3 Days in Aguascalientes
By Daniela Tavares |
Discover the cultural and gastronomic heritage of Mexico with this 3-day route in Aguascalientes.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN AGUASCALIENTES
Mexico is known for the immense cultural diversity that emerged from miscegenation; that’s why the Mexican culture is truly unique. TodayDINKtravleers invites you to learn about Mexico’s colonial past as you follow our suggested route in Aguascalientes. You’ll only need three days to discover all the wonders this destination offers.
DAY 1: AGUASCALIENTES HISTORIC CENTER
Begin your journey by visiting the Aguascalientes’ Historic Center. Here you’ll be able to take a close look at the state’s and namesake city’s history, art and gastronomy. Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at Victoria Street, where you can try some gorditas de chicharrón –corn dough with pork rind filling. Then, go to the Government Palace whose façade made of red tezontle leads to the building’s interior which houses five murals created by Oswaldo Barra Cunningham, that narrate the state’s history. Continue walking across Patria Square and admire the Exedra, a monument that’s crowned by the republican eagle, a replica of the work by Jesus F. Contreras. There you’ll also find the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption, a Baroque Solomonic temple. Inside you’ll see a marble cypress sculpted with an image of the Virgin of Assumption, and whose details will astonish you.
If you’re hungry, you can try typical dishes at Venustiano Carranza Street. Our suggestion: order a Chile Aguascalientes: red dried chili filled with ground meat, seasoned with garlic, salt and onions, and topped with fruits that help create an interesting salty, sweet and spicy mix.
Continue along the same street until you reach other tourist attractions such as the Regional History Museum. It houses a collection of fossils and ornaments from prehispanic groups that inhabited the region. Also, Venustiano Carranza Street leads directly to San Marcos Garden, a recreational area that locals love. Distributed around the garden you’ll find several sculptures that portray the traditions and daily life of Aguascalientes, while right in the center of the walled garden you’ll see a kiosk where they perform dance and music shows as well as fountains and lights shows. Evidently, a visit to San Marcos Church is also a must, because it possesses a beautiful churrigueresque façade you won’t want to miss.
End your first day of touring by visiting the garden again at nightfall, when there are more locals in the area, and enjoy the view the illuminated garden and San Marcos church offer. Hungry? Approach nearby hawker stalls and try the chaskas or esquites. These are boiled corn kernels that are mixed with green pepper, mushrooms or bacon; sprinkled with cheese, and bathed with lime juice, mayonnaise, spicy sauces with nuts or, if you prefer something that’s not spicy, order them sprinkled with ground garlic. They’re delicious!
DAY 2: TOURS IN AGUASCALIENTES
Apart from everything you can find in the city of Aguascalientes, there are nearby tourist attractions such as vineyards and towns that have been declared Pueblos Magicos. On the second day we recommend taking a tour to the Cristo Roto (Broken Christ) Sanctuary in the town of San Jose de Gracia. In order to get there you’ll have to take a speedboat across the Plutarco Elias Calles dam, because the Broken Christ is located on an artificial island that was built right in the middle of the dam. This monument is 25 meters tall and it’s the second tallest sculpture of Christ in Latin America, after the Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.
After your visit you can go to one of the vineyards located in the area such as the Hacienda de Las Letras or Viñedos Leal, where you’ll learn about the different steps in winemaking and participate in a winetasting experience that includes a tasting of gourmet cheese and cured meats.
The tour to these three places will take about 5 hours, so you’ll still have time to go to the Pueblo Magico of Calvillo, which is famous for its guava production. There, you’ll even get the chance to visit a factory of jam and typical dishes made with this fruit. Other souvenirs that are typical from Calvillo are woven clothes made by local women at the workshops you can find at El Vestir Plaza. Also, don’t forget to try the famous chamucos, artisanal cinnamon bread elaborated with sugar paste and wheat flour.
Before this tour, it’s advisable to have a good breakfast because, apart from the snacks we’ve suggested trying and buying, you’ll dine quite late. Once you’re back in the city, go back to San Marcos Garden and try the famous Mexican-style hot dogs: they’re topped with yellow and jalapeño chili, lime juice, ketchup and caramelized onions. You can order them with up to three bacon-wrapped sausages! End the day with a promenade at Arturo J. Pani walkway and drinks at La Cantina de Antaño, a theme bar that’s decorated with posters and memorabilia from the Mexican cinema golden age.
DAY 3: THE TRAM AND HOT SPRINGS
End your vacation in Aguascalientes with a tram tour visiting the most emblematic neighborhoods in the city: Guadalupe, Barrio de San Marcos, Barrio de la Estación and Barrio del Encino. Take the tram at Patria Square. It departs on an hourly basis. On this day you’ll visit the Monumental Bullring and the Tres Centurias Park where you’ll learn about the history of railroads. In the end, you’ll reach the Temple of San Antonio, a work by the Mexican architect Refugio Reyes Rivas.
Other important attractions include the Jose Guadalupe Posada Museum, located in Barrio del Encino. It exhibits a collection of over 3000 pieces mostly authored by Posada. Finally, go to the Ojocaliente hot springs, in Barrio de la Estación, which give you the chance to bathe in mineral hot springs with healing properties.
As you can see, this route includes several destinations that you must cover in only a few days, so we recommend hiring a tour guide or contacting a travel agency that can offer you safe transportation to each stop so that you don’t miss anything.
Mexico is a country that’s very rich in cultural heritage. Aguascalientes can be your first step to discover this wealth.