Information and Tourism
Jalisco is known for its lush mountain valleys, the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters of the Costa Alegre, and Lake Chapala - a long-established holiday haunt that is frequented by Mexico's wealthier residents. Most of all, though, visitors are drawn to the charms of its colonial capital, Guadalajara, with its pleasant plazas and fountains, cobbled streets and grand colonial mansions. And of course, it would be remiss not to mention the city's lively cafe culture.
No visit to Jalisco's Tequila Valley would be complete without a trip on the aptly named Tequila Express, which runs from Guadalajara to Tequila. Naturally, it makes a few stops along the way to explore the local distilleries. Tequila is made using a local ingredient known as 'blue agave'. This spiky plant grows in abundance here and is quite a sight when it reaches maturity - at full height, it can tower over the average tequila drinker.
After a few tequilas, it is tempting to join in one of Jalisco's other well-known exports, the Mexican hat dance, or 'Jarabe Tapatio' as it is known locally. It is not just traditional dancing that features heavily in Jalisco's cultural life. Traditional mariachi folk music also plays a huge role here. It is said that its origins lie in the city of Guadalajara. Mariachi bands perform at weddings, birthday parties and religious rituals. In fact, they perform pretty much anywhere they are asked.
Each year, thousands of people crowd into one of Jalisco's most popular seaside resorts to celebrate its annual culinary festival. For some ten days, Puerto Vallarta becomes a Mecca for gourmets from all over the world.
Jalisco Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Mexico
- Main administrative town or city: Guadalajara
- Biggest city: Guadalajara
- Population: approximately 7.5 million
- Language: Spanish
- Area: 30,350 square miles / 78,600 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO JALISCO
World Guide to Guadalajara, Mexico
Mexico's number two city after the capital of Mexico City, Guadalajara is a large metropolis with many glitzy skyscrapers and modern structures. Guadalajara comprises a series of plazas and tourists enjoy its horse-drawn 'calandrias'.
World Guide to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Often referred to as simply 'PV', Puerto Vallarta was once a quiet seaside village and has grown to become a leading Mexican holiday resort. Puerto Vallarta lies next to Banderas Bay and offers a host of white sandy beaches and water sports.
Map of Mexico