Located in the central part of the country, this vibrant destination holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and travelers alike. Situated about 135 miles northeast of Guadalajara, Aguascalientes is easily accessible and beckons visitors with its rich cultural heritage and spirited festivals.
A Central Oasis in Mexico
Aguascalientes' strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring the wonders of Mexico. Situated between Zacatecas to the north and Jalisco to the west, this dynamic city serves as a gateway to various regions. Its central location allows for easy day trips to nearby towns such as San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, and Queretaro, each offering its own unique charm.
Cultural Heritage beyond Imagination
Prepare to be captivated by Aguascalientes' rich cultural heritage. The city boasts a treasure trove of architectural gems that showcase its glorious past.
The Templo de San Marcos stands tall as an iconic symbol with its exquisite neo-Gothic style facade. Marvel at Palacio de Gobierno's grandeur with its stunning murals depicting scenes from Mexican history.
For those seeking immersive experiences, venture into Aguascalientes' vibrant markets where local artisans proudly display their traditional crafts. From handwoven textiles to intricately painted ceramics, these markets offer a glimpse into centuries-old craftsmanship passed down through generations.
Festivals that Ignite Passion
Aguascalientes truly comes alive during festival season when it turns into a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds. The most renowned event is undoubtedly La Feria de San Marcos, one of Mexico's biggest and oldest fairs.
Held annually from late April to early May, this extravaganza showcases traditional music, dance, art exhibitions, bullfights, and an endless array of culinary delights. The city pulsates with energy as locals and visitors celebrate together in a fusion of partying culture and tradition.
Additionally, the Festival de las Calaveras held around the Day of the Dead is a unique celebration where locals pay homage to their departed loved ones through artistic displays and processions. This hauntingly beautiful festival offers a glimpse into Mexico's rich spiritual connections.
So pack your bags and get ready to explore Aguascalientes' captivating charms. From its central location to its cultural heritage and vibrant festivals, this magical city promises an unforgettable journey.
Learn more about the best rated hotels to stay in and the top attractions to visit in our Aguascalientes city guide.
Traveling by Bus
The most common and efficient way to travel between Guadalajara and Aguascalientes is by taking a bus. There are several reputable bus companies, such as ETN, Primera Plus, and Omnibus de Mexico, that offer frequent and comfortable routes between these two cities. The duration of the journey typically ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the specific route chosen.
To catch a bus from Guadalajara, you can head to the city's main bus terminal known as Central Nueva, which is well-connected to the public transportation network. Alternatively, you have the option to conveniently book your tickets in advance online or at the bus station. Upon arrival in Aguascalientes, you will be greeted by the modern bus station, which provides easy access to the city or allows for seamless onward travel to other destinations.
Air travel between Guadalajara and Aguascalientes may not be the most efficient experience. Currently, there are no direct flights available, which means you'll have to make a stop in another city before reaching AGU.
However, this doesn't mean that air travel between these two cities is without its charms. The layover can actually give you the opportunity to explore an additional city if you have the time and appetite for adventure. For instance, if you have a long layover in Mexico City, you can take advantage of the extra time to visit some of the iconic landmarks.
Not what I would normally plan, but it is possible. If you do plan to fly, you can read more about AGU in our guide to Aguascalientes airport.
Discussing flight options and airlines serving both cities
In addition to Aeromexico, other airlines like Volaris and VivaAerobus also offer flights between Guadalajara and Aguascalientes. These airlines provide travelers with a range of choices when it comes to departure times.
Whether you prefer an early morning flight or a late afternoon departure, there are multiple options available throughout the day. It's advisable to check the airline's websites or Google Flights to find the most suitable flight that aligns with your schedule.
Approximate flight duration and frequency
While Guadalajara and Aguascalientes are close on a map, the approximate flight duration is around 4 hours. Which is almost the same as the bus, actually a little longer than.
Embracing The Scenic Route By Road
If you're someone who enjoys road trips and wants to take in breathtaking landscapes along the way, taking the scenic route from Guadalajara to Aguascalientes by road is an excellent choice. The highways connecting these cities ensure a smooth journey through picturesque Jaliscan countryside.
Detailing the highway
The most common route by road is taking Highway 80 and 45, which is a toll road. This well-maintained road allows you to experience the beauty of Mexico's heartland.
As you drive through the dramatic landscapes of Jalisco and enter Aguascalientes, you'll be greeted by rolling hills, vibrant green fields. You have a couple of options on traveling by car to Aguascalientes.
Renting a Car
If you want to take to the road and explore the Mexican landscape on your own time then renting a car is for you. You will have all the freedom to stop along the way and take in the culture.
For the best car rental agency in Guadalajara, I always suggest going with Pepe Car Rental. You can read my review of Pepe here.
Book with Blablacar
Don't overlook the option of reserving a spot in BlaBlaCar for your excursion to Aguascalientes. While not an option in the USA, It presents a practical and effective mode of transportation. If you’d like to read more, we’ve put together a guide to Blablacar for you.
This app provides a multitude of advantages for individuals in search of convenient and budget-friendly travel. Take into account the following factors when utilizing BlaBlaCar for your journey:
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.
Start in Guadalajara: Begin your journey in Guadalajara, and make your way towards Highway 80D
Get on Federal Highway 80: Head east within Guadalajara to connect to Federal Highway 80 (Carretera Federal 80), which will take you towards Leon and Aguascalientes.
Merge onto Federal Highway 45: Continue on Federal Highway 80 until you reach the junction with Federal Highway 45 (Carretera Federal 45). Take the exit North onto Highway 45 towards Aguascalientes.
Go through a Checkpoint: You will need to stop once you cross over the state line into Aguascalientes. It’s a quick checkpoint set up by the security forces that normally just look at you and wave you on. I’ve never really had to stop at these but beware they may ask you questions so be prepared to stop.
Drive Straight: Follow Highway 45 for approximately 50 kilometers (40 miles) as it takes you directly to Aguascalientes.
This road is safe and in good condition. I drove it in the evening and at night and didn’t have any issues.
Discovering the city's historic center
Unveiling Architectural Sights: Templo de San Marcos and Palacio de Gobierno
Immersing yourself in the cultural wonders of Aguascalientes begins by exploring its captivating historic center. One must-visit landmark is the magnificent Templo de San Marcos, a breathtaking example of Neoclassical architecture.
Standing tall with its ornate facade and intricate details, this iconic church is not only a religious symbol but also an architectural masterpiece that showcases the city's rich heritage. Another gem that should not be missed is the Palacio de Gobierno, located just steps away from Templo de San Marcos.
This grand governmental building boasts a striking colonial-style facade adorned with vibrant murals depicting Mexico's history and culture. Take your time to marvel at these masterpieces as they offer a glimpse into the city's past while leaving you awe-inspired in their presence.
Captivating Local Markets: Traditional Crafts and Cuisine
While exploring Aguascalientes' historic center, make sure to wander through its vibrant markets that offer an array of traditional crafts and mouth watering cuisine. The Mercado de la Ciudad, for instance, is a bustling hub where locals gather to sell their handicrafts, including intricately woven textiles, colorful pottery, and unique silver jewelry.
After browsing through the crafts, you’ll definitely want to satisfy your taste buds by indulging in Aguascalientes' culinary delights at local food stalls or quaint restaurants nearby.
Exploring Museums and Art Galleries: The Museo de Regional
To deepen your cultural experience, take a journey through Aguascalientes' museums and art galleries. The Museo de Regional Historia offers a captivating insight into the city's history, art, and traditions.
From pre-Hispanic artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, this museum showcases a diverse range of exhibits that will leave you in awe. Step into the world of renowned Mexican artists like Saturnino Herrán and José Guadalupe Posada at the Museo José Guadalupe Posada.
There you can marvel at their works which vividly depict Mexican culture, folklore, and social issues. Additionally, the Instituto Cultural de Aguascalientes hosts rotating exhibitions featuring local and international artists, providing a platform for contemporary art appreciation.
In conclusion, traveling from Guadalajara to Aguascalientes is a convenient and accessible journey. Whether you choose to travel by bus or car, you can easily reach your destination in just a few hours.
Remember to plan your trip ahead of time, considering factors such as traffic (which is always a thing here) and road conditions. Once you arrive in Aguascalientes, be sure to explore the city's rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivities.
You should definitely let Aguascalientes be part of your experience; a beautiful reminder that immersing yourself in different cultures is like soul food for expanding minds. Continue your journey with our latest article on the things to do in Aguascalientes.