Navigate Veracruz

Papaloapan Plain
This is Sovento,  the tropical heartland region which shares the same nickname for its people with the Port of Veracruz, jarocho. There is a rich legacy in the term "jarocho" which refers to a culture rooted in Spanish, African and indigenous Mexican contributions and expresses itself robustly in local music, dance, costume, poetry and cuisine. The romance of Veracruz, the tropical seaside soul of a resonant regional history is all caught up in this term jarocho.
The lush humid plain of Papaloapan  is  waiting to be discovered by visitors who appreciate the glory of fresh seafood, the poetry of architecture and the exuberant feeling of loving life in the moment.
Alvarado is just 70 km south of Veracruz and set spectacularly on a narrow strip between the mainland and sea. You can head inland here for Oaxaca here and shortly come to the pretty river town of TLACOTALPAN
Papaloapan Plain
Alvarado   pop: 60,000
Music & Dance

Jarocho fandango

Performed by dancers on wooden platform around which musicians, singers and spectators congregate. Improvisation and rapid heel tapping by the colorful dancers are the distincive characteristics of this dance originally brought by the Spaniards. It is popular in the port of Veracruz and Tuxtlas area as well as the Papaloapan River basin.


67 km down highway 180 from Veracruz city

The main industry in Alvarado is deep-sea fishing (shrimps, large oysters, octopus, crabs). All along the riverbank are fish restaurants (pescaderias) which take quick advantage of the day's succulent shrimp and fresh fish.

In town, is a beautiful “Zocalo” (Main square) and the City Hall, as well as the Colonial Cathedral (from the XVIII century) where the Virgin Mary is worshiped. Several rivers meet at the busy fishing town 

Places To STAY  

Alvarado hotels by

Alvarado Hotels by zonaturistica  
Villas Palmira Km. 8.5 Carretera Boca del Río- Antón Lizardo, Municipio de Alvarado Tel. y Fax : 01 (229) 9 35 62 22.

Alvarado Wetlands.
Here a birder can see nesting birds of prey such as Snail Kite (Rosthramus sociabilis, Black collared-Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis), Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus), and Great Black-Hawk (Buteogallus urobitinga), and aquatic mammals as the Manatee.


(Feb-Mar) Large Carnaval celebration takes place here immediately after Veracruz Carnaval finishes including float parades
May 3rd : Las Cruces Festival Music, minstrels, dances and regional cuisine


Tlacotalpan-Alvarado foto tour by translated to English by google

Places To STAY
Morelos No. 302
Cosamaloapan, Veracruz.
41 rooms
(288) 882-1485
Ruiz Cortines No. 701
Cosamaloapan, Veracruz.
40 rooms
(288) 882-0177
Carranza No. 101
Cosamaloapan, Veracruz.
35 rooms
(288) 882-1377
Hidalgo No. 304
Cosamaloapan, Veracruz.
31 rooms
(288) 882-0977
The road to Otatilán has a marked tropical flavor as you travel up the river through plantations of sugar cane, mango and banana plantations. Driving through Carillo you will need to cross to the West Bank and then continue 80 kilometers to the small City.

Otatilán's main attraction is in El Santuario and is a totally black crucified Christ. His acceptance by the local Tenochca merchants was due to his similarity to his predessessor, also a totally black deity. Today his shrine is among the most visited in the entire state. Visitors, before entering the church purchase bunches of basil, myrtle and reosemary which are then cleansed by local healers. Candle bearing pilgrims add to an atmosphere unlike any other in a house of worship in Mexico.

FESTIVALS The annual Saints day  lasts several days and is a loud  Carnaval like affair of good humor.

search Black Christ by google

Tlacotalpan ("Tah-lack-oh-tahl-pan")  
The Pearl of the Papaloapan, located in the Sotavento region, is celebrated for its many colorfully painted houses (emerald and lime green, pale pink, rosa mexicana, lavender, purple, violet, blue, turquoise, yellow and melon) with tiled roofs and ornate front arcades. It is on the left bank of the Papaloapan River, where the San Juan Michapan tributary enters widening the river to over 300 meters. Its glory days as a leading gulf port have long passed allowing the town to retain a magical mist of a place floating through time. 

UNESCO declares Tlacotalpan "Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony"
Tlacotalpan was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 due to its outstanding architecture. 

"Tlacotalpan is a Spanish colonial river port on the gulf coast of Mexico which has preserved its original urban fabric to an exceptional degree. Its outstanding character lies in its townscape of wide streets, modest colonnaded houses in an exuberant variety of styles and colors, and many mature trees in public open spaces and private gardens."


Salvador Ferrando Jarocho Museum

Agustin Lara is a composer who lives in the affective memory of every romantic. He was a musician that made the hearts of lovers tremble, back in the 40’s and 50’s, and who is still “alive”. Download
I am ridiculously fruity and proud of it, because mine is a honesty that others run away from…shamefully. Every romantic has a fine sense of fruitiness and not denying it is a sign of intelligence.”
Agustín Lara
Dances of Veracruz
Dances (Part 2)
Dances (Part 3)


FEB the “Candelaria” The feast day of the Candlemas Virgin is celebrated on February 2 and begins 3 days before on Jan 29th. This religious image was brought to Tlacotalpan in the XVII century by Andalusian sailors. La Candelaria celebration features the Running of the Bulls in honor of the Virgin of Canelaria. The Virgin's image  also leads a large flotilla of small boats down the river in another remarkable part of the celebrations.


LA CANDELARIA IN TLACOTALPAN by Janice Caruthers at MexConnect For most of these two weeks the Feria (fair) is made up of a carnival, bailes tropicales (salsa dances), and a very large tianguis (temporary market). Then – in stark contrast to its normal tranquility - on January 31st through February 2nd the town explodes into a religious and secular frenzy, its streets stuffed with true believers and joyful revelers

FAST FACTS pop: 15,000
Places To STAY

Tlapacoyan Hotels by zonaturistica

Venustiano Carranza No. 11
Tlacotalpan, Veracruz.
39 habitaciones This hotel has been here for over 20 years. It has a very good restaurant.
Tel: (288) 42580
Owner/Manager: Carlos Vivez Iniguez
(288) 884-2580
Venustiano Carranza No. 2
Tlacotalpan, Veracruz.
21 habitaciones
(288) 884-2022
Rodríguez Beltrán No. 35
Tlacotalpan, Veracruz.
14 habitaciones  Newer and near  the center of town. Tel/Fax:
(288) 884-2063

Zarela speaks

"my favorite example of the culture, and, I think, the loveliest town in Veracruz, is Tlacotalpan." 

click foto to enlarge and learn more


originally became a destination as the farthest up the river that ships could navigate

"The bulls in Tlacotalpan are free to run more or less where they will, controlled only by vaqueros (cowboys). As a result, they are likely to shoot down any street at any time, jump up on the sidewalks, and have even been known to enter houses – why a door would be open is a question unto itself.



Oaxaca is seen as the artistic centre of Mexico and you will find colorful fantasy animals everywhere.

Oaxaca was largely left alone by the Spanish since it possesed little  mineral wealth and difficult farming. The church was persistent but not particularly successful either.  The city's most famous son, Benito Juárez , the founding father of Mexico is commemorated everywhere in Oaxaca unlike the other President  the second most famous Oaxaqueño,  Porfirio Díaz , whose eventual dictatorship is preferred forgotten.

· The City
City Transport || Information || Staying In Local Communities Around Oaxaca: Tourist Yú'ù
The state capital OAXACA sprawls across a grand expanse of deep-set valley, 1600m above sea level, some 500km southeast of Mexico City. Its colour, folklore, numerous fiestas, the huge extent of its indigenous market and its thoroughly colonial centre combine to make this one of the most popular, and most rewarding, destinations for travellers, many of whom come here to study.

Listings || Eating And Drinking || Nightlife || Arrival || Benito Juárez || Explore Oaxaca

Hotels in Oaxaca

Oaxaca by travelnow

Oaxaca at
||Oaxaca De Juarez

 Only 120 miles separate the Atlantic Gulf Coast town of Coatzacoalcos from the Oazacan Pacific Coast town of Juchitan but the Tuxtlas mountains makes the distance seem much further


Guelaguetza or Lunes del Cerro ("Monday on the Mountain") on 3rd & 4th Mondays in July  at the Cerro de Fortin an open air arena in Oazaca City. Music & dance by 7 pre-Columbian indigenous villages in honor of the earth goddess