The enchanting city of Aguascalientes, is nestled in the heart of Mexico and the capital of the state of Aguascalientes. With its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, this vibrant destination offers a unique experience for anyone seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. From its colonial architecture to its lively festivals, Aguascalientes is a place where tradition blends harmoniously with modernity.
Aguascalientes: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Aguascalientes, meaning "hot waters" in Spanish, derives its name from the natural thermal springs that were discovered here centuries ago. The city is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, mirrored not only by its thermal baths but also by the hospitality of its locals.1
As you wander through the charming streets lined with colorful buildings and ornate facades, you'll be immersed in a blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibes. One aspect that makes Aguascalientes truly captivating is its deep-rooted cultural heritage.
The city proudly showcases a fusion of indigenous traditions and European influences dating back to the Spanish colonization era. This blend can be witnessed in the architecture, cuisine, and festivities hosted throughout the year.
A Cultural Haven Rich in History
Aguascalientes boasts a fascinating history that dates back centuries. Founded as a settlement near natural hot springs by Juan de Montoro and accompanying families, it quickly flourished into a prominent colonial town due to its strategic location along important trade routes connecting Mexico City with northern territories.1
Today, remnants of this colonial past can be seen through the city's intricate baroque-style churches like Templo de San Marcos and beautiful plazas such as Plaza de la Patria.
These architectural gems stand as testaments to Aguascalientes' historical significance and serve as gathering places for locals and visitors alike. In addition, Aguascalientes is renowned for its annual cultural event, the San Marcos National Fair. I had never heard of it, but let’s just say it’s a big deal.
It's quite possibly the largest fair in Mexico and attracts headliners you have probably heard of, such as Black Eyed Peas or Rod Stewart. Depending on where you’re at it can feel more like a festival or concert than a fair. When you are in the walking area, it is a party in the street for as far as the eye can see.
Originating in the late 19th century, this fair celebrates the patron saint of the city and has evolved into a grand fiesta, attracting visitors from all over Mexico. The fair showcases traditional music, dance performances, bullfights, art exhibitions, and a myriad of gastronomic delights. You have to try the goat!
Aguascalientes is a gem waiting to be discovered. I liked it for its unique blend of history, culture, and warm hospitality which makes it an irresistible destination for those seeking an authentic Mexican experience.
Aguascalientes International Airport (AGU) is the main gateway if you are looking to visit this vibrant Mexican city. Several airlines offer regular flights to and from Aguascalientes, making it convenient for both domestic and international visitors.
Major carriers such as Aeromexico, Volaris, and TAR operate frequent flights to Aguascalientes from various cities in Mexico, including Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana. American Airlines and United also service the airport from gateways in the USA. 2
To find the best deals on flights to Aguascalientes, I advise you to book your tickets well in advance and keep an eye out for promotional offers. Websites like Skyscanner or Kayak can help you compare prices across different airlines.
Additionally, consider being flexible with your travel dates as off-peak times might offer more affordable fares.
Airlines that Service AGU
If you're planning to explore the enchanting city of Aguascalientes, you'll be delighted to know that there are several transportation options available. One of the most convenient and efficient ways to reach this captivating destination is by air travel.
Aguascalientes International Airport (AGU) serves as a gateway for visitors from all over the world, thanks to the numerous airlines that connect the city to various locations. Let's take a look into the exciting routes offered by these airlines and discover more about them.
Aeroméxico: Connecting You to Mexico City
Mexico's flagship carrier links Aguascalientes to the bustling metropolis of Mexico City. Whether you're a business traveler attending meetings in the capital or a tourist ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history, Aeroméxico has you covered with its convenient flights connecting these two vibrant cities.
American Airlines: Bridging the Gap to Dallas/Fort Worth
For those looking to venture beyond Mexican borders, American Eagle offers flights from Aguascalientes to Dallas/Fort Worth in the United States.
Magni: Seasonal Routes to Cancún
Magni Airlines offers seasonal flights from Aguascalientes to Cancún, providing travelers with a direct route to the tropical paradise of the Yucatán Peninsula.
TAR Aerolíneas: Connecting Aguascalientes to Key Destinations
TAR Aerolíneas, a Mexican regional airline, plays a significant role in connecting Aguascalientes to multiple destinations. Travelers can fly to and from Monterrey, a major industrial and business hub, as well as the picturesque Puerto Vallarta, a sought-after beach destination.
United Airlines: A Link to Houston–Intercontinental
United Express ensures that Aguascalientes is well-connected to the United States with flights to Houston–Intercontinental Airport. This route provides a convenient option for travelers seeking to explore Houston's diverse attractions or make onward connections to other destinations.
Volaris: Opening Doors to Multiple Destinations
Aguascalientes is easily accessible through Volaris, a leading low-cost carrier in Mexico. With multiple routes available, you can conveniently travel to this vibrant city from popular Mexican destinations like Cancun or Tijuana. Additionally, Volaris offers flights from major cities in the United States such as Chicago Midway and Los Angeles.
Travel to Aguascalientes by Car
Embarking on a road trip to Aguascalientes can be an exciting adventure. The city is well-connected by roads, allowing easy access from nearby cities or even neighboring countries like the United States.
Driving to Aguascalientes
If you're coming from Mexico City, about 186 miles away (or 300 kilometers), take Highway 57 North towards Queretaro before joining Highway 45 North towards Aguascalientes. You can also take one of the many buses that service this route.
This route offers scenic landscapes along the way as you pass through charming towns like San Juan del Río and Tequisquiapan. The route time from Mexico City to Aguascalientes is around six to seven hours depending on traffic conditions.
A great option is coming from Guadalajara. If you take this route, which is about 122 miles (200 km), you can easily make a weekend trip to the city. You will take Route 23 out of Guadalajara and then catch Route 54D/80 north towards Aguascalientes.
The route to Aguascalientes from Guadalajara is about 3 hours. Just so you are aware, there is a security checkpoint at the state line. It’s a short stop, so you are good to continue your journey to the city about 30 minutes away.
Riding to Aguascalientes
You can book a seat in BlaBlaCar to visit Aguascalientes. It’s a convenient and efficient way to travel. This app offers numerous benefits for travelers seeking comfortable and cost-effective transportation. Here are some things to consider when using BlaBlaCar for your trip:
Cost Savings: BlaBlaCar rideshares often cost less than traditional modes of transportation like buses or trains. By sharing the cost of fuel and tolls with the driver and other passengers, you can save money on your journey to Aguascalientes.
Convenience: With BlaBlaCar, you can easily find rides that match your preferred departure time and route. This level of flexibility is particularly useful when planning your visit to Aguascalientes, allowing you to choose a ride that perfectly fits your schedule.
Booking Process: The BlaBlaCar app or website makes it easy to browse available rides, view driver profiles, and book your seat in advance. You'll receive all the necessary details, including pickup location and time.
Environmental Impact: Ridesharing can contribute to reducing the number of individual cars on the road, which has a positive impact on the environment by decreasing emissions.
Travel to Aguascalientes by Bus
Traveling to Aguascalientes by bus is a convenient and comfortable option, and one of the reputable bus companies that offers connections to Aguascalientes is ETN. Whether you're coming from Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, or other parts of Mexico, ETN provides a reliable and efficient way to reach your destination.
Monterrey to Aguascalientes:
If you're starting your journey from Monterrey, ETN offers direct bus services that connect these two cities. The journey takes around 7 to 9 hours, depending on the specific route and stops. You'll have the opportunity to relax, enjoy the onboard amenities, and take in the scenery as you travel through the Mexican landscape.
Mexico City to Aguascalientes:
Traveling from the bustling capital city of Mexico to Aguascalientes is made easy with ETN's bus services. The Mexico City to Aguascalientes route is a popular one, and ETN offers several departures throughout the day. The journey typically takes around 6 to 8 hours, providing a comfortable and efficient way to cover the distance between these two cities.
Guadalajara to Aguascalientes:
For those in Guadalajara looking to explore Aguascalientes, ETN buses offer a convenient option. The trip from Guadalajara to Aguascalientes usually takes around 3 to 4 hours, allowing you to make the journey in a relatively short amount of time. Whether you're planning a day trip or an extended stay, ETN's connections make it possible.
Puerto Vallarta to Aguascalientes:
ETN also provides bus services for travelers coming from the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. The journey between Puerto Vallarta and Aguascalientes takes approximately 8 to 10 hours, providing a comfortable way to travel across regions of Mexico with diverse landscapes.
ETN is known for its high-quality bus services, offering passengers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. They are one of the few larger companies that service Aguascalientes.
Their buses are equipped with amenities such as spacious seating, air conditioning, onboard restrooms, entertainment options, and complimentary snacks and beverages. The buses are well-maintained and adhere to safety standards.
To make your travel experience even smoother, you can book your ETN bus tickets online through their website or other authorized platforms. I recommend booking in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your seat and preferred travel time.
Whether you're coming from Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, or other cities, taking an ETN bus to Aguascalientes offers a convenient and enjoyable way to travel to Aguascalientes.
Accommodation in Aguascalientes
Hotels and Resorts
When it comes to finding a place to stay in Aguascalientes, you'll be spoiled for choice. The city offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly resorts. If you're looking for a comfortable and convenient stay, consider popular hotel chains such as Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt, which have properties in Aguascalientes.
These hotels offer well-appointed rooms with modern amenities like Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, and 24-hour room service. Some even have on-site restaurants where you can savor delicious local cuisine.
If you’re seeking a more unique and personalized experience, Aguascalientes is home to several boutique hotels that embrace the city's charm and culture. These boutique accommodations often feature stylish interiors with local artwork and furnishings that reflect the region's heritage.
They offer personalized services and attention to detail that make your stay truly memorable. Additionally, if eco-friendliness is important to you, there are hotels in Aguascalientes that prioritize sustainability practices such as energy conservation and waste reduction.
Alternative Lodging Options
If you prefer a more independent or homely experience during your visit to Aguascalientes, alternative lodging options like Airbnb rentals or vacation homes are worth considering. With Airbnb becoming increasingly popular in the city, you can find a variety of cozy homes or apartments available for short-term stays.
These accommodations often provide ample space along with fully equipped kitchens where you can cook your own meals if desired. For nature enthusiasts who crave outdoor adventures near the city, camping sites around Aguascalientes offer an exciting alternative accommodation option.
There are numerous campsites situated amidst beautiful landscapes just outside the city limits where you can pitch your tent or park your RV. Camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature while still being within reach of all the attractions in Aguascalientes.
Wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy stargazing away from the city lights. It's a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty that surrounds Aguascalientes.
Exploring the Sights in Aguascalientes
Historic Landmarks and Architectural Gems
Step into the enchanting world of Aguascalientes where history comes alive through its mesmerizing historic landmarks and architectural wonders. The Templo de San Marcos stands tall with its grandeur, a testament to the city's rich heritage. This stunning neo-Gothic church dates back to the 19th century and boasts intricate stained glass windows that illuminate the interior with a kaleidoscope of colors.
As you wander through its hallowed halls, you'll discover ornate altars adorned with gold leaf and beautifully carved wooden sculptures. Another architectural gem not to be missed is the Palacio de Gobierno, a majestic building that houses the state government offices.
Its façade boasts elegant baroque-style elements, while inside, elaborate murals by renowned artist Saturnino Herrán depict significant moments from Mexican history. The vivid colors and attention to detail make these murals an absolute delight for art aficionados.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Aguascalientes by exploring its fascinating museums that showcase local art, history, and traditions. The Museo Nacional de la Muerte (National Museum of Death) offers a unique perspective on death as an integral part of Mexican culture. Here, you can delve into intriguing exhibits featuring traditional Day of the Dead artifacts, colorful altars commemorating departed loved ones, and thought-provoking artwork that explores mortality from various artistic perspectives.
For those seeking a deeper understanding of Aguascalientes' past, pay a visit to Museo Regional de Historia (Regional History Museum). Housed in an old colonial building, this museum tells captivating stories about the city's evolution through time.
From pre-Columbian artifacts to exhibits showcasing Mexico's fight for independence, each display offers insights into how Aguascalientes has shaped its identity. But that's not all - Aguascalientes is renowned for its vibrant festivals and events that celebrate the city's unique spirit.
The Feria Nacional de San Marcos, one of Mexico's largest fairs, takes place annually in April. It's a spectacle of live music, traditional dances, delicious food stalls, and thrilling rides.
Joining the festivities will give you a true taste of Aguascalientes' joyful atmosphere and genuine hospitality. As you explore these cultural attractions and partake in the city's lively events, you'll understand why Aguascalientes is an exceptional destination where history intertwines with contemporary life, leaving visitors with unforgettable memories.
In conclusion, there are several different ways to travel to Aguascalientes, Mexico, depending on your preferences and budget. Whether you choose to fly into the nearest airport, take a bus, drive yourself or ride in a Blablacar, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
No matter which mode of transportation you choose, Aguascalientes is sure to offer an unforgettable travel experience with its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes.
So pack your bags with anticipation and embrace all that this remarkable destination has to offer. Whether you seek adventure or serenity—or perhaps a harmonious balance between both—Aguascalientes welcomes you with open arms and promises an enriching travel experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.