Aguascalientes is a city in central Mexico known for the Spanish colonial buildings in its historic center. On the Plaza de la Patria is the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Cathedral, with 18th-century paintings by Miguel Cabrera.
The 17th-century Government Palace is known for its many carved interior arches. The National Museum of Death displays funerary art and artifacts from pre-Columbian times to the present.
In the shaded Jardín del Encino is the José Guadalupe Posada Museum, dedicated to the artist and political cartoonist, who was born in the city. Nearby, the ornate baroque Señor del Encino Temple houses a figure of a black Christ.
Other museums include the modern Interactive Science and Technology Discovery Museum, with an insectarium and exhibits on the solar system. In the leafy Jardín de San Marcos are the San Marcos Bullring, with a school for bullfighters, and the baroque San Marcos Temple.
To the east, the 19th-century Baños Termales de Ojocaliente baths use thermal water from the city’s mineral springs.
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 Carranza 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.
Lic. Jesús Terán Peredo International Airport (IATA: AGU, ICAO: MMAS), also known as Aguascalientes International Airport.
The airport is 16 km / 10 miles out of the city.
Central Camionera: The bus station is on the south side of the primer anillo, 5km / 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 and Primera Plus 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 run from outside the bus station into the centre. Look for “Centro” on the windshield, meaning they go downtown.
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 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$50 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.
Aguascalientes is a year-round destination with a warm, dry climate.
The most popular time to visit is Apr–May, when the temperatures are hottest.
The lively Feria de San Marcos (Apr–May) is a major annual event with bullfighting, music and rides.
The annual Festival de las Calaveras, or Festival of the Skulls (Oct–Nov), coincides with the national Day of the Dead celebration (Oct 31). It features a procession of skeletons, concerts, plays and art exhibitions.
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