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  • Overview

    Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico and a major cultural centre. This is the birthplace of mariachi music, tequila, and (Mexican cowboys). The historic centre of the city has a plethora of stunning churches and other grand buildings, including must-sees like the Guadalajara Cathedral, the Palacio de Gobierno, and the Templo Expiatorio. A number of parks and monuments also contribute to making Guadalajara a very attractive place.

    It is also a very busy place. There is always something to see and do in Guadalajara, whether it's football games at the Estadio Omnilife, bullfights at the Plaza de Toros, free concerts by roving mariachi musicians at the Plaza de los Mariachis, or simply browsing the hundreds of stalls at the multi-level Mercado Libertad. A dozen outdoor markets provide ample shopping opportunities for handcrafted items made by the local Huichol Indians, and tired sightseers can rest their feet while they sample local delicacies at any of Guadalajara's excellent restaurants. Zapopan is the centre of the nightlife in Guadalajara, with many bars and clubs serving the local Los Altos tequila.

    The region around Guadalajara offers a number of excursions as well, ranging from rowdy (Tequila Express Tours), to educational (pre-Hispanic pyramids at Guachimontones), to relaxing (picturesque towns around Lake Chapala).

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    Guadalajara has a warm temperate subtropical climate. Summers are hot and last from April to June, with high temperatures of around 86°F (30°C) and minimum temperatures that rarely drop below 50°F (10°C). Winter lasts from December to early February with maximum temperatures generally below 79°F (26°C) and low temperatures higher than 48°F (9°C). The rest of the year remains pleasantly warm. The rainy season lasts from June to September, and peaks in July and August. Thunderstorms are fairly common.

    Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 10 miles (16km) south of Guadalajara.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in April and the second last Sunday in October)
    Transfer Between Terminals: The second terminal is for cargo only. Passengers should only have to make use of the Passenger Terminal and therefore no transfer should be necessary.
    Getting to the city: Many local hotels offer transfers that are cheaper than taxi fares.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Sixt, National, Fox, and Europcar.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at both terminals 24 hours a day.
    Fascilities: There are shops, bars and restaurants at the airport. Other facilities include ATMs, banks, currency exchange and VIP lounges and tourist information. Disabled facilities are relatively good; those with special needs are advised to contact their airline in advance.
    Parking There is parking available at the airport.

    Useful Contacts:

    Public transport in Guadalajara consists of buses, bicycles, and a light rail system. Several private bus companies operate along set routes throughout the city. Fares are paid to the driver upon boarding and buses are often overcrowded.

    The Guadalajara Macrobus, the city's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, is operated by SITEUR and consists of stations running north-south through the city centre. Rechargeable pre-paid cards can be purchased at vending machines or tickets can be purchased at turnstiles. Exact change is required.

    SITEUR also operates two light rail lines which pass a variety of local attractions. Tickets can be bought by depositing exact fare at station turnstiles or purchasing a rechargeable card from station vending machines.

    Bikla Bicipública is the city's bike rental programme, with stations across the city. Commuters sign up on the Bikla website and collect their card at the Bikla office close to the city centre. Taxis are widely available and can be found at designated sites across the city, called in advance or hailed from the street. Tourist transportation options include horse-drawn carriages called calandrias.

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