Rodríguez Museum and the El Molino Museum.
The El Pedregal Museum is owned by the writer and collector Francisco Rodríguez Peña, and exhibits a large number of curious stone carved objects.
The Raúl Rodríguez Museum is dedicated to the Mascot culture and to great Mascot characters, such as the actress Esther Fernández, star of the first stage of the golden age of Mexican cinema, and the priest San José María Robles Hurtado, hanged in 1927 during the Cristero War.
The El Molino Museum deals with the production of wheat flour according to the old method with which you really had to sweat your bread.
The buildings of greatest interest in Mascota are the Main Square, the Municipal Palace, the Parish of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores and the Unfinished Temple of the Precious Blood of Christ.
The Temple of the Precious Blood of Christ is a magnificent construction from the 19th century, although it was not finished. Part of its spaces were converted into a beautiful garden where religious meetings and cultural events are held.
The tourist activity of Talpa de Allende revolves around its religious aspect due to the great national fervor that the Virgin of Talpa awakens.
The Basilica of the Virgen de Talpa, located in the historic center of the town, is the end point of the massive pilgrimages that take place throughout the year along the Pilgrim Route, especially that of Holy Week, which moves about 3 million people.
Religious tourists also count on Talpa with the Museum of the Virgin and with other Christian buildings of artistic and historical interest, such as the Parish of San José and several chapels.
The Pilgrim’s Route begins in the city of Ameca and extends for 117 km through various towns in Jalisco until it reaches Talpa. On the way there are viewpoints from which there are wonderful panoramic views of the Sierra Madre Occidental, as well as hermitages and places of rest.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Talpa was erected in 1782 and has a rectangular-shaped atrium with 3 gray quarry portals with imposing composite capital columns supporting the semicircular arches.
The temple has two twin towers topped by pyramidal bodies and inside there are several religious works of art, particularly the image of the Virgin and the main altarpiece.
The Museum of the Virgen del Rosario de Talpa opened in 1995 on Calle Vicente Guerrero 6 in the historic center, in a new building built in the place where the curato house was located.
The museum exhibits a wide collection of costumes of the Virgin of Talpa, almost all donated in gratitude for favors received, as well as priestly ornaments, pieces for Catholic worship, scrolls, books and paintings.
In Talpa de Allende beautiful and delicious guavas are grown and the fruit has its fair during the third week of November. At the fair all artisan products that can be made with the pulp and hulls of the guava are put on sale, and other cultural and festive events are held.
Fans of contact with nature count in Talpa with the Maple Forest, an immense area of 60 thousand hectares with oaks, pines and other plant and animal species.
Map of the Magical Towns in JALISCO
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