Aguascalientes IPA: [ˌa.ɰwas.ka.ˈljen̪.t̪es] is a state of Mexico, situated in the center of the country. The name means "hot waters" in Spanish and originated from the abundance of hot springs in the area; so the corresponding adjective for the state and its inhabitants is the whimsical demonym hidrocálido (hidro = water; cálido = hot). The state capital is the city of Aguascalientes.
The State is located about 300 miles from Mexico City.
It covers 5,471 km² and has a little more than one million inhabitants. The state is not heavily populated. However, most of its inhabitants live in the densely populated metropolitan area of its capital city.
The state as it is now was created in 1835 when it was separated from Zacatecas. It bears the name Aguascalientes taken from its largest city and capital also called Aguascalientes.
Economy and Industry
This state within Mexico originated around the times of Colonial Spanish influence. It is located in the middle of the country and is now beginning to make a name for itself as an industrial power within Mexico. The state was, at a time a major silver miner and a major source of railroad transportation, the latter due to its strategic location in the very center of the country, midway between the 3 most populated areas, namely Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
In the rural area, Aguascalientes used to be the first national producer of grapes and wines. This tradition ceased gradually for it proved unreliable since in Mexico the culture of wine does not have strong roots. Only a few wineries and wineyards remained producing, and mostly to supply wine for the Catholic religious institutions that still demand the product since it is consumed in small quantities during mass.
From then the economy of the State became mostly industralized, which proved to be a very successful move for Aguascalientes. Nowadays the state relies on its industial power, but lately it has been benefiting from heavier tourism, since the Capital City has gained prestige and status as a national destination for its colonial beauty and cleanliness. In addition, the haciendas and baths around the state hold historic and recreational importance.
Although this state was not often billed as a tourist center, Aguascalientes is well prestiged with national tourism. However international visitors and niche travelers are attracted mostly to the San Marcos Fair.
Recently, its capital city has gained the reputation as a great destination for its superb colonial architecture visible in the Colonial Centre; as well as the modernity and dynamism in the outskirts.
The city also hosts many conventions every year. It benefits from its excellent central location. The city is also famed for its environment of relaxation, and for its safety and cleanliness, as it is often described by people when traveling to this part of the country for conventions or tourism.
Most tourists would go to the capital. A few tourists will explore the former mining towns north of the State (in the municipalities of Asientos and Tepezalá) which nowadays are almost ghost cities. The haciendas, hot springs, and baths scattered around the State are also of historical and recreational relevance for the national tourism.
The municipality of Calvillo has a semi tropical climate, Furthermore, it is the part of the state with most greenery. First producer of guava in Mexico, it attracts some fans of watersports practiced on the local dams and for its natural scenery.
The state has a Natural Protected Reserve in the higher mountains called Sierra Fria. The Sierra Fría is a protected area. Located at a height of 2,500 to 3,000 m above sea level, it comprises oak and pine forests. Its attractions include observing exuberant landscape and wide ravines, in which, there are pumas, lynxes, boar, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoons and many other animals. There are steep-sided cycle paths, camping and picnic areas as well as several hunting clubs. It is the mountain climate and fauna that attracts locals for camping activities. In winter, the temperature sometimes falls to 5°C below zero when the weather is poor. Usually, Sierra Fria is the only part of the state that gets snow during winter.
The city and municipality of Aguascalientes is the capital of the state of Aguascalientes in western central Mexico. It stands on the banks of the Río Aguascalientes, 1888 meters above sea level, at 21°51′N 102°18′W.
The city was founded on 22 October 1575. It became the capital of the newly formed state of the same name when its territory was split off from neighboring Zacatecas State in 1835.
The name -Aguascalientes- originated from the Spanish words "Aguas Calientes" meaning "hot waters". When the city was first founded in 1575 it was given this name for its abundance of hot springs. These thermal features are still in demand in numerous spas and even exploited for domestic use.
People from Aguascalientes (both the city and the state) are known by the whimsical Spanish demonym hidrocálidos or "hydrothermal" people.
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