Guadalajara, Mexico

Utilising overnight buses in Mexico is a great way to go between places cheaply and to save on accommodation costs, so we jumped on another one and headed to Guadalajara. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning and headed straight to Casa Vilisanta, they very kindly allowed us to sleep in another room as ours was not ready yet.  This is a great place to stay in Guadalajara, the people are friendly and it is bright and beautiful.  Our first day in Guadalajara was spent catching up with an old friend of mine from university.  He had been living in Guadalajara for a while so it was great to have a local tour guide! He took us out to Tlaquepaque which is on the outskirts of the city centre.  It’s an artsy district with very good food and a good place to just walk around.  That evening we drank far too much tequila and mezcal with our friends and headed out to a club. At first we thought we were hallucinating when we saw everyone on the dance floor doing some kind of disco line dance – they were all doing the exact same moves – maybe a bit of something else was in the tequila?  No, apparently this is normal in the clubs.  We had a great night but the next morning we were feeling the full effects…

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Mariachi band in Tlaquepaque

Guadalajara is full of old buildings, Mariachi bands and lots of culture. We loved exploring this city and soaking up the sights and visiting a few museums.  There are tonnes of places to choose from, we particularly enjoyed the Government Palace where there were the most incredible murals depicting the war of independence.

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A must-do while in Guadalajara is to visit the famous town of Tequila nearby. Where, obviously, tequila originates from.  We organised a tour from our hostel to take us to a few distilleries, however, it was mainly in Spanish which was a bit difficult for us, so try and find an English speaking tour! We still had fun, but unfortunately we were plagued with a two day hangover, so trying lots of different tequilas proved difficult for us!  But we aren’t quitters so we knocked back a bunch of shots with the rest of the group. The actual town of Tequila is pretty touristy but is also very cute and is worth a stop for lunch.  Andrew found a delicious dish called torta ahogada which is a sandwich that is drowning in a delicious pork gravy.  Definitely try this!  So we had a fun day, and we particularly enjoyed visiting the Tres Mujeres Distillery, it was very picturesque, surrounded by agave cacti.

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Our last night in Guadalajara was spent at Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling). It was everything we hoped it would be and more.  We went along with a couple of Mexican friends we had made, which was ideal as they were able to translate for us.  The best way to visit the Tuesday night Lucha Libre is to go through the Red Pub, they organise a big bus (and tickets) to take everyone to the event.  It’s really easy and a lot of fun because you pre-drink with a big group of people. Once we arrived at the stadium it was immediately crazy.  The crowd spent the entire night chanting, it was also the most un-PC chants you have ever heard with lots of swearing, even though there were many children at the stadium.  You couldn’t even go to the bathroom without people chanting at you to spin around.  We were in the upper level, which is considered the poor seats.  The upper level and the ground level spend the whole time taunting each other, its brilliant.  But the chanting wasn’t the only fantastic thing, the food was great too, vendors walked around yelling and selling there snacks and beer.  Andrew and I bought a huge plate of pork crackling for about $2. So good.  The wrestling itself was hilarious too, the costumes and fighting were fantastic and everyone in the crowd seemed to have their favourite, these guys were like super heroes.  This was such a fun place to go and you cannot visit Guadalajara without going to the Tuesday night Lucha Libre!

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I must say that Guadalajara was probably our favourite Mexican city. It’s fun and gritty with great food and lots of things to do.  Definitely move it to the top of your list for your Mexican holiday.

Here is a breakdown of our costs for 4 days:

Budget = US$283 (NZ$400)

Accommodation – US$134

Activities – US$72

Food/Drink – US$104.50

Travel (incl. Taxis) – US$94.50

Miscellaneous – US$12

Total spent – US$417 (NZ$590)

So we were US$134 (NZ$190) over budget.  We went out and drank a lot while we were here and also went and did a lot of activities, if we were here a bit longer it would have evened itself out.

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