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5 Days in Guadalajara

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Phoenix, Arizona
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5 Days in Guadalajara

Hi all, just trying to get my bearings about the city. My husband and I will be in GDL for 5 days. We are staying at the Clarum101. The last time I was there was for a 2-day business trip and I stayed at the Westin. Where is the Clarum101 in relation to the Westin and the Centro Historico? Is there a website where I can find a map of the general area so I can get my bearings before we go? I hate wasting time trying to figure out how to get somewhere. We'd like to go to Tlaquepaque and/or Tonala, and possibly Lake Chapala also. How far from GDL are those 3 places? Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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1. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

The Clarum is about a 1/2 north of the Westin, and about 3 miles west of historic center of Guadalajara. Tonala and Tlaquepaque are about 7 miles from your hotel, while Lake Chapala is about an hour's drive. If you're not renting a car, you can get a taxi to Lake Chapala for about 450-500 pesos (40 bucks) each way. You're staying in a nice area of town. A taxi to Tlaquepaque or Tonala will cost around 150, perhaps slightly more if you take it in front of the hotel. There is also the famous tapatio bus, but I'm not sure how far from your hotel that goes (I've never taken it, but other travelers on this forum seem to like it). City buses are plentiful as well, most costing between 6.50 pesos and 11 pesos, and several of these will get you to Tlaquepaque or Tonala.

If you decide you want a conventional street map in Guadalajara, Oxxo (a ubiquitous chain convenience store) and Sanborns usually have them.

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

Thank you for your reply. The city bus sounds great. We're both Spanish speakers so that's not a problem. We may do the Tapatio bus the first day we get there to get a general idea of what we'd really like to see in more detail. I hate wasting precious time on something that turns out to not be that great. How far is the Clarum from the Centro Historico? Any decent city maps on the internet I can checkout before we get there that show all the landmarks of the metropolitan area? Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!

Ho Chi Minh City...
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3. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

The Clarum is about 3 miles west of the historic center, give or take a mile. I don' t know of any online maps, but if I find one, I'll send it to you or post it here. Hopefully, someone else will post one. The city buses are easy to use, provided you don't use them during rush hour (9-10am, 7-8pm). There is a book for sale at some of the newspaper stands that lists every single bus route and gives you an index of the places of interest. It costs no more than a couple of dollars. It's pretty handy if you do end up using the bus a lot. The intercity buses for Lake Chapala leave from the Central Vieja, though you can also pick up that bus in other parts of the city. For what you want to do, 5 days seems like an ideal length for a visit to Guadalajara and surrounding areas.

From what I've read, the tapatio tour bus is good for getting to Tlaquepaque and Tonala, but in my opinion, there's not a whole lot to see en route between the Centro and those other areas of interest.

Timbuktu, Mali
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4. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

Hello,

Just came across your post, and since we did the exact same itinerary that you are planning, thought I would chime in with my 'dos centavos' worth.

Tlaquepaque was a nice, relaxing, stroll up and down a few main avenues restricted to pedestrians, with a small central park and cathedral. The stores and galleries are very nice, but high end for pricing. There are a number of really good restaurants in the area for a leisurely and tasty lunch. A taxi is one means of arrival, certainly the most direct and probably not that costly. We managed from downtown, after a bit of confusion, to find a city bus that took us there for a few pesos each. Speaking Spanish and asking a lot of questions to bus drivers before boarding a bus was the key for us.

Tonala, for us, was like a giant, repetitive, sort-of gritty swap meet on either end of the same street, most of the vendors selling the same wares. There are stores and galleries along the way, too. Be careful walking along the sidewalks, for there are all sorts of cracks and nooks and things dangling all over the place that may cause some harm to the unwary. If one is in the market for nick-nacks, there are tons of them. Prices here, as anyone will confirm, are comparatively less than in Tlaquepaque. We did not find any places in the vicinity for a leisurely lunch.

Lake Chapala is pretty, as is the adjoining town Ajijic. Taxis make the trip from GDL to Lake Chapala in either direction, and will bargain somewhat on the price. Otherwise, a very inexpensive bus from the old bus station in GDL goes to Lake Chapla and back very frequently.

Hope this helps.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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5. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

The 706 (Tur) or the Premier Bus are two buses that go to Tlaquepaque and traverse much of Guadalajara. Not sure if either gets to your hotel, however. The hotel staff might know as well. The Premier Bus runs along much of Lopez Cotilla, so anywhere on that street is a good place to catch it. There are at least 70 different bus routes in Guadalajara.

"a very inexpensive bus from the old bus station in GDL goes to Lake Chapla and back very frequently"

Old bus station = Central Vieja (see post 3). Many of the buses that go or return from Chapala and Ajijic will drop you off at the Parque Agua Azul, which in my opinion is a better place to take this bus or to disembark. It's about a 1/2 mile south of downtown and is a bit less dodgy in my opinion than the Central Vieja (not a big deal really, if you're there during the day).

Another place worth visiting, if you have time for it of course, is the area around the Basilica de Zapopan. At one point, it was a separate entity from Guadalajara, but now it forms part of the larger metropolitan area. The Basilica and the streets around it are quite charming, and because of its higher elevation, you can get some nice views of Guadalajara from that area (particularly near the entrance to that zone, near Prolongacion de las Americas). This area, like Tlaquepaque, also has some outstanding restaurants. My favorite is Scratch do Ouro, a Brazilian steakhouse, just a little bit south of the Basilica on Prolongacion de las Americas.

Bucerias, Mexico
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for Bucerias, Nuevo Vallarta, Guadalajara
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6. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

Google maps are pretty good.

San Diego...
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7. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

^^ Agreed. Google maps has really surprised me with the accuracy of addresses in Mexico lately. They have really stepped it up from a few years back

M-

Bucerias, Mexico
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8. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

We spend a lot of time in Guadalajara and use Streetview a lot!

Bucerias, Mexico
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9. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

With a 5 day trip, I would probably eliminate Lake Chapala from the mix.

The centro historico is interesting to explore, i can spend lots of time there.

Tonala will take a good part of a day, Tlaquepaque will take at least an afternoon.

If I was to going to suggest an out of town trip, it would be Tequila.

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: 5 Days in Guadalajara

BTW, how about the Guachimontones pyramids ? Is Taxi the best way to get there from the westin hotel ?

Also, are they open on New Years day ?

Edited: 10:32 pm, December 29, 2013