My neighbor Richard is a hydraulic engineer with a talent for finding waterfalls. After a quick look at the area around Amatitán using Google Earth, he put his finger on the screen: “Right here there has to be a waterfall,” he declared.
Naturally, the next day we went out to see if it was true.
Amatitán is located about 30 kilometers northwest of Guadalajara on the “libre” highway to Nogales. Just before reaching the town, we turned onto a nicely paved road heading east. After 4.3 kilometers, we reached a bridge over the Río Arenal. Some local men confirmed that if we followed the river downstream, we’d soon come to a waterfall “150 meters high.”
Off we went to see it for ourselves, but no sooner had we left the road than we came to some impressive ruins, obviously the remains of a once-elegant hacienda.
On one of the building’s walls we found a plaque both in English and Spanish explaining that we had stumbled upon Rancho de la Cofradía del Puente, a hacienda that was producing tequila as early as 1800 using primitive production systems.
The writing style and high-quality English told me that this information had been written by the late, great archaeologist Phil Weigand.