Recommend Jan 2018 - 54

GUADALAJARA

Guadalajara offers historic buildings and plazas.

IXTAPA/ZIHUATANEJO

Located the country's Pacific are twosome beauties that
offer all-inclusive fun in the sun, a laid-back charm, an
authentic Mexican vibe and some of the country's most
beautiful vistas. IXTAPA is home to top hotel brands
with rooms that offer gorgeous views of the sunset,
while ZIHUATANEJO is a fisherman's village with a
stunning bay.
SEE/DO: In Zihuatanejo you'll want to tour the town's
numerous beaches: Snorkelers will want to head straight
to Las Gatas Beach, a secluded stretch of sand with
practically no waves, while those who want to be in
the heart of the action, so to speak, will want to take a
detour to the main stretch of beach that's in the city's
downtown area. The best place for watersports, though,
is La Ropa Beach hands-down. Ixtapa is the place to
hop on a boat to enjoy sailing as the sun sets over the
horizon, or to tee off on one of its two golf courses. It's
also the higher-end of the two, and thus offers worldclass restaurants (dinner under the stars anyone?).
SIGNATURE EVENT: If you're in town in March,
don't miss the annual Zihuatanejo International
Guitar Festival, which takes place along the city's
bay. Guitarists from all genres-rock, pop, jazz, blues,
flamenco, Americana, classical, world fusion-
and from all corners of the globe take part in the
week-long festivities.
STAY: In Ixtapa's Hotel Zone, head for the beachfront,
398-room Barcelo Ixtapa, set amid palm trees right on
El Palmar Beach. It features five restaurants, four bars,
watersports, a spa, children's activities and live shows.
40

It's here where tequila and mariachi were born, and as of late,
GUADALAJARA, the country's second largest city, has also
become known as Mexico's Silicon Valley. In this dynamic city,
you'll spot dazzling architecture, including the Metropolitan
Cathedral, which combines neoclassical, baroque and gothic
styles, as well as Hospicio CabaƱas, once one of the oldest
and largest hospital complexes in the Americas. It's here, too,
where historic plazas have a tale to tell.
SEE/DO: Do take a stroll through the city's famed Plaza de
los Mariachis, where you can enjoy Mexico's most famous
style of music alfresco surrounded by magnificent historic
mansions, as well as the Belen Cemetery, considered a
gem due to its 19th century funerary architecture. Explore
Tlaquepaque, which was founded by Totonac natives, and
today is known for its galleries and handicrafts. You can seek
out a ceramic workshop or explore one of the blown glass
workshops and watch the artisans at work.
SIGNATURE EVENT: Be in town on Oct. 12 for La Romeria,
one of the region's most influential pilgrimages. A colorful and
devout religious festival, it features dancers who recreate preColumbian rituals to accompany the passage of the image of
the Virgin as she leaves her enclosure after the Misa de Gallo
at five in the morning.
STAY: The four-diamond Grand Fiesta Americana
Guadalajara Country Club is located in the heart of the city's
financial district and offers both standard rooms and suites,
including a Presidential Suite. It features restaurants and bars,
a fitness club, a spa, and a Fiesta Kids Club.

Zihuatanejo's famous bay.



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