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El Arenal

Jalisco

For entering into Tequila’s agave landscape, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you have to go to El Arenal in Jalisco. This town still preserves its old haciendas and tequila factories vestiges—some are still keeping their doors open to the public to learn how the process of making Mexico’s most representative distillate is.

Agrotourism in El Arenal is continuous: bicycle rides are organized to contemplate the agaves from several overlooks and you are also able to pedal within the cultivated fields. There are also visits to brick factories and saddlery workshops, two of the town's main economic activities. It’s for granted backing home with a pair of huaraches or tanned leather belts.

Walking through El Arenal means getting into the roads that belong to its history: formerly caciques took over all the fertile lands, forcing the settlers to build their houses in the few free spaces remaining. To make the most of the land, they decided to make narrow alleys instead of wide streets in town. Most, like November 20, lead into the main square.

The square is guarded by the temple of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and a large garden. Around, there’s no lack of traditional cantinas to take a good tequila shot, a pozole (a corn variation broth with pork meat), a torta ahogada (sandwich drown in spicy sauce). Something that attracts visitors are the huge clay jugs—known as cantaritos—tequila filled and orange slices that are also sold as souvenirs.

Near El Arenal is the Zona Arqueológica de Guachimontones (archaeological zone of Guachimontones), whose circular pyramids are unique in the world. Also on the outskirts of town is the Exhacienda La Calavera, turned into an interpretive museum of the agave landscape.

Where is El Arenal, Jalisco? 40 kilometers from Guadalajara, on the highway to Nogales, and 21 kilometers before reaching Tequila, by the same route.
For entering into Tequila’s agave landscape, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you have to go to El Arenal in Jalisco. This town still preserves its old haciendas and tequila factories vestiges—some are still keeping their doors open to the public to learn how the process of making Mexico’s most representative distillate is.

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Agrotourism in El Arenal is continuous: bicycle rides are organized to contemplate the agaves from several overlooks and you are also able to pedal within the cultivated fields. There are also visits to brick factories and saddlery workshops, two of the town's main economic activities. It’s for granted backing home with a pair of huaraches or tanned leather belts.

Walking through El Arenal means getting into the roads that belong to its history: formerly caciques took over all the fertile lands, forcing the settlers to build their houses in the few free spaces remaining. To make the most of the land, they decided to make narrow alleys instead of wide streets in town. Most, like November 20, lead into the main square.

The square is guarded by the temple of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and a large garden. Around, there’s no lack of traditional cantinas to take a good tequila shot, a pozole (a corn variation broth with pork meat), a torta ahogada (sandwich drown in spicy sauce). Something that attracts visitors are the huge clay jugs—known as cantaritos—tequila filled and orange slices that are also sold as souvenirs.

Near El Arenal is the Zona Arqueológica de Guachimontones (archaeological zone of Guachimontones), whose circular pyramids are unique in the world. Also on the outskirts of town is the Exhacienda La Calavera, turned into an interpretive museum of the agave landscape.

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