Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco
Article and photos by Charles Glez
Lagos de Moreno has been called “the most colonial city in Mexico.” And because of the number of artists and writers from here, it has also been dubbed “the Athens of Jalisco.” Nestled in los Altos de Jalisco (the highlands of Jalisco), it is closer in elevation and character to Guanajuato and other colonial cities than to Puerto Vallarta and other coastal towns in this large and irregularly shaped state.
Lagos was originally a stopping point between the silver mines of Zacatecas and Mexico City. It has grown from the modest half-way point to a city of about 120,000 people, and it’s still growing. Both tourists and residents enjoy its amenities, including a movie theater, museum, fine arts theater, and for shopping, a shopping mall, an enormous antiques shop, and other large stores.
Lagos is only 30 minutes from Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, Office Max, Sears, and a large shopping mall in the nearby city of Leon, Guanajuato. There are two international airports near Lagos: in León, Guanajuato (BJX) and in Aguascalientes (AGU), capital of the same-named state. Both are approximately an hour away.
But despite these creature comforts, this is truly “Old Mexico,” with colonial architecture in locally quarried cantera stone. The pinnacle of la parróquia, the parish church, is the tallest in Latin America. At its foot, el jardín is the town’s central park. Overlooking the scene is the University of Guadalajara, while near the perimeter of the city are several other universities and a technical school of engineering.
At 6,371 feet above sea level, Lagos affords a wonderful, spring-like climate most of the year. Summer highs average around 86°F (30°C). On winter mornings the lows may dip to 35°F (about 2°C), but as the sun climbs, so does the temperature, making for gorgeous days that invite a stroll around town.
Although the town is pleasant year-round, the annual feria is something to behold. Expert cowboys called charros---with their broad-brimmed sombreros and elegant clothing---seemingly never miss when roping horses. There are numerous festive holidays throughout the year. Lagos is one of the safest and tranquil cities in all of Mexico, and therefore attracts newcomers from the larger cities nearby.
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