Tonalá, Mexico

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Tonalá, Mexico

Region: Jalisco

Geographic Coordinates: 20.616700, -103.233000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 569913
Language: Spanish

Tonalá is a quaint town located in Jalisco, Mexico, About 17 kilometers southeast of the capital city Guadalajara. The town is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and traditional crafts that have been passed down over generations. The name Tonalá is derived from the Nahuatl language and translates to ‘where the sun rises.’ This reflects the town’s location in a valley surrounded by mountains that provide picturesque views of sunrises and sunsets. One of Tonalá’s main attractions is its lively outdoor market held every Thursday and Sunday.

The market offers an extensive range of products like pottery, Textiles, Leather goods, Silver jewelry, Fresh produce, Spices as well as traditional Mexican snacks such as churros or elotes (grilled corn). Apart from its vibrant market scene, Tonalá has several historical landmarks worth exploring. One such landmark is the Church of Santiago Apóstol with its stunning Baroque architecture dating back to the 17th century. Another must-visit attraction in Tonalá is El Parian – a vast courtyard filled with shops selling ceramics and other artisanal crafts made by local artisans.

Visitors can witness firsthand how these traditional crafts are made using techniques passed down through generations. Tonalá also hosts several festivals throughout the year that celebrate its rich cultural heritage. One such festival is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Which takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year. During this time, Locals honor their deceased loved ones by creating elaborate altars decorated with flowers and offering food.

it should be noted that Tonalá has produced some famous artists over time including Sergio Bustamante – an internationally renowned sculptor whose work can be found all over Mexico – as well as Juan Soriano who was a painter known for his award-winning artwork. In conclusion, Tonala offers visitors an authentic taste of Mexico’s traditional crafts and way of life. From its bustling outdoor market to its historical landmarks and festivals, There is something for everyone in this small but vibrant town.

Important Landmarks

  1. El Cerro de la Reina: A hill that offers panoramic views of the city.
  2. Parroquia de San Antonio: A beautiful church with a stunning façade and impressive architecture.
  3. Mercado Municipal: A bustling marketplace where visitors can find local crafts, pottery, and other handmade items.
  4. Museo Nacional del Barro: A museum dedicated to Mexican pottery and ceramics.
  5. Casa de las Artesanías Tonala: An artisan market where visitors can purchase locally-made handicrafts.
  6. Tianguis Artesanal Tonalá: An outdoor market filled with traditional Mexican crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.
  7. Plaza Principal Tonala: The main square of Tonalá, surrounded by historic buildings and vibrant street performers.
  8. Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad: A beautiful church with intricate artwork and ornate decorations inside.
  9. La Casa del Arte Popular Mexicano: A museum showcasing traditional Mexican folk art from various regions of the country.
  10. Parque Solidaridad Tonala: A public park with walking trails, playgrounds for children, and picnic areas for families to enjoy a day out in nature.

Primary Industries

  1. The major industries and businesses in Tonalá, Mexico are diverse and include:
    1. Handicrafts
    2. Furniture manufacturing
    3. Food processing
    4. Construction materials
    5. Textile industry
    6. Automotive parts manufacturing
    7. Retail trade
    8. Tourism industry
  2. Tonalá is well-known for its:
    1. Traditional pottery
    2. Glassware
    3. Other handicrafts
  3. The city has a large number of furniture factories that produce high-quality wooden furniture.
  4. Additionally, Tonalá has several food processing plants that process fruits and vegetables into canned goods, juices and other products.
  5. Construction materials like bricks, tiles and cement are also manufactured in the city by many companies.
  6. Tonalá’s growing textile industry includes several factories producing clothing and textiles for export.
  7. Several automotive parts manufacturers in the city supply components to car manufacturers across Mexico.
  8. The thriving retail sector offers many shops selling handicrafts, furniture clothing electronics among other consumer goods.
  9. Tourism is also a significant part of Tonalá’s economy as it attracts many visitors who come to explore its cultural heritage sites or buy local handicrafts from its markets or stores.

Noteable History

  1. The arrival of the Spanish in 1525, led by Gonzalo de Sandoval.
  2. The Battle of Tonalá in 1530, where the Spanish defeated the indigenous people.
  3. The construction of the San Antonio Church in 1542.
  4. The birthplace of famous Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco in 1883.
  5. The establishment of Tonalá as a municipality in 1926.
  6. The creation of the famous pottery market known as Tianguis Artesanal (Artisan Market) which began around the mid-20th century and has become a major attraction for tourists and collectors alike.
  7. Other notable artists from Tonalá include Juan Soriano, Jesús Guerrero Galván, and Francisco Toledo who have all made significant contributions to Mexican art history.
  8. In recent years, Tonalá has also become known for its gastronomy scene with traditional dishes such as birria (spiced meat stew), pozole (hominy soup), and tequila being popular choices among locals and visitors alike.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museo Nacional de la Cerámica
  2. Mercado de Artesanías Tonala
  3. Parroquia de San Pedro Apóstol
  4. Casa Museo Sergio Bustamante
  5. Centro Cultural El Refugio
  6. Ex Convento del Carmen
  7. Galería Tonalá
  8. Plaza Principal de Tonalá
  9. Templo y exconvento de San Antonio
  10. Taller Alfonso Castillo Orta

Sports Teams

  • Tonalá, Mexico is a municipality in the state of Jalisco where soccer (fútbol) is the most popular sport.
  • The town has many soccer fields and local teams that compete against each other.
  • Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas) and Club Atlas de Guadalajara are two notable teams from Jalisco that also compete at the professional level.
  • Aside from soccer, basketball (baloncesto) and baseball (béisbol) are also popular sports in Tonalá.
  • Residents can participate in individual or group fitness activities like yoga or Zumba at several gyms and fitness centers.

  • Cultural Events

    1. Fiestas de Octubre: This is a month-long festival that takes place every October in Tonalá. The festival includes cultural events, music concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, and traditional Mexican food.
    2. Feria Nacional del Tequila: This is an annual event that celebrates Mexico’s national drink – tequila. The festival includes tastings of different types of tequila, live music performances, and traditional Mexican food.
    3. Semana Santa: This is the Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday in which Tonalá holds processions and other religious events.
    4. Día de los Muertos: Also known as Day of the Dead, this is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd to honor deceased loved ones with offerings of food and flowers at gravesites or altars.
    5. Festival Internacional de la Cerámica: This international ceramic festival features workshops by renowned artists from around the world as well as exhibitions showcasing works by local artisans.
    6. Festival Cultural de Mayo: Held every May in Guadalajara (near Tonalá), this cultural festival features theater performances, dance shows, music concerts and more celebrating Jalisco state’s culture heritage.
    7. Feria del Tamal y el Atole: A fair dedicated to tamales (corn dough wrapped around meat or vegetables) and atole (a sweet drink made from masa harina).
    8. La Noche Blanca Tonala: An annual event where the town becomes illuminated with white lights creating a magical ambiance for visitors to enjoy local art galleries, museums, theaters, restaurants all while enjoying live music.


    • Birria: A spicy stew made with goat meat, served with tortillas and a side of consomé.
    • Tortas Ahogadas: A sandwich filled with pork or chicken, topped with a spicy tomato sauce and served in a bowl of tomato broth.
    • Tamales: Corn dough stuffed with meat or vegetables, wrapped in corn husks and steamed.
    • Pozole: A soup made from hominy corn, pork or chicken meat and seasoned with chili peppers.
    • Churros: Fried dough pastry coated in sugar and cinnamon.

    Some popular restaurants to try these dishes include:

    1. La Fonda de San Miguel Arcángel
    2. El Parian
    3. Birrieria el Chololo
    4. La Casona del Mariachi
    5. Tortas Ahogadas El Güero

    Parks and Recreation

    1. Parque Solidaridad: This park is located in the center of Tonalá and has a large green area, a playground, and an outdoor gym.
    2. Parque San Francisco: This park has several walking paths, a playground, and an outdoor gym.
    3. Bosque La Primavera: This nature reserve is located on the outskirts of Tonalá and offers hiking trails, camping facilities, and birdwatching opportunities.
    4. Centro Cultural El Refugio: This cultural center hosts art exhibitions, music performances, theater shows, and workshops for all ages.
    5. Plaza Principal de Tonalá: The main square of Tonalá is surrounded by colonial buildings and features a fountain in the center.
    6. Mercado Artesanal de Tonalá: This market sells traditional handicrafts from Jalisco state such as pottery, glassware,textiles,and leather goods.
    7. Museo Nacional de la Cerámica de Tonala :This museum showcases the history of pottery-making in Tonala with exhibits from pre-Columbian times to contemporary artists.
    8. Feria Internacional del Tequila y el Mariachi :This annual festival takes place in August and celebrates two iconic symbols of Mexican culture with live music performances ,tequila tastings,and traditional food vendors.


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