7 Reasons to live in Ciudad Guzmán

Soñajeros – Traditional Dancers

In a recent article I read about writing for the internet, which  claims it is different than other kinds of writing, the advice is to write lists. It seems people like lists. I have read this advice before on another specialist site for blog-writing.

Yet I notice that on all the English language blogs I regularly enjoy reading  – Malcolm Leith on the narco-wars in Mexico, Gancho on life and politics in Mexico, David Lida and Jim Johnston on what is going on in Mexico City, Nicholas Gillman on ‘Good Food in Mexico City’, Daniel Hernandez on art and life in Mexico, Rachel Laudan on food and food history, Mark Lynas and Jonathon Porritt about environmental issues – there is a barely a list in site.

It is true that Nick Gillman did break rank recently and publish a-just-passed-the-New-Year list of his favourite Mexico City restaurants in different categories – which is definitely worth reading if you live in or plan to visit DF – but that is the only list I can recall seeing on these blogs.

So, partly in an experiment to see if writing a list boosts my readership, here goes.

In my last but one post, I commented that a number of Mexican friends living in large cities cannot understand why I am living in Ciudad Guzmán. So what better reason than to make a list of the seven reasons for living in Ciudad Guzmán? (As an aside perhaps I can piggy-back on Steven Covey and  turn this into a best seller – The Seven Highly Effective Habits of Living in Ciudad Guzmán.)

1. Location.

As Estate Agents are generally imputed to claim, location is everything. I think Ciudad Guzmán has an ideal location. It is about ninety minutes south of Guadalajara so all the attractions and vices of that 5 million-peopled city are within easy reach for a weekend outing – without having to brave the traffic, noise, pollution and increasing insecurity there every day.

The delightful city of Colima – which regularly wins surveys for the city with the best quality of life in Mexico – is one hour to the south. This of course begs the question: why not live in Colima? The answer to me is clear. Colima is only about 500 meters above sea level (unlike Ciudad Guzmán’s 1500 meters) which makes the heat there in summer unbearable for me.

In addition, if you like large beach resorts, Manzanillo is about two hours away. But better still in my view, the lovely small resort of Melaque-Barra de Navidad is less than three hours away, as are the beautiful unspoilt beaches of the Michoacán coast. But be careful if you are thinking of visiting the Michoacán coast as my last post warned.

2. Surroundings.


Apart from having a great location, the whole area around Ciudad Guzmán is very interesting, in terms of culture, history and nature. The small towns of Sayula, Tuxpan, San Gabriel, Atoyac, Amacueca – to name just a few – are full of history and traditions and each has its own distinctive, unique atmosphere. The three Pueblo Mágicos‘ of Tapalpa, Matzamitla and Comala are all within easy reach.

Ciudad Guzmán itself is surrounded by hills, a large laguna (which is an International Wetlands ‘Ramsar’ site) and two volcanoes. From my house, within twenty minutes on foot, I can be walking in the Sierra.

3. Vibe and Size of the City

Whenever I am travelling anywhere in Mexico, and a taxi driver asks me where I am living and I reply Ciudad Guzman, the response is almost inevitably: “Es una ciudad tranquila”. It is indeed a very peaceful city, hundreds of miles away literally and culturally from the violent US border cities which attract so much foreign press attention and create a very distorted picture of Mexico.

I like the dimensions of Ciudad Guzmán. It is a city of about 100,000 people which to me means it has all the facilities of a city  – a range of shops, large market, lots of restaurants, bars, a recently opened multiplex cinema – and yet still feels intimate and not overwhelming. In addition, it has five universities, which give the city a youthful energy and vitality.

4. Local Shops.

In a previous post, I commented that the street where I used to live when I first moved to Ciudad Guzman, has everything. Within a street of not more than 400 meters can be found an excellent baker, a church, three doctors, a dentist, a funeral parlour, two gyms, an optician, at least two cafes, a bar, a little hole-in-the wall shop to copy keys, a natural foods outlet, three largish off-street parking places, a textile shop etc. etc.

In fact, Ciudad Guzmán is full of small specialist shops, which I think we have largely lost in the UK. On one corner, is a cobbler who does amazing work in recovering shoes that in the west we would throw away. There are many small tailors specialising in clothes repairs. The other day, I came across a small shop selling knitting products which was full of women participating in a knitting circle.

There must be literally hundreds of abarrotes, small grocery corner shops. The bad news for them, and in my opinion for Ciudad Guzmán as a whole, is that I just heard Walmart is planning on building a Superstore here along with a Sams Club.

5. The People.

A potential downside of Ciudad Guzmán is that it is a very conservative, catholic city – it was a stronghold for the deeply Catholic Cristeros fighting the Mexican post-revolutionary government in the Civil War in the 1920’s. Like in other strongly catholic areas in Mexico there is an emphasis on appearances. The reality behind the appearance can, of course, be very different.

The good news, which is the other side of the coin, is that the city is full of traditions and the people are extremely courteous, warm and friendly. When I lived in Cuernavaca for a year, I don’t remember anyone ever asking me where I was from in a shop. Here it happens all the time.

Traditional Aztec dancers entering the Cathedral

6. The Traditions.

One of the principal reasons I like living here is that it is a very traditional Mexican city in a rural area. There is very little foreign tourism.

This means that traditional forms of life are still very present here: the observance of the novena in different neighbourhoods leading up to the Día de Guadalupe on December 12th; the October Feria; the pilgrimage to Talpa starting in early March; the celebration of the Saint Day of each different barrio. I suspect some of the traditions are declining and the city now has a fancy new coffee shop from the Italian Coffee company chain in prime position in the arcade near the corner of the main plaza. And as I commented already, the Walmart Empire will be arriving soon. But it is still possible to see people on horseback or with donkeys in the smaller streets.

One of the most interesting times to be in Ciudad Guzmán is for the three week long Feria in October which culminates in an enormous three hour long procession of different types of traditional dancers, charros (Mexican cowboys, cowgirls and cowchildren), carros alegoricos (displays of bible scenes mounted on tractors), and finally a huge, heavy wooden platform carrying the statues of the Patron Saint – St. Joseph holding el Niño Jesús – and the Virgin Mary. The platform is held upright for the procession around the city, which can take up to six hours, by two teams of around 50 men. It is a great honour to do this.

7. The Food.

Doña Chuey

Like everywhere in Mexico, Ciudad Guzmán has its particular specialities as well as the whole range of typical delicious Mexican food. Local delicacies include: chile de uña (tostadas spread with a finely chopped mixture of chile, tomatoes, coriander, onion and other more secret ingredients);  the enormous Pepe’s tostadas which are also known as ‘tostadas de muco’ for the effect the spicy tostadas have on the nose; ponche de granada which is mexzcal and pomegranate juice; and palenquetas, which are a local sweet made of nuts embedded in a sugary base.

Also like many places in Mexico, there is a whole range of places to eat. Fancy restaurants, cenadurias  which serve pozole, tamales, flautas, enchilidas and tostadas at night, and lots of wonderful street food. Just in the short street where I live there are two really good, cheap restaurants. I can have a soup thick with fresh vegetables, chicken in a mole or pepian sauce, and a home made dessert with the aguafresca of the day for 56 pesos (about 5 USD). When eating out is so good and cheap, no wonder I don’t cook at home as much as I used to in England.

What still delights me is that after five years of living here, I can still discover new food haunts. Only this morning I found a great bakery which I must have passed countless times without noticing it. Shops here have much less emphasis on display and design than their western counterparts so you often have to be told about the food they sell. One of my favourite places is a little juice bar set in a wooden hut in someone’s front garden on the way to the Parque Ecológico. Here for 12 pesos Doña Chuey will make you a ‘levanta muerto’ (‘wake the dead’) – made of freshly squeezed orange juice, carrot juice, pineapple, kiwi, celery, plum, apple and beetroot.

And finally, you never know what is around the corner for you in any Mexican city

“You can look but you cannot touch”

ADDENDUM: JULY 2013:  I have been touched how many people – many of them now living in the USA – have commented on this blog saying how much Ciudad Guzmán means to them.

I recently was sent this video which shows Ciudad Guzmán off very well.

112 comments so far

  1. […] original here:  7 Reasons to live in Ciudad Guzmán « livingandworkinginmexico Share and […]

  2. Tom on

    Way to use the list format!

  3. Sofia on

    Hola Paul,

    Ciudad Guzman is my hometown. I now live in Canada but go back home every year, and I couldn’t agree more with your post. Every time I go back re-confirms how much I love Guzman. I think my top three reasons are location, weather and food (in fact, I wonder if you’ve discovered my favourite food spots yet?!?).

    My husband and I are big fans of your blog. Thanks for writing; keep up the great work!

  4. paulrobertsmexico on

    Sofía, thanks for your comment. I’m intrigued. What are your favourite food spots?

  5. helena sweeney on

    really enjoyable reading – and the photographs are great! That last one…hmmmm….

  6. Michael on

    A fine blog post and a fine place to live.

    But what? Wallmart is coming? It must be stopped!

  7. Sofia on

    Where to begin?

    There are so many places I love and that I grew up enjoying!

    For example if Iam craving “pan” I love going with “El Polvoron” he sets up in the back of his truck every evening around 6 pm on Manuel M. Dieguez St. a block or so down from the “El Santuario” church. I like the “gusanos” and “picon” there, well all his bread is good. It’s also very clean.

    I am sure you’ve tried the “cuernitos rellenos de crema pastelera” at the pasteleria of Juan Jose Arreola’s sisters downtown. Those are their signature pastry and everyone loves them.

    If I am craving “carne asada” I love going to “El Cuate” on Refugio Barragan de Toscano St. I like ordering the media orden of diezmillo in a bowl with frijoles de la olla in it. The amazing thing about this place on top of the delicious meat is the amazing salsas they have. Order a couple of “doraditas” to snack with the salsas while you get your order 😉

    Also on Refugio Barragan de Toscano St. is “Tostadas y Tacos Dorados Don Luis” I like going there for “tostadas de lomo with panela” he makes a sweet tomato sauce with it and the hot sauce is on the table for you to use, the combination is quite nice. He is also known for his fried potato taquitos (tacos de papa), which are really good.

    Have you tried the “tamales de elote”? they are sweet, the best ones in town are sold by a girl in a corner in the mornings. She sets up her table and pots outside a “tiendita” on Ignacio Allende St at the corner Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon St. I don’t her name but as a reference there is a gentleman selling pineapple juice next to her.

    There are so many more as I’m sure you’ve found out already.

  8. Will Johnson on

    I’m thinkinfg about a visit in October and maybe again in early March. I’ll be w/ the college. Any ideas on hotels, staying w/ a family to practice Spanish, travel from Guadalajara, safety, etc.



  9. Paul Roberts on

    Will, in answer to your questions:
    – safety in Ciudad Guzmán is very high: everyone says it is a “ciudad tranquila”
    – you can catch a bus from Guadalajara direct to Ciudad Guzman. It is about 2 hours and runs almost every hour during the day
    – with regard to staying with a family I think that is the best way to learn Spanish and get to know Mexican culture. You can arrange this through an organization ICTC in Guzmán: see
    – regarding hotels, hotel Zapotlan in the center is good as is Hotel Tlayolan: for a list of hotels see:

  10. paulrobertsmexico on

    Will. In answer to your questions
    – security and safety is very good in Ciudad Guzmán. It is known all over Mexico for being very safe
    – Two good hotels are hotel Zapotlán and Hotel Tlayolan, both very near the center. Look at:
    – If you want to stay with a family and learn Spanish contact ICTC on http://www.ictcmexico.com/
    – travel from Guadalajara is easy. There are direct buses to Guzmán from the main bus station in Guadalajara at least every hour during the day until about 9pm

  11. Will on

    Thaks Paul,
    io’ll keep you informed on my plans, hope to be there in Octobeer.


  12. esperanza zuniga on

    Hi, Ciudad Guzman is my home town, even though I grew up in California, I was born there, and I miss it, the food is great, THE TAMALES DE ELOTE , TOSTADAS DE PATA AND THE ATOLE FROM AMELIAS CENADURIA, ALSO GLORIAS CENADURIA HAS GREAT FOOD, ENJOY!


  13. Armando Sarmiento on

    Hey!! I’m completely agree with you my friend… Cd. Guzman is a very very nice place to live.. we have everithig jeje… Have you ever gone to Fermenta?? It’s a small Restaurant-Bar which has a really good variety of beers 🙂 and good gourmet food.. If you can, visit us… we are in Reforma St… pretty near from the “Santuario” next to “Hotel Reforma” I’m the chef 🙂

  14. paulrobertsmexico on

    Thanks for your comment Armando. I’m travelling at the moment but will visit Fermenta when I am back in Guzmán

  15. celia medin on

    I am a proud educated chicana but my parents are from ciudad guzman and I have learned to love and admire city guzman with the same passion and love as my parents! Just wanted to give you props for taking the time to write such lovely things about my parents hometown!

  16. Paul Roberts on

    Thanks for your comment Celia and glad you like the post on Guzmán

  17. claudia vargas on

    hello paul,

    just want to thank you for taking the time to write this article about Ciudad Guzman!!

    Ciudad guzman its my dad’s hometown and even do i was not born there i did had the privilige and the blessing to lived there and go to school there for a few years and honestly I loved it there!and the whole family loved it too! I have so many childhood memories and reading your article just brought back so many memories about the food,(LOVE IT!! THE BEST) the culture,traditions the people,places,ECT… i love and miss this place so much (you have no idea) I was raised and tought by my parents to love and embrace my culture. and even do I have had not the opportunity to go back there I have not lost hope that one day i will go back. and everything you wrote about this place its so true! i am happy to know that this place still remains the same beautiful little peaceful place. I am just so happy that someone like you took their time to write about this wonderful and beautiful city. once again I thank you and look foward to read more about this city

  18. adrian hernandez on

    hola saludos desde sacramanto ca saludos a todos los lopez de guzman soy de los lopez de mi tio panzon lopez de quintanar y zaragosa mi barrio querido hola primo sabucas +

  19. Ramon on


    I am so glad you have this website.

    I was born in Tijuana Mexico and moved to California 10 years ago. I have lived in San Diego and LA for all this time. I have spent a lot of time traveling in Mexico for work and I commute regularly to Tijuana. I have been recently offered a job around the area of Guzman and have been given the option to live in Guzman or Colima.

    Personally I can live in any place since I work and stay busy this way. My concern is my wife and daughter, they are truly Americanized you know what I mean (mall, starbucks, big modern house with dishwasher and modern appliances)

    I guess my question is. Can you find new modern houses in the area? Also, are there good private catholic schools? Or will my family leave me because I moved them there….

    I need your help, this is a life changing decision I need to make…

    Thank you for any advise you can give me.

  20. Paul Roberts on

    Dear Ramon

    You can find new houses in both Colima and Guzman.

    Colima is a much larger city with around 500,000 people whilst Guzman has around 100,000. So Guzman is quieter and more traditional whilst Colima has more facilities – a Starbucks, large mall with a Liverpool department store, Walmarts, big range of restaurants, and two cinema complexes. Colima often wins competitions for having the best quality of life of any Mexican city

    The climates of the two cities are very different. Guzman is 1500 meters above sea level and has a temperate, very pleasant climate. Colima is around 500 meters above sea level and has a semi tropical climate which means it can be particularly hot in March, April, May and June before the rainy season. On the other hand, Colima is closer to the beach

    There are good Catholic schools in both cities. In Colima there is more choice, including a very good private non Catholic school called Anahuac

    The best thing obviously would be for you to come to this part of Mexico ideally with your family and have a look at both cities before making your decision

  21. Francisco on

    Thanks for the list Paul, I’ll be there in November and plan to use it everyday!


  22. Lupita Corona on

    you need to visit the “pulqueria” La Sombra Del Camichin just off the main road (if I am looking at the sign for LA CATARINA-the pools-I turn left onto the main road, less than a mile up the road on your left…there is a ranch and a restaurant..go into the ranch)as if I were heading to SAN Andres. It has maybe 6 tables and one of the most humble, short and chubby guys running the place (my cousin Martin). Saturday and Sunday they serve up some of the best CALDO CON PULQUE you will find! It is a soup called BOTE with beef, chicken, and pork…if you like spicy soups, nothing compares to a steaming bowl of caldo con pulque!! Also, I discovered TOSTADAS DE PATA on Constituyentes last time i was there…I am a big fan of Pepe’s myself but these got me thinking….mmmmmmm

  23. Paul Roberts on


    Thanks for your comment. I do know this place and wrote about it on another entry. I agree that the bote and the ambience are both wonderful. See:


    I keep trying to find the time to go back at the weekend

    best wishes Paul

  24. Luis on


    I have been going to Ciudad Guzman for the past twenty years and would love to retire there. I took the picture of the volcanoes and have placed it on my desk top. Everytime I look at it I want to take off to Guzman.

  25. paulrobertsmexico on

    Luis. Yes Ciudad Guzmán is really a great place to live. I have a picture of the volcanoes de Fuego and Nevado taken from near Laguna la Maria in Colima on my desktop

  26. Jesus Reyes on


    I am totally agree with you regarding Ciudad Gyzman “Zapotlan el grande”. My whife was bron and raise in Ciudad Guzman and I am from the north of Tamaulipas. Because of work we live in the north of Tamaulipas but everytime that me and my family go to visit my whife parents to Ciudad Guzman I enjoy teh city. I been married to my whife for 10 years and in 2010 I went with my whife to the “Fiestas de Octubre” for the first time and it was something that I enjoyed totally.
    I will be trvaeling to Ciudad Guzman the first week of March to enjoy the good hospitality of the Guzmanenzes and the beautyfull weather.
    Keep my e-mail address on anything related to Ciudad Guzman.
    Congratulation for your webpage
    Best Regards.

  27. Leticia Urzua Serrano on

    It’s wonderful to see where my dad’s family still resides (Urzua is the family name) Do you think you can help me contact family members? I live in California. My uncles are Juan, Benjamin, Raul & my father is Jose the oldest of his brothers & sisters. I’m on facebook as Leticia Urzua Serrano. Thank you in advance.

  28. Pat on

    I live in Ajijic,Jalisco,but am planning a trip to C.Guzman in August. Are there any English libraries there? I’m a voracious reader,so would miss not having a library.

    Also,how do home/casita rentals run in price there?

    The pix on the net look very appealing. I’m looking forward to going.

  29. paulrobertsmexico on

    There are no English libraries. I have rented a nice three bedroomed apartment for around 300USD per month

  30. Luis on

    Walamart?? Sam’s club?? Donde estaran ubicados? Es un hecho?

  31. Jorge Enrique Torres Delgado on

    Hi!…im making a trevel guide of Ciudad Guzman, and your pictures are incedible .
    what i need to do to use it?

    best regards

    Jorge Torres

  32. Miguel Angel Ramos on


    My name is Miguel Angel Ramos and my family and I are traveling to Ciudad Guzman in December and I want to plan an amazing/romantic dinner for my parents. I am just wondering out of all of your guys favorite resturants which one can be romantic and have great food (cost doesn’t matter) we are going in December, because the partys in Zapoltan are the best out of dancing, food and just plain out having fun! So if you can help me out I would really appreciate it and do any of you know the (Ramos) family or Miguel Nunez Ramos. Thanks in Advance. (:

  33. Paul Roberts on

    Miguel Angel

    Thanks for your comment on my blog

    Actually Im not sure there is a really romantic spot. A good place is El Zaguan which is about thirty minutes out of Ciudad Guzman on the road to El Grullo on the slopes of the volcano. It is only open on Saturday and Sunday for lunch. I would not say it is really romantic but it has a nice atmosphere and the food is good

    If you are ever in Guanajuato there is an amazing restaurant there called Los Mercedes. Very romantic and exceptional food. I have written about it on my blog. And Guanajuato is my favourite Mexican city.

    best wishes Paul

  34. Jorge Altamirano on

    I’m retired Mexican/American wanting to relocate back to Mexico (currently living in Texas) There is so much hype as to all that is wrong with Mexico, that it frustrates me to no end; but places like Ciudad Guzman bring me back to earth. I would like to learn more about this wonderful city that you discribe. In particular as to how expensive is it. SS and a small pension which is not helping me very much here in Texas, as everything continues to skyrocket.

  35. Paul Roberts on


    I read your comment in my blog

    I am in the process of moving to Peru from Ciudad Guzmán, not in any way because I no longer like Ciudad Guzmán but because I am involved in a very interesting project in Peru helping set up an NGO here. See:


    In answer to your question, to give you some idea, I can tell you that I was renting a very nice 3 bed apartment one block from the historic center for around ·$300 per month. In the restaurant opposite my flat I could have a good freshly cooked three course meal for about $5USD

    Saludos Paul

  36. mo on

    are there many gringos…. English speaking residents?

  37. Paul Roberts on

    not too many gringos…….a few volunteers for an organization called Projects Abroad and a few people working in the language school (ICTC)

  38. Jennifer Keller on

    I live in Los Angeles and visited Huescalapa for 2 beautiful weeks. During that time we went to Cuidad Guzman and Zapotiltic many times. I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape and the warm and friendly people. I felt very happy and content in is this beautiful country. It was the best experience I have ever had.

  39. Paul Roberts on

    Jennifer. Im delighted you had such a good experience. The people in that area really are warm and friendly – its a bit of a cliche about Mexicans but its generally true

  40. York on

    I have enjoyed reading these comments about Cuidad Guzman. My wife and I will coming from Canada and will be staying there mid Oct. We will be watching our son compete in the Pan Am rowing races.

    Thanks everyone for the information and we look forward to visiting the area.

  41. Paul Roberts on

    I hope you have a great stay in Ciudad Guzmán. I have heard that the town is now spruced up awaiting the PanAmerican games. By the way, its well worth being in Guzmán for the día de San José on October 23rd which is the day of its Patron Saint Saint Joseph. There is a huge procession which takes about four hours to pass. Ive written about that too on my blog.

  42. Juan on

    Ram on
    The population of ciudad guuzman, has a very high level of education due to the big variety of schools, universities technologies and all that you can see on the every day people. I think that’s what makes ciudad Guzman a good option to live on.

  43. carl r owens on

    My partner and I have lived in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, and Alamos, Sonora for several months each, now based on this site we plan to see how we fit in Ciudad Guzman. We plan to arrive on 10/28, hope we can find accomodations with the games in town.

  44. Susan on

    Thank you for all the information included in your writings about Ciudad Guzman. I am going to be visiting for the canoe/kayak events of the PamAm Games and will be able to make good use of the information. I am getting very excited about the visit.

  45. paulrobertsmexico on

    Susan. I hope you have a great time. I think there is a lot of expectation in the city and pride about helping to host the PanAm Games.

  46. Penny Ffoulkes on

    Are you able to tell me how I can get from Guardalajara Airport to Ciudad Guzman in the evening, say 9.30 or 10pm leaving the airport.

  47. paulrobertsmexico on

    Penny. That is tricky as there are no buses then. So its either a taxi from the airport direct to Ciudad Guzmán which might cost around 1500 pesos or going into Guadalajara, spending a night there, and getting a bus to Guzmán the following morning.

  48. carl owens on

    We arrived a couple of days ago, lovely place. Any suggestions for finding longer-term (3-4 months) housing?

  49. Susan on

    I truely enjoyed my week Ciudad Guzman at the end of October. The people we met were genuinely friendly, hospitable and very helpful. I really enjoyed the opportunity to wander and explore the shops, the central square, the art gallery and many churches. Our venue for canoe/kayak competition is beautiful and hopefully will be used by the community for years to come.

  50. carl owens on

    The folks at Cambridge School have been very helpful with housing and arranging for a tutor.

  51. Esteban on

    I am a Peace Corps Volunteer living here and I agree its a great city! I feel it is the best location of all the volunteers serving in Mexico!

  52. Linda Martinez on

    I just love Cd. Guzman!!! Were trying to sell our house here and going back to Cd. Guzman.. It’s a beautiful place to live.

  53. Jorge Altamirano on

    I would like to have some contacts in CG; I’m seriously contemplating moving there.

  54. Jennifer Keller on

    Hi Jorge,

    Where are you moving from… I live in LA and visited Guzman in August 2011. I cannot get it and especially Huescalapa & Zapotiltic out of my mind and heart. It was a beautiful experience. Just wondered where you where from…. I speak very little spanish..but am working on it…and hoping one day I could be a resident. My boyfriend and his family live there and I fell in love with it… Jennifer

  55. Paul Roberts on

    Jennifer. Thanks for commenting and responding to Jorge. They say if you drink the water in Ciudad Guzmán you can never leave 🙂 That can’t be quite true as I left and now live in Pucallpa, Peru, which is why I am no longer writing this blog. I’m very happy where I am but I miss Guzmán, and will be back there in July. It’s interesting reading through all these comments how much appreciation there is of Guzmán.

  56. Jorge Altamirano on

    Jennifer, good to hear from someone other than Paul, poor guy, his fingers must be very tired. I’m currently living in Denton, Texas, just waiting for my house to sell, so that I can be on my way to Ciudad Guzman. I want to settle first and know my way around town before I embark on my life long dream of becoming an ESL teacher; it’s my understanding that there is an institution there in Guzman, that is well known for its courses.

  57. paulrobertsmexico on


    The institution is called ICTC and is on Federico del Toro more or less opposite the church San Antonio. If you go there say hello to Nacho from me.


    PS They have a Facebook page on

    and website on:

  58. carl Owens on

    Jorge: We were in Cuidad Guzman for 2 months last fall, a lovely place and a nice pace of life. I agree that the ICTC is a good resource, the staff is very helpful and we were able to live in their housing at a reasonable rate. In addition, there are several interesting towns to visit nearby and the transportation system very affordable. The name I associate with ICTC is Cambridge schools. Nacho and Savannah are good contacts at the school.

  59. Linda Martinez on

    I can hardly wait to go back to Guzman, I did live there for 3 years. My girls went to school. It’s is a beautiful place to live, the people are very kind,and the stores have everything you could want.

  60. Omar Orozco on

    Guzman is like Narnia,as if its hidden, i love my birth place.

  61. Any chavez on

    It’s so nice to read all good about my ciudad Guzman ,I grew up here my family still lives here ,and like every body said we are friendly people……take care .

  62. Paul Roberts on

    Any, thanks for your comment. As you can see there are now so many appreciative comments here about Ciudad Guzman. It really is a hidden gem. I now live in Peru and I miss Guzman and Mexico very much.

  63. Paul Bart on

    Hi Paul, I am another Paul and also from the UK… London to be precise. You?

    Well, I love your blog and I am thinking of moving to C.Guzman based on yours and other comments. I am in Puerto Vallarta now and have been for a year and find it both too hot and humid and too touristy.

    Why did you move to Peru and do you recommend it? I am a free spirit having lived all over the world am always open to new ideas… I lived in Asia for 8 years before coming to Mexico.

    I did look at Cuenca but was put off by stories of pollution and crime…. Then thought about Argentina and Peru but not sure…


  64. Paul Roberts on

    Hi Paul

    I moved to Peru to work with an NGO on the conservation of the Amazon and its indigenous people principally the Shipibo-Konibo. You can see our work on:


    Good idea in my opinion to move to Ciudad Guzmán from Puerto Vallerta. Much more México profundo

    saludos Paul

  65. JR on

    I lived a few years in Central America, I’m from Ciudad Guzman. In all that time I found a place that would be a little like my city. Many times we do not appreciate what we have until we’re not there. Ciudad Guzmán really has been greatly favored in all aspects … I failed to mention the incredible weather we have!

  66. Arturo on

    Dear Teacher Roberts,
    Where are you from? because I live here (in Cd.Guzman) And every day I woke up and want to get the hell out of here.
    I guess everybody is got it’s own preferences when it comes to places to live.

  67. Wade K. on

    Hi, Ran across a mention of Ciudad Guzman in Lonely Planet’s Mexico Guide. Got curious and found your blog. I too am looking for an affordable retirement spot and weather, scenery and friendliness with enough going on is important. Thanks for putting this on the ‘net, sounds very close to what I want.

  68. Linda Martinez on

    Wade, You’ll love it there tn Cd.Guzman, I lived there for 3 years. Now I wannt to go back. Good luck Wade!! Linda

  69. Wade K. on

    Thanks Linda! I have a few years yet, but am looking forward to getting down there to look around soon. Wade

  70. suzanne on

    I am Canadian,my husband was born in Ciudad Guzman. we now live in Zihuatanejo..it is too hot here year round. Am thinking of moving to C.Guzman. would anyone know more or less how much it is to rent a nice house with a garden for 2 dogs? thanks so much.

  71. Ivette Dominguez on

    I was born there!!!! My grandparents raised me r.i.p abuelita Maria de la luz Gonzalez
    On mier y teran street y David Gonzalez
    I am now 25. And I live in California
    I go back and forth from time to time
    I miss the food and my family quite often
    Add my Facebook ivettesinahidominguez@yahoo.com
    If your also from guzman thank!!!!!

  72. Jose Duenas Barragan on

    Wow cool. Yeah since a kid I have
    Took the bus from guadalajara . I have
    Some how managed go find my grandparents house by foot from there.
    (Central) And some how ppl remember
    You . My grandpa bought his house for
    500 pesos. Im barrragan.

  73. Nadia G. on

    It warms my heart reading all the beautiful comments about Guzman. I miss it so much. I was talking about tostadas de lomo and tortas ahogadas today. Yum! I’m looking forward to going back, hopefully in October for the fiestas. The majority of my Mom’s family lives in Guzman off of Moctezuma and Quintana Roo.

  74. Jose on

    Hey Paul great article well I recently arrived here in Mexico after being in the states for the last 15 years of my life I live in a small town about a 45 min out from ciudad Guzman called “Copala” as a 22 year old male I love visiting the city as much as I can for what you described as the young energetic atmosphere. Great blog

  75. […] in my previous blog on the theme of living and working in Mexico, I wrote a blog based on listing “Seven Reasons to Live in Ciudad Guzman” . This turned out to be my most popular blog post, both in terms of number of readers and added […]

  76. Oscar on

    As i live an breath I was born technically in Cd. Guzman most of my family being from and living there now. Its a beautiful city and I crave the need to return every chance I get, I have been in the US most of my life but Guzman is my home and will always have a place in my heart. The tranquility is amazing and relaxing, the festivals are amazing. It is a deeply Catholic conservative city but everyone respects everyone is always very friendly. My Uncle Pablo V.goes to Dona Chuy every morning to have a “Levanta Muertos” and he is very healthy 70 years young man.

  77. Abel A. Gutierrez on

    The coolest blog i have ever read about cd guzman!! 100% so accurate, so crazy coming from an english guy.
    I now live in Los angeles but i lived in guzman for almost 8 years during 1984-92, went to primaria and secundaria there, colegio mexico alumni.
    my memories are so vivid, every time i smelled vapor tacos de cabeza takes me right back to el centro and they way it used to smell.i miss them churros with hot chocolate syrup in the middle or plain with cinnamon, also the fresh orange juices with carot. one thing i miss the most are the “tostadas de lomo” de don luis. i hear he still around!. i miss those tostada’s so much that i’m planning on opening my own mobile lunch truck style tostadas de lomo here where i live in Huntington park,California. my family are originally from tamazula.which make & have a similar recipe for hot and sweet tomate sauce with garlic and oregano and chile de arbol.

  78. CosmicDrBii on

    Thanks Abel for your comment. Glad to know that you felt I did Ciudad Guzman justice. I live in Peru now but travel to Mexico frequently and always love to go back to Guzmán.

  79. Marcia on

    La verdad vivo en Ciudad Guzman pero no me gusta.
    Primero es una ciudad que se inunda en temporada de lluvias, es llena de topes altos, de baches, no tiene un desarrollo urbanistico, la gente levanta pisos a su manera, las casas de mil colores.
    La gente es muy complicada, es una ciudad muy elitista.
    El sistema de transporte es pesimo, los autobuses viejos y manejan como locos. Además por el clima, esta lleno de cucarachas y de moscas.
    Esto es solo algo…..

  80. CosmicDrBii on

    Lo que escribe Marcia es la verdad pero sólo parte de la verdad. ¿No ve también los apectos bonitos de Ciudad Guzmán?

  81. Beatriz Dominguez on

    I almost cried reading your column. Ciudad Guzman is also my hometown and I miss it so much. I miss the Ponche de granada and tostadas de chile de uña, and most of all I miss the Fiesta de Octubre with it’s Sonajeros and carros alegoricos..I miss San Jose.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, I’m sure lots of us who live so far away from our beloved Zapotlan enjoyed reading it and reminisced about or days walking around the Jardin and eating tostadas de chile de uña en el portal.

  82. Ana on

    Yo soy de guadalajara y estoy pensando en mudarme a Guzmán para criar a mi hija pequeña en una ciudad pequeña (por todo lo mencionado en la lista). Me preocupa la seguridad, alguien sabe como está estos días? Realmente es tranquila?

  83. CosmicDrBii on

    Ana. Por casualidad voy a visitar a Ciudad Guzmán el próximo sábado por unos días – normalmente ya vivo en Perú. Te escribo después para decirte que me dice la gente sobre como es la seguridad ahora.

  84. CosmicDrBii on

    Hola Ana

    Estaba en Guzmán este fin de semana

    Hablé con diferentes personas sobre la situación de seguridad. Me dijeron que la situación ya es tranquila. De vez en cuando hay incidentes pero son pleitos entre narcos.

    Me sentía muy seguro caminando en la ciudad y no hay para nada un ambiente de miedo ni preocupación.

    Por desgracia no creo que la situación ni en Guzmán ni en México regrese a la situación hace siete años antes de la estrategia equivocada de Felipe Caleron


  85. caris on

    Were is the place of the 5th picture u posted nise plase to take a hike or walk goin to CD guzman

  86. Dr Paul Roberts on

    Caris. The place of the fifth picture is outside the cathedral in the main plaza or Jardin of Ciudad Guzman. It was taken in the fiestas of October. Regards.

  87. Ro on

    Curious to know, you refer to a city of Tuxpan, in the vicinity of Ciudad Guzman. Is this the same Tuxpan which is located I Nayarit ? A city I frequently visit.

  88. Dr Paul Roberts on

    Ro – no its a different Tuxpan. The one near Ciudad Guzman is only about fifteen minutes away by car. There seem to be towns called Tuxpan all over Mexico. I recently saw one signposted in Oaxaca.

  89. Alberto Escobar on

    ¿Alguien me puede informar quién es el autor de las fotos?
    Can anyone tell me who the author of the photos?

  90. CosmicDrBii on

    Hola Alberto. Yo soy el autor de tanto todas las fotos como el texto. Mi nombre es Dr Paul Roberts.

  91. Sarah Kelson on

    I am planning to come live in Mexico. I had forgotten that a dear friend of mine told me about Guzman. I remembered just now and found your blog. I believe I have now chosen my destination. Thank you for reminding me of all the good things he had to say about the city.

  92. ben on

    I lived in ciudad guzman for 3 years and found it a very peaceful and friendly place to live, full of traditions and special festivities. I particularly liked the shoe cleaners in the centre who tend to do a great job, and I can vouch for the quality of the aforementioned tostadas!

    A hundred times nicer than any border town, it’s a bit sad that walmart wants to go and ruin it all for them.

  93. Isamar on

    Hello I was reading through your blog, I love the way you describe Cuidad Guzman. I lived there for about 5 years and I loved it and I can wait to go back, Every time I have a chance that is the placed that come to mind. I love to visit and can’t wait to move back. Very true the City is very peaceful, has great food and fun places to go. It very sad to know that Walmart and Sams Club wants to go built stores there. But who ever has a chance to go and visit please do so you will fall in love, and even better if you go in October or December.

  94. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I
    in finding It truly useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to present one thing again and help others like you aided me.

  95. kimberly carrillo on

    kimberly carrillo vista ca
    My husband is from Ciudad Guzman, I’m from San Diego, we go every year in October for 3 weeks. I love it there. The plaza de toros, las Iglesias, y lo mejor todo la familia de mi esposo

  96. Thank you for sharing this, I was born and rise in Ciudad Guzman but now I had to move to mexico city for college but every time I see those volcanoes… I can’t help it but I really want to cry, it is indeed a wonderful city

  97. CosmicDrBii on

    It is indeed, Cesar.

  98. Cesar on

    Mate, im from Ciudad Guzmán and u are totally spot on. Please tell me youre a Liverpool FC fan!

  99. carlos guardado on

    Gentlemen are invited to come fully guzman city is totally safe these days and the culture is everything and more that gives any information the next few days I am at your service and gift paulroberts say I miss pulque and tamales Dona amelia and soothing of San Andres and Gomez Farias and carnitas san juan espanatica certainly painkillers are cueritos carnitas and pork rind and a rich beer.

  100. Jason Habacht on

    My wife and I live at Lake Chapala in the village of Jocotepec. We were invited to Guzman for a party and we wandered the main plaza for several hours…it is indeed unique and we have already planned a return trip for more exploring.

    If our spanish language skills weren’t so poor we would consider a move to this lovely place.

  101. carl owens on

    The process of learning the language could be your avenue to building a social network in this lovely city. The Cambridge School staff is one resource, and there are others. Even without “good Spanish” I doubt one would go hungry or thirsty in Guzman.

  102. Catherine Metzenbaum on

    Thank you for this insightful article. I am researching smaller cities like Guzman to move to in the next 8 months, & Guzman sounds like a winner to me. I would like to correspond with you, if possible.

  103. Aileen Vargas on

    I love Cd. Guzman my dad’s hometown born and raised. Every summer that was my vacation spot. Where now my dad has a big avocado field. Glad to know other people think its a wonderful town as well.

  104. Connie M. on

    Hello, everyone. I currently reside in Autlan de Navarro (about 2 hrs away) and am thinking of applying to vet school in Ciudad Guzman, but am wondering if it is still a safe and calm city in the year 2016? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Also, anybody know what the road is like from Autlan to Ciudad Guzman? I plan on driving there and back every other day or so, if I make it into vet school, that is 🙂

  105. CosmicDrBii on

    Hi Connie. It is six years since I have lived in Guzman. As far as I know it is still relatively safe.

  106. Figueroa on

    best city in mexico

  107. Reklaw on

    I lived there for nearly 3.5 years, loved it.

  108. Consuelo Lefrsma on

    thanks for yr comments.
    l am 70 yrs old, lIving in the USA,
    for over a yr., l have been thinking to move abroad where my pension will be more than enough. Have a friend that lives in CG., and plan to visit soon.

  109. Ordinary Nomad on

    Hi! I’m going to El Fresnito tomorrow and writing an article about your trip. I’ve linked to this wonderful entry in the post (which will be posted tomorrow) and was wondering if I could use one or more of your photos (crediting you of course) in my post since I don’t have any of Ciudad Guzman. Thanks!


  110. […] nothing about Ciudad Guzman. Or actually, I KNEW nothing about Ciudad Guzman, until I stumbled upon this wonderful post from a blog called Living and Working in Mexico (I’m still trying to figure out what the blog […]


    I miss Ciudad Guzman , I was born in LA but raised in Cd Guzman for many years, I went to school in Cd Guzman, I miss it so much!!! Very quiet place, safe, great food, great spots, “La Laguna, the people. I would love to go on vacation again to my Beautiful Cd Guzman.

  112. […] Download Image More @ livingandworkinginmexico.wordpress.com […]

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