The Magical Town of Talpa Jalisco is not only famous for its “Virgin of Talpa” and the production of the best guavas in the world, but it offers many other charming attractions that I will share with you in this complete guide.
Talpa de Allende is the small capital city of the Jalisco municipality of the same name, located in the western part of the state.
Where is Talpa?
The Magical Town is surrounded by the municipalities of Puerto Vallarta, Atenguillo, Mascota, Tomatlán, and Cabo Corrientes, all belonging to Jalisco.
Talpa Jalisco History
Around 1532, the Spanish conqueror Nuño de Guzmán sent the first emissaries from present-day Tepic and divided the territory among his principal lieutenants.
The first Hispanic town was founded in 1599 with the name of Santiago de Talpa. In 1871, Porfirio Díaz took refuge in Talpa, pretending to be a bell founder.
The town hall was established in 1844, and in 1885 it was elevated to the rank of “villa,” extending its name to Talpa de Allende in honor of the Insurgent Ignacio Allende.
What is the climate like in Talpa de Allende?
The weather here is generally pleasant all year round, thanks to its 1,155 meters above sea level altitude. The warmest month is June, with average temperatures of 24 °C.
The coldest month is January, with 16 °C. Occasionally there can be heat close to 33 °C in the middle of summer, and the extreme winter cold can be around 9 °C.
Talpa Jalisco rains about 1,045 mm annually, with a rainy season from June to October.
Talpa Jalisco’s main attractions
Talpa visitors are greeted by the welcoming arch and the famous Basilica of the Virgin of Talpa.
The historic center is one of the most visited places in the country, especially during Holy Week, on the occasion of the multitudinous Pilgrim’s Route.
Immersing in the history and legends of the famous Virgin follows its museum.
Likewise, other sites of great interest for architectural and religious tourism are the Parish of San José and several chapels.
The calendar is full of religious and civil festivities in Talpa de Allende, with the Semana Mayor and the Feria de la Guayaba (Guava Fair) standing out.
Very close to Talpa is also the Magical Town of Mascota.
Downtown Talpa and the “Welcome Arch”
The beautiful welcome arch of Talpa Jalisco is located at the entrance of the Magical Town and was inaugurated in 1999.
In the center of the historic center, in front of the basilica of the Virgin of Talpa, is the Main Plaza, with a simple kiosk and wooded spaces.
Another emblematic construction of Talpa de Allende is the Calzada de las Reynas, an esplanade with religious images and beautifully landscaped areas inaugurated in November 2004 to accommodate many people more comfortably that crowd the city on the traditional pilgrimages.
What is the importance of the Pilgrim’s Route?
This route, traveled by nearly 2.9 million people during Holy Week and thousands of others the rest of the year, starts in the town of Ameca, passing through several Jalisco municipalities and ending at the Basilica of the Virgin of Talpa.
The route is 117 km long, and along the way, there are viewpoints, sanctuaries, and essential services, including lodging and resting places.
The three viewpoints along the route have splendid views of the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Talpa Jalisco
This beautiful temple that houses one of the most revered images in Mexico was built in 1782.
The entrance to the rectangular atrium is through three imposing gray stone portals with semicircular arches supported by sturdy fluted columns with composite capitals.
The church’s facade is made of quarry stone, with two bodies, finial, and Solomonic columns. Between the columns, there are niches with sculptures on pedestals.
In the auction, there is a niche with a sculpture of the Virgin of the Rosary of Talpa and a clock on top.
The temple has two twin towers crowned by pyramidal structures.
In the interior, the sculpture of the Virgin, the main altarpiece, the golden decoration, and the paintings of the evangelists stand out.
Visit the Museum of the Virgin of the Rosary of Talpa and San José Parish
This exciting museum was built on a 520-square-meter property where the parish priest’s lodging used to be.
The old building was demolished, and the museum opened in May 1994 with a colonial architectural design by Alejandro Canales Daroca.
The religious museum at 6 Vicente Guerrero Street in the historic center is always full of visitors during the pilgrimage.
Exhibitions include various costumes that have been worn by Our Lady of Talpa, primarily donations from the grateful faithful; priestly vestments, antique sculptures, sacred chalices, pennants, parchments, books, and paintings.
The church of Señor San José is a building of Spanish colonial religious style erected at the beginning of the XVII century.
Of great importance for the devotees of the Virgin of Talpa since, according to the tradition, it was in that place where the image of Our Lady of Talpa was miraculously renewed.
Legend has it that on September 19, 1643, the image of the Virgin of Talpa, made of cane pulp, was to be solemnly buried in the temple because it was too deteriorated.
Talpa Jalisco: The town of Chapels
There are several chapels of both artistic and religious interest.
The Chapel of San Miguel also receives the colloquial name of Chapel of the Devil for the image of the archangel Michael defeating the devil.
The Chapel of San Rafael, located on Independencia Street, has a large portal with a semicircular arch and a two-body tower; the first body houses the bells, and the second houses a clock.
The Chapel of San Gabriel is of modern architectural style and is located in the Barrio de Arriba. The simple Resurrection Chapel was erected in the 1940s.
Other buildings and monuments of interest
The Municipal Palace is a broad and sober two-story building of colonial style, located in Independencia 32 in the historical center, built at the beginning of the XIX century.
However, it has been subject to several adaptations, always conserving its austere and traditional style.
Its interior has a central patio surrounded by columns with lowered arches on the two levels.
Another symbolic place in Talpa is the Monument to “Cristo Rey,” a shape of Jesus on a large pyramidal pedestal, located on the hill of the same name.
The place is a viewpoint with excellent panoramic views.
When is the Guava Fair?
Talpa de Allende is an area of excellent guavas, and the nutritious fruit has its fair, which is held during the third week of November.
At the event, artisans exhibit the different ways of using guava pulp and hulls, such as traditional rolls, skins, dried apricots, and jellies.
The fair elects its queen, and cultural events include village theater and folkloric ballet, traditional sports competitions, and livestock exposition.
There are also exhibitions and contests of art pieces in the Municipal Palace and other public spaces.
The Maple Forest
Although the maple is the symbolic tree of Canada, appearing in its national symbols, this Mexican forest is as rich in species as the most complete in the northern country.
In the almost 60 thousand hectares of the forest, there are pines, oaks, tree ferns, and other flora apart from maple trees.
The biodiversity of the Maple Forest of Talpa de Allende has turned into an open-air laboratory where university scientists investigate the best ways to preserve its rich fauna and flora.
Talpa Jalisco’s main festivals
The calendar is always full of festivities in Talpa de Allende, combining religious fervor with the fun of popular shows.
Between March 11 and 19, the Señor San José is celebrated, and during the “Semana Mayor,” is the great event of the massive pilgrimage.
November 22 is the feast of Santa Cecilia in La Parota.
Between May 4 and 12, the anniversary of the coronation of the Virgin is commemorated, and on July 25 are the festivities of Santo Domingo in the neighborhood of La Mesa.
On September 10 is the traditional ceremony of the Bath of the Virgin, and on the 19th, her Renewal is commemorated.
Gastronomy and handicrafts
The local craftsmanship revolves around “chilte,” with which they make baskets, furniture, and other pieces for home use.
They also make attractive leather pieces like huaraches (sandals) and belts.
The culinary art of Talpa de Allende gathers the best of Jalisco, standing out the birria prepared traditionally.
Tamales, chicken tostadas, gorditas and pozole are popular dishes on every table.
The guava is the champion in all its forms in the sweets department, although you can also enjoy delicacies with other fruits, such as peach, nance, pineapple, and capulin.
Visit Mascota Jalisco
Just 30 km north of Talpa is the Magical Town of Mascota, also in Jalisco, with interesting architectural attractions, such as the Main Square, the Municipal Palace, the Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Unfinished Temple of the Precious Blood of Christ.
Other cultural attractions of Mascota are its museums, including the Archeology Museum, El Pedregal Museum, El Molino Museum, and the curious Raul Rodriguez Museum.
In addition, Mascota has a large number of natural sites, such as El Molcajete Volcano, Juanacatlán Lagoon, Corrinchis Dam, La Narizona Rock, and several canyons.
Lodging in Talpa Jalisco
- Hotel Providencia is next to the basilica, in a colonial-style building
- Doña Francisca Hotel Boutique is a beautiful and charming hotel located in the heart of town; a couple of blocks from the main square
- Casa Marquita Downtown, this beautiful colonial-style house features cozy accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi
- Finca Madero, only 15 minutes from downtown Talpa, with beautiful gardens and terraces
Where to eat?
- Casa Grande Restaurant, located at Panorámica 11, is known to be one of the best in Talpa de Allende
- To taste the typical “birria jalisciense” there are several well-known places, such as El Portal del Famoso Zurdo, Birriería La Talpense, and Restaurante Lupita, which offer the traditional dish with goat, pork, and beef
- If you are in the mood for seafood, you can go to La Quinta or El Patio Restaurant, located in Los Arcos Hotel, where they also have Mexican delicacies on the menu
I hope you find this guide useful on your next visit to Talpa. Since I live in Puerto Vallarta (a couple of hours away), this is one of my preferred weekend getaways.
You will love this town as much as I do. Vamonos!