Last fact-checked: 4 November 2019
If you are looking to save money on expensive beauty or cosmetic procedures, then plastic surgery in Guadalajara, Mexico is a great option thanks to its range of excellent clinics and close proximity to the US.
This Medical Departures destination guide explains how you can take advantage of the affordable prices in Guadalajara as a medical tourist, as well as some important tips and advice for when you're there.
Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco in Mexico and is also the second-largest city in the country. Known as "The Pearl of the West", this bustling has a number of superb medical facilities and has been attracting medical tourists for years. It has an international airport just 25 minutes away from the city center and this is serviced by many domestic and international airlines.
The city has a rich colonial heritage, many historic buildings, including The Cathedral, Plaza de la Liberacion, Degollado Theatre and museums, many of which house important works of art. Along with the old cultural attractions, Guadalajara is also known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico thanks to its electronic, digital, software and information technology industries. Large companies like Siemens, HP, IBM, General Electric, Cognizant and Hitachi have facilities here, helping to make it the third-largest economy in Mexico.
Guadalajara is situated roughly in the center of Mexico's Jalisco state. It is 350 miles west of Mexico City and three and a half hours away by road from Puerto Vallarta. To the north are the Zapopan and Ixtlahuacán Rivers, in the east are Tonala and Zapotlanejo and in the south-west are Tlaquepaque and Zapopan.
Guadalajara has excellent medical facilities, trained and experienced doctors and plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments at affordable rates. Below, we outline the main reason why Guadalajara is attracting more and more medical tourists:
If you've already looked into having cosmetic work done in the US or Canada, then you are probably aware of the expense involved; these high price tags are what hold most people back. In Guadalajara, a wide variety of surgeries can be found for prices you can actually afford, without having to compromise on quality.
Some examples of the cost savings for plastic surgery in Guadalajara:
[Please note that these are approximate, averages prices collated at the time of writing.]
The hospitals and clinics in Guadalajara that are listed on our site are of top quality. The facilities compare favorably with those available at the best hospitals in the western world.
Doctors are all well trained and experienced, and many international patients actually find them to be more accommodating and compassionate than what they're used to at home.
All doctors in Mexico go through a rigorous studying process since medical studies take around eight years after school. This is followed by a year of practical experience in a rural area or in government service where the student undertakes a wealth of training and practical work, attending to many patients. It is only after all this is over that the graduate doctor can study further for a specialty, which may take a few more years. Many doctors may do part of their training in western countries and even get accreditation from reputed international societies and associations.
Various plastic surgeries and aesthetic treatments are available in Guadalajara, including minor and major surgeries, as well as non-invasive or minimally-invasive cosmetic treatments. Some clinics specialize in particular procedures only and some will not undertake complex surgeries but only do cosmetic treatments. The larger hospitals that you find listed on our site usually have full-fledged plastic surgery departments.
Facelift, neck lift, mommy makeover, nose jobs, tummy tuck, breast surgeries, butt lift surgeries, eyelid surgeries and more are done. Cosmetic treatments include anti-aging and rejuvenating procedures, hair transplants, liposuction, body contouring and other treatments that are routinely available.
Like other tourist hotspots in Mexico, Guadalajara has a vast array of accommodation options. In downtown, where you are close to all the action and walking distance from most places, you will find everything from budget rooms to luxury suites. You may prefer to stay on or close to the beach, in which case you can find good deals year-round. Even at a starting rate of USD 40, you can get a room with an en-suite bathroom, wi-fi, cable and breakfast.
If you are having major surgery, you may prefer to recuperate at a specialized recovery retreat that has nurses on call and convenient amenities.
The city itself is quite safe and crimes against tourists are infrequent. Be aware of your bags and valuables as there may be a risk of bag-snatching. Don’t get distracted and don’t carry valuables with you.
The quality of medical care in Guadalajara, in general, is excellent - and this can be assured when booking your treatment at one of our quality-checked partner clinics. Operation theaters and amenities are world-class, and doctors actually give you time, hear what you have to say and answer any questions.
Any kind of surgery does carry some degree of risk, no matter where you are in the world; that's simply a fact. To minimize your risk, it's important that you provide your surgeon in Guadalajara your complete medical history and make sure that all the diagnostic tests are carried out.
All surgeons and plastic surgeons are duly qualified otherwise they cannot practice. Many of them may have trained in western universities and may even be members of accredited international boards. They also deal with thousands of patients and are well experienced and able to deal with all kinds of situations.
When you book through Medical Departures, you are assured of greater safety. That is because we carry out in-depth investigations into the background and education of the doctors, check their qualifications, accreditations, experience and training. We ensure that the hospitals and clinics listed on our site have quality facilities and follow international protocols regarding surgery and treatment.
Get started now by browsing three of our most highly-rated clinics in Guadalajara below:
Even in normal and otherwise healthy individuals reactions can occur due to medication or anesthesia or even something used during surgery. In case something does go wrong, Medical Departures will be on your side to ensure the problem is resolved.
If you are still worried that something could go wrong and want further protection, extra insurance is available for a small sum. This covers additional expenses for surgery or treatment, hotel stays and travel so that you are not left out of pocket.
Since much of the city's economy depends on tourism, most people in Guadalajara that deal with tourists do speak English. Doctors see a large influx of patients from western countries and are fluent or close-to-fluent in English. Many of them have carried out some or all of their medical training in English.
If you have internationally accepted debit and credit cards, you should be fine as most large places accept cards. You can also carry U.S. dollars as many places accept this currency, along with some local currency for small expenses.
All hospitals and clinics are open throughout the year. If you find the heat unbearable then avoid the summer months, particularly April through June. That said, even in summer, nights can be cool. You may find the winter months are more comfortable if you want to be outdoors as you will not face high heat.
Surgery always carries with it some risks. You should definitely put your homework in place regarding your surgery, your expectations and the results you actually want. Surgery is not something to be taken lightly as it involves cutting and stitching of the body. You should be prepared for pain and discomfort, loss of mobility and the necessity of following medical advice post-surgery and also doing exercises if required. So, if you want to make the most of your trip, plan any sightseeing and activities before rather than after your surgery.
On the flip side, you can look at the positive aspects: since you are not at home, you can rest and recuperate without the stress of daily life and the demands it puts on you. After your treatment, you may well be able to relax by your hotel pool, head to a luxury spa or do some light walking; this is all dependant on what surgery you are having, and your doctor in Guadalajara will be able to advise you on what things you can and can't do. It's worth noting that for major surgery, it's always better to go with a partner, friend or family member for emotional and physical support.
While most hospitals and clinics offer comprehensive care, it is best to find out what is covered and what is not (such as follow-up appointments, post-surgery tests, etc.) Post-surgery, in your hotel, too, you should have the facilities that you want – food, laundry, wi-fi, entertainment options for you and your companion. You should also plan your stay accordingly as after some procedures, your doctor will not want you flying back for a certain number of days.
There is much to do in terms of exploring the city, its attractions, and enjoying its nightlife. In the city center, you can take a walking tour and check out the many attractions there. You can get a map for this tour or even take a trip by a horse-driven carriage. The Cabanas Cultural Institute (Hospicios Cabanas) is a combined cultural center and museum and also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. You can also visit historic and cultural attractions like the Guadalajara Cathedral, Plaza of the Crosses, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de los Mariachis (where you can listen to Mariachi music for a small fee) and other spectacular plazas.
There are also the zoo, butterfly enclosure, aviary, parks and gardens and the forested gorge that offers fantastic sights and vistas. For the sporting enthusiast, a number of stadiums host soccer games; you can play tennis or golf, or go on a bike tour and.
Guadalajara has a host of shopping options, shops, boutiques, malls, flea markets and open markets. You can shop for silver jewelry, Mexican trinkets, ceramic and pottery and many other goods.
You can also go on various day trips around that are interesting – a tour to Tequila will enable you to learn more about the drink and visit the distilleries. Tapalpa is known for its lakes, streams and forests. Tlaquepaque and Tonala are both known for their shopping and if you like beaches then you should plan a day trip to the coast where there are a number of famous holiday destinations, including Puerto Vallarta.
Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport is located in Guadalajara. Both international and domestic flights land here and it is serviced by many American airlines including American Airlines, Delta, United, Copa Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
From the airport you can take a bus to your destination, hire a rental car or take a taxi, though it is advisable to book the taxi from the airport. In some instances, your hotel or even hospital may be able to send a car to pick you up.
In Guadalajara's city center, it's relatively easy to just walk around to see the attractions. Otherwise, ordinary and luxury buses are easily available and very reasonably priced. You can also hire taxis (metered or non-metered, in which case negotiate the price first) or rent a car. The city also has a simple subway and you can also hire bikes to get around.
Residents of the U.S. or Canada simply need to carry a passport, staying up to 180 days (visa-free). From many western countries, you don’t need to apply for a visa but do check online beforehand (current visa stipulations for Mexico can be found here).
If you have made up your mind to have plastic surgery in Guadalajara, it's easy to book via Medical Departures. We have a number of online booking options (displayed below), while our Customer Care Team are on standby 24/7 to help you book at one of the quality checked clinics listed on our website.
Average Weather in Guadalajara. Weather Spark. Website accessed: 4 November 2019.
UNESCO. Website accessed: 4 November 2019.
Visa Requirements. MexicoCity.com. Website accessed: 4 November 2019.
Cocking, Lauren. The best things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico. CNN. 29 May 2018.
How Guadalajara Reinvented Itself as a Technology Hub. Smithsonian. Website accessed: 4 November 2019.
Trevino, Ulissa. Medical Tourism is Booming in Mexico. Pacific Standard. 9 January 2018.