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Guadalajara and Tequila: A Journey through Mexico’s Vibrant Heartland

Before it was time to come home, I had a week to spend in Mexico. I decided to cram this time into a small opportunity to see a bit of the country I wasn’t able to whilst I was at La Salle. I started my journey by making my way from Bogotá to Guadalajara.

Two Flights From Bogotá to Guadalajara

This trans-continental journey was quite an ordeal as it took more than 18 hours to get from door to door. My day began with asking to get a taxi from Selina to Bogotá’s airport and the airport wasn’t too bad. There was a coffee shop at the terminal and it was easy to navigate. My only complaint is that the wifi isn’t free. The lady at the gate called me up to make sure that everything was in order. During this time, they printed my boarding passes, something that budget airlines in Europe refuse to do.

Both of my flights were delayed by more than an hour, the flight to Mexico took a good 4 hours. Once I arrived, I got through the airport without any problems. I then had something to eat at Chili’s before enduring the horror that is Mexico City airport. The domestic terminal is not a great place to get some chill out time. The terminal too crowded and the speakers blurt out the same announcements.

There was a delay of over an hour for my second flight and once I arrived in Guadalajara. It took a bit of time to realise how to get to my hostel. The only way to get a taxi at this airport is to pay at a desk. Then you get a ticket and you have to wait 20 minutes.

Once again, I stayed at a Selina hostel in Guadalajara, and once again they completely knocked it out. However, it wasn’t a very sociable hostel as there didn’t seem to be an area to meet other travellers.

Having Breakfast at El Frutero

After a good sleep, I went for a walk looking for a place get something to eat and some coffee. I found a place called El Frutero and I enjoyed having some waffles there and a very good coffee. Definitely recommend coming here for breakfast if you’re in Guadalajara.

Taking a Little Look at Guadalajara

Due to the fact I only had a week left, I had very little time to explore Guadalajara. I had just one day to do it and I definitely need to come back to Jalisco. Guadalajara is Mexico’s second biggest city, however it is much more off the beaten track. It’s hard to understand why as it is a city with a great link to Mexican culture. What truly impressed me was the very modern metro system in contrast to that of Mexico City’s.

Furthermore, I took a walk around and enjoyed looking at Guadalajara Cathedral which is one of the most famous buildings within the city. Right in the centre known as Plaza de Armas which is a good open space. This has a few interesting museums around, unfortunately, as it was a Monday, it meant that they were all closed.

I then walked over to Plaza de los Mariachis, Mariachis actually came from this city, so I knew I had to take a look. As it was only the afternoon, I seemingly didn’t seem to see any mariachis performing. It has old style architecture and 2 statues of mariachi performers, one of them is of Vicente Fernandez who is very famous in Mexico.

The Agony of Getting From Guadalajara to Tequila and Back

The next day, I knew I had to go to Tequila as I had the chance to do so while I was in Jalisco. What you should know is that getting there from Guadalajara can be an absolute nightmare. I took an Uber to get there, which is the easiest way as it just takes an hour however it is not the cheapest. However, to get back, I found the bus station and took the bus which was an absolute disaster.

Although the bus said it would arrived at 2:50PM, it arrived at 3 and took a ridiculous two and a half hours. It was one of those busses which would just stop in random places and didn’t take the quickest route. Once I reached Guadalajara, getting through the traffic was seriously frustrating. This meant that I would miss my bus which I had purchased a ticket for which created a very annoying evening, however that is a story for the next post. Above all, it’s an absolute joke that there is a railway between Guadalajara and Tequila. However, there is no regular railway service.

The Pueblo Mágico of Tequila and the Jose Cuervo Distillery

Once I arrived in Tequila, I headed to a cafe to get some coffee and chilaquiles for breakfast. Being a Pueblo Mágico, the streets and architecture of Tequila is very quaint giving Tequila the magic that it deserves.

Located on Jose Cuervo Street, the Fábrica La Rojeña is a Jose Cuervo factory which is open to show tourists. The tour starts at 1PM and lasts an hour, the price for the tour is £8 which is a seriously decent price. Furthermore, before the tour started the guides showed us a video all about Tequila, both the town and the drink.

Then we looked around the factory itself, I saw the process of how agave gets made into tequila and put into barrels. We got to look at the delivery trucks which Jose Cuervo has used over the years and they even have a pet crow. This is because cuervo is the Spanish word for crow and the crow represents the whole brand.

Jose Cuervo Street
Inside the distillery

The Experience at the Tequila Factory

At the end of the tour, we were taken to a bar room which is part of the factory and of course we got to sample some tequila. The guide encouraged us to finish the bottle, however I didn’t have too much as I had only eaten my breakfast at that moment. Just before you leave, you go through a gift shop where they sell bottles of Jose Cuervo for £4. I knew I had to buy magnets for my cousin as he loves tequila like a fat kid loves cake.

I definitely recommend a visit to Tequila and I thought the Jose Cuervo factory was brilliant. It just might be one of my favourite things I did during my time in Mexico and really wish I had more time to look around the Pueblo Mágico. I give props to the people at Jose Cuervo for not overcharging tourists as the tour only cost £8, something like this in Europe would be double this price.

If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out my other posts such as backpacking in San Salvador and Medellin.

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