By Astrid Van Dam â€¢ Photos by JesÃºs de Avila â€¢ April 2010
Jalisco is MÃ©xicoÂ», that is the slogan of the Administration ofÂ Tourism of the State of Jalisco. They could not have chosen a better slogan than that! After all, when you think of Mexico, you automatically think about Mariachi and Tequila, donâ€™t you? But how much do you really see of the Mexican culture in Puerto Vallarta?
Ok, I have to admit, Puerto Vallarta is the most Â«MexicanÂ» of all beach destinations in Mexico, especially when compared to Cancun, Acapulco or Los Cabos. So you did make the right decision to come here, for sure. But if you really want to see more of the Mexican culture, you will need to travel a bit out of town. Youâ€™ll get to know a whole different world.
Guadalajara is the State Capital of Jalisco, and after Mexico City, the largest city in this country. With about 5 million people, the Â«pearl of JaliscoÂ» is a must see. Mariachi music was born in this huge city, and Tequila is a town very close to Guadalajara where this famous drink is actually produced – millions of liters of Tequila are bottled every year.
Or how about the famous murals of JosÃ© Clemente Orozco? Mexico had very famous mural painters in the history, and Orozco is originally from the state of Jalisco. His most famous murals can be seen in the Government building and in the Hospicio de CabaÃ±as, the biggest Colonial building of the Americas.
Did you think shopping in Vallarta is cheap? You are right, but you will find about everything at half the price in Tlaquepaque, Tonala or Guadalajara â€“ at the most amazing markets there. Now, who doesnâ€™t want to buy truly beautiful paintings for less then $10 dollars each? Especially if you consider that the same ones are sold in Puerto Vallarta for $80-90 dollars, yes, you read that right!
If you are here in Puerto Vallarta make sure you take the opportunity to see real Mexican culture before you go home. After all, you came to Mexico, so I assume you want to see Mexico, right? Explore Guadalajara, but remember, you need to stay there at least 2 nights to be able to see all the highlights â€“ at least!