We were so excited to take our first trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. We decided to stay in Colonia Americana (map) and were even more excited to visit the area after it was named the “Coolest Neighborhood in the World” by Timeout.
We stayed in a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo we found on AirBnB and the location was fantastic! We arrived after dark so we were a little apprehensive about walking around since we didn’t know the area, but we felt more at ease when we saw a young woman walking her dog alone. After that, it felt safe for us to find a place to eat.
We stumbled across Hato Ramen, an Asian restaurant located a few blocks from our condo. We paid $38.75 for dinner, which included an appetizer, two entrees and drinks. The restaurant had a cool vibe, and the food was excellent.
After a restful night’s sleep we woke up feeling supercharged and ready to explore.
One of the first things that captivated us was the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. We were pleasantly surprised by the one-way streets and bike rental stations and the neighborhood’s commitment to a greener and more active lifestyle.
The neighborhood exudes personality, with its colorful buildings and a fascinating mix of architectural styles. We loved the wide streets with the mature trees.
Colonia Americana is the home to Templo Expiatorio, a Neo-Gothic Catholic temple. Construction on this began on August 15, 1897, and concluded in 1972—taking 75 years to complete. It is considered one of the most important works in Mexico and definitely worth visiting.
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After resting a bit (we walked a lot), we set out once again to explore more of the neighborhood. We noticed that walled courtyards, which are common in Ecuador, were less prevalent here. Instead, we admired several upscale high-rise condo buildings, adding a modern touch to the neighborhood’s architectural tapestry.
Guadalajara, like Ecuador, had its fair share of sidewalk hazards. However, we had become accustomed to navigating around them from our 5 years of living in Ecuador, so it didn’t faze us.
We were surprised and impressed by the wide variety of food trucks, street food, and restaurants. There was so much to choose from! There’s also a lot of bars and nightclubs.
The area has a fun, party vibe, especially on the main road, Chapultepec Avenue, which is considered the heart of the area.
Even though we aren’t drinking much anymore, we couldn’t resist indulging in a pint of Guinness at a local pub. As we sat there, savoring our drink and people-watching, we noticed something remarkable—many single women confidently strolling by themselves, engrossed in their phones. When we went out for dinner later that day we noticed more single women walking alone. That gave us an extra sense of security and safety.
Is Colonia Americana truly the coolest neighborhood in the world? We loved its charm and it was “cool,” but we can’t make a definitive judgment just yet. After all, there are other neighborhoods on the list we have yet to explore.
Nevertheless, we can definitely envision ourselves spending more time there, soaking up the unique blend of history, culture, and vibrant street life.
Watch Our Video from Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico
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I grew up in the Chicagoland area and spent most of my career working as a sales rep in the commercial lighting industry. I still work online for a company in Denver doing sales CRM administration. YouTube is my part-time gig, but I'm so happy we can share our Unconventional Life and hopefully inspire you live yours!