The Lost Reef

The Veracruz Coral Reef System is one of the biggest in the country. It is found off of the coast of Veracruz, in front of the cities of Veracruz and Anton Lizardo. This 52,238 hectare system is made up of many islands and 23 reefs which unite to create and impressive reef system. This underwater mountain range houses a wide variety of flora and fauna. Its magnitude was once a force to be reckoned with for many captains, which created shipyard containing 350 wrecked vessels scattered along the reef.

Although its vicinity to two large rivers leaves it subject to water pollution it is still one of the least exploited. When President Salinas de Gortari named it a National Sea Park it helped protect this area from exploitation.

Here at Totonal, we can help you be emmmersed in this unique eco system and explore some of its virgin islands.  You can snorkel and be greeted my hundreds of species of fish and corals in one of the unknown gems of Mexico!

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Sources:
http://www.explorandomexico.com/about-mexico/4/163/
http://portal.veracruz.gob.mx/portal/page?_pageid=313,4410374&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
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Papantla, The Birthplace of Vanilla

Vanilla, one of the most expensive spices in the world, finds its origins in the fertile lands of Veracruz.  Vanilla is actually a type of Orchid which is native to the Papantla region of Veracruz. Due to the unique ecosystem of this region it is only found here and can only be grown in other tropical climates through artificial pollination. This black flower or “Tlixochitl” was first used by the Totonacs in rituals, offerings, perfumes and in healing. It wasn’t until the Aztecs added it to their cacao that it was used for its taste.  When Hernan Cortez travels to the new world he is captivated by the taste of this beverage and brings this new spice to the old world and thus begins the exportation of one the best things Veracruz has to offer.

Since then, Vanilla has crossed all borders and embedded itself into all kinds of cuisines around the globe. Imitation vanilla extract is available in supermarkets around the world, yet only here in the tropical region of Papantla Veracruz can you find true vanilla, the flavor that Cortez fell in love with, and the one that the Totonacs discovered.

Veracruz has this and so much more to offer, come and discover a state that has beautiful beaches, mountains, jungles and pyramids. Come and Discover Veracruz!

Sources:

http://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/Biodiversitas/Articulos/biodiv66art1.pdf

http://www.vanillamexico.com/vahistoria.htm

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Lose Yourself

Lose Yourself

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Henry David Thoreau

Come and lose yourself in the jungle of Veracruz, among the sounds of the cascading water, the rustling of the leaves, the songs of birds and the overall beauty of nature that this state has to offer. Travel to the depths of Mexico and you find a new you.