A Spirited Journey Through Mexico's Heartland: How to get from Guadalajara to Tequila

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November 29, 2023

A Journey to Tequila

Do you enjoy sipping on a smooth glass of tequila at the end of a long day? Or perhaps you’re a fan of margaritas and want to experience the origins of this famous cocktail?

Either way, a trip to Tequila is a must-do for anyone visiting Guadalajara, Mexico. Nestled in the rolling hills of Jalisco state, Tequila is known as the birthplace of this iconic spirit. It's the perfect destination for a day trip from Guadalajara.

Its name has become synonymous with leisurely sipping, partying, and experiencing Mexican culture at its finest. Whether you’re an experienced traveler or just looking for an adventure close to home, exploring this small town will leave you breathless.

Brief Overview of the Location and Popularity of Tequila

The town of Tequila is located in the western Mexican state of Jalisco and is world-renowned for its production of tequila. It located northwest of Guadalajara. The town’s origins date back to 1530 when Spanish conquistadors introduced agave cultivation techniques used by indigenous people but it wasn't until 1758 that Jose Cuervo was granted the first license to produce tequila commercially.

Tequila's popularity has grown over recent years thanks to its rich history and booming industry which has attracted tourists from across Mexico and around the world. Visitors come here not only for its internationally known drink but also for its beautiful scenery, traditional architecture, historic landmarks, cultural events & festivals.

Journey from Guadalajara to Tequila

If you are planning your visit to Tequila in Jalisco State then Guadalajara is likely your starting point - as it is for many travelers due to it being the nearest city with an international airport- Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla(GDL). The driving distance between Guadalajara is about 65 kilometers away offers various transportation options to get to Tequila, making it a convenient and enjoyable trip. So, buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey into the heart of Mexico's tequila country!

Learn more about visiting Guadalajara and other day trip destinations here.

You can find out more about Mexico and all this amazing has to offer by visiting our country guide.

Transportation Options

Bus: Affordable and convenient option for travelers on a budget

Taking a bus to Tequila is an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers who want to make the most of their trip. The bus station in Guadalajara offers several daily departures, and via bus the journey takes about 1.5 hours. The Guadalajara to Tequila bus route is very popular and has hourly departures

Make sure to be on the Tequila Plus bus, which offers a more direct route and makes less stops along the way. The buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, and equipped with restrooms.

Moreover, the prices are very affordable! You can buy a one-way bus ride for around $4 USD or less, depending on the time of day you travel. 

Private Car: More expensive but offers flexibility and comfort

If you prefer to travel in style, renting a car or hiring a driver is an excellent choice. Having your transportation means you can stop whenever and wherever you want to take pictures or enjoy the scenery.

Additionally, driving yourself means that you don't have to worry about navigating public transit schedules and waiting for buses or trains. Although it's more expensive than taking public transportation, renting a car costs about $35-40 USD per day plus gas expenses.

The drive from Guadalajara to Tequila is very scenic and filled with fields of agave plants. Best of all it's just over an hour away. There are a couple of tolls along the way just be sure to have cash on hand for the toll-booths.

Train: Ride the Tequila Express

One of the coolest ways to reach Tequila is via the Jose Cuervo Express it is a trip field with scenic views of agave fields and unique experiences offered on board such as tequila tastings. However, it only runs on specific days - usually Saturdays - which makes it harder to fit into some travel plans.

The train departs from Guadalajara's train station at around 9 am and arrives in Tequila at noon after a pleasant two-hour ride through spectacular landscapes. Keep in mind that this luxurious train journey comes at a cost of approximately $100-150 USD per person round trip depending on which package you choose.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose from Guadalajara to Tequila; there are options available to meet any budget, schedule and travel preferences. So, pack your bags and head to Tequila to enjoy the beautiful scenery and delicious drinks!

Source RometoRio map from GDL to Tequila by Bus

Bus Travel

The Affordable and Convenient Option

If you're looking for a budget-friendly option to travel from Guadalajara to Tequila, then taking a bus is your best bet. There are several bus companies that operate on this route, including Primera Plus and Tequila Plus. The journey takes approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions.

How to take a Bus from Guadalajara to Tequila?

To take the bus from Guadalajara to Tequila, you need to first head over to the Central Camionera de Guadalajara (Guadalajara's Old Bus Central Station). This station is located in the city center and easily accessible by public transportation or Uber/taxi. Once at the station, look for the ticket counters of Primera Plus or Tequila Plus (direct bus).

The bus services depart from Guadalajara throughout the day, starting as early as 5:30 am and as late as 11:00 pm. It's always best to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

You can also catch the bus from Zapopan as well. Zapopan is part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area and is northwest of the center. A bus trip from here to Tequila is around an hour.

Information on Bus Schedules, Prices, and Duration

The bus fare varies depending on the company you choose and type of seat you purchase. On average, a one-way ticket costs around MXN $100-150 (USD $5-7). For such an affordable price, you can enjoy a comfortable ride with air conditioning and reclining seats.

As mentioned earlier, the duration of the trip is about an hour and a half. However, it can take longer if there's heavy traffic on the highway during peak travel times.

Make sure you check with the bus company about their schedules so that you can plan your trip accordingly. Overall, taking a bus is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable and convenient way to travel from Guadalajara to Tequila.

Travel by Car

Advantages of renting a car 

If you have some extra cash to spare, renting a car can be the most comfortable option. I think this is the best way to get  to town and makes returning to Guadalajara a relaxing event without having to be on anyone's time.

With this option, you will have the flexibility to stop at any scenic location that catches your eye, as well as faster travel time. Also, if you’re traveling with a group of people, expenses can be split between everyone.

Recommended routes and scenic spots along the way

The most recommended route from Guadalajara to Tequila is via Highway 15. The distance is approximately 62 km (38 miles), and it should take around an hour to reach Tequila.

Along this route, you will find breathtaking views of Jalisco’s countryside. There are two scenic routes that definitely deserve your attention:

La Barranca de Oblatos: This route offers stunning landscapes with cliffs and mountains.

You will experience amazing views of its winding roadways with unique geological formations. Be sure to have your camera ready!

Sierra del Tigre: Another scenic route is through Sierra del Tigre; it’s one of the best routes in which you will encounter breathtaking forests and mountain ranges on either side of the road.

You will drive through tunnels carved into mountain sides and over bridges spanning deep gorges making for an unforgettable travel experience. Renting a car or hiring a driver allows travelers to enjoy these beautiful routes without worrying about bus schedules or train times!

Train Travel

A Jaliscan Adventure: Taking the Jose Cuervo Express to Tequila

If you're looking for an unforgettable experience, then taking the train from Guadalajara to Tequila is a must. The Jose Cuervo Express is a luxurious vintage train that takes you on a scenic journey through the agave fields of Jalisco, Mexico. The train departs from the restored train station in Guadalajara and arrives in the heart of Tequila.

Ticket prices, schedules, and amenities

Tickets for the Jose Cuervo Express start at around $100 USD per person, depending on the package chosen. There are three different packages available: Express, Premium Plus, and Premium Select. Each package offers different amenities such as complimentary cocktails or exclusive access to certain areas of the train.

The schedule varies depending on the day of the week but generally departs early in the morning and returns in the late afternoon or evening. The amenities onboard are impressive with air conditioning, comfortable seating arrangements with plenty of legroom and designated seating areas for dining.

There is also live music entertainment during parts of your journey allowing you to relax while enjoying performances by local artists. Overall taking the Jose Cuervo express is an excellent way to enjoy Mexico's picturesque landscape at a leisurely pace while enjoying some tequila drinks along the way.

Things to Do in Tequila

Distillery Tours: Witness the Tequila-making Process

As you might expect, the primary thing to do in Tequila is to visit the distilleries that make this iconic beverage. There are several options for tours, including Jose Cuervo, Sauza and Casa Herradura.

You can watch every step of how tequila is made, from agave plantations to bottling plants. At many of these facilities you'll also get a complimentary tasting with your tour. 

Museums: Learn about the History and Culture of Tequila

Tequila is steeped in history and culture that dates back centuries. To learn more about it, check out one of the town's museums. The National Museum of Tequila offers a comprehensive overview of tequila's history, while other museums focus on specific aspects such as tequila making or agave farming. 

Agave Fields: Explore Nature and Understand its Importance

To understand where tequila comes from at its most basic level, exploring agave fields is an excellent option. You can take a guided tour or even walk through an agave field yourself to experience this unique plant up close.

Restaurants and Bars: Enjoy Local Cuisine and Drinks

No trip to Tequila would be complete without sampling some local cuisine and tequila cocktails. Many restaurants offer classic Mexican dishes such as tacos al pastor or enchiladas de mole with a side order of guacamole made fresh at your tableside; all paired with delicious margaritas made with 100% blue agave tequilas or local beer brands.

There's plenty to see and do in Tequila, whether you're interested in learning about the history and culture of tequila or just want to relax and sample some delicious food and drinks. Be sure to try the Tequila ice cream too! It's a wonderful treat on a hot day.

Make sure you plan enough time for each activity so that you can enjoy everything this town has to offer! You can read more about my top things to do in Tequila here.

Ready to Plan Your Trip from Guadalajara to Tequila

Tequila is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Guadalajara. With various transportation options available, it is easy to get there and explore all the town has to offer. The bus is an affordable and convenient option for travelers on a budget, while a car rental offers flexibility and comfort.

The Tequila train is also a scenic option and a luxurious way to get to Tequila but has limited schedules. Once in Tequila, there's plenty to explore.

There are several distillery tours where you can learn about the history and production of tequila, as well as museums that showcase the town's rich cultural heritage. For those who enjoy being outdoors, the agave fields are a beautiful sight to behold.

Overall, getting to Tequila from Guadalajara is relatively easy regardless of your preferred mode of transportation. Its location makes taking a day trip to Tequila both convenient and cheap. Once there, you can soak up all the culture, history and delicious tequila that this charming Mexican town has to offer!


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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