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Things to Do That Don’t Blow...in Guadalajara, Mexico
This shit is actually fun
Most “things to do…” lists blow.
Type the keyword into Google for any city of your choosing and you’ll likely find shit results pop up.
Trip Advisor, Culture Trip, and some diabetes-ridden female blogger who thinks every single “things to do…” on vacation has to revolved around food and being obesity.
Luckily, there are other things to do when visiting Guadalajara, than obesity. As such, methinks it was time to throw together a list that doesn’t actually blow.
So here’s some cool shit to do in Guadalajara, Mexico:
I’ve spent time in a number of Mexican towns and cities. PDC, Cancun, Cozumel, CDMX, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Tepic, Acapulco, Manzanillo…the list could go on and on.
However, in the opinion of your humble author, Guadalajara has the best nightlife in all of Mexico — when it’s going.
Better than Mexico City, significantly less sloppy than the Yucatan, more variety than any Pacific coast beach town.
Here’s some top spots…
Located in Zapopan, the best looking women you’ll ever find in Mexico come to Aria on the weekends.
Not that they’re easy. It’s all “fresas” from top to bottom, and being a gringo means absolutely fuck all here.
But the fresas here look good. Really fucking good. The rooftop club slaps all weekend and is the perfect spot top start a big night out in GDL.
S I X G D L
Aria is clean cut. Classy people. Once the fresas here start getting drunk, they tend to head downstairs to the club below Aria…S I X G D L.
S I X G D L is where the fresas get loose, dance, and mingle way more. Go here when Aria starts emptying.
Again, located in Zapopan.
Massive club on Avenida Chapultepec, this spot gets packed on certain nights. And when Kanna packed, it might be one of the best clubs in Mexico.
Hundreds of people, massive dancefloor, party favors for sale in the bathrooms, and mucho mas.
Come with a few friends and make sure to get a table here.
The grimest spot I’ve been to in Mexico. This is an after-hours clubs located a few streets from Avenida Chapultepec.
Make sure to come here with a bro or two. Not alone. Starts to fill up around 2:30am.
If any girl is in Koko without male supervision, she’s only there for one reason, and one reason only. Act accordingly.
Barranca de Huentitán
Guadalajara is a massive city filled with any and every amenity one could want. However, nature is lacking.
5+ million in the metro means the city sprawls for miles and green spaces are at a minimum.
There’s still some cool nature shit to do. My favorite?
Hiking Barranca de Huentitán.
Just 15 minutes from Avenida Chapultepec, you’ll find the start of a 3+ hour hiking trail that dips into a valley and then brings you back up.
The valley is green and gorgeous, especially during the rainy season.
My expectations were insanely low. I was never a huge wrestling fan as a kid, so the idea to go to a Mexican fake wrestling event never crossed my mind.
But some buddies wanted to go, so I rolled with.
Lucha Libre in GDL far exceeded my expectations. It was hilarious and fun as hell.
The crowd is rowdy and chanting obscenities at the wrestlers: “El pirata es puto! El pirata es puto!” “Pito chico!” Pito chico!”
The locals go crazy over this shit, drinking beer, chanting, and having a ball.
The funniest part? The dozen “promo” girls that work the events are from local whorehouses. The have ribbons with the name of the brothel they work at showing during the whole event…and there’s tons of kids in the crowd.
Located at Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara, you can find lucha libre events every Sunday and Tuesday. Starts around 9:00pm I believe.
The tiny town of Tequila, Mexico is located about an hour outside of GDL.
And as you may have guessed, the birthplace of the famous liquor was here. Tequila was first created in…Tequila.
Now, you could go tour tequila factories in Tequila, look at the plants around the city, and all that shit.
Or you could come here on a Saturday or Sunday late-morning, early-afternoon with a group of buddies and enjoy some of the finest day drinking Mexico has to offer.
On the weekends, the town square is packed with carts selling tequila and people from all over Jalisco and Colima come here to day drink and be social.
It’s quite fun, but you’ll need to be proper tequila drunk before noon to get the full experience.
The best pedestrian street in the city is Avenida Chapultepec. It’s not even close.
For people watching, anytime during the evenings on the weekends you’ll find hundreds of people walking around here.
There’s cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs all over.
You’ll also find gyms, yoga studios, and tons of great apartment options here.
Overall, it’s the most walkable area in the city and filled with life. Stay near here your first time in the city.
Mercado de Abastos
Once a week while in GDL, I head to my favorite local market: Mercado de Abastos.
Here you’ll find the freshest produce and meat in the city, at prices half of what you’d find in the supermarket.
The place gets packed with viejas and it’s a more authentic travel experience.
Grab breakfast here too. There’s a orange restaurant/bar called “Angie’s” that serves up amazing Tacos Dorados.
The premier cigar lounge in all of Guadalajara. Hell, maybe in all of Mexico.
Casa Blend offers world-class cigars, great service, food, and more.
Plus, many a famous local — narco and nah — come here to enjoy a cigar and talk business. If you’ve read a few books about the history of the drug trade in Mexico, a few names you’ve heard may pop in while you’re enjoying a puro.
45-minutes south of GDL, you’ll find the largest lake in Mexico: Lago de Chapala.
The activities on the lake itself kind of suck, but the spot is a retiree haven. As such, the malecon area is truly stunning and the restaurants here are fantastic.
If you’re looking for something to do one afternoon, check out the town of Ajijic on the lake. Great place to walk around for an afternoon and relax.
Just don’t expect much fishing, boating, or swimming here.
Guadalajara has a growing mma, bjj, and boxing scene. Canelo is from here and the locals truly love fight sports.
If you’re living near Avenida Chapultepec, there’s a few spots to train at within walking distance.
Alliance BJJ is a fantastic spot to train jiu jitsu. After training at 8 different gyms in 2021, I can say Alliance GDL was my favorite. The coach Marco is very detailed oriented and speaks great English.
WolfGang MMA is close to Chapultepec. I haven’t visited myself, but had a few buddies who trained here and recommended it.
The locals in GDL seem to love their steaks.
In fact, the food in Guadalajara may be the best I’ve tried in all of Latin America. While attempting to avoid the obesity postings from most a travel writer, there’s no doubt you’ll find some amazing restaurants here
Here’s a few incredible steakhouses in GDL:
Normally I’d never put a zoo on a list like this, but the GDL Zoo is the biggest in Latin America. If I remember correctly.
They’ve got a nice gondola ride that overlooks the whole zoo and all the animal exhibits. At the end of the ride, there’s a sick view overlooking the lush green valley below.
Well worth it if you’re looking to pass an afternoon. Decent date spot with a girl you’ve been seeing.
Things to Do in GDL
Guadalajara is NOT a tourist destination.
There’s no beaches, no huge mountain backdrops, not a lot of nature.
Nor is it a massive multicultural melting pot, like Mexico City, filled with museums and more.
As such, you just won’t find that many things to do here. However, there’s enough shit to do here for a month or two to keep most people entertained.
Que te vaya bien,