Jalisco, a charming Mexican state on the Pacific coast, offers up an intoxicating taste of old Mexico. Although many travellers tend to pass it over for the more popular Mexican hotspots, OROGOLD considers Jalisco, the birthplace of tequila, sombreros and mariachi music, to be a truly timeless destination.
As soon as the scenery changes from a desert landscape to valleys drenched in blue agave plants, and you enter the traditional and authentic town of Tequila, you will feel as though you have been transported back in time. A stroll through town will take you to the Tequila Museum, where you can tour the distillery machines and sample tequila, locally known as white gold, fresh out of the barrel. A visit to the nearby volcano, also named Tequila, is a must. The volcano was last active over 20,000 years ago, and it is now an ideal hiking spot. After a busy day of Tequila, you can spend the evening relaxing at one of the town’s thermal spas.
Like Tequila, Tapalpa is another small, historic town that feels as though it has been trapped in time, and is reminiscent of the days when horses and cowboys dominated the streets. However, it is the untouched natural beauty outside of town that is Tapalpa’s main draw. With clean, pure air, dense jungles, lush vegetation, sparkling dams, cascading waterfalls and winding rivers, it is not hard to see why locals and tourists alike have one word to describe the place; magical. As well as hiking and biking, you can also explore the area by canoe or horseback, giving you a glimpse of what life would have been like in the area back in the day.
Sayulita describes itself as a ‘hippie chic town’, and it certainly does have a bohemian, laid-back vibe. It is a small town, one that you could see in just a few hours, but one that will show you what the more modern Mexican towns would have been like 30 years ago. The long strip of beach is what has earned Sayulita the reputation of one of the best surfing destinations in Mexico, and, for those who do not surf, the beach is dotted with sun loungers and vendors selling food and drink. Quaint coffee bars, hole-in-the-wall shops, and street vendors line the town’s Main Street, and, with not a bank or corporate chain store in sight, it is the perfect little town to get away from the madness of modern life.
In addition to Sayulita, Tapalpa and Tequila, other OROGOLD favorites in Jalisco are Lago de Chapala, the largest natural lake in Mexico, with spectacular scenery and traditional lakeside towns, and Zona de Montana, a string of mountain ranges where horses run free and the modern world feels like a million miles away. No matter what you choose to do, a visit to Jalisco will take you back in time and allow you to have an authentic taste of old Mexico, as well as a glimpse of nature in its purest form.