Tequila tasting and a mini-tour of downtown Puerto Vallarta

During my Funjet Mega Fam trip to Puerto Vallarta in late February we went on a tour to Mamá Lucia, a tequila factory run by the Leyva family in Mismaloya. To get here you take a lovely bus trip around the mountain area which provides gorgeous views of the bay and lush greenery. Our guide was one of the youngest family members and he seemed almost too young to educate us about tequila, but he certainly knew his stuff. First, the agave plant has to almost come out of the ground, showing its large root called the “pineapple” because of its resemblance to the fruit. The root is then roasted, smashed, and fermented. Some of the tequila is aged for fifteen years before being distributed. We tried several different kinds and even in many flavors, such as almond and even a condensed milk-type flavor which was very nice to sip. I had no idea that tequila comes in so many forms!

Mama Lucia backyard


Blue agave plants


The agave root from which tequila is made, or the “pineapple”.


Large over in which the root is cooked.


Long trivet used for smashing the root.


Fermenting and distilling the tequila.


Pa’ arriba! Pa’ centro! Pa’ abajo! Pa’ dentro! Bottoms up!



Right after the tequila tour our tipsy selves came back down the mountain to be dropped off right smack in the middle of downtown Puerto Vallarta for a couple hours. An interesting fact is that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once had a home right near the church, but it isn’t there anymore. They met here in Puerto Vallarta while filming The Night of the Iguana back in the sixties. We took a few steps inside the church, checked out the Malecón (the boardwalk) and ended up in a candy store (obviously).

While I’m not religious, I really enjoy touring churches, cathedrals, basilicas, etc. Especially in a culture in which religion is a way of life, a church really is its heart. I remember stepping inside every little church I could find in Rome, and Puerto Vallarta’s makes me just as excited.

Across from the church is some shopping, spilling out onto the main square. The city is clean and bright with glorious views of the bay and surrounding resorts. There are plenty of restaurants and stores to keep you occupied for an entire day.

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe




One of the first scenes upon entering the church.




Main square



View of the bay on the Malecon – you can see the resorts in the distance.


The boy and the seahorse – the symbol of Puerto Vallarta. The seahorse because it’s a common area for seahorse families (or at least used to be before fisherman started hunting them to sell) and the boy riding it, with a hat hanging down his back, represents Mexico’s friendly culture by waving hello to passersby.



This guy was pretty cool – he builds towers of rocks by balancing them end to end. I saw him simply pick up that rock and balance it on top of the bottom one. Very cool. Had to leave a tip to take a picture, of course.

There was a lot more in Puerto Vallarta that I would have liked to see, like a market I saw out of the corner of my eye or some restaurants. I know I’ll be back in the next couple of years, though 🙂



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