Personal Thoughts On Guadalajara
While staying in The Ultra Gentrified Colonial City of Puerto Vallarta, I decided to hop on over to the second biggest city in Mexico: Guadalajara.
You simply buy a $50-100 USD plane ticket, and arrive within 1 hour, with the airport just 30 minutes by taxi/uber from the absolute center of the city.
After visiting Mexico City about a month later, I can retrospectively say that Guadalajara is a much more manageable city to visit, and potentially live in, compared to Mexico City.
The center of Guadalajara is much more defined, and for the most part walk-able without too much hassles, and enough to see between different sections.
You can also take the typical tour bus for about $7, and visit the other popular regions of the city, of which I simply enjoyed passively from the second floor of the tour bus.
While the city itself has some fantastic looking colonial-era churches (as most of Mexico has), I found the city itself (and even the center) heavily modernized.
Finally, if you enjoy nightlife, then Chapultepec (which is a relatively long street), offers most of what you need in a concentrated area.
A Little History On Guadalajara, Mexico
But basically, Guadalajara, which is named after the same city in Spain, which comes from Andalusian Arabic (when the Arabic ‘Moorish' empire ruled Spain) for ‘River/Valley of Stones'.
Originally, settled in 1532, the site of Guadalajara was relocated 5 times due to several major issues such as a lack of water, a dry and inhospitable land, hostile indigenous tribes who kept attacking for years, and a leader who just didn't like the location.
Finally, by 1542, after almost a decade of unsuccessful attempts, Guadalajara was officially settled in its new and current location at the ‘Teatro (Theatre) Degollado'.
Yet, by 1543, a contingency of indigenous tribes waged war against the city, due to the savage treatment of the indigenous people as slaves under the spaniard ‘Nuño de Guzmán'. The war ended only after ‘Nuño de Guzmán' agreed to release the indigenous slaves.
By the 1560's, Guadalajara was declared the capital of ‘Nuevo (new) Galicia' state, and became an important hub for launching religious, military and exploratory expeditions onto the indigenous Mexican civilizations.
As the city continued to grow rapidly, it enveloped and assimilated the peoples of the Mezquitán, Analco and Mexicaltzingo by 1669.
In 1810, ‘Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla' established an anti-Spain, anti-Slavery, pro-independence, revolutionary government in Guadalajara.
He managed to abolish slavery throughout all of Mexico, but by 1811, he was captured and killed in Chihuaha.
Now statues of Miguel Hidalgo adorn most Mexican cities.
During the ‘War of the Reform' (1857-1860), Guadalajara was a main battleground between Liberals and Conservatives. The liberals wanted to remove ‘privileged power' from the Catholic Church, the Military, and the Elite.
By the 1890's electricity, and railroads were finally implemented, and by 1947, the population exploded to 1 million people.
As of 2018, the greater Guadalajara area features over 5 million residents, a rich technological and industrial sector, and many international corporations stationed within.
The Ultimate Guadalajara Gallery