Guadalajara is the capital of the State of Jalisco and Mexico’s 2nd largest city.
Guadalajara is a bustling metropolitan city (population 4.4 million) that is alive with parks, monuments and historical 16th century buildings. The city's economy is based on industry, especially information technology (it has been called the "Silicon Valley of Mexico”) and includes a large number of international firms with manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara metro area. More traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing, are also important contributors to the economy.
Guadalajara is a cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of Mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the International Film Festival of Guadalajara. It is an important nucleus of universities and educational centers with national prestige.
The 2011 Pan American Games (officially the XVI Pan American Games) will be held from October 14–30, 2011 in Guadalajara. It will be the largest multi-sport event of the year with approximately 6,000 athletes from 42 nations expected to participate in 36 sports.
Important tourist attractions close to Guadalajara:
Tlaquepaque –One of Mexico’s most important art centers, five miles from Guadalajara, where you will find even more pottery, homemade blown glass, wood workings and little craft workshops, clay, blow glass, forged iron, papier-mâché, rustic wood furniture
Puerto Vallarta If you would like to combine your visit to Guadalajara with some time on the beach, Puerto Vallarta is an excellent choice (three and a half hours drive away). Puerto Vallarta has received many global accolades that are a testament to the uniqueness and warmth of the city. It has been voted the friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Magazine (2003), the best place to retire globally by The American Association of Retired Persons (2010) and the best Mexican Vacation destination by USNews.com (2010), beating out Cancun and Los Cabos for the top prize. http://visitpuertovallarta.com
Town of Tequila – Forty miles northwest of Guadalajara, the landscape begins to turn blue from the vast fields of Agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled. The blue agave or Agave Tequilana Weber, is only produced in this region of western Mexico. There are dozens of tequila distilleries in this area, and most of the distilleries offer tours, including the distilleries of Sauza and José Cuervo. The Tequila Express, a train that leaves Guadalajara in the morning and returns in the evening, takes visitors to the town of Tequila.
Ajijic - Fast becoming the favorite area in which to settle on Lake Chapala. Just a few miles west of the town Chapala, Ajijic is a charming lakeside village that has retained all of the charms of Old México. Ajijic is home to between ten and twelve thousand foreigners, particularly Americans and Canadians, who chose to live permanently in this charming little town, and have set up cultural, civic and social service organizations.