Tonalá Jalisco

Tonala mapTonalá JaliscoTonala

“Place from which the Sun Emerges”

The Shopping Mecca of Mexico

Tonalá is known throughout the country for its lively Thursday and Sunday outdoor marketplace.

Specializing in pottery and glass, Tonalá also has treasures to trash. You can find it all here in Tonalá.

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Daily glass blowing demonstrations. The market has a plethora of hand made glass for sale.

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Tonalá, Jalisco

Fast Facts

Population – 374,258 in the city, 408,729 in the municipality

Location – Located in central Mexico on the east side of the Guadalajara metropolitan area

Elevation – 1540 meters

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Statues for your every need


Tonala 8Tonalá was founded by the Zapotec Indians who intermarried with the Toltec and other Indian tribes. They spoke their own indigenous language mixed with Nahuatl.

In 1480 to 1510 a military conflict called the Salitre War arose between the P’urhépecha people and the Tonaltecas fought for saltpeter. The Tonaltecas we successful and were rewarded with lands.

Tonala 9In 1530 the Spanish arrived and Conquistador Nuño de Guzmán to a mixed reception. Some tribes gave supplies and other goods while others faught with their lives against Guzmán’s demand to pay obedience to the Spanish King. A battle ensued and the Tonaltecas became entrenched on a hill and eventually were conquered. There was a huge loss of life on both sides.

Cihualpilli – female monarch of Tonalá

March 25, 1530 Guzman made the female monarch Cihualpilli swear allegiance to the King of Spain and ordered a temple be built on top of the hill. It is called the “Victoria de la Cruz” (Victory of the Cross) after the battle. The Spanish renamed the township Santiago de Tonalá and for a year and a half was the second of three resettlements of present day Guadalajara.

Tonala 10Shopping

Indians from different parts of the Atemajac Valley exchanged goods on Thursday in the Plaza of Tonalá before the arrival of the Spanish. After the conquest Sundays was also added as a market day.

Typical shop selling basket ware and hats

Today about 3.500 to 4.000 shopkeepers set up stalls and shops on Thursdays and Sundays (generally from 8 to 3)  selling crafts, furniture, foods and more. During Semana Santa and December 12 to January 6th the market is open daily.

Where to Stay:

Tonala Hotels

Tonala hotel

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Dead tired after shopping all day

Where to Eat

Not known as a culinary hot spot. Reliable meals at the Hacienda del Sol



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