After spending a day in Monterrey, it was time for a morning flight to Guadalajara, which would make for a longer part of the trip as there would be a few days in the area before moving on to Cancun. Upon arrival, the plan was to go for a drive to visit two of the more obscurely located parks of this this trip, one in the town of Morelia, and one up north in the town of León. The flight was again on Volaris, which departed a tad late, but this time getting onto the plane was far more organized than it was in Mexico City. While I was able to enjoy an exit row seat on the first flight, this one would be in one of the regular rows, which would prove to be quite tight. Even though I am under 6-foot tall, my knees were not far from the next seat. But on the bright side, much like the previous flight, it was a fairly modern and clean plane, and with a relatively short flight, it wasn’t too bad.
The driving part of this day would be quite pleasant as there was a lot of beautiful scenery to see along the way. The hilly terrain offered some great rocky areas and distant mountains to enjoy, helping the time to go by. The one downside to this route, however, it that the tolls charged on the highways in Mexico can be quite steep. Several of them would be between 150-200 pesos each (about $8-$12), so if you plan to drive across the country, be prepared with cash for some of the tolls (some will accept credit cards, but a couple would not, thus I got pretty low on my cash before I had a chance to find an ATM).
After about three hours, I made it to the town of Morelia. One of the more fascinating aspects of the city is the aqueduct that passes through the heart of the city that was built out of limestone in 1657.
A bit south of the Aqueduct was the location of the first stop, and that was Parque Infantil Cuauhtémoc. The park is part of a larger complex that includes an Art Museum and Natural History Museum, and a large market for vendors to sell a variety of items and food to visitors.
Parque Infantil Cuauhtémoc itself is a small city park that offers a playground with several play structures, as well as a small selection of rides to enjoy. With it being a Sunday, the park was quite busy with lots of families enjoying their time together. The pricing of the rides makes it quite ideal for families as each ride ticket costs five pesos (less than a third of a dollar at the time of this visit). Some of the other rides included a smaller tilt-a-whirl style ride, a train that rides around the perimeter of the park and a uniquely designed Ferris wheel that rotated with a little bit more speed than usual ones with more rocking for the seats.
Of course, the main draw for this visit was Oruga, the park’s wacky worm style roller coaster. This was certainly a popular ride in the park as it had one of the longest lines (Which fortunately was only a couple train loads worth).
Upon finishing the stop to Parque Infantil Cuauhtémoc, the drive back toward to North to head to Leon started with going right through the heart of Morelia, which meant going through some narrow streets, giving a very European feel, especially with some of the buildings being made of stone.
Further North, the drive to Leon offered more of what the morning drive did, excellent scenic views of the natural terrain. There was a stretch of the drive that went across Lago de Cuitzeo. At about two and a half hours, this was the shortest stretch of driving for the day after arriving to León.
The next stop was that indoor amusement park, Parque de la Selva, located inside of the Plaza Gallerias Las Torres shopping mall. With it being close to Dia de los Muertos, there was an excellent display of Catrinas inside one of the common areas.
The park offers an arcade, large play structures and amusement rides, including a small roller coaster called Oruga, which unfortunately doesn’t allow riders over the age of 12 (While I could have asked if they would be willing to make an exception, I didn’t think it would be as likely they would go for it since I am a bigger guy, and the train looked pretty small as it was, so perhaps if I find myself in the area again after dropping some weight, I’ll give it a shot for the heck of it).
The good news though was that there was in fact a coaster to ride besides Oruga, and that was the aptly-named Spinning Coaster. This model from the Chinese company Golden Horse is most similar to the Maurer Rides version of a spinning mouse coaster, although unlike other variations of spinning coasters, this one hardly did any spinning. While those who are not particularly fond of spinning may appreciate that aspect of the ride, those seeking a bigger thrill may not get as much out of the ride.
The drive back to Guadalajara would be a rather interesting adventure due to the darkness of night coming, and my GPS taking a rather odd route to get back, which included some roads that had these MASSIVE potholes that I was worried would lead to the car getting stuck had I been driving at a normal speed. Unfortunately, the need to drive slower for the first 30-45 minutes lead to a lengthened drive back, but fortunately I was able to get back to Guadalajara safe and sound.
Next, it’s time to explore the heart of Guadalajara!
See more of the 2018 Mexico Trip:
1: The Journey South / 2: A Day in Monterrey / 3: More Mexican Coasters / 4: Exploring Guadalajara /
5: Looking for Guadalajara Coasters / 6: Selva Magica / 7: A Night of Lucha Libre / 8: Cancun / 9: Back to Mexico City /
10: Día de los Muertos Parade / 11: La Feria Chapultepec Magico / 12: Six Flags Mexico / 13: ¡Kataplum! /
14: Día de los Muertos in Mixqic