Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

Guadalajara Mexico Low Cost of Living
Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise
-Best Old Town Walking Tour
-Best Day Tours
-Best Nightlife
-Best Restaurants
-Best Cheap Hotels
-Best Flights, Buses, Trains
Best Travel or Retire Cheap to Paradise Locations in the World

Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise

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  This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. Here is my Guadalajara Mexico Retire Cheap in Paradise post. I am on the hunt for the perfect place to live in in the world. I have been hunting since 2007. I have been to 64 countries so far. I am from the USA but haven’t really lived there since I left 11 years ago. I go home once a year or so to visit family for a few weeks. But mostly I travel and share the best places to retire. Before discussing what the Guadalajara and surrounding areas of Mexico offer in terms of living or retiring cheap, let’s learn more about what it is like in this part of the world.

Here are some fun facts we found on Wikipedia about Guadalajara:

  1. Guadalajara has about 5 million people in the metropolitan area, making it the second in Mexico only to Mexico City.
  2. Mexico calls Guadalajara the “Silicon Valley” of Mexico because many technology companies have operations here.
  3. Guadalajara is famous for Mariachi, Tequila, and Ceramic Pottery.
  4. From various sources online, I estimate that about 10% of the Americans living in Mexico are in Guadalajara and nearby Chapala and Ajijic.
  5. It snows in Guadalajara every 100 years. It last snowed in 1997. Before that, it was 1881.

Best Old Town Walking Tour and Map of Guadalajara

Here is a free Google Map of our Guadalajara Mexico old town walking tour:

Click ==>>this link<<== on your smartphone to get started on your free Google Maps walking map of old town Guadalajara. Here is the first stop on this tour:

Plaza de Armas: Plaza de Armas is the cultural heart of Guadalajara. It is surrounded by the Cathedral and the Governor’s palace. Like other central plazas in Mexico, this is also where the locals gather to gossip so you can get a good idea of everyday life in Guadalajara by just sitting and watching people. There are actually four plazas around the cathedral. There are free concerts at aeast one of them each Thursday and Sunday at 6:30 PM.

Guadalajara Cathedral: Like most Cathedrals built in colonial-era earthquake country, the Guadalajara Cathedral has been rebuilt several times. It was destroyed by fire in 1541. The second attempt, completed in 1618, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1820 and then again in 1840. Although still standing now, it has been damaged by multiple earthquakes in the last 150 years. No indigenous temples were destroyed to construct this cathedral. This fact knocks holes in earlier comments I made in Cusco and Mexico City that god must be angry at the Europeans for destroying sacred ground. This one suffers during earthquakes even though no sacred ground was destroyed to create it. On the north side of the cathedral is the Rotunda of Illustrious Men. A circular memorial with 17 columns surrounds 98 urns containing the remains of the honored Mexican people.

Palace of the State Governor: The Governor’s Place was completed in 1790, just 20 years before Mexican Independence. The previous version completed in 1643 was constructed more modestly of Adobe. The Palace became Hidalgo’s home, the father of the independence, in 1810. It was also where Hidalgo abolished slavery. There are two mural’s by Jose Clemente Orozco that you must see in the palace. One is of Hidalgo’s cry for independence and the other shows Hidalgo signing the decree to abolish slavery. President Benito Juarez ran the Executive Branch of the Mexican government from here in 1858 when he lived in Guadalajara. Juarez was the only indigenous president of Mexico. The rest have all been descendants of colonials. The above mural also shows Juarez signing Reforma, Mexico’s separation of church and state.

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Street of Weddings: Calle Pedro Moreno: Hopefully, the Google Maps walking tour will walk you down Calle Pedro Moreno. Every store on his street sells formal wear and accessories such as wedding dresses, christening dresses, and Quinceaneras dresses.

Plaza de los Mariachis: As the cultural capital of Mexico, Guadalajara is the home of Mariachi Music. Mariachi bands come here to feature their music for free in the afternoons so they can find work. Your chances are better to hear live music here in the late afternoon or early evening after the siesta.

Mercado Libertad – San Juan de Dios: If you have never been to a traditional market in Mexico this is where you want to go. You will find almost everything you can imagine here. There are also many family-run restaurants serving recipes from all over Mexico, so you can get an idea of what Mexicans eat in daily life. There are many delicious meals here for $1 to $3 USD per person.

Paseo Hospicio: Enjoy this beautiful fountain and pedestrian boulevard as you stroll along. Grab a park bench and people watch for a time. Then head to the next stop on the Google Maps walking tour.

Melting Magicians: These bronze sculptures (above) are directly in front of the next stop in the tour (Cultural Institute Cabañas). They were created by Alejandro Colunga. Each bronze sculpture is a magician melting into furniture. Bring your camera!

Cultural Institute Cabañas: This is an old hospital built in 1791 by former Bishop Juan Ruiz de Cabanas. There are over 100 rooms and 20 patios. Make sure to see Jose Clemente Orozco’s, Man of Fire, and other murals inside the chapel. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Degollado Theatre & Plaza de Liberation: The Degollado Theater was built in 1860 by then governor Santo Degollado. The Corinthian columns and roof lined muses are reminiscent of Greek construction. Go inside and see how elaborate the decorations and paintings are that adorn the walls. Also, check the playbill to see what performances are happening while you are in town. Across the street in the Plaza, look for the statue of Hidalgo, father of Independence, breaking the chains of oppression. That completes our old town walking tour.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Day Tours and Map of Guadalajara

Guided (Gringo) Tours

GetYourGuide has a bunch of great deals on day tours around Guadalajara. Just click ==>this link<== to see what is available. When we were here they had tours from $40 USD to $77 USD for Tequila Tasting Tours, Tlaquepaque Artisan Tours, Old Town Tours, and Lake Chapala and Ajijic Tours.

Viator has similar tours plus Food Tasting Tours, Cultural Tours, and Archeological Tours. Click ==>this link<== for details and prices.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

If you have more time than money, here are three self-guided day tours around Guadalajara. This ==>Guadalajara Day Tours Map <== should make it easier for you to understand geographic locations and whether to go by bus or Uber. Here are our three self-guided tours:

Cheapest Tequila Mexico Tour $18 USD: Here is the link to the cheapest Tequila Mexico tour. Tequila City is where Tequila alcohol originates. If you have more time than money, do our free self-guided Tequila Tour. This is not a gringo tour. This is how the locals roll. Click this link to find out more.

Cheapest Lake Chapala & Ajijic Mexico Walking Tour: Here is the link to the cheapest Lake Chapala and Ajijic Walking tours. Chapala and Ajijic are on Lake Chapala about 25 miles north of Guadalajara. If you have more time than money, do our free self-guided tour of Chapala and Ajijic. This is not a gringo tour. This is how the locals roll. Click this link to find out more.

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Tlaquepaque Pottery and Art Walking Tour: Tlaquepaque is a neighborhood in Guadalajara famous for its pottery and blown glass. While there you must see El Parián. It is a plaza lined with columned arcades and is surrounded by restaurants and bars. You must also stop by El Jardín Hidalgo, the main square named after the father of Independence. Look for Hidalgo’s statue in the main square. If you have time, also visit El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, the church on the west side of the main square, the San Pedro (Saint Peter) Church, and the Benito Juárez Market. If you have seen too many traditional markets in this lifetime, check out Centro Cultural El Refugio, a palace built by a former bishop for raising local orphans that has been turned into a cultural center for art exhibits and performances. Also, visit The Regional Ceramic Museum displaying Tlaquepaque famous ceramics. Finally, talk a stroll down Calle Independence and decide whether you want to sit in a cafe and people watch or shop for souvenirs. You can get an Uber from Guadalajara Centro to Tlaquepaque Centro for about 107 Pesos ($5.50 USD). Click ==>this link<== from your smartphone if you would like our free Google Maps to direct you through the following map of all of our suggestions for Tlaquepaque.

Guided Tours: Check both Viator Tours and GetYourGuide Tours to see what tours they have available around Guadalajara.

Best Free Nightlife Walking Tour: Map of Guadalajara (Bar Hopping)

Here is a free Google Map of Guadalajara showing our best nightlife and bar hopping tour. Just click the link below on your smartphone and start our tour. The truth is, we didn’t actually go in everyone of these 8 bars. We only went in two. But the lovely thing about this walk is that there is a park right in the middle of this street. So you can walk in the park and listen to the music and the crowd that each venue draws.  There are even people salsa dancing in the middle of the park. We even saw a few people just having a beer right on the park benches. You are surrounded by lights, people, bars, and even police. It seemed safe to us.

Click ==>this link<== to start your Guadalajara Nightlife Walking Tour (Bar Hopping).

Cantina Mexicaltzingo: Google 4.1/276 Reviews: Chill local place.

Bar Americas: Google 4.2/609 Reviews: Nice underground house/techno music. Love the vibe.

Rock It: Google 4.4/555 Reviews: Excellent vibe and great live rock.

Bananas: Google 4.2/1395 Reviews: The above picture is of Bananas. Cheap drinks and nice music.

El Callejón de los Rumberos: The above picture was of El Callejon de los Rumberos. This was our favorite. Great live Cuban Music and dance. And excellent food. Prices were even reasonable. Go to the outdoor patio on the corner to hear the live music.

El Grillo: Google 4.7/214 Reviews: Small place. Great to chill and drink craft beers.

Escutia: Google 4.2/720 Reviews: Casual. Hang out with friends. Good happy Hour.

La Insurgente: Google 4.4/1149 Reviews: Great place for watching sporting events.

York Pub: Google 4.6/851 Reviews. Chill vibe and a great break from Spanish music.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Restaurants in Guadalajara

Best Mexican Breakfast: Kamilos 333: (Google 4.6/2742) Love the huevos Rancheros and the salsa. Very professional servers and great food. Breakfast for 2 was 200 Pesos ($10 USD).

Authentic Mexican Atmosphere, Service, and Food: Los Chilaquiles: We walked here because it was next to our Airbnb accommodations. We were worried because it seemed a little too corporate when we entered. They seemed too happy and too excited to be real. But they pulled it off. They really had great food and atmosphere. Their smiles are real. Lunch for 2 was 200 Pesos ($10 USD). You can spend more if you like.

We spent considerable time researching and selecting the next 4 but never actually made it there to try out the food. Let is know if you tried them. Also, do you know of any others that should be on the list?

Lúcuma: Google 4.6/591 Reviews: Heaven for vegetarian people and anyone who loves delicious healthy food.

El Italiano: #7/1202 (Google 4.6/741 Reviews)(Vegetarian options-Menu)

Vegetariano Zanahoria: Google 4.3/267 Reviews.

Bruna: (TA #2/1202)(Google 4.5/512 Reviews)(Vegetarian vegan options)

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best (and) Cheap Hotels in Guadalajara

If you are a person that loves walking, this is where you have to think a little. If you have a car or don’t mind taking Uber taxis everywhere, location won’t be such an issue. We had been staying in colonial-era towns for the last few months. We have loved walking everywhere. Cars are a big headache once you have lived without them. It is not really possible to live without cars or buses in Guadalajara. Guadalajara is a car place like Los Angeles or Vegas in the USA. It is not a walking place like London, New York, or Portland Oregon.

I have no easy answer to this question. If I were to do it again, I would try to stay between the nightlife walking area and old town Guadalajara. That won’t get you out of a car completely, but it will reduce your dependency considerably. Something in this neighborhood would help. Here is a great pick in that area.

The following are a few great places I picked before I wrote the above paragraph.

Hotel Love It Consulado: This 5 star hotel is a magical place. Plus it is only 2.5 KM from the Guadalajara Cathedral in Old Town Guadalajara. It was 1400 Pesos ($90 USD) per night on the day we searched and is rated 9.0/10.0. Check out the pictures and reviews. Spectacular!

Hotel Real Maestranza: It is almost impossible to keep such a high rating (9.5/10) with over 2000 reviews at this price point, 700 Pesos/night ($35 USD) on the day we searched. Plus, the location is perfect. Check out the location (0.5 KM from Plaza de Armas), the pictures and the reviews. Great deal!

Hostel: Here is a great backpacker choice. This was the highest rated Hostel in Mexico. It is just 180 Pesos per night which is less than $10 USD. Check out the pictures and comments.

Airbnb Apartment: We had another Airbnb place booked but it fell through at the last minute. We ended up staying here in Nora’s Place for about $19 USD per night and we really loved it. Very peaceful, safe, and great energy. We recommend it highly. She is a great person and Airbnb superhost. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Best Flights, Buses, Trains

We just spent 2 weeks in colonial villages in Mexico before showing up in Guadalajara. The cool thing about colonial villages is that their old town areas are walkable, so you don’t need to get in a car. So we are adjusting to the idea of having to get in a vehicle for everything. We will visit the old town area of Guadalajara soon and we will be back in our element.

You can fly into Guadalajara (Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla) International Airport (GDL). Then catch an Uber to your accommodations.

International Flights: Skyscanner always seems to find the cheapest flight no matter where I am flying in the world. I find that Tuesday or Wednesday departures are typically the cheapest day of the week. When you land in Mexico, get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone. One of my friends roamed while in Mexico and paid $700 USD for 7 days. Get your phone unlocked if you are from the USA so your phone can accept the chip.

National Flights: If you are flying to Guadalajara from somewhere in Mexico, get your ticket on Skyscanner. They find the cheapest airfares. But check bus prices also if you are within 6 hours of driving of Guadalajara. The bus can be both faster and cheaper in some cases. Plus, you can see rural Mexico when you travel by bus. Check buses prices at ETN or Primera.

Buses: Both ETN and Primera have buses throughout Mexico to Guadalajara. You can visit the English ETN website or right click any web page from a Google Chrome browser, to translate any website into English. I check bus prices and flights (Skyscanner) before making a decision.

Uber: I use Uber when I am in Mexico. I like the International record of who picked me up and who dropped me, and where. Plus, I know the license plate number when they arrive. Plus, I don’t have to negotiate price or destination in Spanish.

Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Guadalajara.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, GetYourGuide Tours), or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Thank you stopping by Vagabond Buddha, Dan

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