Ultimate Guide to Visiting Tequila, Jalisco (the town, not the drink!)
Tequila, Jalisco is a small town in Mexico which is famous for one thing, you guessed it – tequila! So, if you want to sample some of the best tequila in the world and see how it made, then keep reading…this blog is my ultimate guide to the town of Tequila, Jalisco including things to do, where to stay, how to get there, and where to get the BEST tequila!
Tequila, Jalisco – Travel Guide
Around the world, Mexico is known for three things: tacos, Corona and Tequila! Having spent a few weeks in Mexico, I had already enjoyed eating large amounts of tacos and washing them down with ice-cold Coronas, however, I was missing the tequila!
Tequila to Mexicans is like Champagne to the French – only tequila made in the region are able to claim the name.
So naturally, you need to go to Tequila (the town) to be able to see how true tequila is made and get the best stuff!
Visiting Tequila, Jalisco turned out to be one of my favorite times in Mexico – it’s really something you shouldn’t miss. The town itself is beautiful and the surrounding landscape makes you feel like you’re in the “real Mexico” (you know, the Mexico you see in the movies!)
For most, a trip to the town of Tequila is done in one day and involves a large bus packed with tourists and about 5 hours of driving.
Though, for those who have the time, Tequila is the perfect place to stop for a few nights. Take it easy and enjoy the beautiful countryside of Mexico.
Here is our guide to visiting Tequila, Jalisco including where to stay, what to do, and…wait for it…where to sample the BEST tequila!
Getting to Tequila, Jalisco
Getting to Tequila is most easily done via the city of Guadalajara. In Guadalajara, simply head to the ‘Tequila Plus’ bus station. Tickets are 107MXN each way though if you purchase a round trip ticket you can save yourself 40MXN.
The bus takes around 1.5 hours depending on traffic and buses leave every hour or so in both directions. Click here to access the official Tequila Plus timetable.
Alternatively, you can visit Tequila, Jalisco on a day tour from Guadalajara (this is a great option for those who are short on time!)
From Puerto Vallarta
From Puerto Vallarta, Tequila is about a 4-hour drive away.
I take it you will be drinking when you visit, so instead of just going for the day, my advice would be to turn it into an overnight trip!
Where to Stay in Tequila, Jalisco
There are many places to stay in Tequila. Like with most cities, staying closest to the center is nicer but also pricier. That being said, Tequila is a small place and you can pretty much walk from anywhere in town to the main plaza.
Since Tequila, Jalisco isn’t a huge destination for international visitors, it isn’t too expensive either! You can get a nice place for a really reasonable price.
Nonetheless, here are the best hotels in Tequila, Jalisco categorized by price!
Hotel Boutique Quinta Tequillan
If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t stress about staying super close to the square. We stayed at Hotel Emil and it was only a 10-minute walk to the main plaza. We found the hotel to be really nice and for only 700MXN a night it was a great deal!
They have a gorgeous pool as well as air conditioning in every room.
Hotel Villa Tequila
Hotel Villa Tequila is located only 400m from the main square and features a pool in a beautiful garden. The reviews rave about how friendly the staff are, the cleanliness, and the tasty restaurant!
The basic double room comes with two beds, air conditioning, TV, and coffee maker.
Hotel Solar de las Animas
First of all, just check out that view from the rooftop pool and bar! But that isn’t it, Hotel Solar also offers a sauna, restaurant, bicycles, and fitness center!
This 5-star hotel is only a stone’s throw away from the main plaza. The staff are incredibly helpful and the reviews literally don’t have a bad word to mention. If you want a bit of a luxury escape in an ideal location, then this is it!
Matices Hotel de Barricas
Best Hotel for Tequila Lovers!
This hotel is more than a hotel, it is an experience! Set next door to a world-famous tequila distillery you will be able to drink all the tequila your heart desires! Not to mention, you can tour the agave farm, learn about the distillery, and even have some cocktails at the onsite bar.
Rooms include air conditioning, a balcony, minibar, and they look so cool!
Everyone who stays here says it is a wonderful and totally unique experience well worth the price tag.
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Things to do in Tequila, Jalisco
A visit to Tequila, Jalisco is about one thing – obviously, don’t make me say it…
But there is more than just one way you can enjoy tequila (now I’m talking about the drink, not the town.) In fact, there are a few different things to do in the town of Tequila that fun, interesting, and often involve drinking tequila!
1. Go on a Tequila Distillery Tour
The main attraction in the town of Tequila is visiting some amazing Tequila distilleries. Here, you can see how everything is done and of course try some tequila!
I did lots of research into the various tequila distillery tours offered in Tequila and below is my recommendation on two companies I found that may interest you!
Casa Suaza is the third oldest distillery in the world and the second-largest tequila producer.
For those who want to get the best value for money, I found Casa Suaza to be the best choice. They offer a few different tours that can be viewed on their website by clicking here. The most generic tour involves visiting an Agave plantation where you will be able to plant your own Agave, a tour of the distillery, free tastings, and a free margarita in their beautiful gardens.
One thing I will note is that during the first free tasting you will get a chance to try their top-shelf Tequila. While we were there they even had a barrel of that Tequila specifically for Barrack Obama!
Cost – The traditional tour is 170 MXN, the other tours need to be booked 48 hours in advance on their website.
Other info – Finding the distillery is a little tricky however their gift shop is located in the main plaza and they will show you the way from there.
La Rojena (the home of Jose Cuervo!)
La Rojena is the distillery where the most famous Tequila is made, Jose Cuervo! It is also the oldest distillery in the world and the largest producer supplying 33% of the world’s Tequila.
Their tour is called the Jose Cuervo Tequila Tour and is the most popular in town. The tour includes the same as Casa Suaza (although it is said that most people leave the Jose Cuervo Tequila Tour drunk!)
Cost – 385MXN for the Jose Cuervo tour.
Other Info – Although most people have tried Jose Cuervo tequila before, at the distillery you will have the chance to try lots of other tequilas you won’t find at home!
Other popular distillery tours include “Don Julio” and “Tequila Fortaleza” and information can be found on their websites.
Also many other distilleries offer their tours for sale in the main plaza with transport to the distillery included. Just make sure you can get an English guide before handing anyone your money!
2. Plant a Blue Agave
Sure, visiting a distillery and tasting tequila is fun, but you don’t truly understand how it’s made until you’ve visited the farm for yourself!
Tequila is made from Blue Agave, a type of cactus. They are actually very beautiful and believe it or not, hard to plant!
You can take a taxi out to one of the farms for a farm tour or, you can sign up for a distillery tour that includes a visit to the farm (like we did with Casa Suaza.)
Learning about these plants and seeing thousands of them for yourself is surely an experience to remember!
3. Wander the cobblestone streets and explore the town
Tequila is actually a very cute town. The cobblestone streets and colonial buildings will have you transported back in time.
When I was in Tequila, Jalisco I spent several hours just wandering around. There is a huge cathedral at the main square which is gorgeous, tons of street food to sample, and really great shopping (at cheap prices!)
There was also a night festival on when I was there and while this doesn’t happen all the time, locals told me it is normal for Tequila to have frequent celebrations and festivities.
4. Drink ALL the Margaritas
I’m not going to lie, unless it’s 2 am and I’ve already had more than enough to drink, I’m not the type of person to just shoot tequila. On a more regular basis, I would much prefer a cocktail.
The bars of Tequila know that people are in town for tequila so they have all sorts of wonderful cocktails on offer. Margaritas, while less creative, are incredibly tasty in the town of Tequila. Oh, and they’re cheap, so make use of your time in Tequila and take advantage of the seemingly ever-flowing tequila!
5. Eat Al Pastor
I know we probably say this in all of our Mexico blogs, but it’s true! You should eat Al Pastor tacos in every town or city you visit.
Why? Well for two reasons.
First, al pastor tacos taste different wherever you go. How they flavor the meat changes as well as what they are served with (my personal favorite being pineapple.) The salsas (sauces) on the side are always very different and it’s exciting trying a new one not knowing how spicy it is really going to be!
Second of all, al pastor taco shops are where you will meet locals and have a great time. People will try and chat with you (in Spanish generally), sometimes they may want a photo, but overall, it’s just a fun atmosphere to be in.
Al pastor tacos are traditionally evening tacos so you’ll usually find them around dinner time.
The town of Tequila, although known only for its Tequila, is also a great place to relax and unwind. The beautiful town is filled with friendly locals, great places to eat and drink with some beautiful architecture.
I would rate the town of Tequila as one of the top destinations in Mexico for its unique and beautiful landscape – and of course, it the best place for drinking tequila in Mexico!
I hope you enjoyed and found this guide to Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico helpful! If you have any feedback at all we would love to hear it in the comments below!
We LOVE Mexico, so we’ve written about it a lot. Check out our collection of Mexico blogs or some of our favorites below:
- A Guide to Puerto Escondido (for non-surfers!)
- The 18 BEST Things to do in Puebla
- How to Best Enjoy Mexico City
November 11, 2019