Mascota is a Municipalilty of Jalisco, the main town is also called Mascota. The name itself is not from Spanish (where it would be translated as "pet"), rather from the Teco language, "Amaxacotlán Mazacotla", that means, the place of deer and snakes.
During the Spanish conquest it was called The Valley of Deer. The original population were Teco indians.
Mascota, population 8,215 inhabitants, is located in the NW of Jalisco State, at approximately 1200 meters over sea level, strategically located between Guadalajara (at 120 miles), capital of the state, and Puerto Vallarta (at 48 miles), one of the most famous tourist destinations in the state.
The municipality of Mascota is located in the plateau of the Western Sierra Madre mountain chain, the municipality includes 40 small towns, among those Mascota is the largest and is also the seat of the local municipal government.
When you drive into Mascota you immediately notice it is a beautiful and picturesque town, like you've traveled back in time, quiet, peaceful, the air is cooler, compared to Vallarta. It's a small toen that invites you to lay back and relax. Old-fashion cobblestone streets flanked by colonial style houses. Among the typical souvenirs you can buy here are the rollos de guayaba (sweet rolls made from guavas) and different rompopes (a bit like an eggnog) with vanilla, nut tastes and more.
It's located by the Chivato Hill and on the shores of the Mascota river a tributary of the Ameca river that flows into Bay of Banderas close to Puerto Vallarta. The average annual temperature is 21.8ºC (71.2ºF), rainy season is from June to October.
The natural attractions that surround Mascota, that include forests, lagoons and mountains are perfect as family picnic areas. At localities like the Corrinchis Dam, where you can enjoy regional dishes at one of the many small restaurants, Juanacatlan Lagoon and El Malpais, locals and tourists alike enjoy hiking, horseback-riding, kayak or boat tours, rappelling, rock climbing and fishing in the lagoons. Laguna de Juanacatlán is a volcano crater (all the more interesting, no?), and is well suited and enjoyed canoeing and sport fishing (you can catch carps, bass and mojarra). You can bike around the lake and enjoy the pine trees.
Around Mascota you'll also find traces of the pre-Columbian cultures that have left their mark in rock engravings (petroglyphs) that are found in La Mesa Colorada, Mesa del Durazno and Ocotillo Canyon. Don't forget the waterfalls of El Coamil and Yerbabuena Lagoons that is close by too.
You may also enjoy a visit to the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, El Pedregal Stone Museum, Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Temple, the Parish Temple and La Alameda park.
The town of Mascota is also a good starting point if you plan to visit nearby towns that include San Sebastian, Yerbabuena and Navidad.