By Erica G. Sosa
Guadalajara is a dynamic, modern city, which means it can get a little…busy. But right in the middle of the noise and bustle you can find peace and quiet in the “Parque Agua Azul” (Blue Water Park) at Calzada Independencia #973, a quiet park in which you can stroll, rest or even learn at several museums.
In this urban park you will find a pond, statues, and gardens, as well as a large geometric sphere called “La Casa de las Mariposas” (The House of Butterflies.) Walking through the tunnel entrance, you’ll first find an exhibition of the butterflies that inhabit western Mexico, and then the “House of Butterflies” which is full of many kinds of orchids as well as multiple species of delicate-winged butterflies. Also within walking distance you will find the “Aviario” (bird home) where you can discover many types of birds in enclosures that recreate their natural habitats.
While some of the spaces could use restoration, the gardens are wide, green and refreshing. The day I visited I saw many couples, and groups of teenagers enjoying their holiday vacation. The park also includes the “Concha Acústica”, (Acoustic Shell) a music venue for concerts. Crossing over a bridge takes you to sports fields for jogging and other exercise.
Hopefully refreshed by your sojourn with nature, you can find intellectual stimulation at the nearby “Museo de Paleontología” (Museum of Paleontology) which stands on the back side of the park at the intersection of Michel R. Avenue #520 and “Gonzales Gallo”. The museum includes an exhibition of the extinct birds that once inhabited the region, as well as a permanent exhibition of fossils of such as mammoths, gomphotheres and Smilidon tigers.
It also provides a quick primer on Paleontology, the locations of the most fossil-rich areas of Jalisco, and descriptions of how paleontology is performed. General admission is $15 pesos ($1.89 USD) and $10 pesos ($0.72 USD) for students.
The existence of a beautiful, restful area like this is one of the things that makes Guadalajara special. Alongside the energetic entrepreneurial spirit and the growing economy, you’re never far away from the simple delights that make life worth living.