The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, the main Mexican federal entity facing the Gulf of Mexico, has a fascinating past linked to the conquest of Mexico, which, added to its historic cities and other tourist attractions, invites you to visit it.
Let’s see which are the 28 best tourist places in Veracruz.
1. Island and fortress of San Juan de Ulúa
Let’s start our list with a historic military fortification: the island and fortress of San Juan de Ulúa.
San Juan de Ulúa Island is closely related to the conquest of Mexico, occupied by the Spanish in 1519.
Despite the fact that navigation to the island was considered dangerous due to the reefs, the conquerors used it as a settlement, precisely because the barrier reef, where diving is currently done, served as protection against enemy ships.
The fort was built from 1535 with the abundant coral stone in the area. It became an important point in the defense device of the port of Veracruz against pirate attacks.
In 1568 the battle of San Juan de Ulúa took place, in which the famous English pirates, Francis Drake and John Hawkins, were defeated by the Spanish Armada.
The fortress was also the last stronghold of the Spanish in Veracruz during the War of Independence, falling to the patriots in November 1825.
It was occupied by the French in 1838 during the Pastry War and by the Americans in 1847.
The fort was also a feared prison where Benito Juárez was imprisoned and gave fame to the bandit, “Chucho el Roto”, for his legendary escapes.
The sightseeing tour includes a visit to the first lighthouse in Mexico.
Observe in the following video the interesting surroundings of San Juan de Ulúa:
2. Xalapa Monuments Zone
What would become the historic center, in the capital of Veracruz, is called the Monuments Zone, a place with valuable buildings such as the cathedral, the Government Palace, the Municipal Palace, the Del Calvario Church and some squares and parks.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Xalapa-Enríquez was planned with 2 towers, but one was not completed due to foundation problems.
Underneath there is a network of tunnels that communicated it with other religious buildings during the time of the viceroyalty, such as the disappeared convent of San Francisco.
The Government Palace works in the building of the old Town Hall and is the seat of the State Executive Power.
The Municipal Palace is another neoclassical style building built in the mid-20th century.
The Iglesia Del Calvario was erected in the 16th century and rebuilt in the baroque style in 1805 and 1826. It houses 2 valuable altarpieces over 400 years old covered in gold leaf, one dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and the other to Saint John of Nepomucene. .
Parque Juárez is on the site where the convent of San Francisco was built, demolished in the mid-19th century after suffering serious damage. There are the city’s agora, the Paseo de las Virtudes and several monuments.
See below this video documenting the surroundings of this wonderful city:
3. Veracruz Reef System National Marine Park
The Veracruz Reef System is the second most important in Mexico after the Great Mayan Reef, being one of the tourist places in Veracruz with the greatest natural beauty.
It is characterized by the fact that instead of a continuous system of reefs, it is formed by two groups of reefs separated by 20 km, one in front of the port of Veracruz and the other in front of Antón Lizardo. The first group is made up of 6 reefs and the second by 11, for a total of 17.
Apart from the natural reefs, the system has islands, islets, shallows and about 350 sunken ships, which have formed artificial reefs where a dazzling biodiversity is hidden.
The best season for diving in the Veracruz reefs is May-September, when the waters of the Gulf of Mexico have a clarity similar to those of the Caribbean.
There are areas for expert, intermediate and novice divers, as well as day and night departures.
Veracruz reefs are rich in flora and fauna. They also have a wide variety of corals such as round brain, star coral, cat tail, deer horn, whip coral, gorgonians and roll coral.
Among the corals circulate anemones, clown fish, octopus, snails, squid, scorpion fish, butterfly fish, sergeants, surgeons, turtles, gobies, moray eels, rays (whip, eagle), dolphins and some whale sharks.
Check out these aerial shots of this beautiful reef system below:
4. Veracruz Aquarium
The Veracruz Aquarium has the largest cylindrical fish tank in Mexico and the most impressive display of aquatic fauna in the country.
The reef fish tank, with 1.25 million liters of water, has full views through 13 acrylic windows, including one that is 8 meters long and 3 meters high.
It exhibits corals and 20 species of fish typical of the Veracruz reefs, such as groupers, catfish, rays, barracudas and tarpon, which swim around the pond in multicolored schools.
The impressive shark aquarium is one of the most popular exhibits because you can interact with the cardboard tiger and fin sharks by submerging yourself in an acrylic box.
The saltwater gallery consists of 13 tanks and displays more than 60 species of fish from all the world’s seas, including the oceans and the Red Sea.
The freshwater gallery exhibits more than 30 species of fish from Mexico, the Amazon, North America and Africa, including mammals and reptiles related to the aquatic environment.
Other interesting spaces are the Selva de los Tuxtlas, the jellyfish area, the Pinguinario and the Manatiario.
The Aquarium, on Manuel Ávila Camacho Boulevard, is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 10 am to 7 pm. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, it closes at 7:30 pm.
Learn more here .
Enjoy in the following video of this tour of this fantastic aquarium:
Cempoala is an archaeological zone founded by the Totonacas during the preclassic period.
Among the structures that were preserved, the Great Pyramid or Temple of the Sun stands out, built on the same platform where the Great Temple stands, constructions separated by a wide plaza.
The Great Pyramid resembles the Temple of the Sun in Tenochtitlan. The Templo Mayor is distinguished because its upper part is battlemented.
The Temple of the Chimneys is named for the 150 cm high semicircular pillars that form it.
El Pimiento is a 3-body building whose most notable feature is its exterior ornamentation with figures of skulls.
Another remarkable construction is Las Caritas, a 2-level structure with a decoration alluding to the Sun, the Moon and Venus and a large number of small clay skulls.
At the entrance to the site there is a site museum that exhibits pieces rescued from different periods.
Here is a short video of this interesting place in different shots:
City in the Huasteca region of Veracruz, head of the municipality of Temapache, distinguished by its historic buildings, its traditions and its oranges.
Álamo is famous for its citrus fruits, especially the orange, recognized worldwide for its flavor and quality.
Between the end of April and the beginning of May, the Alamo-Temapache Orange Fair is held, whose main attraction is the Race of the Colotero, a traditional pedestrian event in which competitors carry heavy baskets of oranges that they must not drop.
There is also a great cavalcade accompanied by musical bands of wind instruments, wrestling competitions, extreme rodeo, contests and an exhibition of handicrafts.
In Álamo, the Day of the Lost Child is celebrated on December 7, when thousands of candles are lit that symbolically guide lost children back home.
The El Colotero monument is a must stop for a photograph. It is the largest sculpture in the state and the artistic symbol of the city of Alamo.
The construction of the church of Santiago Apóstol was begun in 1540 by Fray Junípero Serra and finished in 1576. It is one of the oldest temples in the Huasteca region of Veracruz and stands out for its strength and sobriety.
Veracruz municipality crossed by the La Antigua River that rises in the Cofre de Perote and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The stream has rapids that are the best in the state for whitewater rafting. Nearby there are cabins and camping areas.
In the area you can also practice rock climbing, rappelling, zip lining, kayaking, gotcha, hiking, canyoning and mountain biking. Likewise, photographic tours and taking temazcal baths.
In a huge and beautiful canyon is La Gotera, a natural pool of fresh waters surrounded by beautiful vegetation, which is reached after a walk.
In Cerro Brujo there are more than 50 climbing routes and a camping area.
Fans of canyoning have the Orchid Canyon, a route that has several types of these beautiful flowers, as well as natural pools and rock formations.
The access to this canyon in the community of Tacotalpan is near Cerro Brujo, following the course of a small river that forms delicious pools.
The El Zapote ranch, in the community of Apazapan, 12 minutes from Jacomulco, has pools of warm, crystal-clear water that look like natural Jacuzzis.
See below aerial shots of this beautiful Jalcomulco river:
8. Xalapa Museum of Anthropology
The second most relevant museographic institution in Mexico after the National Museum of Anthropology of CDMX.
It has the largest collection of pre-Hispanic art referring to the cultures of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Olmec and Totonac civilizations.
Only 1,500 pieces of its 25,000 heritage are exhibited in an area of 9,000 m 2 .
The quadrangular windows of the building symbolize the niches of the pyramids and temples that characterize the Totonac archaeological site of El Tajín.
In the rooms dedicated to the Olmec culture, the famous and colossal basalt heads, jade masks, ceramic figures, weapons, funerary urns, altars and jewelry are displayed.
The rooms dedicated to the Totonacs exhibit weapons, murals, ritual objects, female figurines, smiling faces and other pieces rescued from the Cempoala, El Tajín and other archaeological sites in Veracruz.
The area dedicated to codices contains some originals from the central zone of Veracruz, as well as reproductions of the most relevant documents that have contributed to the knowledge of the pre-Hispanic peoples of the gulf.
The ethnography room summarizes the history of pre-Columbian peoples with infographics, covering important cultural facets such as language and pottery.
Enjoy this brief tour of the facilities of this wonderful museum:
9. Veracruz Cathedral
Temple in the historic center of Veracruz consecrated as the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Assumption in 1963. It was completed in 1731 and renovated at the beginning of the 19th century.
The church has a single bell-tower, 5 naves (a central one and two lateral ones on each side) and an octagonal dome covered with tiles from Puebla and crowned by a small lantern.
The tower is an addition from the beginning of the 20th century with 3 sections and a small dome.
The main façade is neoclassical in style with 2 bodies and a finial. The lower section has a semicircular arch and Doric colonnades that support a cornice.
In the upper body the set of columns is repeated, but in Ionic order. The finial is a triangular pediment with a medallion in the center.
Inside the temple, the main altar and the baccarat crystal chandeliers stand out. The pieces that decorate the central nave were gifts from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The temple was losing its historical appearance with successive maintenance and restoration works. For this reason, in 2008 a project began to restore its original appearance with a predominance of white.
The dome has been splendidly restored to its archetypal white with Talavera Poblana cladding. Its only bell tower and its interior have also recovered their former splendor.
Appreciate this video that contains various shots of this beautiful cathedral, as well as curious facts about it:
10. Cofre de Perote National Park
Nauhcampatépetl or Cofre de Perote is a shield volcano at 4,200 meters above sea level, the eighth highest peak in Mexico.
It is at the meeting point of the southern end of the Sierra Madre Oriental with the Neovolcanic Axis.
Its last period of activity occurred 400,000 years ago, but due to the geological instability of the area, it is not ruled out that it will erupt again.
The volcano is the main attraction of the Cofre de Perote National Park, an area of 11,700 hectares protected in 1937, in the jurisdiction of the Veracruz municipalities of Perote, Ayahualulco, Xico and Acajete.
Archaeological evidence, pottery and volcanic glass fragments have been found on its summit, elements “contaminated” by the installation of more than 40 telecommunications antennas.
The beauty of the environment and the pleasant climate make mountaineering a very pleasant activity in Cofre de Perote. The ascent from the ejido of El Conejo allows you to appreciate the beautiful landscape more calmly.
Nauhcampatépetl is a Nahua word that means “square mountain”. The reference to a chest in its Spanish name alludes to the 100 meter long and 40 meter high rock that crowns the volcano.
Observe in the following video different shots of this incredible park:
11. El Tajin
El Tajín, declared a World Heritage Site, is one of the most important archaeological tourist sites in Veracruz, since it is believed that this settlement near the city of Papantla de Olarte was the capital of the Totonac Empire.
The Totonac culture developed in Veracruz, in the north of Puebla and in the coastal region. It was distinguished by its monumental architecture, its varied ceramics and its stone sculpture.
The archaeological zone was the largest pre-Hispanic city on the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It lived its time of splendor between 800 and 1150, leaving pyramids and fields for the ball game.
The most important monument of the site is the pyramid of the Niches, also called the Papantla pyramid, an excellently preserved building with unique architecture, with 365 niches that represent the 365 days of the year.
The Blue Temple has no niches and that is its main distinguishing feature from the rest of the pyramids.
There are two courts for the ball game, the North and the South. The first of these is one of the oldest constructions on the site. It has 6 panels with carvings of ceremonial scenes related to pre-Hispanic sports.
The South court shows reliefs on the worldview of the Totonac civilization.
See below this aerial shot of this magnificent monument:
12. Bastion of Santiago
It is the only survivor of the 9 bastions that the Spanish built during the viceroyalty to protect the city and the port of Veracruz from attacks by pirates, freebooters and corsairs.
The Baluarte de Santiago, with high and thick walls, was completed in 1635 as part of the wall and other military emplacements that surrounded the city, to protect it from the enemy who attacked from the sea.
The fortress now houses a museum inaugurated in 1991 that exhibits the famous “Jewels of the Fisherman”, a treasure accidentally found in 1976 by the octopus fisherman, Raúl Hurtado Hernández, who rescued 23 ingots and pre-Hispanic pieces of gold from the bottom of the sea, which they had remained hidden for 4 centuries.
The jewels exhibited in the Baluarte de Santiago museum include a chimalli (a kind of defensive shield), earrings with turtle heads, pots, necklace beads with snake figures and bracelets with monkey figures.
Mr. Raúl was arrested and imprisoned for a little over a year for having sold some clothes and not having fully reported what was found to the State. He died in poverty in 2018.
On one of the walls of the bastion there are still bullet holes with which the Veracruz insurgents were shot in 1812.
Watch this video documenting this historic bastion below:
Magical Town at 1200 meters above sea level in the center of Veracruz, with an ideal climate for the coffee harvest that has been cultivated since the 18th century.
Coatepec is 14 km from Xalapa and 116 km from the city of Veracruz.
The farms and the Coffee Museum constitute a tourist route with which the uses, the way of preparing and drinking coffee are known. Tours in which incredible things are learned about the grain.
The headquarters of the museum is in a colonial house on the road to Las Trancas, where the history of the local coffee activity is known and the processing of the grain is explained.
The Magical Town also stands out for the beauty and variety of its orchids, with misty forests full of these beautiful flowers planted by the locals in their gardens and public areas.
In the Orchid Garden Museum there are 5,000 specimens.
See below various aerial shots of this magical town:
Small coastal town with a beach with calm waves 50 km north of the port of Veracruz.
The beach is long and with fine and compact sand, very calm to go swimming with the family.
In its sand dunes, between the beach and the mouth of the Actopan River, you can practice sandboarding. Nearby you will find archaeological sites of the Totonac culture such as Cempoala, La Antigua and Quiahiztlán.
The town of La Antigua is known because it has the ruins of a house that belonged to Hernán Cortés. It is considered the first Spanish-style residential construction erected in America.
The La Antigua river is one of the best in Veracruz for rafting.
Near Chachalacas there are good accommodations and restaurants.
The Hotel Villas del Rey is a 4-star establishment near the beach at No. 1 Paseo del Rey. It has an outdoor pool and comfortable rooms with a balcony, patio, air conditioning, private bathroom and free Wi-Fi. The suites are for up to 7 people.
A cheap accommodation in Chachalacas (3 stars) is the Hotel Grand Palmeiras, in Ribera del Río 39.
See below this video about this beautiful little town:
The Magical Town of Papantla de Olarte, in the center-north of the state of Veracruz, combines pre-Columbian history and folkloric and agricultural traditions, with a welcoming town nature that comes from pre-Hispanic times, when its ancient Totonac settlers kindly received the conquerors, not knowing that they would replace the Mexica as their oppressors.
Papantla is 10 km from El Tajín, the ancient capital of the Totonaca people, the most important pre-Columbian city in the northern area of the gulf and one of the most important archaeological sites in the state of Veracruz.
The Magical Town is known worldwide for the Dance of the Flyers of Papantla, one of the most appreciated folkloric images of Mexico and a World Heritage Site.
Papantla is also known for its excellent vanilla, a type of orchid.
Vanilla planifolia is a species native to Papantla that has aromatized and flavored hundreds of Mexican cakes and smoothies for many years.
In the Magical Town you must visit the parish and the church of Cristo Rey, the Municipal Palace, the Téllez Park, the Museum of Masks and the mural dedicated to the Totonaca people.
Enjoy the following video where different shots of the famous Danza de los Voladores are recorded:
16. Anton Lizardo
Beach town of the municipality of Alvarado integrated to the Metropolitan Zone of the city of Veracruz.
Antón Lizardo is believed to have been a passenger named Antón Nicardo who, according to the Catalog of Passengers to the Indies, came to the New World in 1539. Other versions indicate that he was a Spanish pirate captain and a French merchant.
Off the coast of this town are 11 reefs that are part of the Veracruz National Reef System National Marine Park, so its beaches are fantastic for diving and snorkeling.
Its fishermen take tourists on fishing trips, where they can return with sea bass, red snapper, sole and amberjack.
Antón Lizardo’s bars are known for serving excellent fish and seafood snacks.
CocoAventura is a 3-star hotel at km 11.9 of the highway, between Boca del Río and Antón Lizardo, 2 km from the town center, with a private beach, beach club and cabins, in a small bamboo jungle. All cabins have a private bathroom and the deluxe cabins have air conditioning.
Watch the following drone video throughout this beautiful beach town:
17. Zozocolco of Hidalgo
Veracruz Magical Town of Zozocolco known for its fantastic festival of Chinese paper balloons.
The festival of colossal multicolored balls is celebrated during a long weekend in the first fortnight of November and in addition to Mexicans, balloonists from Colombia, Brazil and France participate.
The highest category is dedicated to a historical or current issue, with balloons decorated with allusive images.
In this category, balloons of more than 20 meters in diameter are made with up to 4,500 sheets of Chinese paper.
The artisans teach the techniques of making the balloons in the village workshops.
In Zozocolco you must visit the church of San Miguel Arcángel, patron saint of the town, built by the Franciscan evangelists with beautiful altarpieces from the viceregal era.
The patron saint festivities are celebrated during the week of September 29, the day of San Miguel Arcángel. They are colorful fairs that mix pre-Hispanic and Christian traditions.
In Zozocolco you can taste the typical Veracruz pulacles (bean tamales), barbecues and other typical dishes of the local cuisine.
The Totonac Indians make beautiful articles of pita and oilcloth sleeves. Near the town there are waterfalls and pools.
Ecological park with a small volcano in the center of the city of Xalapa.
The Macuiltépec is one of the 3 thousand Mexican monogenetic volcanoes, of which they erupt only once. It is conical in shape, and its slope is in the range of 15-20 degrees.
The park covers an area of 31 hectares rich in wild plants, highlighting about 45 floral shrub species, such as the wild dahlia and balsamin.
There are fruit species planted such as avocado, medlar, guava and orange. The main ornamental species are African tulip, walnut, jacaranda, comb fern, hydrangea and bamboo.
In the park there is also an abundant fauna of birds and butterflies. 182 species of birds are registered, of which 60% are residents and 40% migratory. Among the best known are woodpeckers, sparrows, hawks, buzzards and hawks. The butterfly reserve is about 200 species.
Macuiltépec means in the Nahua language “hill five” or “fifth hill”. It is known that the volcano had 5 promontories, 3 of them not noticeable due to erosion.
The park is open every day of the year between 5 am and 7 pm.
19. Veracruz Wax Museum
The Veracruz Wax Museum is on Manuel Ávila Camacho Boulevard, next to the Veracruz Aquarium. It was inaugurated in 2002 as a venture of Grupo Museos de Cera, which also has this type of attraction in CDMX and Guadalajara.
The museum exhibits 150 figures of sports, political, entertainment and church personalities, as well as historical and fantasy figures.
Among those represented are the pontiffs John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the former Mexican presidents, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, the soccer players Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Francisco Palencia and the artists, Luis Miguel and Alejandro Fernández.
Among the historical figures are Hidalgo, Morelos, Zapata, Cortés and La Malinche, as well as Harry Potter and Chavo del Ocho, among the fictional ones.
Magical Town of Veracruz known for its gastronomy with dishes such as the Xiqueño mole and the Xonequi.
The Xiqueño mole is the local culinary symbol that began as a craft, becoming a famous product for national and international consumption.
The first test sale made by its inventor, Doña Carolina Suárez, was 5 kilos.
The recipe was a local product for more than two decades until the Mole Xiqueño company was founded in 1980.
The brand has 3 product lines: Mole Xiqueño, Chipotle Xiqueño and Adobo Xiqueño.
The Xonequi is the other local gastronomic emblem prepared with the wild plant of the same name. The locals prepare their beans and add the ingredient, whose heart-shaped leaf is 12 cm long and 8 cm wide.
In the town, the parish church and the Plaza de los Portales stand out.
The parish of Santa María Magdalena is a building with 2 twin towers and domes, which are distinguished by their interior beauty.
The Plaza de los Portales is a space of cobbled streets and colonial houses, where an Art Decó-style roundabout stands out.
La Xiqueñada is a bullfighting show celebrated in the patron saint festivities.
See below shots of various places belonging to this magical town:
21. Emerald Coast
It is the most important coastal tourist strip in the state of Veracruz. A corridor of more than 50 km with beaches of waters between green and emerald blue, surrounded by exuberant tropical vegetation, between Nautla and Tecolutla.
Along the riverbank there are hotels, from budget lodgings to upmarket establishments, as well as camping areas and RV parks.
Hotel La Roca is a 5-star establishment in Costa Esmeralda at the height of Monte Gordo, at km 78.8 of Federal Highway 180.
It has a beautiful beach area, outdoor pools, temazcal, tennis courts and in its Los Cocos restaurant, they specialize in local cuisine.
Its spacious rooms have ocean views, king-size beds, a balcony, patio, private bathroom, air conditioning, and other amenities.
Among the main beaches of Costa Esmeralda are La Vigueta, La Guadalupe, Monte Gordo, Ricardo Flores, Casitas, Playa Oriente and Maracaibo. They have calm waves and fine-textured sand.
Tourist services include local cuisine restaurants, including the famous Veracruz-style fish, and facilities for practicing water sports.
Enjoy this video that contains an aerial tour of this beautiful tourist strip:
If Xico stands out for its mole, Coscomatepec de Bravo stands out for its bread.
The La Fama bakery will celebrate 100 years making its tasty wood-fired bread, emblem of this Magical Town of Veracruz. People visit to enjoy its famously good-sized, long-lasting, and deliciously flavored loaves.
The place is both a bakery and a tourist attraction, because the owners allow visitors to see the making process, including the oven.
Coscomatepec is located in the mountainous area of central Veracruz and has beautiful natural spaces and beautiful buildings.
Its atmosphere is cool and foggy and in the urban landscape the temple of San Juan Bautista, the portals and the Municipal Palace stand out.
The parish is known for conserving one of the 3 images of Cristo de Limpias or Cristo de la Agony, made in the Spanish town of Limpias. The others are in the Cantabrian town and in Havana.
The “heart” of the Pueblo Mágico is Parque Constitución, which has a beautiful kiosk in its center and is surrounded by the parish church, the town hall building and the portals.
The Tetlalpan Museum houses a collection of more than 300 archaeological pieces recovered from nearby sites.
Watch this video below that shows various curious facts about this place:
23. Naval Museum Mexico
Museum in the original headquarters of the Heroic Naval Military School at 418 Mariano Arista Street, in the center of Veracruz.
Opened in 1997, it consists of 28 rooms that exhibit pieces from periods and events of the national naval history, including pre-Hispanic and astronomical navigation, independence, foreign interventions, the Porfiriato, the Mexican Revolution and Mexico’s participation in the Second War. World.
The gallery shows the evolution of the Mexican Navy ships, the main milestones in naval aeronautics and the uniforms and badges used by the armed component throughout its history.
The collection of more than 1,700 pieces includes model ships, navigational instruments, the Chapultepec frigate built in 1899 to teach cadets nautical nomenclature, and the monumental flag of the Battleship Anáhuac, a gift from the Brazilian government in 1924.
Projectiles from the ships that participated in the US occupation of Veracruz in 1914, a movement of the US government in support of the Mexican Revolution, are shown. This fact led to the temporary closure of the Heroic Naval Military School.
Visitors can also see the foundations of the old wall that surrounded the port of Veracruz, found during the remodeling of the building.
Here is a video with the tour and an interesting explanation about this museum:
The highest peak in Mexico guards the beautiful city of Veracruz to the north, to which it gives its name.
Orizaba is a colonial jewel that preserves its elegance and poise, which deserved to be designated capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the period 1797-1798, when Spain was at war with England and an attack on the port of Veracruz was feared.
Orizaba was named capital of the state of Veracruz in 1874 until 1878, when the distinction was definitively granted to Xalapa.
Many buildings testify to the ancestry of Orizaba and the beauty of the city, being essential to mention the Cathedral of San Miguel Arcángel, the former Convent of San José de Gracia, the Great Theater Ignacio de la Llave, the Palacio de Hierro, the Palacio Municipal, the Mier y Pesado Castle, the Concordia Sanctuary, the Calvario Church, the Municipal Historical Archive and the Town Hall.
In Orizabena civil architecture, the Palacio de Hierro stands out, a beautiful building that is the only Modernist-style palace built with metallic materials during the heyday of that architectural current, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
The design was by the French engineer, Gustave Eiffel. Metal beams and other construction elements (bricks, wrought iron, wood) were imported from Europe.
See below various shots of this magnificent peak:
25. White River Canyon National Park
Protected area of 5,690 hectares on the slope of the Gulf of Mexico, in the state of Veracruz.
It was decreed in 1938 to protect water resources and mountain ecosystems, located at 1,000 and 3,250 meters above sea level, between the Metlac ravine and the Acultzingo peaks.
The park has a semi-warm, humid and temperate climate, with numerous waterfalls formed by the Blanco River as it passes through Ixtaczoquitlán, Fortín, Ciudad Mendoza, Nogales and Río Blanco.
After joining the Escamela River, the river current forms the Tuxpango waterfall, whose mass of water is used in a power plant to generate electricity.
This Veracruz jungle area is visited to practice canyoning, hiking and rappelling, and to observe nature and biodiversity.
One of its most spectacular sites is the Carbonera canyon, which you can explore with the help of a guide.
Pine trees, beautiful ferns predominate in the flora of the park, and in the areas with the highest humidity, oaks and other wild plants.
The fauna is mainly made up of white-tailed deer or Virginia deer, coyotes, rabbits, armadillos, ocelots, raccoons, skunks and cacomisel or cacomixtle.
Access to the Río Blanco Canyon National Park is via Federal Highway 150D, 13 km west of the city of Orizaba.
Archaeological zone discovered in 1971 in the Veracruz municipality of Ignacio de la Llave, with a notable collection of pre-Hispanic ceramic figures, among which stands out an image of Mictlantecuhtli, who according to pre-Hispanic mythology is the god of death and the underworld.
Mictlantecuhtli was the sovereign of the Mictlan or underworld, reigning over the souls of the dead and the Nine Subterranean Rivers.
The image of the god of death is that of a disembodied person with several visible joints and exposed ribs and skull. His tongue is sticking out, in a mocking expression that perhaps shows the ironic temperament of pre-Hispanic artists.
The figures found at the site were accompanied by an ossuary with a hundred clay figurines, among which “smiling faces” and women with bare chests stand out, representing Cihuateotl, the Mexica goddess of death in childbirth.
The period of splendor of El Zapotal seems to have happened at the end of the late classic period.
Death mixes with beauty when you see this splendid work of pre-Columbian art, which deserves to be displayed in a prominent place in the National Museum of Anthropology. However, the fragility of the sculpture dictated the decision to keep it where it was found.
Here I leave you a video that presents most of the figures that make up this archaeological zone:
27. Lobos Island
A small reef island in the Gulf of Mexico, 29 km from the Veracruz coastal town of Tamaiahua and 6.4 km from Cabo Rojo. Its beaches have crystal clear waters and its reefs are a paradise for diving.
Near the island there is a ship that was shipwrecked more than 2 centuries ago, forming an artificial reef rich in marine fauna.
In the southern sector of the island there is a small lighthouse that guides navigation through that part of the gulf.
The island offers spectacular sunsets and boats with tourists depart from the coast. It has a camping area with toilets, showers and good security.
It has good fishing grounds for sport fishing and near the reefs you can catch species such as horse mackerel, tarpon, wahoo and barracuda. Out to sea it is possible to return with a tuna or a dorado.
The best season to go to Isla Lobos is May-September, the sunniest and warmest period. In the winter and colder months the winds make navigation difficult.
See below several shots of this hidden but beautiful island:
Córdoba is one of the tourist places in Veracruz that must be visited due to the majesty of its monuments.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in front of the Plaza de Armas in Cordoba, is a 17th-century building in the Baroque style of New Spain with neoclassical elements. It has 2 twin towers and preserves inside a tabernacle that is a beautiful work of art.
The Municipal Palace is a beautiful neoclassical building from the Porfiriato era, with 21 arches representative of the Battle of May 21, in which the insurgents defeated the Spanish in 1821.
The former Spanish casino dates from the end of the 19th century. It constitutes one of the first and most notable works of Art Nouveau in Mexico. It was the headquarters of a bank until 2014 and currently houses a cultural hall, a museum and the city’s tourist offices.
Córdoba is also distinguished by its elegant portals. The Portal de la Gloria was a lodging place for historical figures such as Iturbide, Juárez and Maximiliano y Carlota. Its 3 buildings have the city museum, the house of culture and the municipal library.
Other notable buildings are the Portal de Zevallos, the ex-convent of Santa Rosa de Lima, the Pedro Díaz Theater and the Church of San Miguel Arcángel.
Here is a video with a beautiful drone view of this city:
Tourist places of Veracruz beaches
Santa María del Mar is a Veracruz beach 10 km from the city of Tecolutla. It is in the open sea, so it has a careful swell. Its surroundings are of great beauty and nearby there are places of archaeological interest.
In the region of Los Tuxtlas is the Montepío beach with caves drilled by the sea in the cliffs, which were used by pirates to take shelter.
Tuxpan is a flat and warm beach near the mouth of the river of the same name.
Natural attractions of Veracruz
The main natural attractions of Veracruz are its beaches, national parks (Veracruz Reef System, Cofre de Perote and Río Blanco Canyon) and mountains, headed by the Pico de Orizaba.
Veracruz is crisscrossed by several rivers that form beautiful waterfalls such as Barranca de Chavarrillo, Salto del Tío Pancho, Texolo, La Monja, Naolinco, El Encanto Teocelo, Palo Gacho, Los Tres Chorros, Tenexamaxa and the Devil’s waterfall.
The La Antigua, Actopan and Filobobos rivers are great for rafting.
The Catemaco, Sontecomapan, Mandinga, Tule and La Mancha lagoons form beautiful ecosystems.
Tourist map of Veracruz
Places to visit in Veracruz Boca del Rio
Boca del Río is a Veracruz coastal town at the mouth of the Jamapa River and conurbation with the city of Veracruz.
It is known for its Guinness records with the huge fillets stuffed with shrimp and the toritos (a fruity alcoholic drink) prepared in the popular Santa Ana festivities.
Among its main attractions are the Boca del Río beach, the lighthouse and the Interactive Naval Museum “Buque Cañonero C-07 Guanajuato”, referring to the history of the Mexican Navy.
Other attractive beaches are Hornos, Santa Ana, Mocambo, La Bamba and Martí.
Tourist places of Xalapa
El Lencero is a former hacienda founded in 1525 by Juan Lencero, a Cortés soldier. In its beginnings it was a lodging for travelers who came and went to and from Mexico City and Veracruz.
Over time, it diversified as a place where carriages were repaired, pottery, and a site for raising cattle and growing sugar cane and cotton.
In 1842 it was bought by Antonio López de Santa Anna. After the former president was seized and sold again, it was transformed into a sugar emporium. In 1981 it was acquired by the Veracruz government and converted into a period museum.
Tourist corridor in Veracruz
The most visited tourist corridor in the state of Veracruz and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico is formed by the axis Ciudad de Veracruz-Boca del Río, which has a population of 550,000 inhabitants.
It houses the important port of the capital, historical attractions, beaches, urban attractions, rivers and nature reserves.
It also has the best transport facilities and the most complete tourist infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and other service establishments.
Veracruz tourist itinerary
A tourist itinerary in the city of Veracruz must include at least the port, the beaches of Boca del Río and the historic center with its main buildings, such as the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Assumption, the churches of La Pastora and Buen Viaje, the ex-convents of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, the portals, the Municipal Palace, the Venustiano Carranza Lighthouse, the Customs building, the Bastion of Santiago and the Mexico Naval Museum.
The fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, on the island of the same name, is another emblematic place in the city.
Among the urban attractions, the Veracruz Aquarium, the Wax Museum and the Aquático Inbursa are worth a visit.
Veracruz tourist route
The state of Veracruz has several tourist routes with attractions for all tastes.
The Costa Esmeralda beach route is the longest in the state with more than 50 km of coastline, where you will find spectacular beaches.
The archaeological route covers the main Totonac sites of the Gulf of Mexico region, such as El Tajín, Cempoala, El Zapotal and Tecolutla.
A route that could be called cultural is the one formed by the 2 main cities of the state, Xalapa and Veracruz, with their temples, museums, fortifications and other historical places.
How many and which of these tourist places in Veracruz have you visited?
- Get to know the 7 most popular typical Veracruz drinks that you should try
- Also read our guide on the typical food of Veracruz: the 15 best dishes
- Look here the 6 magical towns of Veracruz that you have to visit