If you are intimidated by the size and intensity of Mexico City, Guadalajara offers you a less frantic alternative. The city rests on a mile-high plain of the Sierra Madre Occidental, surrounded on three sides by rugged hills and on the fourth by the spectacular Oblatos Canyon. It is Mexico’s second largest metropolis, has a population of four million, and serves as the capital of Jalisco State. Therefore, it would be a shame not to honor the city’s history by for example renting a car and exploring the area, which you can conveniently do at the airport.
This cosmopolitan, yet traditional Mexican city offers a range of activities. From handicrafts to housewares, and especially fine ceramics in smart shops or family-owned factories, Guadalajara is where you will find it all. If you are a lover of local delicacies, Cremería Los Globos is a shop you can’t miss. This humble shop offers local cheese, wine, honey, olives, jams as well as tequila. What wine means to France tequila does to Mexico. Visit tequila makers Casa Herradura, El Tesoro De don felipe and Fábrica de Tequila El Llano in order to learn more about the process of tequila making, from harvest to bottling.
The city cannot quite match the intimacy and architectural homogeneity of smaller colonial cities, it has too many inhabitants for that. Still, its historic center is beautiful in itself. Anchored by the twin wonders of the cathedral and the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas, the latter a Unesco World Heritage site, you will have plenty of material to feed your cultural appetite. Dress up for drinks, dinner, and dancing in smart Zona Minerva, in downtown Guadalajara, or put on your comfy walking shoes to visit satellite neighborhoods of indigenous origin. For shoppers and metropolis lovers, this is a great complement to a Puerto Vallarta vacation. Mellow suburbs Tlaquepaque (upscale) and Tonalá (grassroots) are a folk-art shopper’s dream destinations. Zapopan has some interesting colonial sites and is known somewhat euphemistically as Guadalajara’s Beverly Hills.
Of course, it is possible to explore the area surrounding the city, which you can do by taking a tour to Mexico’s largest natural lake, Lake Chapala. Visit the charming villages of Chapala and Ajijic, which border this lake. Surrounded by mountains and renowned for its lovely scenery, the lake has become a hotspot for North American retirees, who are drawn to the region’s incredible year-round weather. A special attraction is the enormous tree that welcomes visitors, among them many horseback riders, to the small town. It lies just 10 minutes from Chapala on the lake’s north shore.
Whether you have an entire family with you or are exploring Guadalajara alone or with a partner, Orbitz should be your first stop when you are looking for cheap car rental in the city. We will find the best car for your needs and offer you the most competitive price. All you need to do is search on our website and book the car that best fits your trip.