A dusty town tucked in the volcanic valleys northwest of Guadalajara and surrounded by the UNESCO-listed blue agave plantations, Tequila’s rich history is about more than just a name. As the birthplace of the eponymous drink, Tequila has been producing Mexico’s national beverage since the 16th century and the surrounding state of Jalisco is the only area of the country where the potent spirit can be legally produced.
Of course, visitors to the town come for the tequila, many following the popular Jalisco Tequila Trail or hitching a ride on the scenic Tequila Express train. Tequila enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice, from the over-zealous hawkers flogging sub-par mixto on the streets to specialist taverns serving up fine 100% agave vintages. The town’s main attraction is the Jose Cuervo Distillery, the world’s oldest and largest tequila distillery, but the nearby Casa Herradura, La Rojeña and Los Abuelos distilleries are also popular stops, where visitors can tour the production plant and indulge in a selection of top tequilas. Tequila is also home to the fascinating National Tequila Museum and hosts the annual Mexican National Tequila Fair each summer.