DescriptionTlaquepaque (tla-keh-PAH-keh), part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area, borders the southeastern side of the city. An important crafts center, it produces the distinctive, hand-painted Tlaquepaque pottery that is prized throughout Mexico. The fragile earthenware is decorated by hand. Many artisans still use the potter's wheel, and visitors can view the work in progress at some pottery shops. Tlaquepaque also is known for blown glass, textiles, jewelry, furniture, copperware and carved wood. The town is a tourist magnet and can get very crowded, but dedicated shoppers won't want to miss out on the huge selection of high-quality handicrafts.
The word “mariachi” seems to have originated in Tlaquepaque. French soldiers garrisoned in the city in the mid-19th century noted that the strolling troubadours performed primarily at weddings, or mariages, hence the possible derivation of the term. Mariachi bands perform in the gazebo within Jardín Hidalgo, the main plaza (bounded by the streets Independencia, Guillermo Prieto, Morelos and Francisco I. Madero).
Browsing is easiest along pedestrian-only Calle Independencia. Many of the shops and galleries are housed in refurbished old mansions with thick stone walls and iron gates. Most of the larger shops accept U.S. dollars or payment by credit card, and will arrange to have purchases packed and shipped as well. Many are closed or open limited hours on Sunday. Under the circular roof of El Parián, a building in the middle of town, are many sidewalk cafes, pleasant spots to relax over a leisurely lunch while the shops close for afternoon siesta (usually between 2 and 4).
La Casa Canela, Independencia #258, has showrooms arranged around a lush garden patio. This tasteful shop offers Mexican furniture, papier-mâché artworks and antiques. Tierra Tlaquepaque, Independencia #156, offers wood sculpture, pottery and decorative objects. Sergio Bustamente's fanciful sculptures, known around the world, are featured at the Galería Sergio Bustamente, Calle Independencia #238.
Linea Turquesa (TUR) buses depart regularly for Tlaquepaque and Tonalá from downtown Guadalajara; the trip takes about half an hour. They carry only seated passengers; cheaper city buses carry standing passengers as well and are likely to be crowded. Tell the driver you want to get off at the stop nearest El Parián.
If driving, take Avenida Revolución off Calzada Independencia Sur, heading southeast away from downtown Guadalajara. This road becomes Boulevard Tlaquepaque as it heads into town. At the traffic circle, bear right onto Avenida Niños Héroes, which runs into Calle Independencia after a block.
Visitor InfoTourist information office Calle Guillermo Prieto TLAQUEPAQUE, JA . Phone:(33)3635-5756
Things to SeeRegional Museum of Ceramics