Greetings! I’m Pedro and in this blog I will be introducing you to the amazing destination of Tequila. I was born and raised in a small community in the state of Michoacan – not too far from its capital city, Morelia. Experiencing Mexico for the first 12 years of my life instilled in me a passion for the vibrancy and dynamism that characterizes the Mexican culture.
At 12, I moved to the US, taking with me that passion and a profound pride in my culture and what it represents. I currently live in San Francisco – a place characterized by its own sense of diversity and openness. It’s this energy surrounding San Fran (coupled with my own experience growing up in Mexico) that inspires me to travel and understand the interconnectedness of cultures through their architecture, food and music.
Visiting the ‘Pueblo Magico’ of Tequila
I actually came to the state of Jalisco to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday in Puerto Vallarta. Given the proximity to Tequila, we decided to make a quick stop and explore the town that has inspired many poets, musicians and people in general through its wide range of tequila products.
To get there, we flew from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara and took a taxi to Tequila – an hour drive, approximately. The ride itself was an experience: it provided a view of the many Agave fields that fuel the economy of the surrounding communities. Not to mention the delicious food you can grab on your way, from the famous tortas ahogadas to tacos al pastor.
Similarly, you can also take the Jose Cuervo Express (train) from Guadalajara and experience the same magical views, all while listening to Mariachi in the background and sampling some of the local tequilas.
Tequila has been granted the status of ’Pueblo Magico’ by the Mexican government. This status is typically given to towns with a prominent cultural and historical relevance, as is the case for Tequila given that it’s the birthplace region of tequila (drink), such as Jose Cuervo amongst many others – including some of the oldest operating distilleries in the Americas.
This means that visiting Tequila is a magical experience full of breathtaking views, refreshing drinks, and savory foods that would most definitely be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates history and enjoys tequila. Even more so, since Tequila is technically a small community, the Mexican culture is quite palpable in every conversation and interactions made with the locals.
What the Community of Tequila is Like
The community consists of approximately 30,000 residents – most of whom work in the tequila industry, whether directly in the fields or in the distilleries, or indirectly as a tour guide or supporting its hospitality industry. Everyone in Tequila serves an important role in maintaining the city’s magic and making sure your visit is an enjoyable and memorable one.
My favorite aspect of visiting Tequila was touring the local distilleries and sampling the diversity of the tequila found there. My friends and I found a tour guide in the city center who shared her knowledge of the community, industry and entertained us with Mexican music all throughout the tour.
Towards the end of the tour, she stopped at an Agave field and captured some pictures of us feeling a bit tipsy. She was a great guide – full of fun facts and stories. I encourage anyone visiting to do one of the many tours.
5 Things To Do in Tequila, Mexico
Tequila is an incredibly unique region that has a lot to offer tourists of every kind. I would recommend to anyone interested in visiting Tequila to do the following activities to ensure they absorb the essence of the place:
- Tour one of the many tequila distilleries and sample its many products. Jose Cuervo is a must!
- Try a Cazuela – a traditional cocktail served in a clay bowl. It typically includes citrus juice (grapefruit), squirt, your favorite tequila and chunks of fruit (pineapple and grapefruit) in it.
- Visit the city’s center and enjoy a traditional Cantarito while exploring the local shops. Don’t forget to capture your visit by taking a picture right next to the Tequila sign.
- Explore the Baroque style Parroquia Santiago Apostol (Cathedral) in the city’s main plaza – a symbol of Tequila’s history.
- Make sure you visit the National Museum of Tequila to learn about the origin and evolution of tequila.
Best Memory of my Trip to Tequila
It’s hard to pin-point a specific memory as my favorite, as the whole trip was enjoyable. However, I very much enjoyed the distillery tour and the charisma of the tour guide. She added so much more color and depth to my understanding of Tequila the place, the drink and the industry.
She would continuously make spontaneous stops to point out the different haciendas, churches and restaurants – all with the intention of presenting us with an authentic experience. Experiencing Tequila with her as a guide and accompanied by my friends was truly a memorable moment indeed.
Staying at Matices Hotel De Barricas
I recommend anyone visiting Tequila to stay at Matices Hotel De Barricas. Staying at the Hotel de Barricas is such a unique experience, as you actually get to sleep in a barrel shaped room with all the amenities needed.
Not only that, but the hotel is within an Agave field with views of the hills and mountains. It also includes free breakfast (delicious options) and a complimentary tour of the owner’s distillery. Highly recommended!
Need to Know Before you Go
The most important thing that I want to call out as a consideration is that there are multiple ways of getting to Tequila from Guadalajara city. I didn’t plan this as thoroughly as I could have, as I was relying on Uber.
Not every Uber driver is willing to take people there given the distance and the fact that most of the time they tend to return to Guadalajara city with no passengers (most of the trips requested tend to be inward not outward).
I was fortunate that my Uber driver agreed to drive us (after mentioning I would give him a good tip) but I would recommend either: 1) Rent a car from Guadalajara city or 2) Take the Tequila Express Train. Once there, you can take a taxi to explore the city (there are no Ubers in town). Enjoy!