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Guadalajara rests on a mile-high plain of the Sierra Madre del Occidente, surrounded on three sides by rugged hills and on the fourth by the spectacular Barranca de Oblatos (Oblatos Canyon). Mexico's second-largest city has an official population of about 4 million, though most estimates put the number of residents of the metro area closer to double this number, and is the capital of the western state of Jalisco. There's a mishmash of terrain here: pine-forest mountain ranges, semi-deserts, and coastal mangrove swamps.
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