Day Trip to Tequila from Guadalajara, Mexico [2023]

· Everything you need to know about planning your day trip from Guadalajara to Tequila, Mexico to party in the streets. [Updated December 2022] ·

Jan, 12, 2023

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.

In this quick post I’ll outline the best things to do in Tequila, how to get to Tequila from Guadalajara, and more.

large colorful tequila sound in middle of mexican square with gondola

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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.

Tequila, Mexico is a constant party.

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!

Man in black shirt holding clay cup leaning against gate
I’m standing in front of the Jose Cuervo Museum gate. Sadly, we didn’t book our tickets ahead for the factory tour so we were only able to gaze yearningly into the beautiful interior.

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.

Book your Jose Cuervo Factory Tour ahead of time, as slots sell out rather quickly.

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.

jose cuervo bottle of tequila

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.

While the concept of Tequila Ice cream might not sound good, I promise you that it really is.

Chocolate and Tequila flavored ice cream in Jalisco, Mexico

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.

Taking the Bus from Guadalajara to Tequila

This is what we chose to do because it is the most convenient, budget-friendly option. The company Tequila Plus sends buses every 30-60 minutes to Tequila from the Antigua Estación Central in Guadalajara, and the round trip ticket will cost around $10-11 USD or $200 pesos.

The trip on the bus may take closer to 2 hours but is definitely the most straightforward budget option available. We had no issues with the bus, and it is a completely safe and comfortable way to arrive in Tequila! Tickets can be bought directly at the bus station and credit cards are accepted.

Taking a BlaBlaCar from Guadalajara to Tequila

If you’re from the United States or Canada, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of BlaBlaCar. Basically, BlaBlaCar is a French carpooling app that operates similarly to Uber, except that you buy your seat in advance.

Drivers who are planning to make a specific trip can list the extra seats in their car on the app for a certain price, and you can buy the rights to a seat in their car for the trip. It’s a really clever and inventive platform, and BlaBlaCar is perfectly safe as long as you read the reviews of the driver.

If you’d like to read more about BlaBlaCar, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Using BlaBlaCar. I explain in more detail how it works, why it’s trustworthy, and why it’s a great option to use on your next trip! I’ve used it in both Brazil and Mexico and absolutely love it.

The BlaBlaCar from Guadalajara to Tequila tends to be about $3-4 USD per person each way, and payment is made on the app or in cash to the driver.

This option is comparably priced to the bus and is even faster from point A to point B. The only downside is that there may or may not be a car available when you’re looking to go. I’d check beforehand just in case!

Taking the Jose Cuervo Express Train from Guadalajara to Tequila

This option is not for those on a budget, but is definitely the best option if you’re looking for a good time and don’t mind spending some money. The José Cuervo Express, commonly referenced as the Tequila Express, is a privately-owned train that connects Guadalajara and Tequila, and onboard they offer all kinds of perks – potentially even bottomless tequila!

The Jose Cuervo Express is one of only a few passenger trains in all of Mexico, and it is by far the coolest – and most expensive – option to get from Guadalajara to Tequila. Tickets for the train start at around $120 USD for the basic package and can go way up from there.

While it is an expensive option, it honestly is a really cool experience. Jose Cuervo owns the train, as the name might imply, and they have turned it into a really luxurious, enticing option. Passing by the beautiful blue agave fields while riding on a high-class train is a really unique experience, and it is a great way to experience Tequila via a full-day tour.

Booking a Private Tour from Guadalajara to Tequila

If you value convenience or don’t enjoy public transportation, this may be the absolute best option for you. Private tours from Guadalajara to Tequila are plentiful, and the round-trip transport coupled with the agenda in Tequila makes for a very enjoyable and laid-back day.

This option is typically right in the middle between taking the bus and taking the tequila train. If you’re new to traveling in Mexico or you would prefer to have a bilingual guide along with you, then you can’t beat this option.

While there are many options for private tours from Guadalajara to Tequila and it’s hard to go wrong with any of them, I personally would recommend Camina GDL. Camina GDL is a great tour company in Guadalajara that actually offers free walking tours of the city and sells great packages for day trips from Guadalajara to places in the area.

On my free walking tour of Guadalajara, my tour guide, Valeria, mentioned that her personal favorite of the tours that they offer is the one to Tequila. All of the guides are fully bilingual and are a lot of fun. For more information about pricing and availability, check out their website.

Driving from Guadalajara to Tequila

I chose to include this option on the list as I realize that many people prefer to rent a car and travel around at their own pace. This is, in many ways, a great option. The road between Guadalajara and Tequila is safe and driving in your own car is absolutely the fastest way to get between the two cities.

I, personally, would never choose this option. I am not a fan of driving in Mexico based on a bad experience I had with the police. That experience was in Mexico City and nowhere near Guadalajara, so I know that this is probably just my bias talking. You’ll probably be perfectly fine.

However, if you do decide to rent a car and drive from Guadalajara to Tequila, I advise you to check out two of my posts that can help you out just in case. Firstly, check out my post about dealing with corrupt police in Mexico. It’s a sad reality, but there are a lot of police officers down there that will look to get a bribe out of you. Reading my post can help prepare you, that way you don’t have an experience like I had.

The second post I’d recommend checking out is my post on general driving tips in Mexico. There are some fundamental differences between driving in Mexico versus other countries, and that post will give you a few pointers to help make sure your experience goes as smoothly 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.

When thinking about the best time to visit Tequila, the answer is more about the day than the month, in my opinion.

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

Buy Things Outside of Town

Our first tip is something that I already mentioned, but I want to reiterate it. If you’re looking to save some money, buy things outside of the center of the town. The cantaritos, for example, are anywhere from 50-75% of the price on the outer edge of town compared to the center.

This same logic applies to shopping. Visiting stores on the edge of town is absolutely the way to find a bargain, whether you’re looking for drinks, bottles of tequila, or souvenirs.

Plan Ahead

Secondly, plan ahead. Many of the top distillery tour options sell out of tour spots a few days in advance, and it would be a real shame to miss out on visiting the big distilleries, like Jose Cuervo. The best way to guarantee availability is to book your spot online before you arrive.

Don’t Drive Home

Finally, don’t plan on having to drive home. While I already said that renting a car is the worst transportation option in my opinion, I didn’t even mention the fact that you need to drive home at the end of the day.

Drinking and driving is both dangerous and wrong, and highly illegal in Mexico. Breathalyzer checkpoints are a thing, and getting caught behind the wheel after drinking carries very big consequences in Mexico. If you do rent a car and drive from Guadalajara to Tequila, either have a designated driver or book a hotel room for the night.

two elderly men sitting on steps in mexico

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!


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.


  1. Reply

    Janice hallisey

    April 7, 2023

    Our family is attending a wedding soon in Tequila- is it safe for Americans to travel there? I believe the group has reserved a bus… what’s your opinion about getting safely from Guadalajara to Tequila?
    How do the police treat Americans?

    • Reply


      April 7, 2023

      Hi Janice,

      Thanks for reading! Tequila is absolutely safe for Americans. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel there at all. Guadalajara is a wonderful city in and of itself, and Tequila is just a stone’s throw away into the countryside. A wedding in Tequila sounds absolutely marvelous, and the city is beautiful!

      If the group has a bus from Guadalajara to Tequila, do that. That is definitely your best option, as it will be pre-organized and require no work on your end. We used a public bus one way and took an Uber the other way, and both were perfectly fine. The roads are fine, the area is plenty safe, and the police will not bother you if you are in a large prearranged bus. The only time I’ve had a run-in with police in Mexico is when driving my own vehicle. I’ve never had an issue in a bus, Uber, or other form of transportation.

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.