Guadalajara Gay Pride 2017 - Marcha del Orgullo GDL 2017

Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de la Liberacion, Liberacion Square, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
••• Danita Delimont/Getty Images

The second-largest metro region in Mexico, with a population of 4.5 million, Guadalajara also boasts one of the liveliest and most visible LGBT communities in the country. The city plays host each year to the Guadalajara Gay Pride Parade and Festival (Marcha del Orgullo Guadalajara) in June - the 2017 date has yet to be announced. It's held one week before the nation's largest Pride observance, Mexico City Gay Pride.

The march at Guadalajara Gay Pride departs from Glorieta de la Minerva (on the west side of downtown, near Arcos Vallarta) at 2 pm and proceeds east through the heart of the city's gay district (around Calle Madero and Calle Prisciliano Sanchez, at the intersection of Av. 8 de Julio and Enrique Gonzalez Martinez), and then ends at Liberation Square (Plaza Liberación). The celebration continues with a rally and show with numerous entertainers.

Sometimes billed the "San Francisco of Mexico," Guadalajara has long been quite tolerant and diverse, with a large lesbian and gay community along with plenty of other fascinating diversions, both in the city and nearby - in the stylish town of Tlaquepaque (known for antiques shops, galleries, and fine restaurants) and Tequila, where both internationally known big-name producers and boutique distillers proliferate. Within the city, there's a strong embrace of folk music and mariachi, visual arts, terrific restaurants, and gorgeous old-world Spanish Colonial architecture.

It's the capital of Jalisco state, which is also home to one of North America's top gay resort communities, Puerto Vallarta - be aware, however, that it's a bus ride of about a half-day to get between the two cities. It makes far more sense to fly from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, which celebrates its own energetic Puerto Vallarta Gay Pride Week in late May.

The gay scene in Guadalajara is clustered mostly around downtown (the Centro) and, just to the west, Zona Rosa, both neighborhoods that are fairly safe and easy to walk around. The bulk of the top gay bars and nightclubs in town are in Centro along Avenida Prisciliano Sanchez, where you'll find everything from cozy lounges like Club YeYe to big dance clubs like Ruta Caudillos. Zona Rosa is more upscale and home to more of a mixed bar and rather stylish restaurant scene. Taxis are also quite affordable and safe here, and it's quite easy to get from downtown hotels to local gay clubs (and about a 20-minute taxi ride to the above-mentioned Tlaquepaque district). 

Guadalajara Gay Resources

You can learn a bit more about LGBT goings on and fun gay bars in Guadalajara at a few places, including my article on top things to see and do in Guadalajara, the GayMexicoMap section on the city (which is in English), the Guadalajara NightTours page, the very helpful GayGDL.com (which has ample information on the Guadalajara gay scene, although in Spanish), and the DailyXtraTravel page on Guadalajara. Additionally, the city's official tourism organization, Vive Guadalajara, has a useful and easy-to-navigate site, in English, with loads of useful tips and ideas on visiting Guadalajara.

Also handy is the national tourism office's sections on Guadalajara and nearby Tequila

On About.com, Suzanne Barbezat's excellent Guadalajara City Guide contains a font of information about the city and surrounding region.