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First Trip To Guadalajara

Hey there. On September 20, 2020 we visited Guadalajara for the first time and did a walking tour of part of the downtown area.

We drove about 40 miles from Jocotepec to Guadalajara which took around an hour. I had read reports that Mexico’s second-largest city can get a bit congested with traffic. But maybe on weekends it’s not as bad.

Guadalajara’s metro area includes a population estimated to be over 5 million. It’s a big city. There’s a lot to see. Knowing there was no way we could see everything worth seeing in one day, we made a plan. Based on suggestions and research, we decided to head for a parking garage located near the Mercado Libertad, touted to be the largest indoor market in Latin America.

We got an early start. Made only one wrong turn. But had google maps to guide us on our Mexican cell phone, so we were able to get to the downtown area with little trouble. We did miss the parking garage entrance on our first pass. It was kind of tricky to get turned around. We drove some way before we realized there would NOT be an opportunity to make a left turn to get headed back in the direction we’d come from. Mexico has a little different set-up for streets and rules. Instead, we had to make a right turn onto a one way…loop around in order to get back on Calz Independencia headed south. Then we had to turn around again….to go north to our chosen parking garage. Our very big truck is not the most ideal vehicle for navigating the streets of Guadalajara, but Dave made it. The parking garage was big enough for our F350 truck. Yay.


NOTE: About the parking garage. When you enter you get a “ticket”. Right before you leave, you must visit a special kiosk (they are located at different places in the garage). Here you insert your ticket and the machine tells you how much you owe for the parking fee. You insert the money and your ticket is noted as PAID. Only then do you get in your vehicle and make your way to one of the exits where another machine will read your ticket, see that you have paid, and let you out of the parking garage.


The Mercado Libertad was within easy walking distance from the parking garage. It is huge. After walking around for a while, we got something to eat in the food court. Next, we headed outside and began walking west towards the Guadalajara Cathedral and several government buildings and plazas. This area is open only to pedestrian traffic. There are some artisan stalls and the area is lined with shops, restaurants, coffee places, ice cream vendors, and various other attractions.

The best thing to do is to watch our video below to see what that’s all about.

“Living in Mexico” YouTube playlist.

Pictures from our outing.

The map below shows where we walked around. It is highlighted in blue. In the upper right corner is a red highlighted square…that is where we accessed the public parking garage. The entrance is under the overpass. There is a fee for parking, but it’s very reasonable. We didn’t pay more than a few bucks for several hours. The yellow star marks the big Mercado Libertad market. You can see some of the buildings from the pictures and video noted on this map. Click the map or the link below to see this map on Google where you can zoom in and out.

Link to the zoomed in area of the map pictured.

We enjoyed our trip and will for sure be going back to explore more.

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