Living in GuadalajaraIyna Bort Caruso
Greater Guadalajara is the birthplace of two of Mexico’s most famous exports, mariachi music and tequila. Expats are its notable imports. The city of rural traditions, high tech business, historic sites and respected universities makes it a destination for those seeking culture, commerce and a balanced quality of life.
Guadalajara is second only to Mexico City as the country’s largest municipality. It is a cultural center that manages to retain its quintessentially Mexican character despite its sizable expat community of Americans and Canadians.
Its historic center is arguably one of Mexico’s most beautiful. With the twin towers of its iconic Metropolitan Cathedral defining the skyline, the downtown area is marked by 19th century neoclassic architecture, green spaces and public art. Guadalajara, however, is very much about the here and now. The city is attractive as a Latin American base for international investment owing to its affordable and educated labor force. It is also the country’s technology center. Some call it Mexico’s Silicon Valley and the long-term development of Digital Creative City, an urban hub for digital media development, is its most high profile manifestation.
International real estate investment is unrestricted except for property within 50 kilometers of the coast or 100 kilometers of an international border. Affluent house-hunters have their choice of restored, colonial-style homes, contemporary estates and country club residences. Golf clubs and equestrian clubs are in abundance. The city also offers a good selection of luxury condominiums in exclusive, gated developments.
Less than an hour’s drive from the city, communities along Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, are popular weekend and vacation home destinations. They also have sizable populations of active American retirees drawn to the mild climate, relatively low cost of living and beautiful scenery framed by the Sierra Madre Mountains. Waterfront towns like Ajijic and San Juan Cosala are as sophisticated as they are serene with top dining, fine shopping and numerous art galleries.
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