12 Fun Facts About Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that’s filled with fascinating history, delicious cuisine, and lively nightlife. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this “Pearl of the West”. In this post, we’ll share 12 fun facts about Guadalajara that will give you a glimpse into the unique character and charm of this incredible city.

1. Guadalajara is known as “The Pearl of the West”

As soon as you arrive in Guadalajara, you are immediately struck by the vibrant energy and colorful atmosphere of this bustling metropolis. It’s easy to see why Guadalajara is often referred to as “The Pearl of the West” (“La Perla de Occidente”). From its rich cultural heritage to its modern startup culture, Guadalajara is a city that has something for everyone. Join me as I take you on a journey through 12 fascinating facts about Guadalajara.

2. Guadalajara is Mexico’s Second Largest City

With a population of over 5 million people, Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico, surpassed only by Mexico City. This sprawling city is a melting pot of cultures, blending traditional Mexican architecture with modern skyscrapers and innovative urban design. One of the best ways to explore the city is to take a stroll through the historic downtown area.

3. It is the Birthplace of Mariachi Music

One of Guadalajara’s most famous contributions to Mexican culture is mariachi music. This traditional style of music originated in the state of Jalisco, of which Guadalajara is the capital. Mariachi music is a blend of Spanish, indigenous, and African rhythms, featuring lively guitar, trumpet, and violin melodies. You can’t visit Guadalajara without experiencing the vibrant energy of a mariachi band in action.

4. Guadalajara is Home to the Oldest University in North America

Founded in 1586, the University of Guadalajara is the oldest university in North America. This prestigious institution has produced some of Mexico’s most prominent politicians, scientists, and artists. The university’s historic campus is located in the heart of Guadalajara and features a mix of colonial and neoclassical architecture.

5. Famous for Tequila and Mezcal Production

Tequila and mezcal are two of Mexico’s most famous alcoholic beverages, and Guadalajara is the epicenter of their production. The city is surrounded by agave fields, which are used to create these distinctive spirits. Take a tour of one of the many tequila or mezcal distilleries in the area and learn about the history and process behind these iconic drinks.

Downtown Guadalajara
Downtown Guadalajara

6. The Historic Downtown area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The historic downtown area of Guadalajara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its well-preserved colonial architecture and cultural significance. This area is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Catedral de Guadalajara, the Teatro Degollado, and the Plaza de Armas. Take a walking tour of the historic center to fully appreciate the beauty and history of this area.

7. The Land of Tortas Ahogadas

Tortas Ahogadas is a traditional dish from Guadalajara that consists of a sandwich filled with meat and drowned in a spicy tomato sauce. This messy but delicious meal is a must-try for any foodie visiting the city. Head to one of the many street stalls or local restaurants to get your fill of this savory treat.

8. The Local Soccer Teams, Chivas and Atlas

Soccer is a popular sport in Mexico, and Chivas and Atlas are two of the most iconic teams in the country. Chivas, officially known as Club Deportivo Guadalajara, is one of the most successful teams in Mexican soccer history, with 12 league titles to its name. The team’s home stadium, Estadio Akron, is located in Guadalajara and can seat over 45,000 fans. Attending a Chivas game is a great way to experience the passion and energy of Mexican soccer fans.

Atlas, on the other hand, is another professional soccer team based in Guadalajara that has a loyal following of fans. The team has won a total of one league championship and has a strong tradition of developing young players who go on to play for some of the top teams in Mexico and around the world. The team’s home stadium, Estadio Jalisco, is also located in Guadalajara and can seat over 55,000 fans.

9. The City is Home to a Number of Famous Artists and Writers

Guadalajara has been the birthplace and home of many famous artists, writers, and musicians, including the iconic painter Jose Clemente Orozco and the celebrated singer Vicente Fernandez. The city’s vibrant cultural scene continues to attract artists and creatives from around the world.

10. It Has a Thriving Tech Industry and Startup Culture

Guadalajara is not only home to cultural and culinary delights but also a booming tech industry. The city has become a hub for technology companies and startups, earning it the nickname “Mexico’s Silicon Valley.” Many international tech companies have established their presence here, including IBM, Intel, Oracle, and HP.

During my visit, I got the chance to visit a few tech startups and was impressed by their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. The city’s government has also been supportive, offering incentives for startups to set up shop in the city.

11. It is a Popular Destination for Medical Tourism

Guadalajara is also a popular destination for medical tourism, particularly for cosmetic surgery. The city is known for offering high-quality medical care at a fraction of the cost compared to the United States and Europe.

I spoke to several tourists who were in Guadalajara for various medical procedures. They shared their positive experiences with me and praised the city’s excellent medical facilities and staff.

12. Guadalajara’s Climate is Perfect for Outdoor Activities

Guadalajara enjoys a mild and pleasant climate, with temperatures averaging around 70°F (21°C) throughout the year. This makes it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring the city’s many parks. The Bosque de la Primavera, located just outside the city, is a popular spot for hiking and birdwatching.


Guadalajara is a city that truly has something for everyone. From its rich cultural history and vibrant culinary scene to its cutting-edge technology and world-class medical facilities, it is a destination that should not be missed.

During my visit, I fell in love with the city’s vibrant energy and warm hospitality. I hope that this blog post has inspired you to add Guadalajara to your travel bucket list and explore all that this incredible city has to offer.