After an amazing day in Guadalajara, it was time to see something else. We happened to be so close (okay, one hour away) to the small town of Tequila that it was impossible to miss it. So on our second day, we woke up late, had to get dressed in five minutes and ate 7-Eleven sandwiches while we jumped on the bus to the magical town of Tequila!
If you’re interested in doing the tour we did, you can find more information here. It’s 400 pesos per person, and it also includes the entrance to the tequila factory. It leaves at 10:00 am in front of the Hotel Camino Real in Guadalajara. There’s a paid parking in front of the hotel if you have a car and you can pay for your ticket on the bus. Now, let me tell you why it’s worth it.
The Agave Field
The best part of the tour was stopping in one of the hundreds of field on our way to Tequila. It’s amazing to see the plantations for the window of the bus, but it’s even better to walk there and experience it yourself.
It takes an insanely long time for an agave plant to be ready to be harvested. Like twelve years, to be more exact. It usually weighs between 80 and 200 pounds at that time. So yeah, it gets pretty massive. We had the chance to see a jimador (the person who works in the field and harvests the agave) at work. It’s impressive, even if the agave he dug up was too small to be used.
It doesn’t get more Mexican, does it? On top of learning how to harvest the plant, I also discovered the agave nectar, which is a sweetener that can replace honey, and that you can make an amazing body lotion with the sap of leaves. The jimador always has his own cream with him that he makes as he works, but he also sells some. I do love it and for only 50 pesos, it was worth to buy it.
And that was all for our visit in the fields, now it was time to get back on the bus and keep driving since we weren’t in Tequila just yet.
The Magical Town of Tequila
Why does everybody keep calling Tequila the “Magical Town”? I don’t have any idea, but I think it’s kind of cute. So I’ll go with it!
We arrived in Tequila a bit early for our tour, so it was time to visit. We didn’t go very far from the Mundo Cuervo building, but we did wander around. Tequila is absolutely gorgeous and has a very nice small town feeling. Look for yourself.
While we were eating at El Abajeno the day before, I confessed to César that I didn’t really enjoy corn tortillas but liked the one at the restaurant. He explained to me that I actually liked the handmade one instead of the machine-made ones. That’s why, when we saw a tortilla machine in Tequila, he pointed it out to us to show us how it was made. It turns out that the women who were running the place let us in to take a few pictures!
So if you ever wonder what the tortillas machine look like, you have your answer!
The Jose Cuervo Tequila Factory
At 1 o’clock, it was finally time to visit the factory! We sat down to watch a movie about the history of Cuervo and once it was done, we started our tour of the building. We started outside, where the ovens were. There was also a big pile of piñas, the heart of the agaves. The smell wasn’t very pleasant, but it was bearable. Maybe a real tequila connoisseur would appreciate it, but it was too strong for me.
This is as far as I could go with my camera. Unfortunately, I don’t have more pictures of the factory. We had a great time learning about the process and the aging of the tequila. We visited the room with all the barrels and had the chance to taste different kinds of tequila.
Cuervo, the last name of the tequila producer, means raven in English. You’ll understand then why they have this giant black bird at the entrance of the factory. They also have a raven in a cage, but he apparently tends to bite, so I stayed far away.
After the tour, we had more free time in Tequila before we had to take the bus at 3 pm. We walked around a bit more, enjoying our time in the magical town before we had to head back.
I loved our trip there, and the guide we had with us was very kind. His English was perfect, and I was grateful for that! Same thing for the tour guide at the factory. There was only one tour in English at Cuervo, which was at 1 pm. If you plan to drive to Tequila by yourself, keep that in mind to make sure you don’t lose your only chance to understand the history of the tequila.