If you are a tequila fan and want to discover the true taste, meaning, and history behind those margaritas, it’s time to visit the Tequila Trail. It encompasses the towns of Tequila, El Arenal, Amatitán, Magdalena, and Teuchitlán; places that are like a time machine, ready to take you back to the times when tequila was made using very basic techniques for just a few lucky people. Take a trip to the bluish-green landscape of the agave fields in Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.
This area, just an hour away from Guadalajara, is characterized by a beautiful landscape of blue agave fields and the urban settlements of Tequila, Arenal, and Amatitán. The area features old distilleries where the agave is fermented and distilled. Each agave plant has to grow for five to seven years before it is cut; this is why you can usually observe the fields full of plants at any time of year.
The area has been inhabited for around 2,000 years, and nowadays it’s famous all around the world for the drink that is distilled from the blue agave plant. Tequila has a protected designation of origin, meaning that this is the only place in the world where it can be produced. You can learn all about this, and other stories about tequila, by visiting the Museo Nacional del Tequila (National Tequila Museum).
According to UNESCO, the cultivation and distillation of agave have produced a distinctive landscape, within which you will also find a collection of fine haciendas and distilleries, reflecting the fusion of pre-Hispanic traditions of fermenting mescal juice with the European distillation processes of the past 250 years.
The Tequila Express is a very original and pleasant way to discover the agave landscape. It departs from Guadalajara, and the tour includes a stop at the Hacienda San Jose del Refugio, home of Tequila Herradura in Amatitán, where you can learn all about the process of tequila brewing. The train includes beer and tequila tasting from the start of the journey and a taste of typical Jalisco cuisine. The Tequila Express leaves from Guadalajara’s train station every weekend day at 10:15; reservations are essential.
The Tequila Trail also includes Teuchitán, a unique archaeological site featuring circular pyramids, where you can enjoy great view of the landscape, taking in the town of Teuchitán and the agave fields.
The real beauty of this place lies in the perfect mix of all the elements of the landscape: the soil, the agave plants, the horses, the small houses with tiled roofs, the mountains, the fresh air. This is an experience you have to have if you are visiting Jalisco, Mexico.
There are plenty companies offering guided tours. Here are some options:
Tequila Adventure, +52 374 7424015
Mexico Tequila Tours, +52 374 7421819
Andares de Mexico, +52 33 36470202
Servi Tour Agave Azul, +52 374 7420851
Mundo Cuervo, +52 33 31343379
Tequila & Arte Tours, +52 374 7423644
Destiladora Rubio, +52 374 7422830
La Cofradía, +52 374 7423677