The Top 10 Things to Do in Jalisco

Nestled in the western region of Mexico, Jalisco is a captivating state brimming with rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant traditions. In this blog, we’ll uncover the top 10 must-see attractions and activities that make Jalisco a true hidden gem in Mexico.

From tequila production to mariachi music, Jalisco offers a delightful blend of history, nature, and entertainment that enchants every traveler who sets foot in this beautiful destination. You can discover all this and more on our Tranquil Vibes Jalisco Vacation or make your own adventure on a custom Private Tour!

At Travel If You, we revel in creating once-in-a-lifetime vacations for small groups. Our all-inclusive experiences are anything but ordinary, filled with local flavors that showcase the richness of Mexican culture. 

If you’re ready to say “Vámonos!” simply get in touch to start planning your dream vacation. But, if you would like to explore Jalisco before committing, let’s take a look at the top 10 activities you can look forward to on your magical Mexican vacation. For even more information on this magical destination, read our Jalisco Travel Guide.

1. Sip on World-Class Tequila in Tequila Town, Jalisco 

No visit to Jalisco would be complete without a trip to Tequila, the birthplace of the world-famous spirit. Surrounded by rolling blue agave fields, a visit to Tequila offers an immersive experience in the tequila-making process. 

Tequila is designated as a Pueblo Magico, Magic Town, for its rich traditions and historical significance. And Tequila is only an hour’s drive away from Guadalajara! 

Take a guided tour of a traditional distillery, where you’ll witness meticulous craftsmanship and learn about the fascinating history of this iconic drink. Indulge in tastings of various tequila types, from blanco to añejo, and savor the rich flavors that have made this spirit world-renowned!

In addition to the liquor, the town of Tequila offers so much to do and see! Did you know the agave fields and ancient industrial facilities of Tequila are a UNESCO world heritage site

The region is steeped in interesting history and is waiting to be explored. Make time to take a walk around the town center to view the colorful architecture, shops, and restaurants. Salud! 

An agave field for Tequila production

2. Admire the Magnificence of Los Guachimontones, Jalisco 

Just a short drive from Guadalajara, you’ll find the archaeological site of Los Guachimontones. These ancient circular pyramids, unique to the region, date back over two millennia and are remnants of the Teuchitlán culture. 

The circular stepped platforms are surrounded by concentric stone circles, creating a mesmerizing sight against the backdrop of the lush jungle landscape

Explore the ancient ruins and learn about the ceremonial significance of this Mesoamerican site, which showcases the remarkable architectural achievements of its time. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into the ancient mysteries of Los Guachimontones, where history and culture intertwine, leaving visitors in awe.

Los Guachimontones in Jalisco

3. Embark on an Adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

The enchanting coastal town of Puerto Vallarta offers a diverse array of activities to satisfy every traveler’s desires. Relax on its golden sandy beaches, go snorkeling in the clear waters of Banderas Bay, or take a boat tour to explore the picturesque Marietas Islands. 

Wander through the cobblestone streets of the Zona Romantica, where you’ll find charming boutiques, art galleries, and excellent restaurants offering delectable seafood. 

Within driving distance of Puerto Vallarta, there are many adventures to be had! Explore the mountains and visit San Sebastian del Oeste, or drive further up the coast to visit the vibrant beach town of Sayulita. Puerto Vallarta makes a great jumping-off point for your Jalisco adventure.

Puerto Vallarta at sunset

4. Experience a Lucha Libre Match, Jalisco 

Lucha Libre, Mexico’s famous form of professional wrestling, is an electrifying experience that you shouldn’t miss while in Jalisco. Whether you’re a wrestling fan or a first-time spectator, a Lucha Libre match in Jalisco is an experience like no other. 

Lucha Libre is not just a sport; it’s a cultural phenomenon that has captured the hearts of people across the country. In Jalisco, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the match and gain a new appreciation for the Mexican tradition. 

Head to the Arena Coliseo in Guadalajara or other local venues, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as colorful masked wrestlers perform high-flying acrobatics and thrilling moves. You’ll be on the edge of your seat!

Mexican wrestling mask

5. Revel in the Charm of Ajijic, Jalisco

Ajijic is nestled on the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico. Only an hour’s drive from Guadalajara, Ajijic offers a serene escape from the bustling cities. Here, you can stroll along the waterfront promenade, take a boat tour of the lake, and enjoy the beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Ajijic is known for its vibrant ex-pat community, art scene, and traditional Mexican architecture. It is recognized as a Pueblo Magico and you’ll feel the magic when you visit. 


6. Immerse Yourself in Mariachi Music in Jalisco

Jalisco is the birthplace of mariachi music, and it is deeply rooted in Jalisco’s cultural identity. Mariachi is renowned for its passionate vocals, lively rhythms, and iconic charro outfits, Mariachi is deeply rooted in Jalisco’s cultural identity. Experiencing this iconic tradition in its homeland is an absolute must!

In Guadalajara’s Plaza de los Mariachis, you can enjoy live performances by talented mariachi bands. Feel the passion and emotion in the music as the musicians serenade you with their soul-stirring melodies. 

Tlaquepaque, a Pueblo Magico only 30 minutes away from Guadalajara, is well known for its live mariachi performances. Visit El Parian for a traditional mariachi performance and tasty Mexican cuisine. 


7. Explore the Picturesque Pueblos Mágicos, Jalisco

Jalisco boasts several Pueblos Mágicos, or “Magic Towns,” recognized for their cultural, historical, and natural significance. Tapalpa, a charming mountain town, offers quaint streets, rustic architecture, and access to the impressive Salto del Nogal waterfall. 

Mascota and San Sebastián del Oeste are two Pueblo Mágicos within the Sierra Madre Mountains that you can easily reach from Puerto Vallarta. They exude colonial charm, featuring well-preserved buildings and rich mining history. 

You can read more about Jalisco’s nine Pueblos Mágicos in our Ultimate Jalisco Travel Guide or our blog post on Pueblo Magicos near Puerto Vallarta.

Day of the Dead decorations in Tlaquepaque, a Pueblo Mágico

8. Hike in the Majestic Barranca de Oblatos, Jalisco

Nature lovers will find solace in the Barranca de Oblatos, a stunning canyon located near Guadalajara. Barranca de Oblatos offers an escape from the city and is only 30 minutes away. 

Hike through the lush landscape, enjoy the breathtaking views of the canyon, and experience the tranquility of this natural wonder. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, there are trails suitable for all levels of adventure-seekers.

A view of Barranca de Oblatos from Guadalajara

9. Indulge in Gastronomic Delights in Jalisco

Jalisco’s culinary scene is as diverse as its landscape, offering an array of delectable dishes to satisfy your palate. 

Don’t miss trying the traditional birria, a savory stew usually made with goat or beef and served in a dorado (fried) taco shell. It is typically served during breakfast so find it fresh and early! Tortas ahogadas, a spicy and delicious ‘drowned sandwich’ can be found all over Guadalajara.
For dessert, treat yourself to sweet, buttery cajeta (caramelized milk) or a refreshing tejuino, a fermented corn drink perfect for the warm weather. Tejuino is very popular in the Pueblo Magico of Talpa de Allende. Or end your day with a Tequila beverage in its home state of Jalisco!

A tortas ahogadas stall by night

10. Discover the Magic of Guadalajara, Jalisco’s Capital

As the vibrant capital of Jalisco and the second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara is a bustling metropolis that captures the heart and soul of the state. Immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere by strolling through the historic city center, where you’ll find the majestic Guadalajara Cathedral and the iconic Degollado Theater. 

Don’t miss the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting breathtaking murals by the renowned artist, José Clemente Orozco. 

Enjoy the rich tapestry of colors and flavors at the Mercado Libertad, one of the largest indoor markets in Latin America, showcasing local handicrafts, street food, and fresh produce. 

Make sure to visit Colonia Americana; a central neighborhood that was recently voted the trendiest neighborhood in the world! 

Guadalajara offers all the restaurants, shops and entertainment that you would want in a big city, but also, it is surrounded by nature that offers fun day trips, mountain adventures & more!

Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Jalisco

That brings us to the close of our top 10 Jalisco activities, but there are many more to enjoy on your vacation! If you’d like to learn even more about this beautiful destination, take a look at our Ultimate Jalisco Travel Guide. Go beyond the beaten path on an experience like no other.

If you’ve never considered Jalisco before and want to learn more, get in touch with a TIY travel expert for a no-obligation consultation! Let Travel If You help to plan your dream vacation to one of Mexico’s hottest new tourist destinations.