A March 2005 trip
to Guadalajara by sararevell
Quote: Travelling back from Guanajuato, agave crops grow quietly in the dusty desert. The silence is broken abruptly by the heat, smoke, and activity of Mexico’s second city. We only spent a day and a half in Guadalajara, not quite enough time to explore all that this city has to offer.
Live music in the evening at Hotel Frances
Some great fast food at La Chata on Calle Corona
Tasty pastries at the many panaderias
The bedrooms themselves were fairly spacious, clean on the surface, and keep nice and cool during the daytime. We had a second-floor room on the street side, and with the shutters closed, you eliminate a lot of the evening noise. There are also rooms away from the street, which I’m guessing light sleepers should request.
Overall, the value for money isn’t at all bad, as you can’t beat the convenience of being so central. However you do compromise a little on quality. The first room we were given had a broken toilet, the bed sheets and towels were noticeable old and worn, the shower unit was leaky, and the mattress also seemed ready for replacement. However the main bedrooms are very attractive, with dark tiled floors and wooden details (although with institutional-style ceiling light tiles the bathrooms are a stark and unfortunate contrast). Each room has a TV, laundry service, and there are water barrels on each balcony that dispense drinking water. The English-speaking staff are also extremely helpful and will help with taxi bookings, etc.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2005
Restaurant | "La Chata: Super Fast Food (and it tastes good)"
At the front of the restaurant is the kitchen, so whilst you wait, you can marvel at the bustling group of women who prepare all the food. The men do all the table waiting and drink serving.
I tried the Platillo Jalisciense (half a chicken in a mild, tomato-based sauce with one enchilada, one flauta, a green salad, and fried potatoes). It was obviously filling, but very tasty and a great value for money (63 pesos).
My husband had chicken flautas, which were somewhat of a letdown, as they seemed overcooked and not very fresh. The table salsa was interesting, though, as it was served with pappadum-style chips and was itself reminiscent of Indian sauces. With beer, bottled water, and a papaya smoothie, our bill was 160 pesos in all.
Restaurant | "Don’t go to Café Madrid!"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 27, 2005
+52 33 3614-9504
Restaurant | "Panaderias – Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner"
Santa Monica & Lopez Cotilla
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 27, 2005
Sandwich Stop at Jugoi Torty Pollo
At 4:30pm at Plaza de los Mariachis, you can see plenty of Mariachis sitting around in the afternoon sun. Nobody was playing, though. I guess they were saving their energy for the evening performance.
The Mercado Libertad next door seemed endless. Vendors are crammed in side-by-side, most of them watching an episode of their favourite soap opera if business is slow. The majority of goods on offer were household and electronic items and it’s definitely not the best place for souvenir shopping (unless you're looking for shoes!). However, further back, you can find some artistically arranged fruit and vegetable stalls, with some produce I’d never seen or heard of before.
Walking back along Morelos, there is a better opportunity for souvenir shopping as there are a number of stalls selling a wide variety of tourist-friendly items (t-shirts, paintings, rugs, handicrafts, etc). There’s also a row of high-end jewelry shops, watched over by gun-toting security guards.
We took a rest behind Teatro Degollado where we sat next to a couple of clowns rummaging through a box of pirated DVDs, an interesting sight to behold in any public place.
Calz. Independencia Sur
Attraction | "Tapatio Tours – Bus Hopping around Guadalajara"
Despite the ability to hop on and off, many of the stops along the route don’t offer much incentive to leave the bus. One stop we did take though was at the corner of Libertad and Enrique Diaz de Leon. We almost didn’t realize the magnificence of the Templo Expiatorio until we ventured inside and discovered that the spire is built with stained glass panels all the way up to the top, creating a kaleidoscope of colours projected by the sunlight.
Our main reason for alighting at this particular stop is that we wanted to visit Parque Agua Azul, and from the Templo Expiatorio it’s only a thirty minute walk. Unfortunately though it’s a half hour walk along the heavily trafficked Avenida la Paz and Calzada Independencia Sur, so if you’re set on visiting the park and the adjacent Instituto de la Artesania Jalisciense I’d recommend catching a taxi from the city centre instead.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 27, 2005
Starts at Rotunda de los Hombre Illustres
Attraction | "Parque Agua Azul and the Instituto de la Artesania"
On the shop side, we found lots of good quality glassware, ceramics, entire dinner sets, clothing and other regional crafts for sale, but they were fairly high in price. There’s no entrance fee for the Instituto.
Next door, at Parque Agua Azul, the entrance charge is 4 pesos per person. It’s a vast park, busy with families with young children. There are paddling pools, a butterfly house, orchid house and various caged bird exhibits. The café’s fare isn’t too inspiring, so I’d recommend bringing a picnic or planning to travel back to the city for food.
Instituto de la Artesanía Jalisciense
Avenida González Gallo 20
Guadalajara, Mexico 44180
+52 3 619 5179; +52
London, United Kingdom