Navigate Veracruz

Veracruz  City Web-Guide

Veracruz (veh-rah-cruz),  the largest Mexican City on the Caribbean, owns a busy port, a rich history and a very romantic, slow-paced, Mexican atmosphere. There's live music all around you, great food to consider and a year-round Carnaval attitude that projects an atmosphere that life is too precious to not be enjoyed with gusto. The afternoon is ideal   for a walk on the Pier (malecón) or perhaps sit and enjoy a natural fruit ice cream while you take in the splendid views. Live marimba music featuring the xylophone can be heard in the zócalo at all hours but will really pick up in the evening with dueling groups of musicians.  Enjoy a strong coffee or other brew with a local cigar while you appreciate the cacophony of sounds and colors swirling around you.
The State of Veracruz is the home of the mother "Olmec" culture of Mesoamerica The Olmecs ruled the coast as early as 1200 BC and were the first to use the sophisticated calendrical system and ritual ball game. When Cortés arrived on good Friday in 1519 he made the Totonac natives his first allies in his battle of conquest against the ruling Aztecs.  Cortés primed his men a battle with victory as the only option by burning his own ships in this harbor.
As the main port of entry for the Americas largest City, Veracruz has been a contested prize many times and Veracruz is now officially titled 'Four Times Heroic' in reference to the final expulsion of the Spanish in 1815, the 1838 expulsion of the French Navy in 1838's 'Pastry War' and resistance to American occupation in 1847 and 1914. The Spaniards established the first City government in the Americas here and imported thousands of African slaves. The resulting long simmering stew  of cultures contains an Afro- Caribbean flavor by way of Cuba
The region is largely undiscovered by foreign tourists but is popular with Mexico City natives who appreciate its good prices and proximity.  The surrounding verdant hill region of Los Tuxtlas lures visitors with many rivers and lakes.
The zócalo is  the epicentre of city life in Veracruz

CityGuides || Alcalde Welcome  Francisco J. Ávila Camberos Mayor of the Port of Veracruz
Official City web site launched Sept. 1, 1999

Veracruz traveler tips by fellow traveler tips
Virtual tourist has seized the coveted forum/bulletin board #1 spot for many travel destinations. Veracruz has nearly 40 contributions in early 2004

Veracruz  by mexconnect ||Veracruz - An Introduction by Dean & Yolymexicosmn.gif (761 bytes) Hughson
"A city of diverse cultures, Veracruz has a heart with a Latin rhythm, a soul influenced by Africa, Old World Spanish élan and a zest for life and living that advises, "Eat, drink and be merry for who knows what tomorrow brings."
"Veracruz is old and traditional, slow-paced, provincial, romantic and musical, maritime and commercial in nature, and 100 per cent Mexican in atmosphere."
Boca Del Rio
Nearby Suburb with Restaurants on the River
"The city is one of the most enjoyable places in the republic in which simply to be, to sit back and watch - or join - the daily round"

"The city is one of the most enjoyable places in the republic in which simply to be, to sit back and watch - or join - the daily round."
Regional / State Guides
red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Veracruz State Places to stay and attractions
Major expansion in 2004 to become web's most comprehensive guide to the great state of Veracruz

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esvera2.jpg (15533 bytes) Estado de Veracruz
The State of Veracruz (esp_only.gif (238 bytes)Spanish Only)

tourbymexico.jpg (1103 bytes)
Boca del Rio, San Andres Tuxtla, Catemaco, Santiago Tuxtla, Jalapa, Tajin Archaeological Zone, Nautla, Tecolutla, Orizaba, Tlacotalpan, Papantla, Zempoala Archaeological Zone, Puerto de Veracruz
Overview of economic data from Bancoment
Welcome to the State of Veracruz by
Veracruz is located in the oriental part of the Mexican Republic on the Gulf of Mexico, is surrounded by the states of: Tamaulipas, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Puebla, Hidalgo and San Luís Potosí.

List of Links

Yahoo's Veracruz City links
|| State of Veracruz
As of Feb. 2000  only 9 semi-live, on their English pages 
Talk About It
There is a tourist office on the zocalo at the base of the Palacio City Hall
Subdelegación Federal de Turismo ,
bilingual, (29) 32-19-99
State of Veracruz Av. Manuel Avila Camacho No. 191 CP 91000 Jalapa, Ver.
Tel: (28) 18-7097 * Fax: (28) 14-4622
Rainfall mostly in the hot, humid summer months with 2/3 of rain falling between June and September. Winters are dry with mild winds. There is much climate variation as you travel inland. Nearby Volcán Orizaba has permanent ice and snow on its peak.
5-day weather Veracruz Prediction by yahoo


Satelite Photo of the Hemisphere
Be your own weather predictor.


Getting There from Mexico City
Veracruz is almost the same latitude as Mexico City, 261 miles due west.
By Plane Mexicana flies 4 times per day to/from Mexico city

By Bus In Mexico City, go to the Bus Station: Central de Oriente, known as TAPO. Daddy-O recommends ADO as the best bus company and they are #1 for 1st class travel. There are 15 bus companies but some can take twice as long as others so do practice your Spanish.
By Train: Slower, more expensive and less convenient and less comfortable than bus but they do offer sleeper cars and rare views.

Air || Aeroméxico || Autobús ADO || AU || Cristóbal Colón || Cuenca || ADO GL || Maya de Oro || TRV || UNO Train  


 Vera Cruz by || Español || Photos
"Driving to Veracruz from Mexico City is very safe and relaxed. The complete trip is about 3 hours on a modern two lane highway."

Fast Facts

Population: 330,000 Altitude: sea level
427 km. (265 mi.) east of Mexico City
Veracruz City Area Code 29
American Express , Viajes Olymar, Bulevar Camacho 2221, Col. Zaragoza (29) 31-46-36
U. S. Consulate , Víctimas del 25 de junio, (29) 31-58-21
Safety & Health
Warnings Or Dangers fellow traveler tips by

Emegencias 06 Policia 38-06-64 38-06-93 Red Crosss (Cruz Roja 37-55-00

Places to Stay
red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Veracruz City Hotels
red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Veracruz State Places to stay and attractions
Major expansion in 2004 to become web's most comprehensive guide to the great state of Veracruz
Tours & Travel Agents
Travel Agencies in Veracruz
Find 20 listed by the official City site but only no web site or e-mail addresses.

More than 40 rivers run from the inland mountains to the central Gulf Coast of Veracruz
Santos Degollado No. 81, Int. 8 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz Phone: (28) 18-9579 or 18-9779 Fax: (28) 18-9680 - Offers river trips
Campamento Jamapa
Bocca del Rio Veracruz, Mexico Phone/Fax (29) 21-1550 River trips down Jamapa River to Pescados, Filo-Bobos and Actopan Rivers
Far Flung Adventures
PO Box 377 Terlingua, TX 79852 Phone: 915-371-2489 Phone: 800-359-4138 - Far Flung offers river trips in Veracruz and Chiapas states
Getting Around There

There is an excellent inexpensive public transportation system which is worth getting to know. 

Transportation fellow traveler tips by

Avis and many others listed with much detail 
Use Veracruz as your base to explore the many sights and attractions by car or bus.

The Road from Tuxtepec to Oaxaca is one of the most beautiful in the world. It is also extremely remote, winding, and riddled with pot holes.

State of Veracruz by tourbymexico
State Map by mexconnect
Map of State of Veracruz by

2 Picture Maps of the City of Veracruz by
35 Downtown Attractions & 50 greater City destinations highlighted
BANKS & $ Change

Get your best exchange rate from your ATM card and Credit Card. Travelers Checks are increasingly less negotiable. 

Food & Drink
"Huachinango a la Veracruzana" or Red Snapper Veracruz style is the most popular regional dish. There is the usual array of freshly squeezed fruit juices (jugos) and tortillas, beans and chile peppers make appearance at most meals. 
Mexican cooking uses over 100 different chilies . Remember the difference between hot as in spicy, is "picante;" hot as in heat is caliente. The check almost never appears until you ask for it. "La cuenta, por favor" ("The check, please") or practice your hand waving gestures with the same flair as fellow native diners

"A la Veracruzana" is a tag you'll find on menus all over the country, denoting a delicious sauce of onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, chiles and spices, served with meat or fish"

Eating and Drinking Restaurants fellow traveler tips by

red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Restaurants by || Mariscos || Antojitos || Internacional || Española || Italiana || China || Japonesa || Pollo || Cortes || Taquerías || Tortas
Good Food is muy importante in Veracruz

Veracruz Restaurants by TIMS
Boca del Rio at the river mouth is a well known center of seafood restaurants. The long Sunday lunch is great tradition. Closer to Veracruz is Mocambo Beach has many hotel eating options and a growing number of chain restaurants. Connect   18 km south of Veracruz is Mandinga, another coastal village with many seafood restaurants.

"There's an art to ordering lechero and it's worth mastering if you're a coffee fan."

Gran Cafe de la Parroquia their Cafe con leche is  one of the town's best known traditions and owes its popularity to the ritual flair the waiters exhibit when filling your cup. There are now two located in can't miss spots off the Zocalo and the main pier.

Mexican Food Forum by
Mexican Hot or Not || Español

Night Life

Night Life by travelmexico
"As in most of Mexico, nightlife here begins at around 10 p.m. and peaks after midnight, with revelers often timing their departures to coincide with the beautiful view of the sun rising over Sacrifice Island and the Gulf of Mexico."

Nightlife fellow traveler tips by


Besides downtown Veracruz the Boca del Rio hotel zone has two shopping centers Plaza Mocambo and Plaza las Americas. Also the Aquarium's  Plaza Acuario.
Shopping fellow traveler tips by

The Beaches or Playas in town are average and share the harbor with the large shipping industry. Head down the Coast to Mocambo Beach and Boca del Rio for wide sandy expanses with lots of amenities

PLAYAs by 
Playa Norte, Playa Regatas, Playón de Hornos, Playa villa del Mar, Playa Jose Martí, Playa Costa de Oro, Playa Mocambo, Playa Boca del Río.

Veracruz Beaches 
"Buses (marked "Boca del Río") head out to both from the corner of Zaragoza and Serdán; or get a lift in one of the vans marked "Playas", which leave regularly to Mocambo from every corner along the malecón, arriving twenty minutes later at the Hotel Mocambo."


many with
English descriptions


The city by 
Castillo de San Juan de Ulúa, Museo de la Ciudad, Museo Venustiano Carranza, Baluarte de Santiago, Acuario de Veracruz &  the best dive shop

La Antigua  & Zempoala
On the Antigua riverbank is - the Ceiba de la Noche Feliz - a huge tree upon which Cortés moored his ships when he first arrived here. Zempoala contains at complete Aztec ceremonial centre.

 Veracruz attractions by TIMS
Info on Isla de Sacrificios, Plaza de Armas (the Zocalo), La Antigua, Laguna de Catemaco, Zempoala.

The City Hall of Veracruz  overlooking the Zocalo was completed in 1780 and is one of the best known buildings in Mexico.
Best know as the castle with alligators in the hit movie Romancing the Stone. Its most famous prisoner was founding father Benito Juárez.
Near San Juan fortress
216zz2.jpg (9848 bytes) Baluarte de Santiago
Five minutes the Zocalo between Francisco Canal and Gómez Ferias streets relocated bastion or fortress built in 1635 which houses a museum.


Vera Cruz Aquarium esp_only.gif (238 bytes)  
Opened in 1992, the aquarium is Mexico's best featuring a spectacular shark tank and a room of a thousand turtles. Nearby you will find one of Vera Cruz best collection of gift shops and a view of the most popular beach within the central City 
Shipwrecks 1492 to 1521 Cortez lost ships here in 1519 

Day Trips and Regional Attractions

Not far is Cempoala and the small village of Antigua where Cortes struck his first alliance with coastal Totonacs against the Aztecs...Tlacotalpan

Sports Travel fellow traveler tips by

Established in 1574 near where the river Huitzilapan meets the ocean.


South of Veracruz

The two towns of Tuxtlas ||
Coatzacoalcos and Acayucán 

Museo de la Amistad Mexico-Cuba  Occupying the house where Fidel Castro spent a year planning his revolutionary return to Cuba, the museum focuses on Castro, Che Guevara and imperialism in the Americas.

Mundo Maya is a four country effort surrounding the tourist development of the 2,000 year old Mayan culture


From 1998
Carnaval Photo in Lonely Planet slide show

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by Edward Dawson
which also includes the State of Tabasco  
Yucatán || || ||  || ||  || ||

Music & Sounds
More Agustin Lara and the danzon music which Veracruz loves by google

Sample this beautiful traditional Mexican music inc. the Huastec region in Veracruz,  (15 complete songs in the non-streaming AU. java files which do not stream but do not need a plug-in player and can be replayed)
La Bamba Explained - Or, The Music of Veracruz - Janice Carraher
"Coplas (verses), La Bamba has hundreds – they say over a thousand – but who can count them as they are being created everyday. Part of the Son tradition is the creating of verses by cantadores (singers) including adlibbing on the spot."
La Bamba in RealAudio
(4:22) || || La bamba (2MB. formato au ) || La bruja (1.5MB formato au) || fragmento

Culture Art & Museums
Ballet Folklorico de Vera Cruz by Under direction of veteran dancer Hugo Betancourt,the young company "Quetzalli" has grown to be one of the most popular folklorico companies touring outside of Mexico.
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Divided into The pre-Colombian: 1200 B.C. to 1519 A.D. Including  The Colonial: 1519 to 1821 A.D. The Independence: 1821 A.D. to the present. Several indigenous cultures flourished in Veracruz in the pre-Colombian period, cultures still carefully studied by archaeologists. The principal cultures were the Huastecs and the Totonacs. Impressive ruins of the Totonacs can still be visited  throughout the state, with the principal archaeological sites at El Tajin and Zempoala. The state capital of Xalapa is justifiably famous for its archaeological museum.
Pyramids of Veracruz
red_star.gif (2190 bytes)List of Vera Cruz Archeologicla sites by mexico-travel
tajin1.jpg (14082 bytes)Zona arqueológica El Tajin. esp_only.gif (238 bytes)Spanish Only
(El Ta-HEEN) This is official site for the most important archeological site in Veracruz built by the Toltecs who dominated Mexico from 800 to 1200 AD and were never subdued by the Aztecs.
El Tajin's  Pyramid of the Niches

The sacred city of the dead and the raging thunder, El Tajín reached its zenith between 800 and 1150 AD when over 150 of its building were built in a dense one square mile area. Located near the beautiful beaches of Costa Esmerelda the site contains 17 ball courts including the beautifully preserved Southern Ball court with virtually intact engraved descriptions of the famous ball game which could conclude with ritual human sacrifice on the losing (or winning?) team captain.
The spectacular Pyramid of the 365 Niches was the last structure built. The precisely constructed stonework displays a fascinating interaction between  light and shadow throughout the day.  While the jungle reclaimed much of the City, its existence was jealously guarded by the Totancs who continued to conduct rituals at El Tajín including their well known "Dance of the Flyers" or voladores rite. It was not till 1785 that the ruling Spaniards discovered the site.

Papantla El Tajin by || Map
Built in the Papanteca mountain range Tajin means "The Sacred city of the Dead and of the Thunder in Storm".

Visit the nearby Zempoala Ruins:
This is where Cortés struck his alliance with the local Totonacs against their repressive Aztec rulers. About one hour (45 km 25 miles) north of Veracruz city 3 km west of Hwy 180 The turnoff is 8 km north of the small town of Jose Cardel.  Open daily 9-6. Voladores perform most weekends between noon and 2pm.  Public Transit: TRV bus (8:00 am to 7 pm) to Cardel, then "ruinas" or Zempoala mini bus (6to 8 am) or "colectivo" taxi, about $1.50 total;
El Pital || by David Hiser
"Although major excavations have not begun, surface artifacts are abundant and intriguing. El Pital appears to be contemporary with Teotihuacan (near Mexico City) in political, commercial, and agricultural importance from AD 100 to 600."

Universities Centro Universitario Hispano Mexicano
Nice site esp_only.gif (238 bytes)Spanish only.
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  Altavista Translate to English
The Door from Mexico to the World
Puerto de Veracruz by the state || esp_only.gif (238 bytes)Spanish only

Nice overview of surrounding attractions
Revista TuxPAN at geocities
News from the local political party , Partido Acción Nacional.
Large comprehensive list from Ron Mader.

Author Ron Mader maintains one of the best web guides to the environment in Mexico Now he offers one of the first comprehensive guidebook to Mexico's parks and protected areas, with an eye on ecotourism and responsible environmental travel published September 1998 by John Muir Publications.

Mexico History & Culture at
Conquest of New Spain,
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, (Paperback Book)
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (Penguin Classics),
Fray Bartolome de las Casas, (Paperback Book)
Mexico, (Paperback Book)  Mexico,   (Audio Cassette)
James A. Michener,
Casa Mexicana: The Architecture, Design and Style of Mexico,
Tim Street-Porter, Marie Pierre Colle, (Hardcover Book)
Mexico Maps by
Huge selection of road & topograhpic maps
More Maps of Mexico
Map of the state and city of Veracruz includes the city of Xalapa.
Canciones De Mi Padre & Mas Canciones De Mi Padre,
Linda Ronstadt, (Compact Disc) Two collections of popular Mexican songs performed with class, style and Mexican bravado.
Mexican Favorites (Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library),
Susana Palazuelos, (Hardcover Book)
The Art of Mexican Cooking: Traditional Mexican Cooking for Aficionados,
Diana Kennedy, (Hardcover Book)
The Taste of Mexico,
Patricia Quintana, (Paperback Book) Easy to follow recipes from eight culinary regions of Mexico


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Last Updated Mar, 2011

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