Happy New Year Everyone!
We just returned from a 4 day trip to the historic town of Tequila in Jalisco, MX. We rented a car and drove 4 hours inland with our friends Doug and Elena on Island Princess. The town of Tequila surpassed all of our expectations and we all had a great time.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Tequila (the spirit) can only be made in one town in the entire world, so when we found out that town was only a 4 hour drive from Puerto Vallarta, naturally we had to investigate.. We had no idea how old the town was and how long they had been distilling spirits from the famed blue agave plant. The native legend holds that a lightning bolt hit a blue agave plant and the natives tasted the sweet juice that was produced and liked it so much they started cultivating the plant for a sweet beverage. When the Spaniards arrived in the 1600’s, they distilled this sweet juice and thus Tequila was born. Now anejo (aged) Tequila made from 100% agave is a highly-respected spirit found on the top shelves of the best bars and restaurants in the world.
En route to Tequila we stopped at Laguna Santa Maria for lunch. The lake was beautiful; set in the caldera of an ancient volcano and surrounded by lush tropical jungle. Lunch was local-caught fish under a thatched palapa roof along the waterfront. Then we drove a couple more hours to Tequila.
We met a very nice family in the town square the first night and they invited us to breakfast the next morning. When we arrived we were enthralled to learn that the home was the oldest in Tequila (380 years old!). We had a great time visiting and touring the spectacular home that took up almost a whole city block. After breakfast the family (Armando, Lupita and their son) brought us to one of the oldest distilleries in the town, La Alborada, where we enjoyed a tour of the facilities and of course some tasting of the amazing extra anejo (aged 7-8 years in American oak barrels). Then we toured the La Cofradia distillery, which had a very impressive underground restaurant under the aging cellar.
We stayed at a hotel right on the town square, ate amazing street food (corn, veggies, tacos) while sipping on Jarros (a ceramic mug of juices and tequila) and spent hours people watching. The people of Tequila were very friendly and exceptionally helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the town.
On the way back we spent a night at Rincon de Guayabitos, a beach town where the locals go to relax and party. We rented a room with a balcony over the middle of town and just relaxed and people-watched while munching on pollo asada and guacamole.
We spent yesterday in the surf town of Sayulita before returning to La Cruz. Sayulita is like Santa Cruz (complete with rasta look alikes) but with white sand beaches, taco stands and better weather.
We had a great trip and it’s good to be back on the boat. We will leave La Cruz tomorrow and head to Yelapa for the night then push further south to Bahia Chamela (100 nm south of here).