Tequila Jalisco is another proud member of the Magical Towns in Mexico, famous (obviously) for being the cradle of the ancestral drink that gave it its name, tequila.
It has become one of the most important tourist spots in the area, thanks to its beauty.
This quick guide will tell you the best things to do in Tequila Jalisco. The idea is that you can have all the necessary information to organize your trip to this beautiful place.
You will learn how to get there, where to stay, and everything else you need to know.
Tequila is one of those places where sometimes it seems that time does not pass; despite being so visited, you can experience how it still preserves its essence and tranquility.
Without a doubt, I recommend you to go if you ever visit the state of Jalisco.
Honestly, it is one of my favorite towns because of its unique special magic.
How to get to Tequila Jalisco
First things first, knowing how to get here is important. There are several options depending on your travel style, who you travel with, and your budget.
I will take the example of coming from the capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara, as it is the most common.
Many people choose to rent a car to travel around the state of Jalisco.
It is the most comfortable and economical if you plan to make a route for several days and visit nearby towns.
Renting a car it’s the best option for me since it allows me to move around easily and explore more places.
To go from Guadalajara to Tequila by car, you must take the highway to Tepic and exit at the signposted detour.
The trip takes approximately 50 minutes, depending on traffic.
If you are not used to driving on the highway, don’t worry, the road is in good condition and pretty safe.
If driving is not your thing, then your best option to go to Tequila from Guadalajara is by bus.
Buses leave from the old bus station in Guadalajara (the central vieja).
But be careful; it is very important not to get confused with the new bus station in Guadalajara (central nueva), as there are no buses to Tequila from there.
Remember that if you go to the “central vieja,” you must pay 10 pesos to enter.
The buses operate under the brand name “Tequila Bus,” and the ticket office is just past the entrance to the terminal.
They depart daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost per single trip is 108 pesos (6 USD) and can only be paid in cash.
And although the ticket is sold as a “non-stop” route, the reality is that this is not the case.
The bus will stop at different points in Guadalajara and on the highway to pick up more passengers.
This tends to make the trip slow and time-consuming; on average, it will take about two and a half hours to Tequila.
When you arrive in Tequila, the bus drops you off at the central bus station, which is very small, about a 5-minute walk from downtown.
If you don’t have too much of a problem with time or leave early, I don’t see much difficulty; just consider it.
Above I mentioned that if you were traveling alone, you should take the bus, but if you are with other people and want to ride much more comfortably and get there faster, you should ask for an Uber.
This platform works quite well in Guadalajara. It is an excellent option to ask for one that will take you directly to Tequila.
If you are traveling with several people, they split the cost, which is likely cheaper than the bus.
Costs generally depend on the time and the number of cars available, but on average, a trip from downtown Guadalajara to Tequila will cost you about $600 to 800 pesos (around 35 USD).
This is the ideal option if you’re in Guadalajara, don’t have much time, and want to visit Tequila for the day.
It is an excursion that includes a tour of the town to learn about its history, free time for lunch, and a guided tour of a tequila factory that includes a tasting of various tequilas.
This is perfect if you are looking for comfort and tranquility.
Since it is usually a small group traveling with the support of a company that already has the facility to enter the tequila factory without wasting time and some plantations that might be difficult to visit on your own.
If you don’t want to drive (so you can drink tequila without worrying) and have little time, this is the ideal option.
One of the tours that I absolutely love is the Tequila Express.
Train to Tequila Jalisco
One of the most sought-after options for many is taking the trip from Guadalajara to Tequila aboard a passenger train specializing in the tequila experience.
The most famous train is the Jose Cuervo Tequila train that operates under “Jose Cuervo Express.”
This train has different itineraries and categories depending on your budget, usually including a visit to the manufacturing plant with a demonstration, an open tequila bar, food, a show, etc.
Note that the train includes a bus ride from Guadalajara, and for the price you pay, it also includes the return to the capital. So it is a perfect one-day visit option.
Where to stay in Tequila Jalisco
Once you arrive in Tequila, you will notice that it is a relatively small town. However, the lodging offer is wide and for all budgets.
The following is a highly recommended option if you are looking for a quiet place to stay close to downtown and where you can rest.
This beautiful Hacienda-style hotel will make you feel like Mexican royalty.
The rooms are comfortable, luxurious, and have air conditioning—excellent value for the money.
Recommended Hotel: Casa Salles Hotel Boutique
Note: Unless you are going to Tequila Jalisco only for the day, the option of staying near the main avenue is not recommended because there are a lot of bars and nightclubs that usually have loud music until the wee hours.
Best things to do in Tequila Jalisco
Now, let’s go to the activities and things to do in Tequila. As you can imagine, the town’s main attraction is precisely the one that gives it its name: tequila.
However, you can find other worthwhile things to do in the town and its surroundings.
Let me tell you about them below:
Touring the Zócalo
Tequila’s zócalo (main square) is an explosion of colors and a place with an essence of tranquility.
From the moment you walk around here, you will notice how picturesque everything is, every house and every street.
I recommend you walk around it calmly so you don’t miss any detail.
Visit the Church of Santiago Apostle in Tequila Jalisco
Adorning the main square, you will notice the beautiful main church of the town, baroque style with several stained glass windows that are very beautiful (built in the XVI century).
Outside the church, you will find a spot where several times a day (on weekends and very crowded days) the classic “voladores” show takes place, which is originally from Veracruz.
In this show, several people climb to the top of a wooden pole, tie themselves around the waist, and literally fly for several minutes.
Visiting a tequila factory
Perhaps the town’s main attraction is to visit one of the factories or distilleries that produce tequila and are located here.
Several of them are scattered throughout the town, some more recognized than others, but all with their charm.
It is fascinating to visit one of these factories because you can learn about the tequila manufacturing process from scratch, tour the facilities, familiarize yourself with the flavors and smells, etc.
One of the most famous to visit is Jose Cuervo. It is located in the center of town and is one of the oldest distilleries in Tequila, with many years of history.
Among its most famous and internationally recognized tequila brands are: Jose Cuervo, Centenario, Maestro Tequilero, and 1800.
You may want to read – Tequila vs Mezcal: A Complete Guide to Agave Spirits
They have different tour packages, depending on the experiences you are looking for. These are the three main ones:
Classic Experience: Guided tour of the factory, the cost is 250 pesos (13 USD) per person, and the duration is approximately 50 minutes.
Jose Cuervo Experience: Factory tour + tasting of 4 different tequilas with guide included. The cost is 400 pesos (20 USD) per person, and the duration is approximately 1 hour and a half.
Jose Cuervo & Campos Experience: Includes all of the above + a visit to the cellar and premium tasting + a guided tour of the hacienda and gardens + a visit to the agave fields, + appetizers. The cost is 900 pesos (45 USD) per person, and the duration is approximately 3 hours.
Personally, I recommend that you take at least the experience that includes tasting, as it really adds an exciting experience to your visit.
You will be accommodated by groups in one of their premium rooms, where you will find your 4 different tequilas ready for you.
Afterward, the tequila expert will explain the smells, and flavors on the palate of each tequila, how to drink the glass, and how to drink it correctly.
I really enjoyed the experience, and it is highly recommended to learn more about this ancestral Mexican drink.
The other factory that is also very famous is Casa Sauza, which is located about 5 minutes walk from the main square.
Tequila brands such as 100 años, Tres Generaciones and Hornitos are manufactured here.
This is a fully functional factory of enormous size, as this is where Sauza’s entire inventory is produced for the national and international markets.
Although you might think that the tour is the same as the other tequila factory, the reality is that they are very different.
Among the main tours they offer are:
Perseverance Tour: It includes a visit to the factory + a visit to the hacienda + a tasting of agave juice and white tequila + cocktail at the Quinta Sauza. The cost is 170 pesos (8 USD) per person, and the approximate duration is 50 minutes.
Casa Sauza Tour: Includes a visit to the botanical garden + visit to the agave fields + visit to the distillery + tasting of agave juice and white tequila + hacienda visit + visit to the winery, + cocktail at Quinta Sauza. The cost is 230 pesos (12 USD) per person, and the approximate duration is 2 hours.
If you can, I recommend you try both tours to compare; they are different experiences, and you can learn very different things about tequila, its manufacture, production, secrets, etc.
You will also be able to taste different types of them.
Visit the museum of Tequila Jalisco
To complement your trip and learn more about tequila, you can visit the town’s museum in Jalisco, where you will find different exhibitions about this drink and its evolution over the years.
Throughout the town, you will notice that very peculiar tourist vehicles circulate; some are shaped like a bottle or a barrel of tequila.
At night there are several of these tours that include loud music.
They make a tour that leaves from the main square and takes you to places far from the center, where you will find old factories that are no longer in use.
Enjoy a classic “Cantarito” in the main square
The cantarito drink is served in a clay jar (of different sizes, designs, and materials) filled with tequila, lime juice, orange juice, salt, hot pepper, and grapefruit soda.
You can find them in the main square, and they will give you the choice of which tequila you want it with.
I recommend white tequila because the aged tequilas are drunk alone, and it is not recommended to mix them.
Prices depend on the size, but the simplest ones are made of clay and cost around 80 pesos (4 USD).
Visiting the town’s historic buildings
Again, Tequila is a magical town, so I recommend you not to miss its historic buildings.
The Municipal Palace has an incredible mural, the Calvario Chapel, and the Templo de la Purisima.
Have a Tejuino
Another classic drink to have in Tequila Jalisco and surrounding areas is the Tejuino, a beverage based on the fermentation of corn and to which “piloncillo” (a form of raw caramelly sugar) is added to give it a sweet touch.
The most popular place to drink it is at a small stand outside Casa Cuervo.
Admire the agave fields
As you drive towards Tequila on the highway, you will notice how impressive the agave fields are. I recommend you stop to see them up close and take lots of pictures.
Where to eat in Tequila Jalisco?
There are several good dining options in Tequila, most of them in the downtown area.
You will find everything from large established restaurants, small “fondas,” and many street stalls selling everything from tacos, birria, and crepes to papas or esquites (corn kernels with cheese, mayonnaise, and spicy sauce).
These last options are usually set up around town in the evenings and are inexpensive.
Similarly, you can find many other options in the local market located a few meters from the main square.