Aguascalientes

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Aguascalientes is in the Bajio region of Mexico.

Understand[edit]

Aguascalientes is the capital and largest city of the central Mexican state of the same name. The city currently has a metro population of around 1,000,000. Aguascalientes is one of Mexico's fastest growing cities, as can be seen from its relatively small historic core and the variety of more modern neighborhoods that surround it.

History[edit]

The city of Aguascalientes was founded in 1575 as a rest stop between the major silver-producing center of Zacatecas and Mexico City. When the territory of the state of Aguascalientes was separated from Zacatecas, the city of Aguascalientes became its capital. Though its designation as a capital city contributed substantially to its growth, Aguascalientes remained a relatively minor city until the past few decades. Since then, it's grown into an industrial powerhouse thanks in large part to two of the world's largest Nissan manufacturing plants--with a third now on its way.

The historic center of Aguascalientes is small but attractive. Traditional neighborhoods include the Barrio del Encino, home to the Templo del Encino with its famed "Black Christ," the Barrio de Guadalupe, home to the baroque Templo de Guadalupe, and the Barrio de San Marcos, easily the city's most visited and home to the renowned annual San Marcos Fair. Calle Caranza runs through the historic center and is popular for its colonial buildings converted into museums, cultural centers, restaurants, and nightclubs. Additional popular destinations walkable from Plaza Patria (the city's central square) include the cafes, restaurants and shops of El Codo and the Templo de San Antonio, often considered among a short list of Mexico's most beautiful churches.

Modern Aguascalientes, however, stretches far beyond the city's historic core. There are three "ring" roads that circle the historic center. The smallest is Primer Anillo, the second is Segundo Anillo, and the third, Tercer Anillo, has just recently been completed. Primer and Segundo Anillos both run through entirely urban settings. Parts of Tercer Anillo are also totally developed, but some of the newer sections still run through farmland and undeveloped space. Primer and Segundo Anillos are generally very well maintained, as are the new sections of Tercer Anillo. However, in part because it's often used by 18-wheelers, the older parts of Tercer Anillo can be beat up pretty bad.

Just north of the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes runs the Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colosio, normally referred to simply as Colosio. If you're looking for the most contemporary, upscale dining and nightlife in Aguascalientes, this is it! Here you can find Mexican, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Argentinian, American, Japanese, Chinese, and Pan-Asian cuisine--and this list is probably just scratching the surface. Be aware, however, that if you're looking for traditional Mexican food, you can find equally good and more economical options elsewhere, with a few exceptions.

Especially as far as Mexico is concerned, Aguascalientes is an exceptionally safe city. The historic center and most neighborhoods of interest to foreigners are well policed, and the local force deals with few of the corruption problems that plague many parts of Mexico. Exercise caution as always and avoid rough neighborhoods and you should be completely fine while out and about, even at night.

Climate[edit]

The climate in Aguascalientes is warm and dry year-round. Rainfall season is from May until November, although rain is very seldom here. When it does rain it's fierce and brief in the late afternoon leaving the evenings cooled off and dry.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Lic. Jesús Terán Peredo International Airport (IATA: AGU, ICAO: MMAS), also known as Aguascalientes International Airport. The airport is 10 miles out of the city.

Surrounding Airports

  • SLP - San Luis Potosi Airport
  • BJX - Leon-Guanajuato Airport
  • ZCL - Zacatecas Airport
  • GDL - Guadalajara Airport
  • TPQ - Tepic Airport

Airlines[edit]

  • Aeroméxico (Mexico City)
  • American Eagle (Dallas-Fort Worth)
  • United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines (Houston-Intercontinental)
  • Viva Aerobus (Monterrey)
  • Volaris (Cancun, Los Angeles, Tijuana)

By bus[edit]

Central Camionera, The bus station is on the south side of the first ring, 3 miles from main square. A bus ride from Mexico City will usually take about six hours. There is an overnight bus that runs from Mexico City to Aguascalientes that leaves around midnight and arrives in Aguascalientes around 6am. This type of bus trip is perfect for those who just want to spend a full day in Aguascalientes.

Luxury services ETN [1] and Primera Plus [2] both service Aguascalientes. In addition Aguascalientes also has frequent buses that run into the US (mainly Texas) usually operated by companies Autobuses Americanos and Turimex Internacional.

Local buses MX$6 run from outside the bus station into the centre. Look for "Centro" on the windshield, meaning they go downtown.

By car[edit]

To get to Aguascalientes from Mexico City by car you will need to take the MEX 57 as far as Querétaro, then take the MEX 45 via Salamanca. Aguascalientes is located on Federal Highway 57/45 in Mexico.

From Airport to your Hotel[edit]

If you want to book transportation from the Airport to your hotel, you can try booking with the following companies:

Get around[edit]

From AGU - Aguascalientes Airport there is ground transportation available to take you to your destination.

Rent a Car - Since Aguascalientes is very accessible by road so renting a car is yoor best option to see all the historic sites and architecture that Aguascalientes and its surrounding areas has to offer.

Taxi - Taxis are also a smart option for getting around in Aguascalientes. You can arrange a taxi from your hotel although street cabs are usually much cheaper. Also, if you speak Spansih you're in luck! Your ability to speak Spanish will give you an advantage when negotiating a price with the taxi driver. Check that the driver turns on his metre. Most places in the city can be reached for MX$40 or less.

All taxis in Aguascalientes have meters. There is no negotiating on price. It does not matter what language you speak, the meters are set - and are very reasonably priced.

See[edit][add listing]

Museums[edit]

  • Museo de Arte Moderno
  • Museo Interactivo descubre
  • Museo Jose Guadalupe Posada - People of Mexico consider Posada the founder of modern art in Mexico. Since his death nearly a century ago, José Guadalupe Posada's work has steadily gained popularity with art lovers and Día de los Muertos celebrators alike. He is especially known for his calaveras images of whimsical skeletons. "La Catrina," is one such image.[3] While the illustration of the high society woman is one of Posada's most highly regarded pieces, it's also arguably the most recognizable image of the Día de los Muertos celebration.
  • Museo Nacional de la Muerte [4] the national museum of death. Celebrating the Mexican tradition of day of the dead with many beautiful works ranging from pre-hispanic period to today. Many people visit Aguas for this museum alone.
  • Museum of Aguascalientes - built out of pink quarry. It ha a collection of 20th century arts including the works of Saturnio Herran, who was born in Aguascalientes. Herran's arts include portraits of the everydady citizen painted with a high degree of sensitivity toward his subjects. His work is very similar to art nouveau.
  • Museo Regional de Historia

Places that can have Temporary Exhibits[edit]

  • Casa de la Cultura - This is the forum for the National Plastic Arts contest during the San Marcos Fair.
  • Casa Teran
  • Centro Cultural los Arquitos
  • Parque Tres Centurias

Theatres[edit]

  • Teatro de la Ciudad
  • Teatro Morelos - The National Poetry Prize is presented during The San Marcos Fair.

Public Gardens[edit]

  • San Marcos Garden (Jardin de San Marcos)
  • Guadalupe (Jardin de Guadalupe)
  • El Encino (Jardin del Encino)
  • Zaragoza

Parks[edit]

Parque Hidalgo

  • Parque Heroes Mexicanos/Rodolfo Landeros Gallegos
  • Parque Mexico


  • Parque del Cedazo

Church Buildings[edit]

  • Baroque Style Main Cathedral
  • Purisima
  • San Marcos
  • Guadalupe
  • El Encino y Jardin de la Paz
  • San Antonio Temple
  • Religious Pinacotheca

Sports[edit]

  • Estadio Victoria Football, home of "Necaxa", colloquially called the "Hidrorayos"
  • Estadio Cuarto Centenario Basketball, home of the Panteras

Architecture[edit]

If your'e really interested in sights and architecture there are a blunder of places to see in Aguascalientes. First you can take a walk through the beautiful Parque de San Marcos, and then continue on to the gorgeous Palacio de Gobierno with its central courtyard and murals. This is the most outstanding colonial building in Aguascalientes. On the west side of the main square lies the 18th century baroque cathedral. This cathedral is filled with gorgeous paintings by colonial painter Miguel Cabrera. More interesting places to see include:

  • The Government Palace - Built of tezontle stone and gorgeous with its Neoclassical facade of red
  • The Municipal Palace - Built out of pink quarry
  • El Jardin de los Palacios (Palace Gardens)- A lovely fountain is on display here to honor the artist Jesus F. Contreras who was the creator of two of the relief sculptures decorating the square. Interesting to know is that Contreras sculptures represent the God of hunting "Camaxtli" and the God of Abundance "Centeotl."
  • La Plaza Patria - Holds spectacular views of an iron tower built in 1808.
  • Legislative Palace

These places are easily accessible by car: El Tunel Porterillo, a walking and hiking trail runs through the Huejucar Canyon. There is also the Plutarco Elias Calles Dam and the Jocoque Presa which is ideal for water skiing, and fishing as well. The Ejido Ecoturistco El Ojote is a perfect place for someone who is very into adventure-sports. These exciting recreational sports include rock climbing and rappelling.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • San Marcos Fair or in Spanish Feria de San Marcos , [5]. The oldest and largest state fair in Mexico begins annually around mid-April and ends in early May. One of the largest fairs in Mexico, attracting millions of visitors for the Casino, the bullfighting, cockfighting and nightlife. The San Marcos Fair also has nightly fireworks, amusement rides,art, theater, dance, commercial and industrial exhibitions, concerts,rodeos, and of course a variety of cuisine. This is the most busy time of year for Aguascalientes. Local schools close for a period of time during the fair as well as local offices.
  • Centro Deportivo Ojo Caliente Spa On the East side of town featuring thermal pools, saunas, steam baths, squash, and tennis courts.
  • Camping and the Outdoors WIth only a short distance from the city of Aguascalientes tourists and locals can go camping in the mountains of El Pinal, Guajolote, Laurel, and Sierra Fria. The best sites to hike and climb are at Antorcha, Laurel, La Ardilla, and Los Gallos. A few kilometers outside of Aguascalientes is where the best fishing occurs. The Jocoqui, El Llanero, and Abelardo Rodríguez Reservoirs are the best places for sport fishing. IN the surrounding areas in places such as El Tunel Porterillo, a walking and hiking trail runs through the Huejucar Canyon. There is also the Plutarco Elias Calles Dam which is ideal for fishing as well. The Ejido Ecoturistco El Ojote is a perfect place for someone who is very into adventure-sports. These exciting recreational sports include rock climbing and rappelling.
  • Ecotourism Aguascalientes also has beautiful natural scenery in which people can walk through. Visit the Parque Ecológico Héroes Mexicanos in Aguascalientes which is wonderfully abundant of natural scenery.
  • Golf If you like to golf, Aguascalientes has two golf clubs. The Country Club Pulgas Pandas has a 6,420 yard long course, while The Club Campestre de Aguascalientes has an 18 hole course with a 7,535 yard long course.
  • History Aguascalientes is a colonial town full of history. If history is one of your main interests the Teatro Morelos should be on your list of stops. Here is where the supporters of Carranza, Villa and Zapata, gathered after defeating Victoriano Huerta upon drawing up a program for the government which led to the Revolutionary Convention and the Plan of Ayala. It was represented by men such as Alvaro Obregón, Felipe Angeles, and Francisco Villa. The Teatro Morelos is where Eulalio Gutiérrez was appointed president in 1914 also.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Malls and markets[edit]

  • Mercado Teran
  • Mercado Revolución
  • El Parian
  • Plaza Patria
  • Expo Plaza
  • Plaza Vestir
  • Centro Comercial El Dorado
  • Centro Comercial Villa Asuncion
  • Centro Comercial Galerias - Across the highway from Altaria, this shopping complex features stores like Walmart as well as as a Cinemex movie theater and a variety of restaurants, including American chains like Applebee's. If you're living in Aguascalientes, it does sometimes make sense to come here. However, if you're just passing through then the only reason to visit is if you're really missing home!
  • The Centro Comercial Plaza de Vestir - This shopping center carries blouses and tablecloths produced by local craftsmen, puppets, wooden toys, and ornaments.
  • Altaria - Altaria is the city's most upscale mall, located on the eastern end of Colosio across from the Marriott hotel. Its anchor stores are Liverpool and Sears, and it's also got a Cinepolis movie theater and many Mexican/international brand name stores.

Flea markets[edit]

  • Tianguis de la Purísima
  • Linea de Fuego - A Sunday flea market full of secondhand goods, especially tools.

Boutiques[edit]

  • María Bonita Handmade - This is a great place to find locally made goods such as tablecloths and blouses, as well as handicrafts from nearby areas such as León, Guanajuato's world-famous tooled leather. It's run by an American-Mexican couple, so if you don't speak Spanish there's no problem. They also ship to the United States.
  • De Aquí Soy - Located in central Aguascalientes a few blocks from the iconic Templo de San Antonio, this hip boutique is another "Mexican-made only" shop. It ranges from traditional Mexican products to handicrafts that could have been made anywhere. They also have a small section devoted to local craft beer!
  • Beer Boutique - Speaking of craft beer, there's no place better for it in Aguascalientes. Located on Calle Caranza, they have virtually every local craft beer in stock, not to mention many national and international picks. It's much more expensive than commercially brewed beer (think around 30-40 pesos per bottle versus 10-15 per bottle), but if you're a craft beer fan you might be surprised by the variety/quality of beers brewed in the Aguascalientes area.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Unsurprisingly, Aguascalientes is home to a huge variety of fantastic dining options, very affordable for foreign visitors. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does include some of the top places to eat in Aguascalientes.

  • Puerta Grande Restaurante - Located on the Avenida Universidad just north of Primer Anillo, this upscale Spanish restaurant helmed by a transplant chef from Madrid is a favorite spot for upscale lunches and dinners.
  • LePib - This inconspicuous spot in a strip mall on Colosio is one of the few exceptions to the "don't bother with the local food on Colosio" rule. For delicious cochinita pibil, a regional specialty from the southern state of Yucatan, and incredibly fair prices, this is your place.
  • Bestiario Sushi - A somewhat "hip" spot on the less-traveled side of the historic downtown area, this is where you'll find some of the best sushi in Aguascalientes. It's got totally traditional Japanese options as well as Japanese-Mexican sushi fusion. There's hardly ever a wait and you can almost always find parking out front, a pleasant change of pace from many other restaurants in the center.
  • Moloko - For some of the best pizza in Aguascalientes in one of the city's hippest environments, check out Moloko. It's one of the center's most attractive restaurant/bars, but beware that it gets incredibly crowded on weekend nights. Reservations are accepted.
  • La Mestiza - This traditional, relatively upscale breakfast spot in the Barrio del Encino neighborhood is an Aguascalientes institution. It's in a beautifully refurbished colonial building. On most days you can get in no problem, but on many holidays the line will be out the door!
  • Los Reyes del Taco - This is a small "chain" with locations throughout Aguascalientes, including one on Colosio. If you're going to eat traditional taqueria-style on Colosio, this is the place! A no-frills environment with a play place for the kids, you can't go wrong with any of the tacos or tortas here.
  • Mesón del Taco - Located on Avenue Aguascalientes Pte. this restaurant sells traditional and authentic Mexican food including their famous Tacos.
  • Los Mixes - Located on Colosio, this "hole in the wall" taco restaurant serves decent tacos, especially if you go at night when everything is being made fresh. As of February 22nd, 2016, Los Mixes has been closed for over a month.
  • Countrybreak - If you're craving a traditional American hamburger while you visit Aguascalientes, do yourself a favor and skip Applebee's, McDonald's, etc. Countrybreak serves hamburgers to rival any back in the United States, and they also have more "Mexicanized" options incorporating guacamole, jalapeños, etc. Seriously, these are good burgers! There are two restaurants--one just off Colosio near the Starbucks and one a few blocks behind Torreplaza Bosques.
  • The best food to try while in Aguascalientes include the barbacoa de olla, biznaga tamales, candied guava, caramel sweets, and ladrillos; which is a delicious flaky pastry.

There is a mercado near 5 de Mayo specialising in delicious roast lamb served with tacos, or try Mercado Teran for cheap eats such as buritos.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are many nightclubs/bars in Aguascalientes. But don't head there early. Locals usually begin to show up at the bars around 11pm. They don't leave or even start dancing until 5am through 7am. So if you want to drink and party like a local do not head home early!

If you want to party visit Aguas during la Feria de San Marcos [6]. The city transforms into the largest open-air cantina in Mexico, with an abundance of places selling cocktails (M$50) or 2L beers (also M$50). You are also able to buy beer in cans, bottles, 16 oz and 1L varieties. Usually drinking on the street in Mexico would be problomatic, However, during the the Feria many enterprising people open public bathroom, all costing M$5.

Clubs and a Casino also open specially for the Feria.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a variety of hotels in Aguascalientes.

  • Lukas Hostel, Valentin Gomez Farias #541 Barrio Guadalupe (visit website at http://www.lukashostel.com), +52 (449) 9 179 123, [7]. checkin: 24 hours; checkout: noon. Lukas Hostel is an international hostel in Aguascalientes. They are right downtown between the Plaza and the Jardin de San Marcos. They offer dormitory beds and private rooms. As of May, 2009, the rates are 100 pesos per person per night for a dormitory bed and 250 pesos for one or two people in a private room. Rates go up during the Feria de San Marcos and other times. Check the website for updated information. They cater to classic backpackers and to groups and university conferences but they are open to all travelers. They offer a full kitchen, terrace with hammocks, free coffee tea and purified water and more. 100 pesos.  edit
  • Aguascalientes Marriott Hotel, Boulevard Zacatecas Norte S/N,Col Trojes de Alonso, 52-449-1394060, [8]. Strategically located close to the city's industrial area, cultural, commercial and entertainment districts.  edit
  • Hostal la Bicicleta, Venustiano Carranza, Zona Centro, Aguascalientes, Mexico, +52 44 916 5750. checkin: 24 hours; checkout: noon. Hostal la Bicicleta has dorms and rooms for rent. It's located about 2 blocks from the Jardin de San Marcos in the heart of El Centro. They hava a full kitchen, free coffee tea and purified water and more. It is next to a very busy bar/club area so don't expect it to be quiet. On the Thursday/Friday/Saturday, the hostal is also a bar. The owner is very friendly and helpful if you speak some Spanish. 100 pesos-250 pesos.  edit

Get out[edit]




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