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Guadalajara
Guadalajara is known as the most Mexican of cities. After all, it is the home of mariachi music, charreadas (Mexican rodeos), tequila, and the Mexican hat dance! Founded in 1532, this Colonial settlement evolved into a sophisticated city - the second biggest in Mexico - though many sections have the atmosphere and pace of a small town. It is the state capital of Jalisco, and is tamer and more conservative than the nation's capital, though it has a wonderful vitality. Dubbed the "City of Eternal Spring" for its year-round pleasant climate and the "City of Roses" for its lush blossoms, Guadalajara is the soul of Mexico.

Downtown contains many buildings and plazas from the Colonial era, which lend the city an air of Old World charm and provincial elegance. The unhurried pace of life in Guadalajara has fostered an atmosphere for great artistic creativity and cultural activity. The city is famous for handicrafts and decorative arts. Ceramics, brass, copperware, hand-blown glass, embroidery, and leather goods are abundant. Several natural wonders including volcanoes surround the city, and frequent bus excursions take beach-lovers to the Pacific shore. As you spend your days shopping the flea market, exploring centuries-old buildings, or hiking the Sierra Madre, you'll find Guadalajara to be a relaxing yet stimulating destination.
  
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