Located 540 km (335 mi) northwest of Mexico City, Guadalajara is the proud state capital of Jalisco and the second most populated city in Mexico. Blessed with excellent temperatures ranging from 11º to 26º C (52º to 79º F), Guadalajara ranks among Mexico's three most important cities and it is home to some of the nation's most important cultural symbols (mariachi, tequila, the hat dance and Mexican rodeos). Among its main draws is the magnificent architecture of its historic and religious buildings, in particular that of the Hospicio Cabañas, which houses murals of artist Jose Clemente Orozco and was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The city is also known for its beautiful parks and surrounding natural areas, such as el Bosque la Primavera (the Primavera Forest), often referred to as the city's lungs. In addition, there's the Parque Metropolitano, where you can do camping and ecotourism outings, as well as all kinds of sports activities. Finally, Guadalajara stands out for its warm hospitality, well earning its reputation as the Pearl of the West.
In the downtown historic center you can visit the cathedral, known for its emblematic towers. Behind the cathedral lies the Teatro Degollado (Degollado Theater), a monumental 19th-century building and one of the city's main cultural arts venues. Near Guadalajara is Zapopan, the most important religious center in Mexico's western region. Or you can visit nearby Tonala, the pottery capital of Jalisco and the only city in the nation where more than 10 traditional techniques are used to make various crafts. Also relatively close is the magical Lake Chapala, and the picturesque town of Tequila, where Mexico's most famous drink is produced. And in Guadalajara you'll always find a vibrant nightlife in the various bars and restaurants, where you can also enjoy a delicious torta ahogada (a roll filled with pork and bathed in hot sauce), pozole and the traditional sounds of mariachi music.
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