The municipality and town of Totatiche is located in the northern extreme of the state of Jalisco, Mexico between 21°48’30” and 22°06’00” latitude north and 103°20’00” and 103°34’00” longitude east at a height of 1,751 meters (5,745 ft) above sea level. The municipality is bordered on the north and southeast by the state of Zacatecas. On the northeast, it shares its border with the municipality of Colotlán and on the west it is bordered by the municipalities of Villa Guerrero and Chimaltitán. The municipality covers an area of 542.98 square kilometers (209.65 sq mi). Its hydrology is defined by the Bolaños river, which demarcates its northern border with Zacatecas and the Cartagenas River which crosses the municipality and flows into the latter. There are five dams in the municipality: Candelaria, Magallanes, Temastián, La Boquilla and Agua Zarca and smaller ones in Romita, San Francisco, and Totolco.
The population of the municipality of Totatiche was 4,217 inhabitants in 2005, of which 1,287 lived in the municipal seat Totatiche. In 2000, there were 1,372 economically active individuals. Of these, the largest percentage (37.2%) were employed in ranching and agriculture, followed by the manufacturing sector (12.9%), commerce (10.9%) and construction (10.7%). Totatiche is located in what was historically the convergence of territories of various indigenous tribes, namely tribes of the Tepehuan, Caxcan and Zacatec. This area, north of the Lerma-Santiago river, was known by the Mexica and later by the Spaniards as the Chichimeca, and the ethnic groups of the area, collectively referred to as Chichimecs, were considered bellicose and uncivilized.