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The Best Side Trips from Guadalajara

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There’s tons to do in Guadalajara but, if you have some time to spare, fantastic day and weekend trips are just a short—and cheap—bus, train, or car ride away. In fact, the state of Jalisco, of which Guadalajara is the capital, is home to Mexico’s largest number of pueblos mágicos (magic towns). From the country’s biggest lake, to the birthplace of tequila, to beautiful beaches and ruins, there’s plenty to see just outside the big city.
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Carretera Estatal 604 Guadalajara-San Marcos, Gral. Lucio Blanco, 46762 Teuchitlán, Jal., Mexico
Right outside the town of Teuchitlán, Jalisco—about an hour west of Guadalajara—is one of western Mexico’s most impressive archeological sites. Discovered in 1969, Los Guachimontones includes a series of unusual conical...
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Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
Less than an hour from Guadalajara, Lake Chapala—Mexico’s largest lake—offers a relaxing respite from the big city. Visitors can enjoy drinks or a meal at one of the many restaurants on the pier, watch the sunset from a sandy...
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Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico
Guadalajara visitors craving an escape from the city should know that the ocean breeze isn’t far away. The bohemian beach town of Sayulita is about a four-hour drive, and even closer by plane. Popular in the 1960s among American and Canadian...
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Tapalpa, Jal., Mexico
Just 90 minutes south of Guadalajara, the colonial town of Tapalpa is an alpine refuge nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. A designated pueblo mágico (magic town), it’s home to a picturesque plaza, where artists often congregate to...
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Calle Francisco I. Madero 146, Mayahuel, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Few visitors to Guadalajara skip a side trip to the town of Tequila, famous for the Mexican spirit of the same name. If you’re interested in going, your hotel can arrange a tequila trail excursion with a local outfitter, complete with...
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Doña Gabriela Pena Lozada 405, Hacienda San José del Refugio, 45380 Amatitán, Jal., Mexico
Visitors looking to tour Casa Herradura—the distillery that’s been making Tequila Herradura for more than 145 years—should hop aboard the new Tequila Herradura Express. The train leaves from Guadalajara and travels through...
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About 20 minutes from the center of Guadalajara is the tiny town of Tlaquepaque, whose name translates to “hills of clay.” Fittingly, it’s known for its beautiful pottery and other handicrafts. Wander around Independencia, a...
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Av. Tonaltecas, Tonalá Centro, 45400 Tonalá, Jal., Mexico
Home to Mexico’s largest concentration of artisans, Tonalá—just 10 minutes from Tlaquepaque—is known for its pottery, hand-blown glassware, textiles, miniatures, and more. On Thursdays and Sundays, the town hosts an...