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Vacation spots near GDL to avoid during long weekends

So generally most of us while away the hours in the office daydreaming about escaping the concrete jungle we call home… the sea breeze, a cold beer whilst lazing in a hammock; camping under the stars, breathing fresh air, giving that throbbing vein in the forehead a break.. However there are times when it’s just best to not venture out of town, unless you love being crammed into a tight space, being ripped off and having to face hours of traffic on the drive home, Easter weekend being the worst culprit. Below we compile a list of the top five offender and some alternative options. Please take into account that visiting any of these locations on a normal weekend is well worth the trip!

1

Puerto Vallarta - more than 15,000 tourist visited Vallarta during Holy Week of 2011


The home away from home for the bold and the beautiful ofGuadalajara turns into a bubbling cesspool of bacteria and sunscreen with people jostling for the last spot of sand on the beach, bringing new meaning to the saying “like sardines in a tin can”. On the agenda are sunburns, hangovers and utter debauchery courtesy of Spring breakers and young Mexicans who have escaped the watchful eye of their parents and discovered the “joys” of chugging 5 litre Margaritas. Overpriced everything can turn the holiday sour and your bank account more barren than the Sahara. If you must go we strongly suggest booking bus tickets well in advance or if driving leaving the city at dawn and hitting the northern beaches for a bit more peace and quiet. Another must see beach is Yelapa, an hour from PV and accessible by boat only. Rustic bungalows surrounded by lush jungle and a couple of waterfalls thrown in for good measure, make for a perfect escape from the chaos.

2

Tapalpa - choose horseback riding and hiking over being in town


A so called magical village full of tradition located in the mountains surrounded by pine forest, just outside of Guadalajara… Sounds relaxing right? Wrong… During long weekends this place turns into a heaving throng of people trying to find a place to stay, a taco to eat or a beer to drink and instead of birds whistling you’ll get the top 5 Mexican pop tunes on a loop. All night long. Throw in to the mix a sea of hippies that come in on their VW vans looking to get spiritual whilst trying to sell their feathery goods and hey presto you can feel that headache around the corner. If you feel an irresistible urge to go make sure to book the furthest bungalow from the town square in advance and take your iPod! Suggested activities include hiking, horse riding or volunteering at one of the eco-communities where you can learn techniques in sustainable architecture.

3

Mazamitla - get away from the crowds and take a bike ride through the forest


Another magical village, sometimes called the “Switzerland of Mexico”, is teaming with mythology and mysticism as well as flora and fauna - any other weekend outside of long weekends. Bursting to the seams with screaming kids, arguing parents and stalls selling all kinds of plastic for a peso it may well have you running for the hills. If you find yourself in the neighborhood we recommend finding some of the local “ponche” an artisanal punch, which definitely packs a punch and comes in all kinds of delicious flavours from pomegranate to apricot and having yourself a good time! Another way to enjoy yourself and get away from the crowds is to partake in any of the numerous extreme sports on offer from mountain biking to hang gliding to off-road quadbiking: thrills guaranteed!

4

Manzanillo - escape by boat to the nearby animal refuge


White sands, blue seas and a tropical breeze are things you would normally associate with this beach town, however during a long weekends you´re lucky if you see a patch of sand, even luckier if it has your name on it and the view, well, think of plastic bottles, sandwich wrappers and everyone from the hotdog vender to your grandma bobbing in the not so clear waters of the bay. If you still insist on rubbing shoulders with the locals-literally, especially if hitting the main beach, then like with any other destination we recommend making reservations and keeping an eye on your valuables-be that your phone, the car keys or your significant other. To escape to another world we recommend a boat trip to the nearby animal refuge which is located in a mangrove bay for some excellent bird spotting or if you really want to get a bird’s eye view it doesn’t get better than skydiving over the beach!

5

Chapala Lake -  trust us, you'd prefer to be in Guadalajara!


Usually makes an excellent location for a weekend getaway, its close by, has great restaurants and a vibrant art scene, however come Easter break the place is jam packed with people, both local and foreign, fighting over tables in restaurants, parking spaces and lakeside views. Chapala has a large expat community who are more annoying than usual during peak season and who will shun anyone outside their little circle. The tiny town is totally saturated and service is poor as all businesses sees a 500% influx in clients. Our suggestion would be to turn around and drive back to Guadalajara which is practically a ghost town during this period. You will literally have it all to yourself!