Going, Going, Guachimontones

a circular pyramid at Guachimontones

A circular pyramid at the Guachimontones ruins site.

The reality that Mexico is home to some of the world’s most enchanting – and in some cases, most famous – ruins is no secret. From the Palenque ruins in northern Chiapas to those on the Yucatán Peninsula including Chichén Itzá and Calakmul as well as those along the Ruta Puuc or smack on the Tulum coast, the country is bursting with various phenomenal examples. What many do not realize, however, is that just outside of Guadalajara sit some of the most unique the world over has yet to offer. Word has it that, with the exception of the Cuicuilco Pyramid in Mexico City, the ruins that we’re referring to here in Jalisco are the only circular pyramids to be found anywhere. Moreover, the site of these ruins, known today as Guachimontones, is just a hop, skip and a jump from the city, making for a great side trip on the way to the coast to spend some time on the playa or a wonderful way to spend at least a half-day satisfying that archaeological craving and nicely rounding out your time in Guadalajara.

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The Millennials Are Coming

woman walking with suitcase

Mexico is no stranger to young visitors from abroad overrunning its coasts, consuming large quantities of bagged chips, shots of Sauza and bottles of Corona (or cups of high-octane punch on party boats), working on their sunburns, ehrrr tans, purchasing souvenirs and generally letting it all hang out for a short but intense time before returning back home to “reality”. And that’s just it – in the past, these trips have typically centered around the country’s many beautiful beaches with a focus on revelry. However, it would seem that the times, they are-a-changing. More and more of today’s younger crowd, specifically the set known as “Millennials”, is increasingly expanding its traveling range and country coverage and is moving inward to the less touristy, less well-known and less frequented interior of Mexico, including cities like Guadalajara. By all accounts, Millennials are traveling somewhat differently – and more often – than other generations did and are, and Guadalajara as a destination is a perfect fit for what Millennials are generally seeking these days from their travel adventures. What’s more, Millennials are letting the world know via the vlogging (video blogging) they are doing along the way. Here are some insights into Millennial traveling habits, why what Guadalajara can offer is making it a more popular destination for them and some vlogs of theirs featuring the city that we recently came across on YouTube.

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The Mexican Peso and You

pesos and dollarsThe strength of the US dollar ($USD) against the Mexican Peso ($MXN) has been the focus of a great deal of attention over the last year. Plenty of theories have been set forth to explain it, ranging from the cratering of crude oil and other commodity prices to the rhetoric of US Republican President Donald Trump. Conversations about the exchange rate among certain groups on social media exploded last year, while a cursory glance at Google web search trends for “Mexican peso” indicates that over the last 5 years, interest really began growing from 2015 into 2016 with large spikes in April and November of last year. Needless to say, there’s good reason for all the attention the topic has been getting. The exchange rate between the $MXN and the $USD (or other currencies such as the Euro (€EUR)) affects multiple interested parties, from Mexicans both inside and outside of the country to travelers to expats residing in Mexico to multinational corporations and governments looking to do business with Mexico. Why had the $USD/$MXN exchange rate risen so high, and will the dollar continue to stay strong against the peso? Or, will the peso continue to recover as it has been doing recently? In order to answer these questions, we must look at the behavior of both the peso and the dollar separately as well as in relation to each other. It’s important to gain the best possible understanding of the situation, and we’re here to help. 

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UberEATS Has Hit the Streets

pizza box takeoutIt has never been difficult to get food delivered to your home in Guadalajara. The city is full of motorcyclists, especially, zipping in-and-out of traffic on their two-wheelers with large metal boxes fastened at the rear, even scooting along the wrong way down one-way streets and sometimes on sidewalks to successfully deliver everything from the local shop’s torta ahogada to yes, Burger King (if you didn’t already know). One thing that’s for sure, though, is that until now, home food delivery has more or less relied upon the business, i.e. the restaurant, having the means to deliver that hot meal to you itself. Whereas some US cities offer several independent food delivery services, Guadalajara was somewhat lacking such a thing. Well, that is, until recently. Enter UberEATS.

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Guadalajara by Night

Rogelio Dueñas Vergara, Guest Author (translated and copy-edited from original Spanish)

bar interiorGuadalajara’s nightlife is simply overwhelming. There are countless bars and dance venues for all tastes and ages, ranging from traditional cantinas and various other bars to clubs and nightclubs. (Indeed, we’ve already written on this very subject.) This time around, we’ll give you the rundown on five more special places you can visit once you find yourself in the city. Each option is different from the previous one and rather distinctive when compared with other more commonly-frequented locales. As much as possible, we want to help you have an experience in Guadalajara that falls outside the realm of conventional tourism.

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A New Autumn Brings Us the Fiestas de Octubre, Once Again

fair roller coasterThe Fiestas de Octubre (October Celebrations) of Jalisco and Guadalajara have begun, as of today, the last day of September. Of what do we speak, you may ask? Every year, Mexican towns, cities, municipalities, what-have-you hosts an annual celebration for itself, its citizens and any would-be visitors. The end result in our city is a massive fair with rides and street food and a whole lot more, such as celebrity performances including the acknowledgement of a beauty queen and enjoyment of famous musical acts. Once again, Guadalajara is prepped for the experience, as best as it can be. If you’re currently in the city and you want to replicate a US state fair and then some, but in a completely different country, culture and manner, then look no further than the Fiestas de Octubre.

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The Best Local Online Resources in English

discussion happeningWhile you’re here in Guadalajara, or on your way over, you may want to follow up on (other) local English-language resources to get a sense of what’s happening around the city and in the general area, maintained by people already in the area. Of course, we’d love for you to spend as much time as possible on our site, but hey, let’s face it, there are other great resources out there in addition to discoverGDL. To that end, we’ve compiled a short list of news and discussion sites to get you started. For event-related online resources, see our related article. For security-related online resources, click here.

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Entertaining & Economical Excursions: Yáñez Street Art Walk

yáñez street art walk graffiti woman and catOur first recommended “Economical & Entertaining Excursion” in 2016 comes in the form of a walking tour of our own creation with the objective of introducing you to one of the longest physical stretches of continuous arte callejero, or street art, in the entire city. If you enjoy this form of artistic expression and you enjoy free activities, then you must make this walking tour an essential part of your stay here in Guadalajara. We’ll fill you in on all the details, including where to start, when to go and how long to go for, among other things.

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Avoiding Another Traveler Tragedy

puebla highway carreteraWe are extremely saddened by the recent news that two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed at the hands of an apparent highway robbery gang in the state of Sinaloa while on their way to Guadalajara. It has reminded us of the preceding tragedy involving Harry Devert, a New Yorker whose body was found months after his reported disappearance early last year as he traveled from the state of Michoacan into the state of Guerrero alone on his motorcycle on his way to the World Cup in Brazil. There is no excusing the violence that occurs in Mexico or anywhere else in the world, but there are steps that travelers, expats, all of us can take to help us avoid another similar horrible occurrence. Below we outline some of the most important and practical ones.

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Tlaquepaque Is the Place to Be for Día De Muertos

Already underway as of yesterday, Tlaquepaque’s festival in honor of Día de Muertos, the 5th Festival de Muertos, promises to be something not to be missed, if you’re in the area. Most of the activities really began today in earnest, and the festival will encompass the entirety of the celebration, through the 2nd of November. You can expect to find related art, processions, performances and more over the next few days at a variety of locations, including Tlaquepaque’s commercial center Forum Tlaquepaque [map], the municipality’s Jardín Hidalgo [map], and right smack in the streets. Below we have a link to the full schedule and some notes on it that you should take into account to get the most enjoyment out of the festival.

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Everything You Need to Know about the MiBici Public Bicycle Rental System

mibici bicycles parked at a stationNot so long ago we reviewed Guadajalara’s ratings as a green city according to a study from 2010 and provided updates on some of the improvements it had made since then. You may recall that we mentioned that at some point in 2008, Guadalajara counted a free, public bicycle-lending system called Pedalea Guadalajara (Pedal Guadalajara) among its local transportation options. It was apparently complete with bike stations at various locations throughout the city (especially around the center) but it had since disappeared, for what reason we know not. Well, as we also mentioned back then, as of last year Guadalajara once again offers a public bicycle-sharing system, although this time it’s not free. Named MiBici (MyBike), much more has gone into it than ever went into Pedalea Guadalajara and it promises to stick around for some time. Indeed, you may have already noticed installations all over the city or people using the red, silver, and black bicycles. If you’re curious as to how the system works, you’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about it to describe it to someone else or use it yourself.

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Entertaining & Economical Excursions: Bosque los Colomos

pepe guizar statue bosque los colomos guadalajara mexico

The Pepe Guizar Statue in the Bosque los Colomos

As we mentioned in our neighborhood guide article, Providencia is home to many nice, safe parks. The Bosque los Colomos (BLC), or Colomos Forest, is no exception. It seems to have something for everyone, be you a sportsperson, a parent, a tourist, or someone’s romantic partner. According to government information, the park is a massive 92 hectares in size with some 32,000 trees (we hesitate to even call it a park). Tree species include pine, eucalyptus, and cedar. Born out of an era of panic over deforestation and pollution of waterways in the area, the Bosque los Colomos began its life as a clean water collection center for distribution to the ever-growing city of Guadalajara. Now, under the care of the decentralized public organization Patronato Bosque Los Colomos as of 1998, the objectives have become the conservation, protection, and betterment of the forest and the development of athleticism, culture, environmental education, and peaceful coexistence. Below, we’ll provide you with some further details on why the Bosque los Colomos makes for a fantastic entertaining and economic excursion.

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