The city of Veracruz is famous throughout Mexico for its festive atmosphere and people. The nights are especially lively in the zocalo, where the locals congregate in the late afternoon for a drink, a coffee or to dance danzón. This seaside city has an abundance of life and spirit which cannot be described; it is truly a city which must be experienced. Yet, this vibrant city is only one reason to visit this seaside state.
Veracruz offers a wide range of options from outdoor activities to cultural immersion in the country’s recent and ancient history. It’s also home to a rich culinary tradition which will delight your senses.
Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to visit Veracruz:
- The Magical towns of Coatepec and Xico- Coatepec is a picturesque coffee-producing town a half hour’s drive from Xalapa, with a quaint main square, while Xico, a smaller town nearby is home to the beautiful 80 foot Texolo waterfall.
- The Magical town of Papantla- Located in the northern part of the state, this town is the birthplace of vanilla and the ritual of the Papantla Flyers, men of the Totonac ethnicity who climb a pole and swing down to the tunes of a flute and a drum, a ritual declared UNESCO Cultural Heritage.
- Pico de Orizaba- At 18,491 feet tall, Mexico’s highest peak and third highest in North America, this snow capped volcano is a challenge even to experienced climbers.
- Los Tuxtlas – South of the city of Veracruz, lays the region of exuberant vegetation called Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, the heart of Olmec territory and a land full of mysticism.
- Jalcomulco- One of the best places in Mexico for white water rafting, merely 30 minutes away from Xalapa this town offers rafting at many levels allowing for hours and hours of fun.
- Costa Esmeralda- This stretch shoreline, to the north of the city of Veracruz, offers unspoiled beaches framed by green fields and small boutique hotels.
- La Antigua & Cempoala- La Antigua is the site of one of the first Spanish settlements in Mexico and home of the oldest church in the Americas. Nearby Cempoala, is a testament of a much older history, a Totonac archeological site of what was in its day the largest city on the gulf coast.
- Tuxpan- A coastal town with 30 miles of beaches, Tuxpan is a great place for water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. This town also offers boat rides along the river and a one of the best carnivals of the state.
- Xalapa and el Tajín- The state capital, Xalapa, is a city with a busy cultural scene, a rainy climate and dense vegetation. Near the state Capital is EL Tajín, the largest and most important archeological site in the state. With an architectural style unique in all of Mexico.
- The coffee and Vanilla route- Veracruz is home to come of the best coffee and vanilla in the world. Come and travel a route that will take you through coffee plantations in Xico and Coatepec and ancient vanilla plantations neat Papantla.