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Guadalajara Travel Guide

Getting Guadalajara

Arrival and Leaving Guadalajara

By plane

There are several airlines operating and The International Airport Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla of Guadalajara is the second airport in importance of the Mexican Republic as regards affluence of aircrafts and third in passengers, in 2004 received 5 392 115 passengers (Source: GAP) and is expected, an great increase of passengers by the boom of the airlines of low cost. The Carretera Guadalajara-Chapala (Guadalajara-Chapala Highway) stretches north from the airport to the city and south to the Lago de Chapala. It is 30 minutes to Guadalajara and 45 minutes to Chapala, but the trip can be delayed in either direction by slow-moving caravans of trucks and weekend traffic.

A taxi from the airport to the Centro Historico will cost about $18. Many hotels offer airport pickups that can be cheaper.

  • Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport (GDL) - South of the city along the Guadalajara-Chapala Highway, 16½km. (Tel 33/3688-5248)
By Bus

Guadalajara has two bus stations; the new major bus station is in the suburb of Tonala, 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of downtown, it is for longer trips to Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende and other cities. The old bus station just south of the centro on Niños Héroes off Calzada Independencia Sur, it is served by bus lines motoring to nearby pueblos like Tequila and Chapala. A taxi from the new bus station to the Centro Historico will cost about $13.

Bus Stations
  • The New Bus Station - The Central Camionera is 15 to 30 minutes, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast from city center.
  • The Old Bus Station - South of downtown on Niños Héroes off Calzada Independencia Sur , for destinations within 100km (60 miles) of town, is a hub for buses to Lake Chapala and nearby towns.
By Car

Driving to Guadalajara is especially fast and efficient using the many high-speed (called cuotas or autopistas) roads that connect this region, From Nogales on the U.S. border, follow Highway 15 south (21 hr.). From Tepic, a quicker route is toll road 15D (5 hr). From Puerto Vallarta, go north on Highway 200 to Compostela; toll road 68D heads east to join the Tepic toll road. Total time is 5 1/2 hours. From Barra de Navidad, on the coast southeast of Puerto Vallarta, take Highway 80 northeast (4 1/2 hr.). From Manzanillo, you might also take this road, but toll road 54D through Colima to Guadalajara (3 1/2 hr) is faster. From Mexico City, take toll road 15D (7 hr).

Getting Around Guadalajara

Most attractions are located within an area of about 3/4 of a mile long by 1/4 mile wide. Use the bus, subway, or a taxi for longer trips or to get in and out of the Centro; If you want to travel in a previous age's style there are also carriages pulled by horses called “calandria”.

By Bus

Several bus routes offer transport around the city; and usually buses run in intervals of few minutes between 6 AM and 9 PM to all local attractions; a few run until 11 PM, but do not rely on them. The three major bus collectives are Sistecozome, Alianza de Camioneros, and Servicios y Transportes. Generally buses price 4 pesos and 50 cents; there are also comfort buses (with air conditioning) costing 8 or 9 pesos. To be certain ask the driver or look on the front window of the bus to see where it will go.

By Taxi

If you do not desire to try buses, taxis are safe, readily available and another good alternative; but, city trips can be relatively expensive, costing frequently between US$ 4 for a short trip, up to US$ 25 for longer trips, generally more expensive when going to a mall. Like always, be sure to ask the charge before you get in. A taxi to the airport costs $12-$15, and $7 to the new bus station.

Taxi Companies
  • Taxi Sitio Minerva No. 22 - (Tel +52 33 36300050)
  • Publi Taxi - (Tel +52 33 38271555)
  • Taxi Express - (Tel +52 33 36374525)
By Car

Guadalajara is very accessible by road, but, beware of intense traffic and topes (speed bumps), traffic circles are frequent at congested intersections. Parking in the city center can be a hard task; on the other hand, there is abundance to see and do in the nearby areas - including Colonial Cities, and several coastal attractions. Renting a car would be a good option if you are planning to travel around this region.

Car Rental Companies
  • Hertz - Aeropuerto Internacional , Colonia Sala Nacional e Internacional Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco. (Tel (33) 3688-6080 / 3688-5633 / 001 800 6543 030)
  • Dollar Rent - Aeropuerto Internacional , Colonia Sala Nacional Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Jalisco (Tel (33) 3688-5019/ 3688-5659)
  • Budget - Av. Niños Héroes #934 , Sector Juárez Guadalajara, Jalisco. (Tel (33) 3613-0027 / 3613-0286 / 01 800 700 1700)
By subway

There are two lines that join at the Western edge of the Centro Historico. One runs North-South to the edges of the city in both directions. The other runs East through the Centro Historico to the Eastern suburbs. Costs for traveling are similar to a bus ride. The subway is very hygienic and agreeable to ride; you'll enjoy being away from the hot midday sun. The subway closes at 11pm.

A new bus service named 'Pre Tren' (Pre Train) goes from the main (Juárez) subway station through the Zona Rosa to the west Outer Ring at a 50% discounted fare for subway card users and provide a good service with new, air-conditioned, red colored units. The service is better than the smaller 'camiones' (bus) service.

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