Veracruz : A Land with Great Culture and Rich History

Photo by Joanna Zaleska/

Veracruz : A Land with Great Culture and Rich History

The largest city in the state is also the largest port in Mexico and is full of history, culture and tropical flavor, with tourist attractions, several museums and historical sites such as San Juan de Ulúa, impressive natural attractions in its surroundings and the aquarium more magnificent of Latin America. Also, the inner joy and festive spirit of this land find its most significant expression in the world-famous Carnival of Veracruz.

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Veracruz : A Land with Great Culture and Rich History

1. Los Voladores de Papantla

It is the departure point of many travelers towards the different tourist attractions of the surroundings. Very close to the city there are beaches, archaeological sites such as El Tajín, and picturesque villages full of magic and tradition like Papantla, 20 minutes away. This site preserves intact many of its customs and traditions such as the famous dance of "Los Voladores de Papantla ", which takes place on top of a tree several meters high, from which, four people representing each of the cardinal points, descended tied of the feet by extensive cords revolving around the wood. 45 minutes from the city is the archaeological site known as Castillo de Teayo, which preserves essential remains of one of the oldest cities of the Huasteca culture.

2. Fort of San Juan de Ulúa

The fort is a defensive amalgam of centuries of destruction and enlightenment, which can be seen walking through the photos I show you. You can see remains of the primitive bastion of 1692 until the last reconstructions of the 19th century. To get there you have two options, the practice, which consists of arriving by road and parking the car in the gardens or the romantic one, leaving from the boardwalk by boat, passing through the island of Sacrifices, and arriving at the quartering of the last ones. Spanish troops that accepted the independence of Mexico and that since then have witnessed several foreign invasions, the latest in the United States in 1914, and later the best-known criminal during the Porfiriato. In one area of the building, the history of the fort and the piracy attacks suffered by the port of Veracruz during the viceroyalty are narrated. The visit to the Fort allows you to know its architecture, through a tour of its spaces: cells, corridors, dungeons and courtyards. The collection is made up of weapons from the 16th to the 19th centuries, armor and a mooring ring of a ship.

3. Costa Esmeralda

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It is the most critical beach area of the state, with a coastal corridor of more than 50 kilometers in which the beaches are chained, disputing to offer the most beautiful blue of the Mexican Atlantic and the most exuberant tropical environment. Among the best are La Vigueta, Monte Gordo, La Guadalupe and Ricardo Flores. Nearby is the beautiful city of Papantla de Olarte, an axis of the main vanilla producing center in Veracruz. The fragrant spice of the area boasts the designation of origin «Vanilla de Papantla. In Costa Esmeralda, you cannot miss a zacahuil, the largest Mexican tamal, a delicacy made with corn dough and pork seasoned with spices and the inevitable chili.

4. Zócalo de Veracruz

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The Zócalo de Veracruz is full of surprises. You can find souvenirs and crafts at very affordable prices. But we recommend you start right in the square that shares the Cathedral and the Municipal Palace because it is the meeting point of the danzoneros. In addition to one side are the famous Portales de Veracruz with exquisite cafes and restaurants. The atmosphere is very bohemian and traditional!

5. The Mangroves (Mandinga Lagoon)

Photo by Enrique Vázquez

Who does not like to take a boat ride? In Veracruz, you can do it in the Mandinga Lagoon, in Boca del Río. The journey is, and during the same, the boatmen will tell you legends and small stories. You can also know "The Little Venice of Veracruz", a subdivision built between the canals. There are also restaurants on the shore of the lagoon, and you can ask the boatman for time to eat in any of them because they are considered among the best in Veracruz, but we recommend: Las Pampas Restaurant, El Negro del Estero and Isla del Amor, they offer delicious dishes and also their prices are very affordable.

6. Inbursa Aquatic Park

If you like slides and pools with waves, Aquatic Inbursa will undoubtedly fill your expectations. It is located in the area known as Nuevo Veracruz, just 5 minutes from the airport and the Yess Inn hotel. The water park has a lazy river, swimming pool with waves, kamikaze slide, constrictor, aqua loop, boomerangs, blaster and of course an area to leave the children while you have fun.

7. Aquarium of Veracruz

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If something can boast Veracruz, is that it has a little aquarium of little visibility because to admire the beauty of the seas you do not need much light. It is located inside Plaza Acuario, in the center of Veracruz. It has several rooms with more than 250 varieties of species, and almost 4 thousand specimens live in 7 million liters of water. It also has reproduction and research programs. It's just awesome, do not miss it!

8. Naval Museum of Veracruz

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This museum is in charge of the Secretariat of the Navy; the entrance has a cost of 40 pesos (June 2017) and this incredible. You can enjoy an interactive tour of the naval history of Mexico. It has more than 20 rooms, if you travel with children, you will surely love it, as it also has a navigation simulator, a helicopter cabin and rooms where you can interact with the exhibition. It is located in the street of Arista 418 in the center of Veracruz.

9. Chachalacas

Photo by Tobia Maddalena/

It is a beach with calm waves, ideal for the enjoyment of the whole family, especially the children. Its main attraction is a space of massive dunes located between the sea and the Actopan River, which drains into the beach. In this place, young people practice sandboarding, a sport that consists of sliding through the dunes with boards similar to those used in the snow with snowboarding. In the vicinity of Chachalacas, there are several interesting archaeological sites such as La Antigua, Cempoala and Quiahiztlán. In the first are the ruins of the house of the conquistador Hernán Cortés, considered the first house of Spanish architecture built in the New World.

10. Anton Lizardo

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A little over 25 kilometers from the city of Veracruz, very close to the town of Boca del Rio, is the beach area of Anton Lizardo, with several beaches for enjoyment and distraction in different ways. Because they are areas touched by the Veracruz Reef System, they are excellent for diving, snorkeling and observing underwater life. You can rent the implements in the place. The most popular beaches are El Conchal and La Isla del Amor. The bars in the area are particularly famous for their delicious snacks, prepared with the fruits of the sea. Another option is to buy fresh fish and seafood from fishers.

◎ Closing

For those seeking tourism services, the city and port of Veracruz offer visitors the modernity of Boca del Rio, a municipality that is part of the conurbation of the port that has become the most developed area with a variety of hotels and restaurants, nightclubs, shopping centers and entertainment options. Close to the port is Cempoala, one of the most important sites of the Totonac culture and the historic city of La Antigua, where the Casa de Hernán Cortés is located.