Updated: Dec 25, 2019
Guadalajara, Mexico, like many other places, was not on my bucket list of destinations. I actually never heard of Guadalajara, until an ad from Volaris Airlines popped into my Facebook feed, boasting non-stop flights to Guadalajara from Chicago.
I did a quick google search to find, Guadalajara was where it all started. What started Erika?
I absolutely love tequila, it’s one of my favorite beverages I partake in. And Guadalajara offers an all-you-can drink tequila train ride to Tequila Town. Now that’s my type of trip.
I know what you’re saying, tequila isn’t a beverage. It’s not a Pepsi. And you’re thinking about visiting this place in the name of Tequila. *Clears Throak* is this mic on? YOU-GOT-THAT-RIGHT. I will say this, do not judge me or you shall be judged with the same measure you judged me with LOL.
Guadalajara, Mexico is located in the state of Jalisco. It’s one of Mexico’s largest cities. Its 4 hours by air from Chicago, Illinois. A great place for a long weekend getaway.
What pushed me more to visit this place, the airfare. On an average, the flight cost about $250 round trip from Chicago. As an avid budget traveler, the price 9/10 is in the driver seat.
I didn’t book right away, although knowing this was an inexpensive trip. It was one of those, I’ll book later. Until one night I was doing my usual perusing checking flight prices on Google Flights, and came across an awesome deal to Guadalajara.
I happened to land 3 one-way flights
January 16th Chicago, Illinois to Guadalajara, Mexico $39
January 20th Guadalajara, Mexico to Mexico City, Mexico $33
January 21st Mexico City, Mexico to Chicago, Illinois, $118
Total = $190
After booking my flights, I searched for accommodations. I love Airbnb, which is my go to for majority of all of my trips.
Guadalajara, Mexico, I booked a cute little place I fell in love with for 4 nights for $114 total.
Mexico City, Mexico, I booked a private room for 1 night for $24.
Total $138 for 5 nights.
Mexico City Airbnb
ACTIVITIES PAID IN ADVANCE
Guadalajara, Mexico - FREE Walking Tour Mexico
Guadalajara, Mexico – Street Food Tour ($10 paid upon arrival and food)
Tequila, Mexico - Jose Cuervo Express $112
Mexico city, Mexico - Bread Baking Class $46
Total = $158 (minus street food tour I paid upon arrival)
Flights $190 + Accommodations $138 + Activities $158 = $486
Day 1 I arrived in Guadalajara, Mexico at 10:20pm that night, got something to eat and caught an Uber to my Airbnb and fell asleep.
Total Cost Day 1 (Food and Transportation) $30
Day 2 Guadalajara, Mexico
FREE 2 Hour Walking Tour through Free Walking Tour Mexico
Street Food Tour through Free Walking Tour Mexico
The free walking tour started around 10am. I met my tour guide at Plaza de Armas at the Gazebo, next to Catedral de Guadalajara. He was holding a pink umbrella. He was an awesome guide and well versed in Guadalajara's history.
Plaza de la Rotunda
Catedral de Guadalajara
Escudo de Armes
Cabanas Cultural Institute
Mercado San Juan de Dios
One landmark in particular I absolutely fell in love with was Palacio doe Gobierno. The Government Palace, which housed the famous mural by renowned Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco. A portrait of Mexican freedom fighter Miguel Hidalgo.
The palace is open to the public Monday thru Friday at no charge.
We visited the largest indoor market in Latin America, Mercado San Juan de Dios. I mean they had everything from food, shoes, leather, toys, etc… You name it they had it.
Prior to going into the market, our guide made it clear to secure your valuables, because the pickpocketer’s are good at what they do, stealing your stuff. Right after the tour was the Street Food Tour. I was excited, because I was the only one on the tour.
Street Food Tour
We visited several stalls in Merado San Juan de Dios indoor market. Once again, my tour guide reminded me to secure my valuables.
I’m glad I did the Street Food Tour. He warned me where not to eat in the market. I honestly couldn’t tell you the names, but I’m sure I could point them out. Everything I tasted was awesome and no food poison.
Foods Tried On The Tour:
El Pastor Tacos
Shrimp and Avocado Tostados
Total Cost Day 2 (Transportation, Tour, Food, and Tips) $36
Day 3 Tlaquepaque, City in Jalisco, Mexico
Tlaquepaque was 35 minutes by Uber from my Airbnb. Tlaquepaque is a colorful city filled with street vendors, restaurants, pottery, unique arts and crafts, and plenty of tequila. I think I stared at the trees for the most part. They were filled with lemons and limes. I purchased some of the best filled croissants at Alfredo, 2 for $2. One filled with strawberry jam and the other filled with chocolate.
I didn’t stay long in Tlaquepaque, because I had a dinner reservations at 8pm at Hueso Restaurant back in Guadalajara and wanted to rest prior. I had a nice time strolling the streets.
That evening I adventured by Uber to Hueso Restaurant. I stalked Hueso on Instagram, travel blogs, and Facebook prior to coming to Guadalajara. I considered this experience a splurge from my budget ways.
Hueso means “Bones” As you can tell from the décor in the photos. I arrived at the restaurant as soon as it opened to take photos before guests arrived.
You won’t find a menu online. The menu is ever changing, because the Chef and owner Alfonso Cadena stated in an article.
“I’ll cook what the fuck I feel like.”
I had an awesome dining experience. I sat at the bar and felt catered to. I chose the Chefs Choice 5 Course Meal with dessert. I received a complimentary appetizer to thank me for patronizing the establishment.
With every meal, I received a new set of silverware. I was amazed at the service and my waiter treated me like a Queen. The food was fresh and packed with flavor. I absolutely loved the Octopus. My night ended splendid.
Total Cost Day 3 (Food and Transportation) $88
Day 4 Tequila, Mexico
Jose Cuervo Tequila Express train to Tequila, Mexico. My day was filled with endless tequila, food, and mariachi music. I chose the sunrise train. You board the train at 9am and return by air conditioned coach bus 8:30pm that night. I’m glad I did. I was able to see the city and tequila fields during the daylight. The train ride was about 1 ½ hours from Guadalajara.
I had so much fun, and I learned about the history of how tequila was derived, the process to make tequila, and the social responsibility of the owner to his people.
I learned it takes up to 12 years to grow a nice size agave (tequila plant). 3000 are planted each day. The plant is harvested and then sent to a building which is a huge oven to bake until it reaches a honey flavor.
Once cool, the honey is extracted and then goes through a process to remove toxins, and then placed in either a French or American barrel to age. There is more to it, but I gave you the short version.
My time in Tequila Town I enjoyed. I walked the streets, watched the Mariachi dancers, ate, and devoured tequila. On the way back to Guadalajara, we stopped at Jose Cuervo Ranch to watch a demonstration as to how tequila is planted and harvested.
Total Cost Day 4 (Only costs for the day was extra Food, Souvenir, and Transportation) $15
If want to get a more in depth look, read my blog post: Jose Cuervo Express: A Magical Train Ride to Tequila
Day 5 Mexico City
Flight to Mexico City. I arrived in Mexico City at 8:20am. I sat around the airport for a second, then I caught an Uber to my Airbnb. My Airbnb was in Centro Historico. In the middle of everything. I literally walked out my door and blocks and blocks of stores, historical buildings, food stalls, restaurants, etc... walking distance to errythang!!!!
I walked around Centro Historico ate some awesome tacos at this bathroom size restaurant.
Later that evening, I took a bread making class I booked on Airbnb Experiences. It was an awesome experience. I made Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) with 3 others. Absolutely delicious with some homemade hot chocolate.
Total Cost Day 5 (Food and Transportation) $38
Days 6 – Back Home
Back home to reality. But at least I got to enjoy the SSSS screening back to Chicago. LOL!!
Total Cost Day 6 (Food and Transportation) $39
Grand Total $732
I enjoyed every aspect of my trip. I soaked in the people, the history, culture, museums, cathedrals, and one of the largest indoor markets. Oh yeah, let me not forget the food. The food scene is muy bien (very good).Yes seasoned to the God’s. They understood my Blackness.
I will say add Guadalajara, Mexico to your bucket list. You won't regret it.