Speaking of his state, Jalisco’s Secretary of Tourism Enrique Ramos Flores says, “I believe Jalisco represents the lifeblood and the essence of the Mexican people.” To all intents and purposes of its image abroad, this is true; Mexico’s most famous style of music – mariachi – and most famous drink – tequila – both hail from the central-western state.
Internationally, Jalisco is mostly known for its beach resort city, Puerto Vallarta. What fewer people know is that Jalisco is also home to five special towns that have been declared Pueblos Mágicos, or Magical Villages, by the federal government.
Tequila, Tapalpa, Mazamitla, San Sebastián del Oeste and most recently, Lagos de Moreno all have a officially recognized cultural, natural and/or historical heritage deemed worthy of protecting and publicizing. Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR) recently allocated funds to help Jalisco preserve and rehabilitate buildings in these villages, or improve signage and infrastructure.
Mr. Ramos is also pleased that the federal government is fully behind the works to finish building a highway connecting Guadalajara with Puerto Vallarta.
“We’re also going to extend the road that runs along the coast,” he adds. “This will allow everyone to discover some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches, which are located on the Costa Alegre.”
While plenty of international visitors make Puerto Vallarta a vacation spot, very few people – even among Mexicans – know of these beaches, which the Tourism Secretary describes as enchanting, with a delightful gastronomy, and which have very small guesthouses.
On the other hand, Guadalajara’s tourism profile is mainly the business and convention segment, something Mr. Ramos would like to balance out with more vacationers. Indeed, the architecturally and historically-rich city is worthy of a good, long and enjoyable visit.