If you didn’t know that there’s actually a town named Tequila, buckle up because you’re in for a treat. This town, located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, is a Pueblo Mágico and is one of the best day trips from Guadalajara.
It is also considered the birthplace of tequila, Mexico’s most famous drink. Once you spend five minutes here, you’ll realize how much pride they take in that! Tequila, Mexico is a great place that is a wild party every day.
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Is Tequila, Mexico Worth Visiting?
When we did the day trip from the city of Guadalajara to Tequila, we didn’t know what to expect. We had heard that the small town of Tequila was a fun place, but that was about it. Guadalajara is the second-largest city in Mexico, and choosing to step away from the metropolis for a brief trip to Tequila or Lake Chapala may seem like a tough decision.
We were told to try tequila tastings at a couple of different distilleries and eat at a few different local restaurants, but we weren’t sure about what else there was to do in the town. Apart from visiting the Jose Cuervo Distillery, we had no clue what to do!
I was almost expecting a wine country type of vibe, similar to that of Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe or California’s Napa Valley with distilleries spread out around the area that you spend the day visiting. While the Casa Sauza distillery and the Jose Cuervo Distillery certainly fit that bill, this magical town has a lot more to offer.
Drinking alcohol in the streets in Mexico is generally illegal. In Tequila, it’s commonplace – especially around the main plaza. One quick walk around the center of town and you’ll understand very quickly what your plan for the day is.
I’ll get into the specifics of the best things to do in Tequila next, but for now, let’s just say you should eat a nice breakfast before heading out.
Is Tequila, Mexico worth visiting? I would absolutely say so. If you’re looking for a place to party during the day near Guadalajara, it doesn’t get any better than the magical town of Tequila.
Even if you’re not looking to party, Tequila is still worth the day trip. This is a fantastic place to learn about Mexican culture, and Tequila’s main landmarks all carry loads of historical significance. The National Tequila Museum can tell you all about that!
Beyond that, the town is really beautiful, has a ton of great restaurants, and visiting the distilleries is a must-do activity. While I don’t think there is enough to merit a trip of more than a day or two, Tequila is the perfect day trip from Guadalajara and isn’t a place that you want to miss.
The Best Things to Do in Tequila, Mexico
1. Drink Tequila in the Cobblestone Streets
Okay, I know that this one might sound comically obvious. But let me unpack it a little bit. As I said earlier, drinking in the streets is illegal in Mexico, just like it is in the United States.
In the town of Tequila, however, it’s practically a crime to NOT drink in the street. You’ll find vendors literally at every other door on every street selling tequila cocktails, and in the main square, it’s basically a tequila free-for-all.
The traditional thing to do is buy a refillable container at any of the booths and walk from place to place refilling your jar with “cantaritos,” which are basically cocktails made of tequila, grapefruit, orange, lime, and salt. They are dangerously good, and each refill will cost you around 50-60 pesos, or $2.50-3.00.
As always, I will remind you to be careful and responsible, especially because the weather here can get pretty warm at various parts of the year. Be sure to have some food and drink water!
2. Drink Tequila in the Distilleries
Have you caught onto the theme by now? If you visit Tequila, odds are you’re going to be drinking some tequila.
While drinking in the streets is a really fun way to pass the time, some people are less party-oriented and are more about savoring the fine agave juice that the town has to offer. If that sounds like you, then you should look into distilleries to visit!
Almost all tequila in the world is made in the state of Jalisco, and most of the major brands you can think of have operations in or around Tequila, Mexico. Many of them offer tastings and tours, and this is an opportunity that you can’t miss!
Taking the time to learn about the cultivation and distillation of the blue agave plant is definitely worth your time, and tasing many of the different types of tequila is a must if you enjoy fine liquors.
The most-frequented of these factories of course is Jose Cuervo, at their La Rojeña factory. This is a huge operation as I’m sure you can imagine and is truly one of the best distilleries that you can visit in Tequila due to its well-structured visit. If you’re an amateur tequila taster interested in learning about the fermentation process, the Jose Cuervo factory is for you!
If you’re more of a sophisticated tequila drinker, there are high-end tasting rooms located all around the area and you should definitely look into them. I highly advise booking any tastings and tours ahead of time, as they do tend to fill up!
If you want to maximize your time, I recommend booking a full-day tequila tour, which is a great way to nail down reservations for quick tastings in many of Tequila’s best distilleries.
3. Buy Tequila to Drink Later
At this point, I am slightly joking around. But also not! If you enjoy tequila and are thinking of taking some home, the best place to buy it is in the town of Tequila itself.
You are likely to find great prices here, and buying a couple of bottles to take home is a very common thing to do! A general tip is to buy things a bit further away from the touristy heart of the town, as prices tend to get marked up in the center.
Walking a few blocks away from the center of Tequila can lead you to find better prices not just on bottles of Tequila, but also on cantaritos to drink in the street and food to eat as you walk around! The center of the town is really loud and crazy, but walking a bit outwards can also help you to feel the Mexican charm that makes Pueblos Magicos like Tequila really special.
4. Try Some Tequila Ice Cream
Yeah, I know. Tequila ice cream? How can that possibly be good?
I had actually had tequila Ice cream before on our first trip to San Miguel de Allende and was pleasantly surprised with how good it was. But let me tell you; no kidding, the tequila ice cream is even better in the town of Tequila! While the concept might not sound good, I promise you that it really is.
By adding milk and sugar to the tequila, you get a well-rounded, very enjoyable flavor. They sell this ice cream all over, but I would recommend getting it right in the main square by the cathedral. This is where we got it, and I can’t recommend it enough!
They also have several other flavors that are worth getting, too, if you’re feeling the heat or craving a little snack. If you are looking for a snack but don’t feel like eating ice cream, check out my guide to the best street foods in Mexico!
How to Get to Tequila from Guadalajara
The state of Jalisco is jam-packed with great places to visit. From Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara and Tequila, there are many fantastic places to explore.
Tequila is about an hour and a half northwest of Guadalajara, and there are a few main ways to get there. I have trimmed the list down to the five best options for you, that way making your decision about how to get to Tequila from Guadalajara is as easy as possible.
The Best Time to Visit Tequila Mexico
Generally speaking, the weather in Guadalajara and Tequila is very nice all year round. There isn’t necessarily a bad time to visit.
However, there are certainly some times to visit that are better than others! The best weather tends to be in the late spring and early summer, between April and June, making this the best time to visit Tequila. At this time of the year, it doesn’t really rain and the summer heat hasn’t begun.
While this is true, we visited in September and had fantastic weather.
The day of the week you choose to visit on could have a large impact on your overall experience. We visited on a Sunday, and the town was absolutely packed – and this is exactly what we wanted! On the weekends, the town is absolutely jam-packed with people and it’s amazing.
However, not everyone wants a busy, wild visit! Some people want to visit distilleries and eat in nice restaurants and not have to worry about too much loud noise and congestion in the streets.
If this is you, a good option would be early in the week, like between Monday and Wednesday. While there will still be people and there may still be crowds, it is usually nothing compared to the weekend.
Our Final Tips for Visiting Tequila
That’s all we have for you about planning a day trip from Guadalajara to Tequila! Hopefully this guide helps you plan your visit to one of Mexico’s rowdiest towns. As always, drink responsibly and be sure to hydrate.
Please comment any questions you may have or any Tequila activities that we missed!