Aguascalientes Attractions | Things to do in Aguascalientes
In Aguascalientes you'll find countless historic buildings, beautiful temples that date back hundreds of years, and a wide variety of museums showing off valuable works of art. Heading outside of the city, you can visit the region's beautiful historic haciendas and its famous hot springs, which are popular for their healing properties. There's always a lot to do in Aguascalientes!
San Marcos Gardens and Temple
The construction of this beautiful place was finished in 1842 and features a neo-Classic balustrade of pink stone, along with entranceways at all four points of the compass. Nowadays the site is an iconic symbol of Aguascalientes. At the extreme western end of the gardens, you'll find the San Marcos Temple standing tall. The construction of the temple started before 1655 and it remained unfinished for more than 100 years, until it was finally completed in 1765. The monument has a Churrigueresque Baroque-style facade, with a neo-Classic chancel featuring, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the center, and a sculpture of Saint Mark at the top.
The cathedral in Aguascalientes is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is considered to be the oldest temple in the city. The cathedral is located in the spot where a chapel was founded in 1575, but was later remodeled. The main facade includes elements of Solomonic baroque architecture.
San Marcos National Fair
The San Marcos National Fair is one of the most important in Aguascalientes and all of Mexico, attracting millions of visitors every year. It is an event with religious origins that has taken place in the months of April and May since 1823. Over time concerts, livestock shows, beauty contests, children activities, and artistic exhibitions have been added to its program, as well as traditional events like cockfights and bullfights
San Marcos Bullring
Aguascalientes has a long rich history of bullfighting, as can be seen in this historic bullring, which was built in 1896. Currently it is used as a bullfighting academy, where children and adults can learn the moves and techniques needed to face this immense animal. The bullring has become an integral part of the San Marcos National Fair, as numerous bullfighting events are held here. It is conveniently located next to San Marcos Garden.
As time passed, the San Marcos Bullring wasn't large enough to hold the growing number of visitors who traveled from all corners of Mexico to see the events held here. This is why the Monumental Bullring was built, one of the largest and most beautiful in Latin America. It can hold up to 16,000 people and has an elevator for senior citizens and disabled people. Inside there is a private chapel with the "Black Christ of Encino" who the bullfighters pay homage to before they perform.
Palacio de Gobierno (City Hall)
Located on the southern side of the main plaza, this beautiful building dates back to 1665. The construction has a great historic value, and features a charming facade of red volcanic rock and more than a hundred archways that enclose its two courtyards. At the back it has murals made by the Chilean Oswaldo Barra that depict the history of the area and the country.
Built between 1773 and 1796, this temple is where they venerate the Black Christ, whose image appeared sat on a throne that was struck by lightning, and who is commemorated every November 13. They say that the bullfighters are the most fervent devotees of this beautiful black figure. The walls of the temple display a collection of the Stations of the Cross made by Andres Lopez between 1798 and 1801. The Encino Temple is located in Triana, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.
This enormous statue dominates the landscape of Presa Calles. From the edge of the dock, in the town of San Jose Garcia, you can see this small island that is located in the middle of the lake formed by the dam. The Broken Christ attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year, and the town's infrastructure is continually improving to be able to cater to the destination's high demand. The Broken Christ is something not to be missed during your next vacation in Aguascalientes.
Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture)
The "Casa de la Cultura" (House of Culture) is located in a 17th century building that used to be a private house, then a nunnery, before being converted into its present function. It features a number of treasures inside, including six bronze plaques with the theme of Aztec gods and kings. The buildings courtyards are commonly used to host book fairs, theater shows, exhibitions, or book launches.
Regional History Museum
The Regional History Museum takes you on a journey through the evolution of Aguascalientes, from prehistoric times to the modern day. Inside you'll find nine galleries displaying the region's paleontology and different archeological and colonial ceramic artifacts, as well as pieces that date back to the 1914 Revolutionary Convention. It is definitely an obligatory stop during your time sightseeing in this beautiful city.
Contemporary Art Museum
At the Aguascalientes Contemporary Art Museum you'll find a wonderful collection of the most representative Mexican visual art. The museum also features large galleries where temporary exhibitions are displayed.
“Descubre” (Discover) Science and Technology Museum
On the outskirts of the city you'll find a wonderful spiral-shaped building, the "Descubre" Science and Technology Museum, an innovative interactive museum. Here you can delve into science and technology, finding out about the mysteries of our planet and the universe, and visualizing a global perspective of the environment that surrounds us. This museum is somewhere different, in which learning becomes an exciting adventure.
Museum of Death
"La Catrina", "La Huesuda", and "La Flaca", Mexican culture has lots of names for Death. Ever since pre-Hispanic times, the Mexicans have had a unique concept of and relation with Death, which is why the National Museum of Death was founded in 2007. Here you'll find images, representations and tributes from different eras (pre-Hispanic, colonial, and the modern day). Every year, the museum hosts a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities during the "Festival de las Calaveras" (Festival of Skulls).
San Marcos Convention Center
This beautiful building is built entirely of pink stone. It is used as a convention center by the state government, while during the San Marcos National Fair it functions as a casino. It really is one of the main attractions for tourists during the event.
Plaza de las Tres Centurias (Three Centuries Plaza)
This plaza is located in the neighborhood now known as the "La Estacion" (The Station). In this area you'll find the hot springs that gave Aguascalientes its name ("hot waters"). Plaza de las Tres Centurias is a large park that houses buildings from the old train station. Today it's a very important rail museum and an ideal place to take your kids for a fun day out. It offers an hourly show of dancing fountains and a train tour.
The hot springs of Ojocaliente were the main supply of water when the city was founded, due to the natural pools that the springs formed. The hot baths were opened to the public in the middle of the 19th century, and today still conserve a neo-Classic style with a French influence, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.
The Ranches of Aguascalientes
In the areas surrounding Aguascalientes you can find beautiful haciendas that used to be famed for the richness of their fields. Even back in the 17th century, the ranch owners had started to install impressive hydraulic systems, including dams, aqueducts, and canals that supplied water to the crops and resulted in a real economic boom for the area. Today, some of these haciendas have remained beautifully preserved, while others have fallen into disrepair, offering just glimpses of their once stunning architecture.
Created in a natural setting, this tourist development has rescued an area of Aguascalientes with a very rich history. The uniqueness of the attractions is what makes this a really fascinating place to visit. El Caracol is based around four different themes: Paleontology, Colonial Hydraulics, Legends and Traditions, and the Environment (Ecology).
You can make the most of your time here with an enjoyable boat tour of the El Cedazo dam, or with a trip on a train. A visit to El Caracol is, without a doubt, a memorable experience!
Tunnels and Legends
There are a large amount of tunnels underneath the city of Aguascalientes that served as hideouts for the early Spanish colonists, who feared attacks from the indigenous people. The tunnels were later used by thieves, bandits, and other criminals. There's an endless amount of stories of great treasures hidden in the caves and tunnels, just waiting for that lucky person to stumble upon them.
Boca del Tunel Adventure Park
This park is located north of Aguascalientes and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including zip-lines, hanging bridges, and mountain biking. Have a great time exploring the Potrerillos Dam, and let the adrenaline flow through your veins during a fantastic day out!
Hunting tourism has become more popular in Aguascalientes in recent years. To the northeast of the city you'll find the Sierra Fria Mountains, which are home to a wide variety of wild plants and animals. The region also features numerous regulated ranches where you can experience the thrill of hunting. You'll be able to hunt many different species, including rabbits, quails, wild boars, foxes, and deer.
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