The Ultimate Weekend in Tonalá, Mexico: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Imagine stepping into a world where vibrant colors dance on every surface, where the air is perfumed with the scent of traditional Mexican cuisine, and where the warmth of the locals is as bright as the sun above. Welcome to Tonalá, Mexico, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Jalisco, just waiting to be discovered during an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Day 1: Embracing the Artisan Spirit

Morning has broken, and Tonalá stirs with the promise of adventure. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at one of the local eateries, where chilaquiles and freshly brewed café de olla will fuel your explorations. Trust me, you’ll need the energy for the day ahead!

First on the agenda is a stroll through the famed Tonalá market. It’s a treasure trove of artisanal crafts, where every Thursday and Sunday, the streets come alive with stalls bursting with hand-painted ceramics, blown glass, and intricate textiles. Don’t just browse; chat with the artisans. Their stories are as captivating as their creations.

As the sun climbs higher, duck into the Museo Nacional de la Cerámica. Here, you’ll witness the rich history of pottery that has shaped Tonalá’s identity. Each piece tells a tale, and you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for this delicate art form.

Lunch and Leisure

By now, your stomach is likely singing for some sustenance. Answer its call with a visit to one of Tonalá’s family-run restaurants. Indulge in birria, a spicy stew that’s a Jalisco staple, or savor the flavors of a succulent carne en su jugo.

Post-lunch, take a leisurely walk to Parque Solidaridad. It’s a serene spot perfect for digesting both your meal and the morning’s experiences. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of local wildlife or a spontaneous performance by street musicians.

Evening Exploration

As dusk approaches, the streets of Tonalá transform. The setting sun casts a golden glow on the colorful facades, inviting you to witness the town’s evening charm. Head to Paseo Loma Bonita, a boulevard known for its lively atmosphere and stunning views.

Dinner options abound, but why not try something off the beaten path? Seek out a local pozoleria for a bowl of pozole, a hominy soup that’s both hearty and heartwarming. It’s comfort food at its finest, and it’ll set the stage for a restful night.

Cap off your day with a visit to a local cantina. Here, you’ll mingle with residents, sip on Tequila (it’s Jalisco’s pride, after all), and maybe even catch a traditional mariachi performance. It’s the perfect end to a day steeped in culture.

Day 2: Nature and Nostalgia

Awake to the sounds of Tonalá stirring to life. Today’s a new day, with fresh opportunities to delve deeper into the town’s enchanting embrace. Grab a quick bite, perhaps a Tamale or two from a street vendor, and let’s get moving!

First up, Cerro de La Reina. It’s a bit of a hike, but the panoramic views of Tonalá and beyond are worth every step. Legend has it that a queen once watched over her kingdom from this very spot. As you gaze out, you’ll feel like royalty yourself.

Descending from the heights, it’s time to immerse yourself in Tonalá’s nostalgic side. Visit the Casa Historica, a museum that offers a glimpse into the town’s past. Each room is a portal to a different era, and you’ll emerge with a deeper connection to this storied place.

Lunch Like a Local

By now, your morning adventures have surely worked up an appetite. Follow the locals to a bustling mercado where food stands serve up everything from tortas ahogadas (drowned sandwiches) to fresh seafood tostadas. It’s a feast for the senses and the stomach.

After lunch, take a moment to relax in Jardín Hidalgo, the town’s main square. It’s a hub of activity where families gather, vendors sell their wares, and life unfolds at a leisurely pace. Sit back, enjoy an ice cream, and soak it all in.

Evening Farewell

As your weekend in Tonalá draws to a close, there’s still time for one last hurrah. The town’s nightlife may be low-key, but it’s rich with authentic experiences. Find a cozy restaurant for your final dinner, perhaps one offering a fusion of contemporary and traditional dishes.

After dinner, take a final walk through the town. The streets that were once unfamiliar now hold memories of your adventures. Tonalá’s magic has a way of lingering in the heart long after you’ve departed.

Before you say adiós, make sure to pick up a souvenir or two. Whether it’s a piece of pottery or a woven blanket, it’ll be a tangible reminder of your time here.


  • What’s the best way to get around Tonalá?

    Walking is ideal for exploring the markets and Central areas. For longer distances, taxis are readily available and affordable.

  • Are there any specific items I should look for in the markets?

    Definitely! Tonalá is famous for its ceramics and glassware. Also, keep an eye out for handcrafted jewelry and leather goods.

  • Is Tonalá safe for tourists?

    Yes, Tonalá is generally safe for visitors. However, as with any travel destination, it’s wise to stay aware of your surroundings and keep valuables secure.


There you have it, a weekend in Tonalá that’s as colorful and vibrant as the town itself. From the artisan markets to the panoramic views, every moment is steeped in tradition and beauty. It’s a place where time slows down, and the simple joys of life are savored.

As you reflect on your journey, remember that Tonalá isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience that stays with you, woven into the fabric of your travel tapestry. So, until next time, carry the spirit of Tonalá with you, and let it inspire adventures yet to come.

For those seeking an authentic slice of Mexican culture, Tonalá is a must-visit. It’s a weekend escape that offers more than just sights to see—it offers stories to live. And who knows? Maybe your next visit will be more than just a weekend.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.