Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

Earlier this month, Kayak released its list of top destinations for 2020. With more than 6 billion travel searches each year, they are able to map out where people are going, when they are going there and what it is going to cost them. 

It turns out there are two Mexico destinations in particular that are proving to be the most budget-friendly for 2020, and both are in the state of Jalisco: Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. The median airfare to Guadalajara one month before departure date is $300, with a median Sunday hotel rate of $56. The median airfare to Puerto Vallarta one month before departure date is $399, with a median Sunday hotel rate of $107. What’s going on in these cities when you get there? Here is a look at what is new in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta for 2020.

In Guadalajara, the Casa Rebora, a boutique property set inside a city house constructed in 1934, is scheduled to open in March. The hotel will have 11 rooms, each in a different style, as well as a 24/7 restaurant, terrace and bar. 

Also this spring, Matices Hotel will open 20 new accommodations, each in a massive tequila barrel. There will also be a new pool and a tequila barrel spa. 

Expo Guadalajara is planning an expansion this year. The convention center plans to add a 3,000-person auditorium, two 16,000-square-foot meeting rooms, a commercial and culinary area and a 300-room hotel.

Finally, the government in Jalisco is hoping to complete the high-speed roadway connecting Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta this year. The final phase crosses through the mountains, which is the most difficult area to develop in. Once completed, the travel time will be just three hours between the two cities, cut down from five hours, and will pass by the town of Tequila along the way.

If your clients are looking for a fun, and cultural, day trip from Guadalajara, the Viva Tequila Festival has launched a VIP tour of the state of Jalisco, featuring stays in historical haciendas, local gastronomy and, of course, tequila. Viva Tequila Festival tours travel down the Tequila Trail, visiting Tlaquepaque, Tequila, Atotonilco and Guadalajara. Participants can mingle with locals, shop for crafts, and sample the local beverage from craft distilleries. All tequila tastings are paired with meals at some of the top restaurants in the area, like Tlaquepaque's Casa Luna Restaurant. 

Puerto Vallarta has a lot to look forward to in 2020, as well. First, both Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco are promoting micro destinations on the south side of the city. Typically travelers have ventured north to explore Riviera Nayarit, leaving the southern end of the Bay of Banderas for the more adventurous or those in the know. That's all about to change, as these destinations deeper in Jalisco become more widely publicized and accessible. These areas include secluded beach destinations like Yelapa, historic towns like El Tuito and the tranquil Playa Majahuitas, all of which are off the beaten path and show visitors a new, deeply local side of Puerto Vallarta. This year the tourism board will be showing off why these hidden spots are worth a visit.

Another interesting day trip from Puerto Vallarta is to visit the San Andres Coamihata-Wixarika indigenous community. A visit to this remote mountain village in the Sierra Madre Mountains is like taking a step back in time to see one of the last indigenous groups in North America that live according to their pre-Columbian traditions. Known for their beaded artwork, ceremonial rituals and spirituality, this is one of the best preserved glimpses into the past of Mexico. This is another trip that the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board will be promoting in 2020.

Puerto Vallarta’s Cruise Port Authority has just wrapped the port’s welcome center and Hacienda Tequila shopping center. The modernization of the cruise port has been ongoing since 2019.

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