Jose Cuervo Express Train: How to Plan Your Tequila Train Trip

by Sojourner

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The Jose Cuervo Express train is one of the most fun train travel experiences you can do. As a solo train traveler, I love finding exciting trains worldwide. I am also a tequila girl, so when I heard about this train, I knew I had to take it myself!

However, planning a train ride abroad can seem daunting. But this Jose Cuervo Express guide makes it easy. Whether you want to take this train solo, on a girls’ trip, on a couples’ vacation, or even with friends, I have some insider tips for the Jose Cuervo Express train you should know. Let’s dig in! 

(FYI: This post may have affiliate links. If you buy something using my link, I get a small percentage for mentioning/recommending it. Lucky for you, it doesn’t change the price for you at all, and it’s a super easy and generous way to say thanks for all the work I put into writing this post!!)

FAQs about the Jose Cuervo tequila train 

Where is the tequila train located?

The Jose Cuervo Express departs from two locations. If you are taking the sunrise itinerary, you will depart from Guadalajara. However, if you are taking the sunset itinerary, you will depart from Tequila. Both of these schedules are outlined below in a separate section.

How much are tickets on the Jose Cuervo Express?

Tickets on the Jose Cuervo Express vary as there are multiple classes of tickets. The most expensive ticket is $260 for the Elite car, with the cheapest ticket, the Express, at $175. The Jose Cuervo Express train also offers Premium Plus (the second cheapest) and Diamond (the ticket below Elite) for a variety of price points. Each one includes different perks, which you can find on the Jose Cuervo Express website

Which airport is the best to take the tequila train?

Getting to the Jose Cuervo Express tequila train is not as difficult as it seems. The closest option is to fly into Guadalajara’s airport (which is perfect for the sunrise train). However, it should be noted that Tequila has no airport so that is not an option if you want to take the sunset train to start in Tequila. Mexico City is another airport you could fly into, then fly to Guadalajara too.

Is the tequila barrel hotel a part of the train?

Matices Hotel de Barricas is not affiliated with the Jose Cuervo Express tequila train. You will have to book them separately. However, the staff on the tequila train can hold your luggage during the train experience for the day (for free).

When is the best time to take the Jose Cuervo Express train?

Most tourists visit both Guadalajara and Tequila while on their tequila train experience. Generally speaking, October to December is the dry season in Guadalajara, as the weather is neither too hot nor rainy. June to September is the rainy season and can also be humid for outdoor activities. I took the train in January and had perfect weather. 

Jose Cuervo Express train schedule

Sunrise Train Option

This is the sunrise train itinerary for the Jose Cuervo Express. The train departs on Saturdays from the Guadalajara Train Station every fifteen days. The entire experience is approximately 11 hours. 

  • 9:00 am – The Jose Cuervo Express departs 
  • 9:30 am – Educational tasting guided by an “Expert Taster”
  • 11:00 am – Arrive in Tequila
  • 11:35 am – Entrance to Mundo Cuervo facilities, visit Centro Cultural Juan Beckmann Gallardo and La Rojeña distillery
  • 1:00 pm – Free time to have lunch and enjoy the Tequila
  • 4:15 pm – Mexican Show
  • 6:00 pm – Arrival at the agave fields with “jima” (agave harvesting) demonstration
  • 6:30 pm – The bus departs from Tequila, Jalisco
  • 8:00pm – Arrive at Casa Cuervo – EDISA

Sunset Train Option

This is the sunset train itinerary for the Jose Cuervo Express. The train departs on Saturdays, every fifteen days from Casa Cuervo. The entire experience is approximately 11 hours. 

  • 9:00 am – Bus departs from Casa Cuervo – EDISA to the Jose Cuervo`s agave fields
  • 10:30 am – Arrival to the agave fields with “jima” (agave harvesting) demonstration
  • 12:45 pm – Entrance to Mundo Cuervo facilities, visit Centro Cultural Juan Beckmann Gallardo and La Rojeña distillery
  • 2:00 pm –  Free time to have lunch and enjoy the Magical Town of Tequila
  • 4:15 pm – Mexican Show
  • 6:00 pm – Jose Cuervo Express departs to Guadalajara
  • 6:30 pm – Professional tasting guided by an “Expert Taster”
  • 8:00 pm –  Arrive at Guadalajara Train Station (Ferromex)

Highlights of the Jose Cuervo Express tequila train 

Participating in a tequila tasting and snacks 

On the Jose Cuervo Express, you experience a tequila tasting. You try three tequilas, and the train attendants lead the tasting. Based on my experience in the Elite car, they also offer an assortment of mixed drinks and snacks, such as tamales and chilaquiles. The tequila tasting is the majority of the train ride, which lasts roughly two hours.

La Rojeña Distillery tour 

Once you arrive in Tequila, you take a shuttle van to your next stop and tour the Jose Cuervo distillery. On this tour, you go to the cultural center and learn more about Mexican culture. The tour ends with a walk through the distillery with the guide explaining how they make the tequila, the different types of tequila, and the barrels where the tequila is stored. 

Free time exploring Tequila, Mexico 

By midday, the first half of the Jose Cuervo Express tequila train experience is complete, and you will have free time in the town itself. You can walk around, do some souvenir shopping, or buy more drinks because there is plenty of tequila in Tequila. This free time is also the best time to have a complete meal in town, so I recommend getting lunch.

Watching a Mexican show

Before the free time, your train attendant will tell you where to meet to walk to the Mexican Show.  You need to be at that meeting spot, or if you are running a little late, ask someone where the Jose Cuervo Mexican show is, and they will know, too. You could also follow the music! The show includes a few dances and musical numbers that represent Mexican culture.

Visiting the agave fields and Jimador demonstration

The final activity of the Jose Cuervo Express tequila train is visiting the agave fields. After the Mexican show, you will take a bus to the Agave fields. Upon arrival, you are given a Jose Cuervo Express water bottle with more tequila in it (as a mixed drink). There are also finger foods like churros and a full demonstration of the role of agave in the tequila-making process. 

Tips for taking the Jose Cuervo Express

Don’t forget your cash 

You don’t have to pay much when taking the Jose Cuervo Express. However, once you are in Tequila, I recommend having some cash or going to an ATM to get some cash. Sometimes, the Uber app isn’t available, so you need to take a taxi, and they only accept pesos.

What to do if you stay in Tequila

If you are not returning to Guadalajara, you will need to arrange private transportation to your accommodations in Tequila. When I checked into the Jose Cuervo Express train, my attendant asked if I was returning, and I said no. Therefore, she was able to arrange a taxi to take me to Matices Hotel de Barricas after the agave fields. But again, bring cash! 

Drink lots of water and eat 

As the name suggests, the Jose Cuervo Express train offers a lot of tequila. Throughout the experience, they offer water in addition to other mixed drinks. However, I recommend a refillable water bottle and snacks to eat throughout the day. Do not forget to eat during your free time in Tequila because that is the only time you have for a full meal before going back to Guadalajara. 

Wear comfortable shoes

Aside from riding the Jose Cuervo Express train, there is a good amount of walking. During your free time in Tequila, you will walk around Tequila. Also, at the end of the experience, you will walk around the agave fields, so I recommend wearing comfortable shoes!

Stay alert

The Jose Cuervo tequila train is a safe ride. The staff is very attentive, and aside from the free time in Tequila, you are under their eye for the rest of the experience. However, you are still responsible for all of your valuables and your own personal safety. So, if you are taking this ride solo or with friends, remember to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings as you are under the influence of alcohol. 

How to plan your stay at Matices Hotel de Barricas

Book online 

If you want to stay at the tequila barrel hotel, your best bet to book Matices is through their own website. You can also research their availability on Booking. I booked my room a little over a month in advance. However,  the sooner, the better since this hotel is popular and unique.

Understand which room you want 

Matices Hotel de Barricas offers several room options. The most popular one is staying in the tequila barrel, which costs $175+ per night depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book. However, there are also cheaper non-tequila barrel rooms if that option works for you.

Coordinate transportation with the train attendant 

Upon arrival at the beginning of the train ride, travelers let the train attendant about their plans for the day. I told the train staff that I would be staying at Matices and not taking the bus back to Guadalajara at the end of the day. They arranged for a car to pick me up with my luggage at the agave fields (the final stop on the sunrise tour).

Plan to pay for transportation in cash 

Once I got to Matices Hotel de Barricas, I needed cash. Luckily, the driver stopped by a local ATM on the way back to the Guadalajara airport. Therefore, if you run out, ask to stop before arriving at the airport to pay. 

Would I recommend the Jose Cuervo tequila train experience?

If you could not tell, I would recommend the Jose Cuervo Tequila train experience! It is one of the coolest trains worldwide and one that you can convince friends or loved ones to take with you. It may only be the train for you if you drink. But if you are a tequila lover or willing to at least try some for the experience, you need to take this train ride. 

Are you looking for more inspiration for train travel? Read more here.

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