Veracruz: A Stunning State to Discover the Most Joyful Atmosphere

From the challenging heights of the volcano to the calm depths of the sea, in Veracruz, you will discover the most joyful atmosphere for an unforgettable stay.

Veracruz: A Stunning State to Discover the Most Joyful Atmosphere
A bust of the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is located in Tlacotalpan, as Hidalgo Park. Photo: Sectur

Veracruz is a state full of history, traditions, and cultural richness, which stands out for the joy of its people, its popular festivities, and delicious and varied gastronomy prepared with fish and seafood, which should be accompanied by the traditional "toritos", fruit drinks, condensed milk and a "piquito" of liquor.

To tour the state of Veracruz with ease, seven circuits have been created, each with a wide range of entertainment possibilities and services for all tastes.

The Veracruz Huasteca Region

In the northern part of the state visit especially the port of Tuxpan, with one of the best beaches in the area for its gentle slope and almost 70 m of dry beach. In it, as well as in the river, water sports can be practiced.

In Castillo de Teayu, an archaeological zone near Tuxpan, stop to see the pre-Hispanic pyramid with Toltec, Huasteca, and Nahuatl influences. Do not forget to taste the "zacahuilt" in some corner of the Huasteca, an exquisite dough tamale of enormous proportion, prepared with pork, chicken, or turkey and cooked in a clay oven.


This is one of the most attractive areas of Veracruz, where a culture of universal transcendence flourished: the Totonaca, whose most outstanding vestige is the city of El Tajin, located only 20 km from Poza Rica.

El Tajin, considered a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, covers an area of 10 square kilometers and its main center extends over 144 hectares with approximately 180 structures. In this city stand out the ceremonial center, the administrative area, 17 ball games, the plaza of the stream, and the palace of the governor of Tajin. It presents a very particular architectural style because the buildings were built in talud-tablero with niche and cornice overhang, which produce a very special play of light and shadow.

Fifteen kilometers from there is Papantla, a beautiful city of colonial architecture famous worldwide for its vanilla, which is used to make beautiful figurines. Ahead, following the coast you will find paradisiacal places from Tecolutla to Ursulo Galván, where Costa Esmeralda stands out for its calm beaches suitable for resting or practicing diving, volleyball, and skiing. There are also boat rides through the "Ciénegas del Fuerte", an extensive swamp surrounded by mangroves.

The area includes other archaeological sites such as Quiahuiztlán, where there are three cemeteries, a ball game, and a residential area. The ceremonial centers of Vega de la Peña and Cuajilote, in Tlapacoyan. And Zempoala, the last capital of the totonacapan of the south, whose ceremonial center stands out the Templo Mayor, the Templo de Quetzacóatl, "las caritas" and "las chimeneas".

High Mountain Circuit

The sierra offers ideal scenery for free flight and paragliding. In this area, with Nahuatl influence and great agricultural and industrial development, are located cities with colonial architecture and delicious climate. There are also two beautiful natural spaces: the Pico de Orizaba National Park and the Cañón de Río Blanco National Park.

In Cordoba visit the City Museum, the Pedro Diaz Theater, the Zeballos Portal, where the Treaties of Cordoba were signed in 1821, the Municipal Palace, and the Parish of the Immaculate Conception. Fortín, only 7 Km. from Córdoba, offers an abundance of flowers in its provincial landscapes; here there are gardens with gardenias and orchids.

Huatusco, 46 Km. from Cordoba, offers a very pleasant climate and is surrounded by exuberant vegetation, where coffee plantations stand out. Orizaba, one of the oldest cities in the state, offers the beauty of its temples and churches, the Plaza de la Constitución, the Art Museum, and the old Municipal Palace, as well as the natural beauty of the Cerro del Borrego and the Elephant Waterfall.

Culture and Adventure Circuit

Deployed in the central zone of the State, this circuit includes the capital of the State, Xalapa, a beautiful city with a pleasant climate that awaits you with its Botanical Garden, the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Science and Technology, the State Theater that always has activity, the House of Crafts.

The Callejón del Diamante is full of life with food and handicraft establishments. The Callejón de Jesús Te Ampare is typical, silent, and harmoniously beautiful. The Park of the Berros, the Macuiltépetl National Park, and the Lakes of the Dike. As well as the Museum of "El Lencero", a construction that dates back to 1525 and was converted into a hacienda by Lopez de Santa Ana.

Coatepec, world-famous for its coffee and the exquisite beauty of its orchids and multicolored anthuriums, is located 8 km from Xalapa. Its cobblestone streets, colonial-style houses with beautiful interior courtyards, and numerous churches are a very pleasant setting to enjoy a cool climate most of the year. Savor the ice creams from the kiosk in the park and the fruit liqueurs from the Bautista Galvez house.

Adventure tourism is a great alternative in this area. In Jalcomulco-Carrizal, La Antigua, Actopan, Atoyac-Cotaxtla and Filohobos, river rafting is practiced. In Jalcomulco, 30 minutes from Xalapa, there are ecotourism camps. Carrizal, located 45 km from Xalapa, has a beach area. Rafting is practiced on the Filobobos river, crossing a large canyon to reach the "El Encanto" waterfall. Additionally, fishing, hiking, speleology, and rappelling are practiced.

Cortes' First Steps

The route begins in La Antigua, where the first contact between Spaniards and indigenous people took place, and where the Villa Rica de la Veracruz was founded in 1525.

The port of Veracruz is the most important city on the circuit because it has a lot to show you, starting with the Historic Center, the Municipal Palace, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, and the Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city since the 17th century. Also visit the Castillo de San Juan de Ulua and the Baluarte de Santiago, ancient constructions of defense against pirate attacks.

To appreciate the culture of the port, we recommend the dance evenings at Zamora Park, a stroll along the boardwalk, enjoying a traditional milkshake at the Gran Café de La Parroquia, which is now located next to the boardwalk, as well as a visit to the Portales at night, where tourists, sailors, and inhabitants of the port happily chat with each other.

The beach, the National Marine Park located in front of Sacrificios Island, and the Aquarium -where there is an impressive fish tank that houses sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles- are the places where fun awaits you, complemented by the services of the hotel zone and the nightclubs of the Veracruz-Boca del Río conurbation, where you can feel the lively character of the Veracruz people. In February, do not miss the Carnival of Veracruz, the most joyful in the country.

An additional attraction of the Veracruz-Boca del Río area is the modern EXPOVER Convention and Exhibition Center, which has 92,000 square meters of construction and has all the necessary infrastructure for large events.

To the south of the port, Alvarado, Tlacotalpan, and Cosamaloapan show a marked Spanish influence in their architecture and their very rich culture, with artistic, musical, and gastronomic manifestations that gave rise to totally "jarocha" expressions. Tlacotalpan, a city declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity, celebrates the Virgin of Candelaria from January 31 to February 2, with a great traditional festival that in turn frames the national meeting of jaranero musicians.

Los Tuxtlas, Magic and Beauty

This is an amazing circuit, where you will find history, magic, and natural beauty. Here there is one of the unique microclimates in the world, which can be seen in the Nanciyaga Ecotourism Park, located within the jungle of Los Tuxtlas and on Lake Catemaco, which offers very original rustic facilities with solarium, kayak and canoe dock, mineral water spa, temazcal bath, and food and sleeping area.

The most attractive towns in the circuit are Tres Zapotes, with vestiges of the Olmec culture, San Andrés Tuxtla, Santiago Tuxtla, and Caternaco, where there are pleasant hotels on the shores of the lagoon, from where you can take ecotourism tours to the island of the monkeys. Try to visit Salto Eyipantla, an impressive waterfall with natural pools and picnic facilities.

Olmec Circuit

Named after the Olmec culture that settled in its territory at least 1,500 years before Christ, this circuit stands out for the magnificence of its archeology and the ethnic groups that still exist. The Soteapan and Huazuntlán waterfalls are beautiful scenery to enjoy near imposing industrial zones. In Coatzacoalcos, you can take motorboats and paddleboats on the river, and in the open sea, the International Tarpon Fishing Tournament takes place in July.

In Minatitlán, the Manatee Lagoon offers a wonderful spectacle for nature lovers with the bird migration that takes place from November to March. San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán is an archaeological zone full of surprises, where colossal heads of the Olmec culture have been found.