Gudalajara, Mexico's natural sights offer year-round access to gorgeous, lush green forests, waterfalls, hiking, cycling, and an entire world of outdoor adventure in one of Mexico's most hospitable climes. With an average annual temperature of just 70 degrees, this is an ideal place to explore the wonders of nature no matter when you visit. While the city boasts tons of parks and gardens, you can also find a world of wonders just outside of town.

    If you're looking to escape to Guadalajara's beautiful, natural landscapes, check out some of the best outdoor adventuring sites around the city. Get back to nature, snap a few photos, and recharge your batteries with pure, unspoiled beauty.

    1

    Guadalajara Metropolitan Park

    Relax in green space at the heart of town

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    Guadalajara Metropolitan Park is one of the primary green areas within the city of Guadalajara, offering tons of open green space, hiking and biking trails, and picnic grounds. Whether you're looking to get in a morning run, take a long stroll among the green space, or enjoy a bicycle ride, you'll find the trails here. The fields are ideal for sports, so if you want a game of football, soccer, or just catch, you've got space to do it. You can also spread out a blanket to enjoy a romantic meal with that someone special.

    The park is a point of pride of the city and popular with visitors and locals alike. It's in the heart of downtown.

    Location: Av. Ludwig Van Beethoven 58000, La Estancia, 45020 Zapopan, Jal., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 8 pm

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    2

    Bosque Los Colomos

    Enjoy a famous protected nature area

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    Bosque Los Colomos is among the most famous parks in Guadalajara and offers a wide range of attractions from gardens and bridges to a dam, cultural center, and others. Here you can visit an elegantly tended, authentic Japanese Garden, learn about the city's history, walk across romantic bridges, relax at a small dam, and walk or bike a wide range of maintained trails.

    The park is a few minutes to the west of downtown and is surrounded by a residential neighborhood. It is a natural protected area with a rich landscape and a wonderful place to come to escape from the hustle and bustle for just a little while.

    Location: C. El Chaco 3200, Providencia, 44630 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +52 33 9688 8595

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    3

    Parque Agua Azul

    Visit a park that's a point of local pride

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    Parque Agua Azul was built over 6 decades ago and is a beloved local urban park among visitors and locals alike, offering a stage, animal experiences, gardens, and family fun. You can walk through a colorful fairyland world in the butterfly farm, take the kids to the children's farm where they can meet farm animals, see a live show on the stage, walk educational trails, and visit the orchid garden.

    The park also hosts regular local events at the onsite exhibition halls. Despite the popularity of the park, it remains serene and is a quiet, calm place to enjoy nature in the heart of the city.

    Location: Calz Independencia Sur 973, Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +52 33 3619 0328

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    4

    Mirador Independencia Park

    Catch a panoramic view of a vast natural canyon

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    Mirador Indepencia Park is famed for its panoramic view of the 2,000-foot deep canyon. Besides its view of the canyon, the park hosts an open-air theater where regular events are held, from musical performances and concerts to theatrical shows and others. The park boasts a playground for the kids and has an inexpensive family restaurant on site. Like many parks, it also hosts a wide range of hiking and biking trails.

    This park is located just north of the city. It's best visited during the rainy season of July through September. While the weather might not cooperate, the views of the lush green canopy are breathtaking at this time of year.

    Location: Volcán Hueytepec, Panorámica de Huentitán, 44259 Mascuala, Jal., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

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    photo by Alan Levine (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Barranca de Oblatos

    Walk the floor of a deep natural canyon

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    Barranca de Oblatos is a beloved site within the city for locals and visitors, offering miles upon miles of hiking along the bottom of a 2,000-foot-deep canyon. It connects to other city parks, some of which overlook the canyon for spectacular photo opportunities, but the real attraction is hiking the canyon itself. It's also known by locals as Barranca de Huentitán.

    Plan a whole day here. It takes over an hour just to climb into the cavern and at least as much climbing out. Bring snacks and water as there aren't amenities within the cavern, though there are snack bars at the top when you exit. The cavern is located just a few minutes north of downtown.

    Location: Av. Perif. Pte. Manuel Gómez Morin s/n, Tetlán Río Verde, 44720 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +52 33 3606 8645

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    6

    Laguna de Sayula

    See local wildlife at a mountain lake

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    Laguna de Sayula is a glistening lake that’s a hotspot for local wildlife and wetlands. Located between the Tapalpa Mountains and the Mazamitla Mountains, Laguna de Sayula is a wetland that’s a vital habitat for bird conservation and migratory North American birds.

    The lake is salty, supporting vegetation and wildlife adapted to briny environments. Along with a variety of seaweed and mosses, you can see migratory birds in winter and eagles, turtles, and hawks. The lake is also a popular fishing spot for catching largemouth bass and crevalle jack. Several grass and sand beaches lie along the shore and offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and watersports.

    Location: Jalisco, Mexico

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    7

    Jardín Botánico

    Visit the place where medicine was once grown

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    Jardin Botánico is the oldest garden in the city, dating to 1840, offering an urban garden space showcasing local and exotic plant life. The park also holds a deep and important place in city history. In its early days, it was the heart of medicine in the city, where medicinal plants were cultured that were used by local hospitals. It's still located in front of the Hospital Civil, which has stood since 1793. Another attraction of the park is the statue of Fray Antonio Alcaide, one of the architects of Guadalajara.

    The park is a beloved, serene green space where you can escape from the hustle and bustle for a bit. It's located in the heart of downtown.

    Location: Calle Hospital &, C. Belén S/N, Centro Barranquitas, 44280 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico

    Open: 24/7

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    8

    Lake Chapala

    Visit a slice of waterfront paradise outside of town

    • Couples
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    • History
    • Adventure

    Lake Chapela is among the largest freshwater lakes in Mexico and covers four full municipalities. It's about 28 miles southeast of central downtown. It's fed by the Rio Lerma, Rio Duero, Rio Zula, and Rio Huaracha rivers and drains into the Rio Grande de Santiago. It contains 3 islands where you can visit historic ruins or just explore unspoiled nature. It's also known for its stunning mountain backdrop.

    This lake is a wonderful place to get out on the water, enjoy serene walks along the shore with your special someone, or just visit the many small local communities that dot the region.

    Location: Jalisco, Mexico

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    9

    Bosque la Primavera

    Visit a vast forest that's the size of a city

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    Bosque la Primavera is a vast forest outside of Guadalajara and is vital to the city's infrastructure, offering visitors endless stretches of forested land to enjoy. The city views the park as a source of vital natural resources like water and clean air to the city. As such, much of the forest is protected space and offers endless stretches of natural trails to walk where you can see local flora and fauna and breathe in fresh air to escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours.

    The forest itself is a bit of a day trip. It's just over an hour's drive to the west of the central downtown area.

    Location: Jalisco, Mexico

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    10

    Cascada El Salto del Nogal

    Visit the highest waterfall in the region

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    Cascada El Salto del Nogal is, in short, a wonder of the region, a hidden gem tucked among lush forests showcasing a cascading waterfall rising almost 500 feet high. It's the highest natural waterfall in the region and actually consists of two waterfalls: the first tumbles about 345 feet into a secondary waterfall that falls off an additional nearly 148 feet. It's famed as the location for the world cup of paragliding every year.

    The surrounding rocks and cliffs have been shaped for thousands of years by wind trapped within the canyon. This stunning natural wonder is a day trip, about 2 hours and 40 minutes from downtown.

    Location: Jalisco, Mexico

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