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Things to Do in Jalisco - page 2

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Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan)
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Home to the Virgin of Zapopan, the 17th-century baroque Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan) is one of Guadalajara’s most important churches. Take your cue from pilgrims across the country and come to admire the much-revered 16th-century wooden statue of the Virgin of Zapopan—when she’s in situ—or visit the on-site Huichol Art Museum.

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Pantaleón Panduro Museum (Museo Pantaleón Panduro)
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Three decades worth of award-winning, contemporary Mexican ceramics are housed at the Pantaleón Panduro Museum in the town of Tlaquepaque. Almost every one of the country’s most prolific pottery-producing regions—from Oaxaca to Puebla—is represented. Quality is a guaranteed too: practically every piece at the Pantaleón Panduro Museum was once a winning entry of the prestigious National Ceramics Prize.

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El Tuito
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Escape the humidity of Puerto Vallarta or Boca de Tomatlán in charming El Tuito, a laidback, traditional town in the Jalisco mountains. Although overlooked by many travelers, here you can get an insight into local life, sample regional produce—such as panela cheese and raicilla (an agave spirit)—and relax in the main plaza.

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Mirador Independencia Park (Parque Mirador Independencia)
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With sweeping vistas over the Oblatos-Huentitán Canyon and Santiago River, the Mirador Independencia Park (Parque Mirador Independencia) is one of Guadalajara’s most picturesque lookouts. Soak up the view from the checkered amphitheater or use the park as a starting point for hikes into the forested surrounds.

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Marigalante Galleon

A replica of the Spanish ship Santa Maria, from Christopher Columbus’ first voyage across the Atlantic, the Marigalante sits in port in Puerto Vallarta and heads out to sea on family-friendly tours. Pirate- and Mexican heritage–themed shows and activities take place both day and night.

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Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port

Sail into the calm Bay of Banderas for a warm Mexican welcome in Puerto Vallarta, a former fishing community turned vacation destination. A popular stopping point on ships bound for the Caribbean, Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port—which has the capacity for three liners at any one time—is the gateway to Puerto Vallarta and the coast of Jalisco.

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Sierra Madre Mountains

The jungle-clad Sierra Madre mountains stretch along Mexico’s western coast from Santa Cruz to Arizona. In this wilderness escape you can trek through the forest, discover off-the-beaten-path villages, and experience outdoor adventures such as ziplining and rappelling.

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Las Caletas Beach (Playa Las Caletas)

Once home to director John Huston, Las Caletas Beach and Nature Reserve is a secluded stretch of Bay of Banderas shoreline, which has since become a dream day-trip destination for vacationers in Puerto Vallarta. Here, you can escape the hustle and bustle of busy central beaches and wile away the hours swaying in a hammock, snorkeling, or enjoying a soothing massage on the shores of Las Caletas.

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Casa Herradura Tequila Distillery
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Established in 1870, the family-run Casa Herradura hacienda sits on the outskirts of Amatitán, a village near Guadalajara in the heart of Mexico’s tequila country. Explore the vast Casa Herradura Distillery, a major player in the Mexican tequila scene; sample its wares; and take in the area’s natural beauty.

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Lake Chapala (Lago de Chapala)
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Surrounded by charming provincial towns in Mexico’s picturesque state of Jalisco, Lake Chapala is a fun, easy day trip from Guadalajara. Stroll the cobblestone streets, browse the quaint boutiques, and chat with the locals and many expats.

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More Things to Do in Jalisco

Tequila Sightseeing Trains

Tequila Sightseeing Trains

A ride on one of Tequila's sightseeing trains ensures an atmospheric experience of tequila country—the UNESCO World Heritage–listed landscapes of Jalisco, the center of Mexico’s tequila industry. Popular with locals and visitors alike, train rides typically include a distillery visit, tequila tasting, and traditional Mexican entertainment.

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Selva Mágica

Selva Mágica

This Guadalajara amusement park caters to guests big and small with its kid-friendly rides, heart-racing roller coasters, and adventure courses. Home to around 40 unique attractions, including a VR coaster, high rope walk, and Sesame Street-themed land, Selva Mágica is a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers in western Mexico.

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Tequila

Tequila

A dusty town tucked into the volcanic valleys northwest of Guadalajara, Tequila is the birthplace of the eponymous drink and has been producing Mexico’s national beverage since the 16th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is surrounded by Jalisco’s blue-agave plantations, which produce some 50 million gallons of the spirit each year.

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Vista Vallarta Golf Club

Vista Vallarta Golf Club

Often considered one of the best and most beautiful golf destinations in Mexico, the Vista Vallarta Golf Club features two high-elevation courses designed by renowned golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf respectively. Here, members and non-members can play a leisurely 18 holes surrounded by views of both Banderas Bay and Sierra Madre mountains before retiring to the on-site clubhouse, bar, or restaurant.

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Amatitan

Amatitan

Amatitán—a prolific tequila-producing town just outside Guadalajara—often goes overlooked in favor of nearby Tequila. However, this charming destination is a key stop on Jalisco’s famous Tequila Trail, one which travelers hoping to fully explore the UNESCO-listed Tequila Country shouldn’t miss. As well as picture-perfect agave fields, Amatitán is also home to several high-profile distilleries, such as Casa Herradura.

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Boca de Tomatlán

Boca de Tomatlán

Swap the crowds of Puerto Vallarta for laidback Boca de Tomatlán, a quiet fishing village towards the south of Banderas Bay. Enjoy Boca de Tomatlán’s scenic and secluded stretch of shoreline—which is set against the picturesque backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains—before using this coastal town as a jumping-off point to explore nearby beaches only accessible by boat.

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Aquaventuras Park

Aquaventuras Park

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With a host adrenaline-fueled activities both in and out of the water, swimming areas suitable for all ages, and a dolphin and sea lion park, there’s something for the whole family to get excited about at the Aquaventuras Park. Just minutes from the beach in Neuvo Vallarta, the park centers around a gigantic swimming area, equipped with 10 thrilling water slides and toboggans, a rafting river, and a children’s play zone with a pirate ship, paddling pools, and mini slides.

After making a splash at the aqua park, visitors can also tackle Mexico’s tallest climbing wall, pick up speed on the zip-line course, or take on the ‘Challenge’ obstacle course. Poolside sunbeds and lounge areas, plus a restaurant, cafe, and snack bar are also available.

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Guadalajara Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Guadalajara)

Guadalajara Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Guadalajara)

Conveniently located in the Guadalajara historic center, Guadalajara Wax Museum is one of only three wax museums in Mexico. Opened in 1994, Guadalajara Wax Museum currently houses more than 160 wax replicas of fictional, political, and historic figures, as well as Mexican and international celebrities.

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Guadalajara Zoo (Zoológico Guadalajara)

Guadalajara Zoo (Zoológico Guadalajara)

With almost 400 species across eight permanent exhibits—including Latin America’s largest reptile house—Guadalajara Zoo (Zoológico Guadalajara) is one of Mexico’s most diverse zoos. Highlights are white Bengal tigers, rare Mexican wolves, and endangered crocodiles, as well as sweeping views over the Barranca de Huentitán (Huentitán Canyon).

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