Best of Guadalajara

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Guadalajara
The cultural capital and economic dynamo of Jalisco state, Guadalajara inspires the imagination with its wealth of grand museums, fiery mariachi music and colorful cobblestone neighborhoods ripe for exploring. A walking tour through the city center is the best way to learn about the city’s turbulent history and see its colonial treasures. Beyond the outskirts of Guadalajara stretch the sun-baked fields that nourish spiky blue agave, which is transformed into tequila at big and small distillers all across the region. 

After seeing the sights of Guadalajara, previous kimkim travelers have headed off on specialized tours nearby. Though less than five miles south of central Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque feels like an artisan village from another era. You can encounter the craft makers at work inside old pastel-hued mansions, or focus on the village’s rich gastronomic heritage on a food tour. Further afield, you can visit communities along the mountain-backed shores of the spectacular Lago de Chapala, Mexico’s largest lake. There are also charming colonial towns like Mascota and Sayula, the archaeological site of Guachimontones and one very famous town by the name of Tequila, where you can taste its iconic spirit amid the agave-filled landscape. 
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View over Guadalajara's Plaza de Armas and Cathedral
Map of Discover Guadalajara - 8 Days
Discover Guadalajara - 8 Days

This week-long cultural adventure covers the highlights of Western Mexico's vibrant Guadalajara and nearby popular attractions. Wander the state capital, the birthplace of mariachi music, and visit impressive historic sites, eat delicious local food, and enjoy the exciting nightlife. Break up the urban exploration with day trips to nearby ancient ruins, a tequila distillery, quaint lakeside communities, and secluded waterfalls.

Puerto Vallarta is famous for its selection of beaches, like Conchas Chinas
Map of Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Cacao, Tequila, Ruins & Beaches - 8 Days
Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Cacao, Tequila, Ruins & Beaches - 8 Days

Spend eight days discovering gorgeous Guadalajara, the "pearl of the west." This city and its state of Jalisco is a cultural hotbed, famous for originating two of Mexico's most famous exports: mariachi music and tequila. You'll experience both on cultural tours plus visit ancient indigenous ruins and charming lakeside villages before finishing the trip on the golden beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

The Roman Catholic Guadalajara Cathedral
Map of Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Tequila, Cacao, Ruins & Beaches - 9 Days
Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Tequila, Cacao, Ruins & Beaches - 9 Days

Discover western Mexico's beauty, history, and culture on this nine-day adventure. It begins in Guadalajara, where you'll not only tour its historic Spanish-colonial landmarks but also indulge in tequila tours and chocolate tastings. Then head to the coast and Puerto Vallarta, where you'll have ample time to relax on its beaches, dine in world-class restaurants, and enjoy its famous nightlife.

 Agave tequila landscape to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Map of Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Best Itinerary Ideas
Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta: Best Itinerary Ideas

Six to nine days is a great length for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Alternatively, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Mexico City. Get inspired with kimkim's Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta trip ideas below.

Architecture in Guadalajara
Map of Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta & Mexico City - 14 Days
Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta & Mexico City - 14 Days

Experience three distinct areas of Mexico on this exciting two-week itinerary. Get your fill of colonial architecture and mariachi music in Guadalajara, relax on the palm-studded Pacific beaches of Puerto Vallarta, and explore the coolest neighborhoods and best eats in Mexico City. This trip includes a mix of public and private transport (both excellent in Mexico), as well as guided tours and free time for the ultimate adventure.

Map of Vibrant Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta - 13 Days
Vibrant Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta - 13 Days

Explore the history and culture of Mexico with this 13-day tour, starting in the country's capital, Mexico City. Float the colorful canals of Xochimilco, sample Mexican street food, and wander local neighborhoods like Roma and Coyoacán. Then, it's off to Guadalajara for amazing architecture, lessons on the magic of cacao, and a visit to the town of Tequila for distillery tours and tastings. Your trip culminates on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, where you'll swim with dolphins and volunteer at a sea turtle camp!

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Yucatán Peninsula · Mexico City · Valladolid · Oaxaca · Tulum · Mérida · Holbox · Puerto Morelos · Chiapas · Playa del Carmen · San Cristobal de las Casas · Cholula · Puebla · Bacalar · Palenque · Campeche · Cancún · Chunhuhub · Uxmal · Calakmul · San Miguel de Allende · La Paz · Guanajuato · Morelia · Querétaro · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos