Last fact-checked: 18 November 2020
If you are looking to save money on expensive beauty or cosmetic procedures, then treatment 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 and the second-largest city in Mexico. Known as "The Pearl of the West," this bustling destination 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 myriad museums housing 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 by road from Puerto Vallarta. To the north are the Zapopan and Ixtlahuacán Rivers, in the east are Tonala and Zapotlanejo and in the southwest are Tlaquepaque and Zapopan.
Guadalajara has excellent medical facilities, trained and experienced doctors and plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments at affordable rates. Here's why:
If you've already looked into having cosmetic work done in the US or Canada, you are probably aware of the high price tags that often hold people back. In Guadalajara, a wide variety of surgeries can be found for prices you can afford, without having to compromise on quality.
Some examples of the cost savings for plastic surgery in Guadalajara:
[Please note: these prices are approximate estimates based on international data, calculated at the time of writing. You can check the clinics pages on our site to obtain the latest, most accurate pricing.]
The hospitals and clinics in Guadalajara listed on our site are of top quality, comparing favorably with those available at the best hospitals in 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 of Guadalajara's doctors may opt to conduct part of their training in Western countries and obtain certification 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 performed here. Non-invasive cosmetic treatments include anti-aging and rejuvenating procedures, hair transplants, liposuction, body contouring, dermabrasion, and more.
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 a wide array of lodging options—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, wifi, cable and breakfast.
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. You can be confident when booking your treatment at one of our quality-checked partner clinics. Operation theaters and medical technologies are world-class, and doctors actually give you time, hear what you have to say and answer any questions you might have prior to your procedure.
Any kind of surgery does carry some degree of risk, no matter where you are in the world. To minimize your risk, it's important that you provide your surgeon in Guadalajara your complete medical history and make sure that all diagnostic tests are carried out.
When you book through Medical Departures, you can be confident of greater safety, 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, additional insurance is available for a small sum. This covers unexpected 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 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.
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 take a trip by 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, including small family-run retail stores, 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 schedule various day trips close to town. A tour of 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 a 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 need not apply for a visa but do check online beforehand (current visa stipulations for Mexico can be found here).
If you have made the choice 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 is on standby 24/7 to help you book at one of the quality checked clinics listed on our website.
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Visa Requirements. MexicoCity.com. Website accessed: 4 November 2019. https://www.mexicocity.com/v/visa-requirements/
Cocking, Lauren. The best things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico. CNN. 29 May 2018. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/things-to-do-guadalajara-mexico/index.html
How Guadalajara Reinvented Itself as a Technology Hub. Smithsonian. Website accessed: 4 November 2019. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-guadalajara-reinvented-itself-technology-hub-180969314/
International Organization for Standardization. Website accessed: 4 November 2019. https://www.iso.org/home.html
Trevino, Ulissa. Medical Tourism is Booming in Mexico. Pacific Standard. 9 January 2018.