Immediately west of Guadalajara lie 30,500 hectares (75,367 acres) of rolling hills covered with pine and oak trees — home to hot springs, deep canyons and over 300 species of woodsy creatures.
This is Bosque la Primavera, or the Primavera Forest, a quiet and beautiful place where Tapatios and other visitors can escape the noise and stress of the city. In 1980 the forest was declared a protected refuge for flora and fauna.
Bicycle riders in particular have discovered just how easy it is to disappear deep into the woods, soaking up the good vibrations. Each weekend around 2,000 of them head for the west end of town where the forest begins, just six kilometers beyond the city’s ring road (Periferico).
Driving along Avenida Mariano Otero, they first come to a caseta (entrance gate) where forest rangers remind them not to bring pets or alcohol into the protected area.
After another 2.6 kilometers is Estación Estéfano, a secure parking area that can hold 700 vehicles. Here, the owner, Ramón Estéfano, told me that for a fee of 60 pesos you can leave your car all day and use the toilets and the showers and even a free bicycle wash. You also have access to several businesses, each housed in a modified shipping container. These include a restaurant, a coffee shop, and a bicycle mechanic. My friends and I found the restaurant’s breakfasts excellent and the toilet spotlessly clean.