With spangled costumes and romantic flair, mariachi is at the heart of Guadalajara culture. The music, now recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage, rings from local bars, balconies, and plazas in the vibrant city, where modern mariachi music evolved. Here's where to listen to it.
While most understandably attribute tequila to the town of Tequila, others believe Amatitán is more than likely the birthplace of Mexico’s national spirit. Whatever the truth, Amatitán is smattered with distilleries, oozes small-town charm, and welcomes decidedly fewer visitors than its popular neighbor. If you still can’t decide which to visit—or if you’re keen to experience both—organized tours to Tequila sometimes stop in Amatitán. Such tours are ideal if you’re pressed for time and want to make the most of your day-trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Amatitán is a must for both tequila-drinkers and tequila-sceptics, although teetotalers could feel a little left out.
- Music fans may appreciate the fact that Cabo Wabo tequila—the brand once owned by Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar—is produced in Amatitán.
- Amatitán’s most famous distillery is Casa Herradura—stop by as part of an excursion or independently.
- In the agave fields, there is often very little shade, so stay hydrated and wear comfortable footwear.
How to Get There
Travelers arriving from Guadalajara can make their own way to Amatitán from the Old Bus Station (Central Vieja) in the downtown region of the city. Look for the buses marked ‘Amatitán’. The trip should take roughly an hour. The once-weekly Tequila Express Train also stops in Amatitán. Alternatively, organized tours typically offer round-trip transportation, if you’d rather not be bound by public transport schedules or speak limited Spanish.
When to Get There
There’s never a bad time to visit Tequila Country—Amatitán included—although you might want to consider arranging your excursion for the Mexican down season to avoid the worst of the crowds. That typically falls between June and September. Alternatively, if you prefer cooler weather, a winter visit would be your best bet.
The Best Distilleries in Tequila Country Amatitán lies at the heart of Tequila Country and, as such, there are a number of world-class distilleries to choose from. In Amatitán, Casa Herradura is the best-known, but Tres Mujeres is equally fascinating. Tequila has Jose Cuervo, but also Casa Sauza. Meanwhile, El Arenal will charm artisanal spirits fans, thanks to the rough-around-the-edges Tequila Don Valente.
- Casa Herradura Tequila Distillery
- Jose Cuervo Distillery (Fábrica La Rojeña)
- Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan)
- University of Guadalajara Museum of the Arts (MUSA)
- Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento
- Plaza de Armas
- Degollado Theater (Teatro Degollado)
- Guadalajara Historic Center (Centro Histórico)
- Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres
- Guadalajara Cathedral
- Guadalajara Wax Museum (Museo de Cera de Guadalajara)
- Governor's Palace (Palacio de Gobierno)
- Tequila Sightseeing Trains