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Tonala and Tlaquepaque: Artisan Finds Outside of Guadalajara

Updated on June 29, 2007
An artist at work in Tonala
An artist at work in Tonala
Pottery available for purchase in Tonala
Pottery available for purchase in Tonala

Located within a short driving distance of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, these artisan centered towns are a shopper's paradise.

Although small, both of these towns are world renowned for arts, pottery and ceramic production. Interior decorators and designers worldwide have been known to frequent these areas specifically for the rich selection and authentic creations available solely in central Jalisco.

Tlaquepaque features renovated colonial mansions outfitted with finery aimed at Mexico's most wealthy citizens, not to mention dazed tourists and visitors. The town is rounded out with spectacular dining, the Regional Museum of Ceramics, and several quaint bed and breakfasts affordable only to some.

Of course, like any good Mexican town, Tlaquepaque offers plaza-based shopping with an assortment of cathedrals, govenment edificios (buildings) and galleries within the same area. The Regional Ceramic Museum is located in a nearby enclave.

Tonalá is often viewed as a more accessible alternative, and even includes some ceramics factories and wholesale discounters. Although a little less glitzy than nearby Tlaquepaque, tourists will find better deals on much of the same kinds of merchandise in this friendly area. One thing that Tonalá has on its higher class neighbor is the National Museum of Ceramics.

Both towns are within easy driving distance from Guadalajara, with bus service available for a small fee. Both towns offer a tourist office with maps, brochures and even guides-for-hire.

Any visit to Guadalajara would be incomplete and left wanting without a day trip to these world famous artisan headquarters.


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      Cory Zacharia 10 years ago

      I visited Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque in the late 70's and found them so beautiful, also Lake Chapala. I bought a set of hand-painted dishes and bowls in the Tlaquepaque market. Lovely hub!