The Basilica de Zapopan is an 18th-century sanctuary in the charming town of Zapopan to the north of Guadalajara. It is one of the most visited churches in Mexico due to its small wooden statue of the Virgin, which carries great religious and historical significance. The site is also home to the Huichol Museum, which showcases works of art from indigenous cultures.
Visit the Virgin of Zapopan statue, made by the indigenous Michoacán people from corn stalks and wood in the early 16th century. The statue is greatly revered and is believed to protect people from natural disasters. Join the pilgrims from around the world who come to see the wooden structure and pray at the church.
From mid-June until mid-October, the statue travels around the state of Jalisco visiting different churches and parishes. Take part in the 5-mile (8-kilometer) pilgrimage, known as the Romería, which celebrates the Virgin’s return to Zapopan in October. This annual procession attracts around one million spectators. Enjoy the ceremonial tribal dances as the statue is carried from the Guadalajara Cathedral to the Basilica de Zapopan and stay for the celebratory fireworks.
Walk around the spacious plaza in front of the sanctuary. Admire the church’s grand façade with symmetrical twin towers and identify Spanish colonial influences in its baroque design. Enjoy the church’s atmospheric glow at night when it is illuminated and see the crosses atop the towers shine bright blue.
Admire the church’s main altar, which is made from Italian marble. Enjoy the peaceful setting as you stroll around the meditation gardens. Explore the Huichol Museum, which contains works of art by the indigenous Huichol, Tepehuan and Cora people. Learn about their history and culture and buy handicrafts from the gift shop.
The Basilica de Zapopan is located in the small town of Zapopan, a 20-minute drive north of Guadalajara. Take a bus or taxi to the sanctuary.