Aguascalientes lies 300 miles to the northwest of Mexico city and is the capital of the state by the same name, within which is contained the exact geographical center of Mexico The name Aguascalientes means, hot waters, which references the many thermal springs in and around the city. Aguascalientes is blessed with a mild climate year round (warm days - cool nights), clear skies, fertile soil and extremely friendly citizens. The city (and state) does an excellent job of balancing a delicate mix of colonial architecture, industrial activities and still manages to maintain a small town ambience.
The city center, Plaza de la Patria to be exact, is an excellent place to start a leisurely city tour and take in much of the picturesque architecture that is so dominant. The city's centerpiece, Basilica de Ansuncion de las Aguacalientes, is a masterpiece of classic colonial architecture. More beautiful churches, some fine museums, cultural centers and theatres are located nearby, enough to keep anyone busy for a couple of days. Cultural activities are regular occurrences in the city center, check locally for schedules. Shopping for locally produced items is also a very popular pastime in the downtown area. You will find fine lace and embroidered items, leather clothing, textiles of all kinds, hand crafted furniture, all types of cowboy articles, some quality antiques and many varieties of candied fruits.
The outlying countryside contains some of Mexico's finest vineyards, producing quality wines and brandy. Beautiful haciendas dot the country side, many are used solely for producing some of the fiercest fighting bulls in the country. Bullfights are held locally in Plaza Toreo Monumental, one of the most beautiful in Latin America, with a seating capacity of over 18,000. Aguascalientes also produces some of Mexico's most famous matadors, if you are in town when a bullfight is scheduled, try not to miss it. Rodeos are another popular pastime with the locals.
The internationally known San Marcos National Fair, celebrated from mid April to the first week in May, is widely known as one of the most important celebrations in Mexico. During the fair visitors can enjoy cockfights, bullfights, rodeos, prize-cattle shows, industrial and commercial exhibitions as well as incredible cultural events and other fair oriented activities. The fair is an Aguascalientes tradition which started back in 1838 and attracts over 1 million visitors annually.