Official 2011 Pan American Games

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 Consulate of Canada in Guadalajara
Welcome Guide

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2011 Pan American Games - Guadalajara, Mexico
October 14 - 30

Download a copy of the  "Welcome Guide" which contains all of the information below, plus information on:
- restaurants
- taxi services
- emergency services
- handy Spanish phrases



Guadalajara is renowned as the “most Mexican of cities” and the capital of the state of Jalisco. As the birthplace of mariachi, tequila, and charrería (Mexican cowboy and horsemanship), Jalisco rightfully lays claim to its motto: “Jalisco is Mexico”.

The Guadalajara metropolitan area is Mexico’s second largest city and consists of six municipalities (Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, El Salto, and Tlajomulco de Zuñiga).

The total population of Jalisco is over 7 million inhabitants and just over 4.5 million live in the metro area.


Check out the guide map for
hotel locations in relation to venues

Fiesta Americana Grande
NH Hotel
Camino Real
Quinta Real
Hilton Guadalajara
Holiday Inn Select
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Hotel Ejecutivo Express
Interncontinental Hotel Presidente
Fiesta Americana

As the economic capital of Western Mexico, the Financial Times in 2007 ranked Guadalajara in fifth place among “10 major cities of the future”. The city is also known as the “Pearl of the West” and the “City of Roses” and is the site of the 2011 Pan/ParaPan American Games.

A visitor to downtown Guadalajara will enjoy the impressive colonial architecture and should visit El Instituto Cultural Cabañas and the Governor’s Palace Museum to admire the spectacular murals created by the famous Jalisco born muralist, Jose Orozco. Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride down cobblestone streets or shop for just about anything in one of the largest indoor markets in Latin America, the famous “Mercado Libertad” (or Mercado San Juan de Dios as it’s known by locals).

If you have more time, a trip is recommended to the municipality of Tlaquepaque, home to some of Mexico’s most well-known popular artists including Sergio Bustamante and Rodolfo Padilla. Tlaquepaque is renowned throughout the country for its galleries and showrooms overflowing with all sorts of artisanal and quality ceramics, art, glasswork, sculpture, furniture, leather and metalwork products. Nearby is the municipality of Tonalá, famous for its ceramics craftsmanship and the National Ceramic Museum. Don’t miss a memorable visit to one of Tonalá’s impressive blow-glass factories!



Should you have a day available, you can make a trip to the town of Tequila, one of Mexico’s “Magic Towns” (Pueblos Mágicos), in the heart of the country’s tequila producing region and an hour’s drive from Guadalajara. An alternative to renting a car or taking the bus is the “Tequila Express”. You will enjoy a full-day train ride to and from one of the most prestigious tequila factories in Jalisco. For more information, please visit: 

If you have more time, consider a trip to the coast to enjoy all that Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit
have to offer; just a short plane ride or a picturesque four-hour drive over the mountains from Guadalajara.



It is said that the Spanish encouraged settlement in Guadalajara in part for its dry, temperate climate. Many Canadian retirees and snow birds are of the same opinion, flocking in winter months to the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico and an hour’s drive south of the city.

The metropolitan zone, at an altitude of 1,589 metres, enjoys two temperate seasons during each year which include a dry season during the winter and spring months, and a wet season in summer and early fall. While it can get quite warm in the summer months, the rains usually arrive in the afternoon and evening, and in July and August, can result in tremendous downpours and some flooding in parts of the city. A sweater or heavier jacket is advisable during the winter months.

Temperatures in the city range from around 8oC on winter mornings in December and January to 32oC
afternoons in April and May.


Important Contact Numbers

For police, ambulance and civil protection services (bilingual operators available): Dial 066

Emergency Response (air and ground ambulance):
3854 7777/4000


Tlaquepaque Municipal Police:
3345 5900/3635

Life Care (air and ground ambulance):
3615 0058

Red Cross Mexico:
3345 7777/065

Fire Department:
1201 7700

Guadalajara Municipal Police:
3619 3975/060

Zapopan Municipal Police:
3836 3600

Tonalá Municipal Police:
3586 6101/00

Locatel (24hrs):
3134 4982



The Consulate in Guadalajara
Tel: 3671 4740 ext 3340
Hours of Service: 09:00-14:00
After hours
Toll free: 001 800 514 0129
(automatically connects you with a Consular Watch
Officer in Ottawa)

The Embassy in Mexico City
Tel: (55) 5724 7900 ext 3322; OR
From anywhere in Mexico
Toll free: 01 800 706 2900
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
(reserved strictly for emergency calls concerning
Canadian citizens)


Should you experience any problems, you can also call collect the Consular Bureau of the Department of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
at (613) 996-8885 by using the services of Canada Direct (01 800 123 0200 / 01 800 021 1994).


Medical Attention

Most hotels have doctors and medical services available. In case of a medical emergency, your hotel
should be able to provide the name of an English-speaking physician.

There are a number of pharmacies open 24 hours and which also have delivery services. Common
pharmacy chains in the metro area are Farmacia Guadalajara, Farmacias ABC, Farmacias Benavides.



Some visitors suffer from gastroenteritis during their stay in Mexico. No specific measures are
recommended other than to drink fluids such as potable bottled water, fruit juices and caffeine-free soft
drinks. Probiotics and Yerba Buena (mint) tea or concentrate (sold at pharmacies and supplement stores),
may alleviate some discomfort. However, if symptoms last more than two days, consult a doctor for a
prescription medication such as Daxon or Ameobriz. Refrain from consuming dairy products and alcohol
and try to maintain a normal, healthy diet as long as the symptoms persist.



As in any large city, normal precautions are advisable. Please read and follow these guidelines:

  1. Upon arrival at the airport, take only official, prepaid airport taxis. Vouchers for these taxis can be purchased at wickets located after you have passed through the baggage carousel area and cleared customs (never pay a taxi driver directly when coming from the airport).
  2. Official city taxis in Guadalajara are yellow. It is generally safe to flag one down in the street during the day, though it is better to use one from a “sitio” (a location where a group of taxis are gathered), usually in front of or near hotels, particularly in the evenings. Some taxis have meters which the taxi driver should turn on as you move off. Where there are no meters, you should enquire what the fare will be before you get into the taxi. The concierge at your hotel can usually tell you what the fare would likely be.
  3. Never assume that vehicles will stop when you are crossing a street.
  4. Be cautious about wearing jewellery or expensive items.
  5. If accessing money through an automatic banking machine, be discreet, efficient and alert to your surroundings. If you suspect that you are being watched, leave and return later or go to another machine in a more secure location.
  6. Never exchange currency with persons who approach you on the street.
  7. If you are victim of an attack, do not offer any resistance.
  8. If your ID documents have been lost or stolen, please visit the useful website entitled “Lost Wallet” at
  9. Walking late at night is generally not recommended, particularly if you are alone.



Credit Cards

Almost all hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, airlines, etc., accept international credit cards, such as:
Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Diners Club.

We suggest you ask the establishment before using your card.

Also make sure to contact your credit card company to alert them that you will be in Mexico.



Hotels, banks, and money exchange houses can exchange most foreign currencies into pesos. The major
banks and most money exchange houses are open 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays. Most ATMs are part of
the Cirrus and Plus systems, and are available within hotels for withdrawals directly from your account in
pesos. You cannot cash personal cheques at banks unless you have an account, but American Express
offices will cash personal checks for cardholders.

Exchange Rate:  1 Canadian $ = 12 Mexican Pesos



A 16% value-added sales tax (IVA) is applied to most goods and services. Unfortunately, visitors cannot
claim it back.



For baggage handlers at the airport and hotels, 30 pesos per person is customary.

In restaurants, 10-15% is normally expected, and for a party of 10 people or more, 15-20%. Tipping chamber maids is not customary but is much appreciated. Taxi drivers only expect a tip when they provide an extra service.



As in any large city, traffic jams are common in Guadalajara, particularly during rush hours (8 to 10 am; 2
to 4 pm; and 7 to 9 pm) along the main streets and avenues. Therefore, to be on time one must plan ahead. If in doubt about travel times, just ask a local.


How to Make Phone Calls

Public telephones
Payphones and phones that accept prepaid telephone cards are available throughout the city. Prepaid telephone cards can be purchased at self service stores (e.g. OXXO, 7 Eleven), tobacco shops and newspaper stands.

Calling from Guadalajara

Calling from Canada to Guadalajara

Cell phones