Geography of Jalisco

The state of Jalisco extends throughout a surface of 80,137 sq. kilometers, and borders the states of Nayarit, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes to the north; San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato and Michoacan to the east; Colima and the Pacific Ocean to the south; and the state of Nayarit to the west.

In the southern part of the state, Jalisco shares with neighboring state of Colima not only a frontier but also two spectacular volcanoes : the Volcan Nevado de Colima, a snowcapped peak reaching an altitude of 4,260 meters, and the Colima Volcano, at 3,820 meters over sea level. The land is also crossed by the Eje NeoVolcanico or "Neo-Volcanic Axis", which in the state contains the Jalisco Heights, the Jalisco Sierras and the Shallows of Michoacan. The highest peaks in Jalisco's territory also include Cerro Viejo at 2,960 meters, Volcan de Tequila at 2,940, Talapa Sierra at 2,880, Los Huicholes Sierra at 2,860, San Isidro Sierra at 2,850, and the Manantlan Sierra and Cerro El Tigre both at 2,840 meters over sea level.

The presence and proximity of the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the state, implies Jalisco is included within the Pacific hydrological basin, with tributary rivers such as the Lerma, Bolaños, Verde, GrandeCoahuayana, Armeria and Ameca rivers. On the other hand the state is home to the largest lagoon in the country, the Laguna de Chapala, as well as to 64 underground water-bearing layers.

The immense variety and rugged character of the Jalisco landscape, as well as the influence produced by the numerous bodies of water, result in a wide variety of climatic conditions across the state, including hot semi-humid with rainy summers in the coast, semi-dry temperate up in the sierras, and semi-hot sub-humid in the valleys that spread along most of the central part of the state.


In terms of flora and fauna, variety is also the rule: the neo-volcanic sierras are covered with pine and oak forests, and the main species residing within the area include white-tail deer, raccoon, squirrel, fox and mountain lion; the southern Pacific coast is usually lined with coconut palm trees, and inhabited by caiman, peccary, duck, tiger cat and spider monkey; while the Jalisco peaks report abundance of subtropical thicket, pine and oak forests and low jungle, very similar to the plant species found across the Jalisco sierras; and finally the central valleys contain a predominance of licorice, mezquite and agave, and animal species like the weasel, wild boar, coyote and wolf. In the meantime, the soil at the sierras and shallows is usually destined for the agricultural production of corn, wheat, bean and sorghum

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