Los Altos de Jalisco

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Los Altos de Jalisco
Valley of San Miguel el Alto, in Los Altos de Jalisco.
Valley of San Miguel el Alto, in Los Altos de Jalisco.
Coordinates: 21°10′N 104°25′W / 21.17°N 104.41°W / 21.17; -104.41Coordinates: 21°10′N 104°25′W / 21.17°N 104.41°W / 21.17; -104.41
Population (2010)
 • Total925,648
Demonym(s)alteño (Highlander)

Los Altos de Jalisco, or the Jaliscan Highlands, is a cultural region in the eastern part of the Mexican state of Jalisco. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío.[1]


The region's native inhabitants, the Chichimeca people, were conquered in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors led by Captains Hernando Martel and Pedro de Anda in the Chichimeca War.

The first towns that inhabited the region were the Chichimeca nations, a name given by the Mexicas to a group of indigenous peoples who lived in the center and north of the country. [2]

The casualties that the Spanish conquerors had in the region due to the Chichimeca attacks led them to answer with a warlike ethnocide tactic. They took to the Altos de Jalisco, rural Castilian militiamen, who have the great majority of French descent who arrived in Castile, Spain during early of Middle Ages to repopulate the center of Spain. However, there were also Portuguese, Basques, Italians and Flemishs (natives of Flanders), who had previously fought against Turks and Moors during the Reconquista. In this way, among Europeans and Indians, the crucible of races so uncharacteristic of this region was formed. [3]

After the French intervention in Mexico within the early 1860s, the French forces were expelled from México under the order of General Eulogio Parra in 1866. However, some French communities stayed in the obscured areas of Los Altos, Jalisco.[4][5][6][7][8]


Los Altos is one of the two main tequila producing regions in the state of Jalisco, the other being the municipality of Tequila, Jalisco. The main tequila producing center in the region is Arandas[9] and the second region is Atotonilco El Alto.[10]


The charro tradition was strong in Jalisco, to be specified in a region called Los Altos de Jalisco. In Spain, a charro is a native of the province of Salamanca, especially in the area of Alba de Tormes, Vitigudino, Ciudad Rodrigo and Ledesma.[11] It's likely that the Mexican charro tradition derived from Spanish horsemen who came from Salamanca and settled in Los Altos de Jalisco.

Architecture of Los Altos[edit]

Many of Los Altos's older architectural structures, including entire sections of Pre-Hispanic and colonial, have been designated World Heritage sites and Pueblo Mágico for their historical, cultural, artistic significance. Lagos de Moreno is only one city in Los Altos de Jalisco on the lists of Pueblo Magico out of 121. The architecture in Los Altos are heavy influenced by European architects during the Spanish Colonial to early WWI era.

Teocaltiche, Jalisco, Mexico
Atotonilcoe El Alto, Jalisco, Mexico
Teocaltiche and Atotonilco El Alto are first European settlements in Los Altos de Jalisco backed to June 15, 1530. [12]


Los Altos have many shrines. San Juan de los Lagos is the second most visited pilgrimage shrine in Mexico, after the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City . It is an important tourist attraction for the state of Jalisco.

Los Altos de Jalisco's Shrines[edit]


Since 1996, Los Altos has been organized administratively by the state of Jalisco into two regions, Altos Norte (North Altos) and Altos Sur (South Altos).[citation needed]

North Highlands Region[edit]

municipalities of the North Highlands Region.

The North Highlands Region covers 8,882 km², which represents 11% of the state's territory. The municipalities in the region are the following:

  1. Encarnación de Díaz
  2. Lagos de Moreno
  3. Ojuelos de Jalisco
  4. San Diego de Alejandría
  5. San Juan de los Lagos
  6. Teocaltiche
  7. Unión de San Antonio
  8. Villa Hidalgo

The seat municipality is Lagos de Moreno. In this region, factories develop clothing, furniture, footwear, metal goods, sweets and jams. Some of the municipalities in this region have a very important livestock activity mainly in the production of dairy products.

South Highlands Region[edit]

municipalities of the South Highlands Region.

The South Highlands Region has 6,667 km², which is 5% of the state's surface. The municipalities of this region are the following:

  1. Acatic
  2. Arandas
  3. Cañadas de Obregón
  4. Jalostotitlán
  5. Jesús María
  6. Mexticacán
  7. San Julián
  8. San Miguel el Alto
  9. Tepatitlán de Morelos
  10. Valle de Guadalupe
  11. Yahualica de González Gallo
  12. San Ignacio Cerro Gordo
  13. Capilla de Guadalupe

The seat municipality is Tepatitlán de Morelos. In this region is the most recent municipality of the State, San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, which was separated from Arandas. Traditionally Atotonilco el Alto, Ayotlán, Tototlán and Degollado belong to this southern zone of Los Altos. In general, the region has the production of tequila and the development of livestock, clothing, and various crafts.

Jalostotlan known as the heart of Los Altos de Jalisco.
Lagos de Moreno known as Athens of Mexico.
San Julian known as the cradle of the Cristero


San Miguel el Alto known as the Venice of Los Altos.

Notable natives and residents[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bajío, el nuevo milagro mexicano - T21". T21. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.historia-mexico.info/2011/10/los-chichimecas.html Chichimecas
  3. ^ http://www.fazendogenero.ufsc.br/8/sts/ST65/Ortiz-Cortes_65.pdf
  4. ^ "The History of Jalisco". houstonculture. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Presencia judía en Los Altos de Jalisco". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Las Mujeres más Bellas del Mundo Están en Los Altos de Jalisco". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Los Altos, región mestiza". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Francisco Primitivo Martín". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  9. ^ Gobierno Municipal de Arandas Official website
  10. ^ Gobierno Municipal de Atotonilco El Alto Official website
  11. ^ charro in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.
  12. ^ https://diariojudio.com/opinion/presencia-judia-en-los-altos-de-jalisco/14539/

Further reading[edit]

  • Jim Tuck, "The Holy War in Los Altos: Regional Analysis of Mexico's Cristero Rebellion." Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1982, ISBN 0-8165-0779-1