On a recent trip to Guadalajara, I was able to combine a trip to Tequila in the state of Jalisco. My itinerary was packed, but what gorgeous places, I wanted to make a travel guide, given the number of things I realized could be done in both Guadalajara and Tequila.
There are a few things you absolutely must do when visiting Tequila, Jalisco. Drink tequila, of course! Visit a distillery and visit the farms where it’s made to see how this iconic Mexican spirit is made. Eat- popping into cantinas, and tasting agua calientes, charro, and mole! Bring comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be walking a lot on the cobblestone streets while taking in the colonial architecture and vibrant culture. With this guide, you’ll have the perfect vacation in Tequila!
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Getting to Tequila
- From Guadalajara – Go to the Tequila Plus bus station. The bus takes about 1.5 hours. Otherwise hire a private car or rent one.
- From Puerto Vallarta – you’ll need to take a bus to Guadalajara then continue the journey from there. Again, self-driving or hiring a car with a driver is an option. It’s about 4 hours away.
- From Sayulita another popular town it’s about 3 hours by car.
I had the opportunity to visit Matices Hotel de Barricas on this trip. Did you know you can stay in a tequila barrel? The hotel is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains, on a tequila distillery. Matices Hotel de Barricas has several tequila barrels on property with more coming. There’s also two restaurants and tours available to guests.
La Cofradía 1297, La Cofradía, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Pueblos Magicos – Magic Town of Tequila
Mexico is a country with a rich cultural heritage and diverse landscape. From the bustling metropolis of Mexico City to the beaches of the Riviera Maya, there is something for everyone in this vibrant country. However, there is one type of destination that is particularly popular with visitors: the Magic Town. Magic Towns are small towns that have been designated by the Mexican government for their unique Charm and character. There are over 100 Magic Towns in Mexico, and each one has its own special charm. Just outside of Guadalajara is the beautiful Tequila, one of these Magic Towns.
Tequila is best known for, of course, its namesake spirit. But there is much more to this town than just tequila. Situated in the heart of Jalisco, Tequila is surrounded by stunning natural scenery. From the mountainous landscapes to the sparkling lakes, there is no shortage of beauty in this region. The town itself is also quite charming, with traditional Mexican architecture and colorful buildings. In addition to its natural beauty and charming atmosphere, Tequila is also home to some of Mexico’s most important historical sites. With so much to offer visitors, it’s no wonder that Tequila is one of Mexico’s most popular Magic Towns.
Ride the Jose Cuervo Express Train
Departing from the Guadalajara Train Station, I hopped onto the Jose Cuervo Express Train. The Jose Cuervo Express takes visitors on a scenic journey through the heart of the Tequila Valley giving great insight into Mundo Cuervo. The journey lasts around four hours and passes by some of the most beautiful and iconic spots in the area, making a perfect day trip to see the agave landscape.
The train departs from the Jose Cuervo Distillery in Tequila, and travels to the town of Amatitán. Along the way, passengers can enjoy stunning views of the valley landscape and marvel at the impressive mountains that surround it.
The Jose Cuervo Express is a great way to explore the area and learn more about its history and culture. The train is also a convenient way to get around, as it stops at several points along the way, including the town of Amatitán.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable and easy way to see some of the most beautiful spots in Jalisco, either a full day or a half day, be sure to check out the Jose Cuervo Express!
Stay at Hotel Solar de Las Animas
If you ride the Jose Cuervo Express Train, the package comes with a stay at Hotel Solar de Las Animas. Hotel Solar de las Ánimas is the perfect place to stay when exploring the picturesque town of Tequila. The Creole colonial-style building and beautifully appointed rooms make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, while the modern amenities ensure a comfortable stay. The hotel is centrally located, making exploring all the town has to offer easy. From the 18th-century Parroquia Santiago Apostol to the shops and restaurants lining the streets, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re looking for a breathtaking view, be sure to head up to the rooftop terrace for a drink or a dip in the pool. Hotel Solar de las Ánimas is sure to exceed your expectations whether you’re in Tequila for business or pleasure.
Ramón Corona 86, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
We also visited the Jose Cuervo Distillery as part of the Jose Cuervo Express Train. We learned how they make their tequila in La Rojeña®, the flagship distillery of Cuervo® and the oldest in Latin America. The tour ended with a professional tasting of blanco, reposado and extra añejo tequilas in the Expert Tequila rooms.
José Cuervo # 73, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Visiting the agave fields in Tequila is one of the top experiences I’ve done!
Journey to the town of Tequila from Guadalajara on this day trip by van. Discover the world-famous alcoholic drink made from agave plants. Marvel at the blue-green fields that have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit one of the oldest tequila distilleries as you get lost among the sprawling fields, savoring the fragrance of roasting agave. After touring the facilities, sample the distillery’s liquor for a true taste of Mexico’s famed artisanal tequila production.
Explore the town to see the ancient haciendas and other widespread distilleries. Stroll down narrow streets, popping into some of the countless bars and tasting spots along the way.
Dinner at La Cueva de Don Cenobio
La Cueva de Don Cenobio is a top choice in Tequila, run by Executive Chef Karla Castro. The space is open and surrounded by trees, flowers, and plants, with beautiful fountains and little chapels. And, it’s complete with a live Mariachi band. The food is delicious, the atmosphere amazing, and the service great. Be sure to order the birria , enmoladas , aguachile , and carpacho de pulpo . You won’t be disappointed!
C. Luis Navarro 70, La Villa, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Breakfast at La Antigua Casona Restaurant
La Antigua Casona Restaurant in Hotel Solar de las Ánimas is the perfect place to enjoy a final delicious meal before heading home. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and the hacienda-style architecture is simply gorgeous. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast of coffee, sweet bread, and chilaquiles. The food was absolutely top-notch and one part of why I enjoyed Hotel Solars de las Ánimas.
C. Albino Rojas #14, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Other things to do
Guachimontones is an archaeological site located in the Tequila Valley, an hour and fifteen-minute drive from the town of Tequila. The site consists of a series of circular stone structures that are said to date back to around 500-900 AD. While the true purpose of these structures is still unknown, archaeologists believe they may have been used for religious or ceremonial purposes.
Despite its remote location, Guachimontones is a popular tourist attraction and is well worth a visit from Tequila if you’re interested in Mexico’s ancient history. The site is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and admission is free. There’s also a small museum on-site, which houses a number of interesting artifacts discovered at the site.
Overall, Guachimontones is a fascinating piece of Mexican history and well worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Piramide circular, Carretera Estatal 604 Guadalajara-San Marcos Gral. Lucio Blanco, Estanzuela, 46762 Guachimontones, Jal., Mexico
Visiting the Tequila Volcano is a must for any nature lover visiting Jalisco. This dormant volcano is located about 12 miles from the town of Tequila and can be easily reached by car or bus. The hike to the summit is moderate and takes about 3-4 hours, making it an excellent day trip from Tequila.
The volcano itself is also quite impressive, with its steep slopes and rugged terrain. There are a number of interesting facts about the Tequila Volcano that make it a fascinating place to visit. For example, it’s one of only three volcanoes in Mexico that are named after a beverage!
Overall, the Tequila Volcano is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Jalisco. With its easy access and beautiful surroundings, it’s sure to please hikers of all levels!
Casa Herradura – Tour Factory
A visit to Tequila wouldn’t be complete without learning about the town’s world-renowned tequila production. At Casa Herradura, you can take a tour of the factory to see how this delicious spirit is made. The tour includes a stop at the hacienda where agave plants are grown and harvested, as well as the on-site barrel aging room. You’ll also get to a variety of tequila tasting with different types of tequila produced by Casa Herradura, including the award-winning Reserva de la Familia.
Doña Gabriela Pena Lozada 405, Hacienda San José del Refugio, 45380 Amatitán, Jal., Mexico
After your tour of the Casa Herradura factory, head over to La Cofradia for a refreshing Tequila Sunrise. This iconic cocktail is made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup, and is best enjoyed while taking in the stunning views of the nearby Sierra Madre mountain range. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at making your own Tequila Sunrise at home with this recipe.
Calle La Cofradía 1297, La Cofradía, Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Plaza Principal Tequila
The Plaza Principal Tequila is the main square in the town of Tequila. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and is home to a range of restaurants, cafes, and shops.
The plaza is also a great place to take in the charming architecture of the town, with its colonial-style buildings and wrought-iron balconies. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal or drink while taking in the sights and sounds of Tequila.
C. Albino Rojas 16, El Rastro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
La Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud
Pay a visit to La Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud a small chapel built in 1730 and notable for its beautiful paintings and intricate stonework. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in seeing some of Tequila’s religious history. Fun fact- La Capilla was also the popular drink batanga. Just be sure to go early in the day, as it does get crowded later on!
Hidalgo 34, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Parroquia Santiago Apostol (Parish Church of Santiago Apóstol)
Parroquia Santiago Apostol is a beautiful Catholic church located in the heart of Tequila. Built in 1755, this grand church features a Baroque-style facade, ornate interior and towers that are visible from miles away. Inside, visitors will find stunning works of art and intricate decorations that bring the building to life. This vibrant church also houses a number of stunning sculptures and paintings, making it the perfect place to get a glimpse into Tequila’s religious history.
The parish church is named after Saint James, who is said to have visited Tequila during his travels in the area. Every year, a procession is held to commemorate his visit, with locals and visitors alike taking part in the festivities. The church also serves as an important cultural landmark in Tequila, hosting a range of religious and cultural events throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to experience Tequila’s vibrant culture or simply appreciate its stunning architecture, Parroquia Santiago Apostol is a must-visit destination.
Sixto Gorjón 16, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
Museo Nacional del Tequila Munat (Tequila Museum)
If you’re interested in learning more about Tequila’s rich history and culture, be sure to visit the Museo Nacional del Tequila Munat. This fascinating museum is home to a range of exhibits that tell the story of tequila from start to finish.
The museum is divided into five sections, each one exploring a different aspect of tequila production. Visitors can learn about everything from the harvesting of agave plants to the distillation and bottling process. There are also a number of interactive exhibits where you can learn how to make your own tequila or sample some of the different types on offer.
Overall, the Museo Nacional del Tequila Munat is an excellent place for anyone interested in learning more about this iconic Mexican spirit. With informative displays and interesting exhibits, it provides a wealth of information that is sure to fascinate visitors of all ages.
Museo Los Abuelos Familia Sauza
The Museo Los Abuelos Familia Sauza is a museum dedicated to the Sauza family, one of the most well-known tequila producers in the world. The museum is housed in a beautiful colonial-era building that was once the home of the Sauza family. Inside, visitors can learn about the history of tequila production and how the Sauza family has become one of the most successful tequila brands in Mexico.
There are also a number of interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about different aspects of tequila production, such as distillation and bottling. A museum is an excellent place for anyone interested in learning more about tequila and its history. With informative displays and exciting exhibits, it provides a wealth of information that is sure to fascinate visitors of all ages.
Campos de Agave Jose Cuervo
Jose Cuervo is a name that is synonymous with tequila, and for good reason. This world-famous brand has been producing some of the finest tequila since 1795, and much of their success can be attributed to their use of agave plants.
Agave plants are a key ingredient in the production of tequila, and Jose Cuervo has long been recognized for their commitment to using only the highest quality agaves. In fact, their Campos de Agave plantation is a UNESCO world heritage site, making it one of the most important places in the world for tequila production.
The plantation is located in Jalisco, Mexico and covers an area of over 1,500 acres. Here, you will find rows upon rows of healthy agave plants that are used to produce some of the best tequilas in the world. The plantation is open to visitors who want to learn more about how this iconic spirit is made and the surrounding agave fields with the beautiful blue agave plants. There is also a museum on site where you can learn more about Jose Cuervo’s history and legacy.
Campos de Agave Jose Cuervo plantation is an excellent place to learn more about tequila production. With informative exhibits and stunning views, it provides an ideal setting to appreciate the unique history and culture of this world-famous spirit.
Amatitán, Jalisco, Mexico
Cascada Los Azules
Those looking for a beautiful and serene place to relax and enjoy some stunning views, look no further than the Cascada Los Azules Tequila. This waterfall is located in the heart of Jalisco’s Tequila Valley and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
The waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and towering mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop that is sure to take your breath away. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the well-maintained path that leads to the falls, or simply sit back and relax while taking in the natural beauty of this special place.
The waterfalls also makes for a perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing drink or snack, thanks to the small cafe located on-site. So if you’re looking for an idyllic spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, be sure to add Cascada Los Azules Tequila to your list of must-visit places!
Distillery tours and bars
Visiting distilleries in Tequila, Jalisco is a great way to experience the iconic tequila-making process firsthand and of course tequila tasting. There are many distilleries that offer tours and tastings for both visitors and locals alike. One of the most popular destinations is La Capilla, the oldest bar in Tequila. The bar offers a unique glimpse into the history of tequila production, complete with ancient artifacts and detailed tours of their cellar and aging processes.
Casa Ordeain is another popular destination for a tequila tour. Guests can explore the agave fields, observe the traditional tequila-making process, and sample some of the finished products. For those looking for a more immersive experience, Distileria La Rojeña – home to Jose Cuervo La Rojeña Distillery — offers a full range of activities such as educational lectures on tequila production, guided tours through their facilities, as well as tasting sessions led by knowledgeable experts in Mexican spirits.
La Fortaleza is also a great spot to learn about traditional tequilas while sampling different varieties. Balneario La Toma has become known for its remarkable view over the local landscape and its carefully crafted cocktails made with locally produced tequilas. Finally, Destiladora Rubio offers exclusive tours that include private tastings with some of Mexico’s finest tequilero experts sharing their knowledge on tequila production and flavor profiles from different regions around the country.
Casa Sauza – JIMA in the Agave Fields
From Hotel Solar de Las Animas it was a short walk to Casa Sauza. On top of tasting the world-famous tequila, there are a variety of activities that can make your trip even more memorable. One such activity is participating in the traditional jima harvesting process at Casa Sauza.
The jima is a centuries-old practice that has been used to harvest agaves, one of the key ingredients in tequila. This process involves carefully cutting away the leaves from ripe agave plants with machetes. During your visit to Tequila, you can observe or even participate in this age-old practice at Casa Sauza – one of the oldest tequila distilleries in Mexico. You’ll get an up-close view on how their expert workers go about this delicate process with precision and meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that only the best quality agaves are used for producing their product.
This experience is truly unlike any other when it comes to tequila production – walking through rows upon rows of cultivated agave plantations and watching as jimadores skillfully harvest them with sharp machetes never gets old! After being harvested, these agaves go through several steps before becoming the smooth tequila we know and love today. As a visitor at Casa Sauza you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn more about each step along the way – from fermentation to aging – making this an educational outing as well!
C. Luis Navarro 70, Centro, 46400 Tequila, Jal., Mexico
A trip to Tequila is sure to be an unforgettable experience, whether it’s an intimate tasting session or an in-depth tour at one of these renowned distilleries. Even if you don’t speak Spanish and are bringing USD travel is quite easy here as it’s a popular tourist destination. Beyond taking shots of tequila, ask the experts about specialty cocktails with tequila like cantaritos. With so many options available for both tourists and locals alike, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn about this centuries-old tradition while enjoying some of Mexico’s finest products!