Regions and States

Aguascalientes crestThe state of Aguascalientes is part of the Northern Mexico Region, along with the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas. It is one of Mexico’s smaller states, with a total population of about 1.2 million.

The state’s coat of arms includes a pair of lips about to make a kiss. This is because “the independence of Aguascalientes [from Zacatecas] was sealed with a kiss, as the locals are invariably quick to point out.”  (Tony Burton, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury).

The colonial city of Aguascalientes is important for its manufacturing industry and assembly plants and is home to a very large Nissan vehicle factory.

Here are select articles and recipes related to Aguascalientes:


Located about 50 kilometers southwest of the state capital of Aguascalientes, the town of Calvillo hosts an annual guava fair. Stalls selling food and merchandise appear in the plaza. This one, filled with toys, entices a little girl and her baby sister. © Diodora Bucur, 2009

December guava fair in Calvillo, Aguascalientes

When I first saw guava fruit I mistook it for lemon. It happened on my first trip to Aguascalientes during the summer rainy season when a tree — its branches loaded with tiny round yellow fruit in the backyard of a house — caught my eye. I soon learned the popular exotic fruit known as […]


Aguascalientes style mixed vegetable salad: Ensalada surtida

Soaking the cabbage in lemon water adds flavor, eases digestion, and cuts down on the need for salt. Some cooks add pineapple to this Aguascalientes style mixed vegetable salad, but I find it to be an odd fit with the Russian-style dressing. Try shredded jicama instead, and be sure to use red cabbage, which makes for an […]


Mexican cheese and guava flan: Flan de queso y guayaba

Guavas, being so plentiful in Aguascalientes, are used in several desserts. A common combination in Mexico is ate, a paste made with guava, quince, pears or other fruit, and cream cheese, served together after dinner. North of the border, ate can be found in the Latin food section of many markets. This recipe for Mexican cheese and guava flan […]


Aguascalientes style chicken with fruit sauce: Pollo de Aguascalientes

This chicken with fruit sauce is considered one of the most typical dishes of Aguascalientes, traditionally served at the San Marcos Fair and sometimes called “Pollo de San Marcos.” The 20th century Mexican poet Renato Leduc wrote that “there is not a fairgoer nor local family that does not pass by the San Marcos food […]


Mexican Spanish style beef and vegetable stew: Chambarete español

Although classified under “soups,” Chambarete español is really a stew, served as a main course. A reflection of the European heritage of Aguascalientes, it is similar to the Spanish caldo gallego, which is also meat-based and loaded with vegetables such as garbanzos, cabbage and carrots. What makes this version typically Mexican is the addition of xoconostles, the sour nopal cactus fruit. Nopales […]


April in Aguascalientes: Food and drink at Mexico’s national fair

April is a warm month in Mexico and, while some people choose to spend time at the beach, many others prefer to stroll the streets of the beautiful colonial cities. One of the most architecturally impressive of all, having originated during the era of Spanish colonization, is 400-year-old Aguascalientes, known for its magnificent public buildings, […]

Ancient Lake Jalisco

The geology and geography of Lake Chapala and western Mexico

The following is a story concerning an ancient lake that covered a large area of the State of Jalisco and spread into Michoacan and Aguascalientes. This map is a visual portrayal of the lake superimposed on a regional map. The south central portion of the State of Jalisco presents a panorama of lakes arranged in […]


Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr

Cogan’s Reviews This is a novel about a couple of Americans who choose to leave San Francisco and live in a small, remote Mexican village. They are Richard and Sara Everton. Their purpose is to reopen a copper mine that was abandoned by Richard’s grandfather fifty years ago in the Revolution of 1910. The novel, […]


Violeta Retamoza: from Aguascalientes to the world

Golf is the magic carpet that lifted Violeta Retamoza from Cerco del Laurel in Aguascalientes and sent her out to see the world. So far, it has earned her a scholarship at the University of Tennessee and freshman honors in the Southeastern Conference. Most likely it will some day earn her pay. Violeta was introduced […]


House Hunting In Aguascalientes

Mary and I went to Aguascalientes on the last day of September to look for a house to rent. Harry and Alejandro had left the previous day, traveling by bus. We offered them a ride in the White Bullet (we finally got the WB back ­ it still had a noise in the engine, but […]


Investigating Aguascalientes

Harry and company are moving to Aguascalientes. They are fed up with Guadalajara, with the high rents, the traffic congestion, and the noise (car horns, stereos, drunks, parties, dogs, and church bells). Mary and I bided our time as they explored several towns, looking for a better place to live. They finally settled on Aguascalientes, […]

Las Estacas The main attraction of Las Estacas is floating down the crystal clear river in inflatable inner tubes through a serene, if somewhat manicured, jungle habitat starting from where a spring bubbles out of the ground into a large pool at 8,000 liters a second. Photography & Annotations by Bob Brooke © 2001

Taking the “waters” in Mexico

Ahhhh. Oohhh. Awww. Mmmmmm.” These are the sounds most often heard as bathers first step into a warm mineral pool. More and more North Americans are discovering the pleasures and benefits of soaking in mineral baths, as they seek cures for rheumatism, arthritis, and a multitude of other ailments. But the Mexicans have known the […]


Chambarete español

Aunque se clasifique como sopa, ésta es un estofado que se sirve como un platillo principal. Refleja la herencia europea de Aguascalientes y es similar al caldo gallego español, el cual también está hecho a base de carne y lleno de vegetales tales como garbanzos, col y zanahorias. Lo que hace que esta versión sea […]


Flan de queso y guayaba

Siendo tan abundantes en Aguascalientes, las guayabas son utilizadas en muchos postres. Una combinación común en México es el ate, una pasta hecha de guayaba, membrillo, peras u otras frutas, y queso crema, servidos juntos después de la cena. Al norte de la frontera, se puede comprar ate en la sección de comida latina de […]


Receta para Pollo de Aguascalientes

Éste platillo es considerado uno de los más típicos de Aguascalientes. A veces se le llama “pollo de San Marcos” y tradicionalmente se sirve en la feria de San Marcos. El poeta contemporáneo mexicano Renato Leduc escribió que “no hay un sólo asistente a la feria o familia residente que no pase por los puestos […]


Abril en Aguascalientes: A comer y beber en La Feria de San Marcos

En México, hace mucho calor durante el mes de abril, y mientras muchas personas deciden pasar este tiempo en la playa, muchos otros prefieren explorar las hermosas ciudades coloniales. Una que cuenta con arquitectura impresionante es Aguascalientes, que tiene sus orígenes en la colonización de los españoles. La ciudad tiene 400 años de ser fundada […]

Mexico's Aguascalientes-born bullfighter Miguel Espinosa, also known as "Armillita Chico," performed in 1,330 corridas de toros throughout his career. © Diodora Bucur, 2010

San Marcos fair: an opportunity to visit colonial Aguascalientes

Preparations are in full swing in Aguascalientes for the traditional Feria Nacional de San Marcos, a three-week spring fiesta the city of natural hot springs is best known for. About seven million revelers are expected to descend upon this central colonial city between April 17 and May 9, for the festival that promises to entertain […]

Map of Aguascalientes

Map of Aguascalientes

Map of Aguascalientes SCT, 1999.


The San Marcos Fair in Aguascalientes, and what to do afterwards

The San Marcos Fair, held from the second week in April to the first week of May each year, attracts thousands of visitors from all over Mexico and the United States. It dates back to 1604 when a small indigenous Indian settlement, San Marcos, was founded within walking distance of the growing Spanish city of […]


TAGS – States, Regions, Cities

Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México (State of), México City, D.F., Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas,

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