Located about 60 kilometres from Guadalajara, the small town of Tequila is a perfect day trip away from Mexico’s second largest city. Named to Mexico’s list of ‘pueblos magicos’ (magical cities), Tequila is a charming spot best known for being the birthplace of the drink, tequila.
With a population of about 40,000, Tequila has the feel of a small city and one is able to walk around the downtown area in less than half-an-hour. While the town itself is quaint and charming, you’re probably only coming to Tequila for one reason… to sample and see how the famous drink is made!
Tequila is home to around 100 distilleries and the city is surrounded by large fields of blue agave, the plant harvested for the production of the drink tequila.
Native to this region, the blue agave plant is generally ready for cultivation when it is 8 – 10 years old. There are around 25 different types of plants used to make tequila, and the state of Jalisco (where Tequila is located) is the main zone of production. Interestingly, the aloe vera plant is part of the agave family!
Agave can also be used as a natural sweetener, as a syrup or sugar, and (like aloe vera) to heal cuts or wounds.
How to get to Tequila from Guadalajara:
- A train, called ‘Tequila Express’ offers a tour directly to the distilleries for roughly $1250 pesos ($85 cad)
- The local bus from Guadalajara to Tequila takes around 2 hours and costs $80 pesos, leaving every 15-30 minutes.
My friend and I took the local bus before doing the Jose Cuervo tour. The tour of this distillery costs $150 – $500 pesos ($10 – $35 cad) depending on the level you choose. Combined with the $80 peso bus fee, option number two is by far the more cost efficient choice.
The tour includes; walking around the facilities, an explanation of how the tequila is harvested and made, and of course, sampling the different types and ages of Jose Cuervo.
The fermented drink was first discovered in pre-hispanic times, but the major distilleries weren’t in operation until the early 1600’s, after the Spanish conquest.
The town of Tequila is now part of the Tequila Route, an area full of important facilities and attractions, along with archeological sites.
Whether you decide to visit other cities along the route or if you’re just stopping in for a day, the town of Tequila is deserving of it’s ‘pueblo magico’ status. It is not an absolute ‘must-see’, but it is pretty unique and you’ll undoubtedly have a fun time!
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