A Sweet Agave Place to Fall in Love: Tequila in Jalisco

Tequila in Jalisco offers the best experiences and activities, so don't hesitate to take the time to do each one of them mentioned here.

A Sweet Agave Place to Fall in Love: Tequila in Jalisco
A panoramic view of Blue Agave fields in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Photo by Dylan Freedom / Unsplash

Its cultural richness dates back to the origins of Mesoamerica, with the vestiges of the Chiquihuitillo and the shaft tombs. It was a settlement of Nahuatlaca, Toltec, and Otomi indigenous peoples, and one of the most important routes in the exchange and trade of Obsidian. Tequila was founded in 1530 by Cristóbal de Oñate, with the name of Villa de Santiago de Tequila, and is located 65 km from Guadalajara.

Tequila in Jalisco is surrounded by a beautiful landscape where the fields of blue agave prevail, the base ingredient for the production of tequila. At night and in the early morning the whole town is flooded with the smell of cooked agave that escapes from the ovens of the factories, a smell so sweet that it captivates the senses and makes you fall in love.

The tequila tradition dates back to 1600, when Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, Marquis of Altamira, installed the first tequila factory. There are architectural works of interest such as the Church of Santo Santiago Apostle, which dates from the 17th century and stands out for its stone façade and its main altarpiece; and the Church of the Lord of the Forsaken, a building from the 18th century.

You can visit the Portales with a boutique store that sells Tequila and a Restaurant Bar that offers delicious cantaritos, a drink made from Tequila. The Industrial Corridor of Tequila, where the installations of the first Tequila industries are located. The Historic Tequila Washing Places at the end of the old tavern street, which has been remodeled to include gardens, walkways, and fountains. The Cleofas Mota Gastronomic Market, with a great variety of antojitos. And the Cantina "La Capilla", where you can taste the traditional "Batanga".

There are several museums in some of the most important distilleries, such as The National Tequila Museum, an old mansion from the 19th century that in its six rooms goes through the history of the tequila process, has old stills and an important collection of tequila containers (Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm). The Museum "Los Abuelos Familia Sauza", with three rooms where presents a journey through the history of the traditional Agave family (Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm). The La Cofradía Site Museum respects the site's facilities in their natural context (Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm). The Museum of Site Distillery Rubio, with an important collection of photographs, tools, and utensils used in the production of Tequila (Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm).

In the surroundings of Tequila, you can enjoy nature and practice various adventure sports. Highlights include The Tequila Volcano, on whose slopes there is a wooded area and exotic varieties of orchids and is completely safe for climbing. The Barranca del Agua Caliente, place of origin of the wild species of the blue agave Tequilana. El Chuiquihuitillo Viewpoint is located in the Tequila ravine. La Cumbre Viewpoint, where you can enjoy the scenery of the blue agave fields. The Balneario "La Toma", a subway river that flows into the Tequila ravine with a 6-meter waterfall, has several pools and a beautiful view of the Tequila mountain range.

Typical dishes include shrimp with tequila, Tequila steak, salsa borracha, agavera breast, chorizo tostadas with cuerito and gorditas de horno mounted on oak leaves in the mountains of Tequila. You can also taste the tequila snow; mango and plum preserves from the canyon; the cooked quiote, inflorescence of the agave, during the Lenten season; and the traditional ovo water, typical fruit of the region, in August and September.

Among its festivities is the Tequila Cultural Festival of the Jose Cuervo Foundation, held between March and April, and offers international shows at the Jose Cuervo Forum. The Cultural Week commemorates the founding of Tequila in the first two weeks of April with religious festivities, a great popular festival, and fireworks. The José Cuervo International Half Marathon is held on the third Sunday of November. The National Tequila Fair, from November 29 to December 12, includes an exhibition of the main Tequila manufacturers, serenades with mariachis, pyrotechnic and mechanical games.

The Denomination of Origin, the designation of Magical Town, and the UNESCO Declaration of the Agave Landscape, as well as the old tequila haciendas, make this town one of the most important tourist spots in the country. Tequila has become the epicenter of the Tequila Route that gathers more than 150 distilleries located in El Arenal, Amatitán, Magdalena and Teuchitlán. In addition, these towns offer other archeological and cultural attractions.