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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’s 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!
About Tequila, Jalisco
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 107 MXN ($5.50 USD) each way though if you purchase a round-trip ticket you can save yourself 40 MXN ($2 USD).
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.
If you prefer something a little more private and straightforward you can book a private car or van transfer with Bookaway but the most flexible option would be to rent a car and drive yourself.
Alternatively, you can visit Tequila, Jalisco on a day tour from Guadalajara (this is a great option for those who are short on time)! This particular tour is a full-day Tequila distillery experience that visits both the Jose Cuervo distillery and allows you to walk around the quaint “Magic Town” of Tequila. There is further information on this tour later in this guide!
From Puerto Vallarta
There is no direct bus from Puerto Vallarta to Tequila. You can either bus to Guadalajara and then go to Tequila, or, you can rent a car and drive yourself!
From Puerto Vallarta, Tequila is about a 4-hour drive away. From the small tourist town of Sayulita, Tequila is only about 3 hours 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!
Related Read: If you are a thrill seeker than you’ll want to check out the skydiving diving in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!
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 Delicias Tequila – Budget
If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t stress about staying super close to the square. You can stay at Hotel Delicias Tequila for around $56 USD a night for a double bed and still be only a 10-minute walk to the main plaza.
They have a fitness center, a gorgeous pool, air conditioning in every room, as well as a 24-hour help desk!
Hotel Villa Tequila – Mid-range
Hotel Villa Tequila is located only 400 m 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, a TV, and a coffee maker.
Hotel Solar de las Animas – Luxury
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, and a minibar, and they look so cool!
Everyone who stays here says it is a wonderful and totally unique experience well worth the price tag.
Related Read: Uncover the best waterfalls in Palenque, a cute little Mexican town.
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!
La Rojena (the home of Jose Cuervo!)
- Cost – 440 MXN ($22.50 USD) 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!
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!)
If coming from Guadalajara, you can book the Jose Cuervo Tequilla Tour online in advance here.
- Cost – The traditional tour is 230 MXN ($12 USD), 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.
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!
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!
Related Read: The Chichen Itza night show is a more unique spin one of Mexico’s top tourist attractions!
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 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), and 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.
Related Read: If you love great food, then head to Puerto Vallarta where you can visit the best restaurants!
Renting a Car in Mexico
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car.
I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Mexico in 2019, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically.
I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend.
The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too.
Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit.
Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
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!)
Best things to do in Mexico City
Saturday 14th of January 2023
We’re thinking of driving from Puerto Vallarta to Tequila. How safe is it? What domination of pesos should we have for the toll? Any other advice you could give us?
Sunday 15th of January 2023
The road is very safe, especially during the day. I have to say, the worst you are likely to encounter is the police looking for bribes (although it's still rare.)
Leave early in the morning, it can be a long drive depending on the traffic.
Just bring 100 peso bills. That's fine for the tolls. I believe they have gone up in price, but they have change. From memory, there is only one.
Thursday 22nd of December 2022
I am planning ongoing to Tepatitlan in January 2023, thinking about driving to Tequila, Jalisco. Should i be concerned about safety on the highway? Even after dark? Thank you
Thursday 22nd of December 2022
You will be fine on that route. However, I always avoid driving in Mexico after dark (mainly between cities). This is a very busy and common route to take. I hate to say it, but most likely, your biggest issue will be the police looking for bribes.