Guadalajara is filled with lots to do. It is the home of the Mariachi, and in Tlaquepaque where we’ll be staying, the “Parian” is in full swing every afternoon and evening with dozens of Mariachi’s playing the night away. There is a Trolley Tour that you can ride to get an overview of this beautiful colonial city’s history and sites from Tlaquepaque to downtown. Guadalajara is home to one of Mexico’s famous soccer teams, the Chivas. If you’re interested, Bob will take you to a game. But, most of all, Guadalajara and it’s surrounding areas are known as an important center for arts and crafts. Literally hundreds of known artisans live and work here.. Products include clay of all types, wrought iron, pounded tin, blown glass and furniture. Tlaquepaque is known as Mexico’s design center and Tonala itself is populated by mostly master craftsmen. This will be a great trip – comfortable shoes are a must.
Monday, June 1:
Arrive in Guadalajara. Try to arrive by around 3pm if possible. Give us your itinerary and we'll pick you up at the airport and take you to our hotel. We'll stay in a charming B&B in Tlaquepaque walking distance from great shopping , museums and restaurants. We'll head out to a group comida at around 5pm, get acquainted and answer any questions about the trip.
Tuesday, June 2:
After breakfast at our B&B, we'll head to Tonala; home to many important artists. First we'll meet Gerardo Ortega and his family where you can buy whimsical hand painted clay folk art, lamps, and more. From there, we'll go to a blown glass factory where you'll see artisans at work and be able to buy. Then, we'll head to a huge wrought iron factory where anything from lamps to furniture are made. We'll spend a lazy afternoon wandering around Tlaquepaque and have an early dinner.
Wednesday, June 3:
After breakfast, we'll venture downtown Guadalajara and spend the morning in the public market known as San Juan de Dios. From there we'll head to the workshop of a master printmaker. Sergio and Raquel work with most of the important artists working in Mexico today to produce their limited edition etchings. They will demonstrate the technique and you'll be able to buy prints directly from the artists inventory. You'll be free for dinner that night.
Thursday, June 4:
This is a free day for you to do as you please. Tlaquepaque is filled with great shops and two important museums all within walking distance. Previous winners of the National Ceramics competition are housed in "El Centro Cultural, Refugio" and are worth seeing. Or, you could opt to go out to Tonala where Market Day will be in full force. There is so much to see and choose from; it is a destination unto itself. We'll meet for a late lunch as a group at around 5pm. For those interested, the ceramony announcing the winners of the 2009 National Ceramics Competition will take place at 8pm at El Refugio.
Friday, June 5:
The artists who participated in the National Competition will offer their works for sale over the next 3 days. We'll make the rounds this first morning of the sale. Later that afternoon, we'll head back to Tonala and visit the Ramirez-Mateos family - home to the famous Towers of Spirits and other amazing works of clay. That evening, we'll go back downtown Guadalajara for a fun evening at a great Mexican Restaurant.
Saturday, June 6:
After breakfast, we'll head back to Tonala and visit several important "Barro Brunido" potters including Great Masters, Salvador Vasquez and Florentino Jimon. We'll then meet Luis Cortez, Moises Rodriguez and Eusebio Mateos Ortega. We'll spend a free evening in Tlaquepaque.
Sunday, June 7:
This will be another free day for you to further explore what you didn't get enough of. Sunday is the final day of the Competition sale; Tonala Market Day is back on; most Tlaquepaque shops are open; or you could choose to go back downtown Guadalajara and visit the beautiful Cathedral and other cultural sites. We'll meet back in Tlaquepaque at 3pm for our final group comida and enjoy Mariachi's, Ballet Folklorico and a great meal together.
Monday, June 8:
Plan on departing late afternoon if possible. We'll need to go out to the warehouse and make sure all our purchases are well packed and organized before everyone leaves.
A $500 deposit is required to hold a spot for each person. (Please make checks payable to COSAS.) Groups limited to no more than 8 on a "first come/first served" basis. No children please.
Guadalajara Trip Cost: $1800
For single occupancy, please add $650.
Deposit required no later than May 15 with full payment prior to May 25.
All of our trips include lodging based on double occupancy. We prefer to stay in small, quaint hotels or B&Bs as opposed to large commercial hotels. Full breakfast is included each day and many dinners are included. We leave lunches open since the custom in Mexico is to have a late "comida" as opposed to traditional US lunches. When we are on day trips, we always stop for snacks and usually have a cooler along to keep beverages cold and available. Transfer to/from airport is included (except during Day of the Dead) and all ground transporation is included.
Our trips also include shipping your purchases back to Boerne. Space will be limited to boxes that can fit on pallets. If you wish to purchase larger items, we can make special arrangements for an additional cost. We will help with organizing your packing needs (bubble wrap, tape, boxes, etc.). Trust us, we've packed super fragile items hundreds of times and can give you our best advise. But, ultimately you will be responsible to safely pack all your own items. COSAS cannot be responsible for any breakage. It is a good idea to pack a little each day so you know what your materials needs may be.
*Ground transporation provided to events listed in the details of the itinerary. Activities may change if unforseen circumstances occur. Transportation to/from Morelia airport not included. Airfare not included. Personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, phone calls and other incidentals are not included. No refunds for breakfasts not consumed; eents/services not used; early departures. If for any reason COSAS cancels the tour, a full refund will be issued.