Jalisco was founded in 1823 and is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Jalisco is located in central area of Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities, and its capital city is Guadalajara. Jalisco is just one of over 60 official online guides covering the whole of Mexico. If you´re planning a trip to Mexico and would like discover our fabulous nation before visiting or, if you´d like to visit a specific place in Mexico, then you´ve come to the right place.
The state of Jalisco has a population of 6.9 million. Jalisco is considered one of the more important states in Mexico because of its natural resources as well as its rich history. Today, Jalisco has the third-richest economy in the Mexican Republic. Today, over 30 of Mexico’s largest companies are based in Jalisco, which ranks first in computers, agribusiness and jewelry manufacturing. Chief agricultural products include peanuts and agave which is used for distilling the famous Mexican drink, tequila. As Mexico’s technology hub, the state manufactures 60 percent of all computers produced in Mexico, and Guadalajara is the Mexico’s main software development center. Jalisco is one of Mexico´s most popular places, visited by millions of people over the last decade. When you travel to Jalisco you may wish to check out the Jalisco hotels we have available or maybe you´d like to rent a car in Jalisco? We also offer extensive day trips in Jalisco. This unique place has simply amazing things to see. We´ve also compiled a list of Travel books on Jalisco Mexico.
Many of the characteristic qualities of Mexican culture, particularly viewed from outside Mexico, are originally from Jalisco, such as ranchera music, mariachi, tequila, jaripeo, and many more. Jalisco is ranked economically as third in the country, with industries located in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, the second biggest metropolitan area in Mexico. The state of Jalisco is also home to two important indigenous populations, the Huichols and the Nahuas. Living primarily in the Lake Chapala and Puerto Vallarta areas, there is also a significant foreign population, mostly retirees from the United States and Canada.
Whether you are visiting Jalisco in Mexico for business, pleasure or to retire, we´re sure that Jalisco will meet all of your expectations and that the people of Jalisco will make you feel welcome while sampling some of the unique cuisine on offer in the Jalisco Restaurant districts.
The most famous tourist areas in Jalisco are Puerto Vallarta, the Guadalajara metro area, the Costalegre and, popular for ecotourism the Los Altos Regions, Montana Region and the Lake Chapala area.
The city of Guadalajara has many attractions which are principally in the city itself and Zapopan, Tlaquepaque and Tonalá. Though the area is mostly urban there are also rural zones such as the Bosque La Primavera, El Diente and Ixtepete which are extremely popular with the ecotourism crowd.
The “Tequila Express” is the most famous tourism attractions of Jalisco which runs from Guadalajara to the town of Tequila. This excursion includes visits to tequila distilleries which often offer regional dishes in buffets accompanied by mariachi musicians and regional dancers.
The Tequila Valley area is recognized for the liquor named after it, made chiefly from the blue agave plant which grows abundantly in the region. This valley is packed with tequila haciendas, archeological sites and modern distillation facilities, all of which are popular with foreign visitors. The main historical hubs are the towns of Tequila, Cocula, Magdalena and Teuchitlán. UNESCO has named the agave fields in this area as a World Heritage site.
The city of Pueblo Tequila is located at the foot of Volcán de Tequila. It benefits from warm weather and some rain throughout the summer and autumn, creating an ideal climate. The town’s history is directly associated with the drink that bares its name. Tourists come to visit the many distilleries in Tequila to observe the process involved in making tequila.
Since pre-Hispanic times, alcohol distilled from cactus plants has been called mezcal. In the late 19th century, the name tequila was applied to mezcal produced the blue agave cactus, which grows throughout Jalisco.
The temperature in Jalisco is considered ideal, with most of the state having a temperate climate with humid tropical summers. There is a notable rainy season from June to October. In most of the state, most of the rain falls between June and August when many foreign residents are generally back in their homelands for summer. The climate can be divided into 30 different zones from hot to cold and from very dry to semi damp.
The pacific coastal area receives the most precipitation and has the warmest temperatures, at an average of between 22 and 26C (71 to 78 Fahrenheit) and an average rainfall of about 2,000 mm annually. A dry climate predominates in the north and northwest with average temperatures of between 10 and 18C (50 to 64 Fahrenheit), and average annual rainfall between 300 and 1,000mm. The center of Jalisco has three different climates, but all are mostly temperate with an average temperature of 19C and an average rainfall of between 700 and 1000mm. The northeastern corner and coastal plains of Tomatlan are the most arid areas with less than 500mm annually.
The Los Altos region has several microclimates due to the rugged terrain. The area is mostly dry with an average temperature of 18C except in the north, where it fluctuates between 18 and 22C (64 to 71 Fahrenheit).
In a variety of parts of the state there are areas with a semi-moist, temperate climate, some with average temperatures of between 10 and 18C and others of from 18 to 22C (64 to 71 Fahrenheit).
The highlands areas of Jalisco known as the regions; Sierra de Manantlán, Cacola, Cuale and Mascota near the coastal plains there is the most rainfall reaching 1600mm per annum. In the highlands, the average temperature is less than 18C (64 Fahrenheit).
Jalisco gave birth to Mariachi music, charreadas (Mexican rodeos), the Mexican Hat Dance, tequila and the wide-brimmed sombrero.
The town of Tequila was the site of the state’s first tequila factory, established in 1600. Tequila, made from the sap of the blue agave cactus, is Jalisco’s best known product. There are five tequila categories: plata (silver), clear tequila bottled immediately after it is distilled; oro (gold), silver tequila with added color and flavorings; reposado (rested), tequila aged in wooden containers for two to twelve months; añejo (aged), tequila aged for one to three years; and extra añejo (extra aged), tequila aged at least three years.
Lake Chapala in southeastern Jalisco is Mexico’s largest lake, occupying about 1,112 square kilometers (430 square miles). The lake provides perfect habitat for several species of migratory birds, including white pelican and various waterfowl.
About once every 80 years the city of Guadalajara has suffered a major earthquake.
Residents of Jalisco customarily drop the first letters of Mamá and Papá, calling their parents Amá and Apá, the reason for this being a mystery.
One of Mexico’s most popular soccer teams, Las Chivas de Guadalajara, is based in Jalisco. Unlike many international and national teams, only Mexican players can play on the team, and many of them then go on to play for the national team. Las Chivas also has a sister team, Chivas USA, that plays in Los Angeles, California.
The popular tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta features a rare combination of mountain rainforest alongside picturesque white beaches.
Well-known Jalisco natives include muralist Jose Clemente Orozco, guitarist Carlos Santana, Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and golfer Lorena Ochoa, ranked number one in the LPGA in 2007.
Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay has beaches such as Los Muertos, Conchas Chinas, Las Glorias, Mismaloya, Punta Negra and Playa de Oro with large hotels, bars, discothèques and popular restaurants. Puerto Vallarta has a population of approximately 250,000 and is the 6th largest city in Jalisco. Most of the residents work in the tourism industry or associated sectors. The Puerto Vallarta bay was a refuge for pirates in the 16th century, but today it is one of Mexico’s most popular diving destinations due to the range of marine life and an average water temperature of between 19 and 23C (66 to 73 Fahrenheit).
Skilled divers can practice at Marieta Islands at the border of the bay. One major attraction for Americans, Canadians and international tourists is the city’s nightlife. Ecotourism and extreme sports such as bungee jumping and parasailing are offered all over Puerto Vallarta and in many ways, Puerto Vallarta is the capital of extreme sports in Mexico. Along Jalisco’s coast you’ll find other beaches such as Careyes, Melaque, Bucerías and Tamarindo and, last but not least, the world famous Puerto Vallarta.
On the northern coast you’ll find the area called Costalegre de Jalisco which, while more sedate than other areas, is Jalisco’s up and coming tourism destination. The Costalegre area is considered as more of an ecological tourism corridor with beaches such as Melaque, Barra de Navidad, Tenacatita, Punta Perula, Chamela, Careyes, El Tecuán, and El Tamarindo. These beaches offer sumptuous five-star hotels along with bars, restaurants and amazing nightlife. Various coastal areas offer activities such as scuba, snorkeling, kayaking, and big game fishing. Extremely popular is the marine turtle sanctuary called Majahuas in which visitors may free newly hatched turtles into the sea and watch them swim away.
Puerto Vallarta is considered the nightlife capital of the region and is world renowned for spring breakers and partygoers.
Made famous by Mexico’s President Porfirio Diaz, Lake Chapala began its notoriety in the late 19th century. Lake Chapala remains hugely popular with Mexico’s elite who have established the lake’s reputation for chic and sometimes indulgent vacationers. Nowadays, Lake Chapala is popular as a weekend getaway and the area is home to a significant foreign population mainly from the United States and Canada. Lake Chapala, the famous because it’s the largest expanse of inland water in Mexico, is situated about 55 kilometers (34 miles) southeast of Guadalajara. The greater part of the lake lies in Jalisco, with the southeastern portion in Michoacán.
Fishermen from around the world visit to catch the Carp, catfish and whitefish which abound in the lake.
The lake is a major tourist attraction, on which people sail, fish and Jet Ski in its clean and fresh waters. Lake Chapala is surrounded by numerous small rural towns including Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Tizapán el Alto and Ocotlán. Ecotourism is the main activity around the lake with activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, golf and tennis along with spas/water parks like those in Chapala, Jamay, Jocotepec and La Barca.
The region known locally as “Norte” or “el Norte” (the north) is the home of the indigenous tribes of the Wixarika and Huichols although there are significant communities of an ethnicity known as the Cora also. The area is known for its indigenous culture as well as its rugged, isolated terrain. Other major indigenous communities in the area also include the Bolaños and Huejúcar.
Jalisco’s diversity, idyllic landscapes and cultural traditions make it one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations. The state has introduced the world to the traditions of mariachis, tequila, the Ballet Folklórico, the Mexican Hat Dance, charros and sombreros.
The Montaña region of Jalisco or Mountain Region in English features mountain chains such as the Sierra de Tapalpa, Sierra del Tigre and the Sierra del Halo. The principal communities in this area are Tapalpa and Mazamitla.
The area is crammed with forests and green valleys and the state promotes ecotourism in the area with activities such as rappelling, mountain biking, parasailing and hiking. The area’s gastronomy offerings includes local sweets and dairy products.
The Sierra Region of Jalisco is between the Centro and coastal areas. Mountains chains in this area include the Sierra de Quila and the Sierra de Manatlán. The mountain range Sierra Madre Occidental stretches all the way from Jalisco to the U.S. border. Locally, the range includes Los Huicholes, Los Guajalotes, the San Isidro Mountains, El Gordo Hill and the Tequila volcano. Jalisco residents enjoy weekend trips to San Isidro, where they can take in beautiful views of the mountain range.
Hikers can be seen on most days climbing the ragged peaks and crossing the lush valleys which make up the Montaña region of Jalisco.
The Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve is nestled between the states of Jalisco and Colima. The effects of tectonic and volcanic activities and erosion are notable within the reserve. Different types of forests are present in the reserve including mesophytic, cloud, and dry deciduous and semi-deciduous tropical forests. Anthropologists know the region of Sierra de Manantlan as ‘Zona de Occidente’, an area notably different to the rest of Mesoamerica. Some ceramic remnants, figurines and graves have been found, but there is little other material evidence.
The reserve, which protects the Jalisco dry forests, shelters over 2,700 species of plants (40 percent of all plants native to Mexico) and about 560 animals. The biosphere is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in North America.
Guadalajara hosts the very popular and internationally acclaimed annual May Cultural Festival called the Festival Cultural de Mayo, featuring musical concerts with big international artists, theatrical performances, art exhibits and other activities.
Furthermore, each September sees the start of the world renowned annual International Mariachi Encounter, which brings mariachi bands and their fans from all over the world to Guadalajara.