Jalisco trip planner

Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free

Itinerary Planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
Adults
- +
Teens
- +
Kids
- +
Close

Jalisco

Trip Planner Mexico  /  Jalisco
(55,000+ reviews from top 30 attractions)
Sightseeing Historic Sites Nightlife
Western Mexico's state of Jalisco features a long Pacific coastline dotted with modern resorts, so it doesn't surprise that much of the region's income comes from the tourism sector. Arguably the most popular place to visit in Jalisco is Puerto Vallarta, drawing both international and domestic visitors with its beaches and proximity to pristine wilderness areas. The country's cultural center, Jalisco is also the birthplace of tequila, the wide-brimmed sombrero, and mariachis, arguably three of Mexico's biggest symbols. Venture farther away from the big cities during your Jalisco holiday to discover the true heart and soul of this region by attending folk festivals and discovering the secrets of local cuisine. Make Jalisco central to your Mexico travel plans using our Mexico vacation builder.
Read the Jalisco Holiday Planning Guide »
Create a full itinerary — for free!

Plan your trip to Jalisco

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plan in the cities

Visit top cities in Jalisco:
Sightseeing, nightlife, historic sites
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Historic sites, sightseeing, museums
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Shopping, sightseeing, childrens museums
Visit for: 1 dayStart a plan »
Breweries, museums, historic sites
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »
Sightseeing, shopping, historic sites
Visit for: 2 daysStart a plan »

Recently planned trips to Jalisco

25 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 27 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Tonala BY A USER FROM MEXICO June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Puerto Vallarta BY A USER FROM MEXICO July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Guadalajara BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA November, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 40 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 32 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND January, culture, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM FRANCE December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM IRAQ June, culture, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans

Jalisco Holiday Planning Guide

Western Mexico's state of Jalisco features a long Pacific coastline dotted with modern resorts, so it doesn't surprise that much of the region's income comes from the tourism sector. Arguably the most popular place to visit in Jalisco is Puerto Vallarta, drawing both international and domestic visitors with its beaches and proximity to pristine wilderness areas. The country's cultural center, Jalisco is also the birthplace of tequila, the wide-brimmed sombrero, and mariachis, arguably three of Mexico's biggest symbols. Venture farther away from the big cities during your Jalisco holiday to discover the true heart and soul of this region by attending folk festivals and discovering the secrets of local cuisine.

Places to Visit in Jalisco

Destinations in Jalisco

Puerto Vallarta: One of the world's top tourist resorts promises a picture perfect Jalisco holiday filled with lazing on dazzling beaches, romantic sunsets, seafront promenade strolls, boat tours, trips to the countryside, and a slew of other tourist-oriented activities.

Guadalajara: With its World Heritage-listed landmarks, diverse ethnic neighborhoods, hip nightclubs, and lively culinary scene, the "Pearl of the West" remains a top destination on Jalisco itineraries planned by travelers looking for a less crowded and less expensive alternative to Mexico City.

Zapopan: The former home of many pre-Columbian shrines is today known for the miraculous 16th-century image of the Virgin of Zapopan and one of the most important concert venues in Latin America.

Ajijic: Sited on a lakeshore and surrounded by mountains, this resort town is a favorite Jalisco vacation destination thanks to its moderate climate, plethora of restaurants, art galleries, and curio shops.

Tlaquepaque: Located in an area known for its exquisite pottery and blown glass, this city features colorful plazas surrounded by bars and restaurants, picturesque churches, and a vibrant open-air market.

Tequila: This "Magical Town" has earned the status of a World Heritage Site largely thanks to its colorful history revolving around the origin of the eponymous spirit made from the blue agave plant native to this area.

Popular Jalisco Tourist Attractions

Puerto Vallarta's El Malecon Boardwalk: Serving as the heart of the city, the boardwalk features many of the area's top attractions, including the main city square.

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Displaying a Neoclassical facade, Renaissance towers, and a wrought iron crown echoing European Baroque design, this structure is an iconic gem of downtown Vallarta's skyline.

Instituto Cultural Cabanas: This former refuge for at-risk people now houses some of the finest examples of Mexican art in murals painted by Jose Clemente Orozco.

Guadalajara Cathedral: This beautiful monument to various architectural styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Moorish, and Neoclassical, was built in 1561.

Guachimontones: Featuring the remains of a circular tiered pyramid that dates back to the period between 300 BCE and 900 CE, this World Heritage Site was once a major center of ancient Teuchitlan culture.

Zona Romantica: Featuring quaint streets, the city's oldest farmers market, and a colorfully lit wooden pier, this part of Puerto Vallarta old town offers a genuine experience of traditional Mexican way of life.

Zoologico Guadalajara: Home to an array of exotic species contained in giant aviaries, aquariums, and many other habitats, this well-maintained facility is a must when sightseeing in Jalisco with kids.

Vallarta Botanical Gardens: Set within a native forest, this environmentally minded site invites you to spend part of your Jalisco holiday exploring a wonderfully vibrant variety of plants.

Teatro Degollado: One of the best-preserved theaters in Latin America is known for its artistic design and diverse performances ranging from cultural Mexican dances to international operas.

Marietas Islands: Teeming with diverse marine and bird life, and featuring strange rock formations, the waters of these protected islands offer snorkeling opportunities and a chance to discover a secret beach.

Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Jalisco

Cuisine of Jalisco

The region's traditional cuisine that dates back to pre-Hispanic times blended with Spanish cooking in the 16th century. The result was a diet that differs from the typical Mexican food, which revolves around a variety of meat-based dishes.

The signature dishes of the state include "pozole rojo" and tomato "tortas ahogadas." The former is a dark-red soup made from meat and maize and seasoned with guajillo chili and freshly chopped oregano. The latter are "drowned sandwiches" stuffed with pork and soaked in spicy tomato and chili salsa.

Another typical treat you have to try on your Jalisco vacation is "birria de chivo," shredded lamb immersed in tomato and chili sauce and served in tacos or as a stew.

Mercado Libertad is the best place to sample authentic dishes of Jalisco and start your gastronomical journey.

Shopping in Jalisco

As one of the country's top artisanal hubs, Guadalajara is a favorite destination for shoppers looking to bring home a piece of Mexico's history and tradition from their Jalisco holidays.

The authentic Jalisco handicrafts include "raku" pottery, regional glassware, silver jewelry, and leather goods. The beadwork by the indigenous Huichol people--handcrafted masks, skulls, peyote cacti, and animal heads completely decked out in colored beads--enjoy great popularity among tourists.

Lucy's CuCu Cabana in Puerto Vallarta offers a selection of handmade Mexican folk arts and crafts for a very reasonable price.

Serious shoppers must visit the two small artisanal towns featured on Tlaquepaque and Tonala Artisans Tour. Apart from textiles, jewelry, blown glass, and forged ironwork, the hundreds of craft workshops in this area produce rustic wooden furniture and exquisite pottery.

Know Before You Go on a Trip to Jalisco

Interesting Facts About Jalisco

* The name Jalisco is derived from two Nahuatl words--"xalli" meaning sand and "ixtli" meaning plain

* Jalisco is the birthplace of many Mexican symbols you will come across on your Jalisco tour, including Mariachi music, the wide-brimmed sombrero, and Mexican rodeo

* The region's best known product is tequila, alcoholic beverage distilled from the blue agave cactus

* Mexico's first tequila factory was built in 1600 in the eponymous town of Tequila

* Famous guitarist Carlos Santana, Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro, and muralist Jose Clemente Orozco are all Jalisco natives

* For reasons unknown, residents of Jalisco call their parents "ama" and "apa" instead of "mama" and "papa"

Holidays & Festivals in Jalisco

Jalisco's year-round festive atmosphere is one of its major draws for tourist. No matter when you decide to go on your Jalisco vacation, you will have a variety of religious holidays, indigenous celebrations, and food festivals to choose from.

The region's biggest event is the international festival dedicated to the Mexican rodeo, held annually at the end of August or early September.

Tapatios, the region's indigenous people, celebrate the founding of Guadalajara on February 14.

The warm-hearted Huichol Indians, which consider themselves the direct descendants of the Aztecs, come to Puerto Vallarta in March to display their indigenous culture. This is a great occasion to buy some authentic Huichol art, like beaded mandalas.

Other notable festivities include May Fairs in Puerto Vallarta, Carnival in Chapala, Feasts of San Pedro in Tlaquepaque (June), and National Tequila Fair (November and December).

Useful Jalisco Travel Tips

Climate of Jalisco

Different parts of Jalisco enjoy different climates, from tropical in the coastal areas and dry in the north, to temperate in the center of the state.

July is the rainiest and the warmest month in the entire region, with an average temperature of 28 C (83 F), but the best time to visit is probably in the fall (October and November).

The region's biggest resort Puerto Vallarta offers a tropical climate with mean temperatures ranging from 21 C (71) in January to 28 C (83 F) in the summer months (June-September).

Thanks to the natural barrier of the bay and the mountains, this resort town is sheltered from the devastating effects of hurricanes. As you move towards the highlands, the temperatures drop and the precipitation levels increase.

Transportation in Jalisco

Popular modes of transport on many Jalisco tours include camiones (long-distance buses), city buses, taxis, and rental cars.

As the country's second largest city, Guadalajara boasts more traveling options, including Tequila Express and an extensive bike-sharing scheme.

Note that the city closes its streets for motorized vehicles only during the Via Recreactiva, a weekend in the second half of November.