While in Guadalajara, Saturday is a great day to travel to nearby Tequila (yes, that’s the city’s name!), home to Jose Cuervo factories along with dozens of other distilleries.
You can take an organized tour from Guadalajara or a more pricey deluxe tour including horseback riding (affiliate links). If you prefer to be independent, you can DIY: put together your own tour so you’ll be on your own timetable, by following the tips below.
Take a bus from Guadalajara
From Zapopan or Guadalajara, a round trip ticket on Tequila Plus bus is approximately 170 pesos (just $10 USD) and takes about an hour each direction. Busses leave on the hour, most hours. We arrived after the noontime sun and decided to visit Rubio’s distillery, a very well-organized tequila distillery that allows you to get close to the fermentation tanks and take as many selfies as you could want with blue agave and barrels. You can also sample a variety of tequilas from blanco to reposado (aged 6 months) to anejo (aged 1 year) to super anejo (2 years).
We also got great samples of coffee, pineapple, chocolate and mango-flavored tequilas, which are viciously delicious when blended with milk and ice.
Hop on the chile
All in all, our decision to take the hilarious “chile” bus tour through Tequila was a good choice. You can also do most of the tastings on foot and avoid the tourists (the town is small), but in a time crunch, I would recommend that you don’t write off the option to “subete al chile” —a good value for 350 pesos ($20) per person.
You’ll learn a lot on the tours. For example, we learned that besides different times for aging, there are also different methods of cooking and filtration. Sauza Tequila is cooked by vapor, not by oven, and only the liquid is boiled—in contrast to the fibers being boiled, as is done by Rubio. If you can, get on the tour bus with Juan Francisco Lopez, who makes the tour well worth the money with his on-point humor. He also speaks English.
Another tip: wear clothes that look good with Blue Agave, so you can take pictures with the endless fields of big and small growths.
Popular tequila factories to tour
- Mundo Cuervo
- Casa Sauza
- Destiladora Rubio
- Herradura in Amatitan between Tequila and Guadalajara
- Make sure to check open days and hours before you go.
When in Tequila, you may find it helpful to sing or pray the “Drunkard’s Prayer” which, when translated goes more or less like this:
Holy Friday, Beloved Friday
Please, take care of my intestine
Take care of the fat and the lean,
Take care of my pancreas,
No matter how much I drink.
May this day not be my last day,
To get trashed.
Reminder: As always, please be responsible, especially if you are not in your home country.
Rachel is a San Diego-Tijuana borderlander who spends lots of weekends and work trips in Mexico. During the workweek, she spends her time helping social entrepreneurs get started. When she’s not doing that, she eats good food with good friends in good places. Follow her on instagram @transfronterista.