Veracruz is the busiest Mexican port and synonymous with ecological tourism. As the home of the son jarocho harp, this is the ideal vacation spot for you. Spring and Summer are definitely the best times to visit Veracruz in Mexico. But you will find plenty of things to do all year round in the Heroica Veracruz, as it is lovingly called. Reserve your stay today at our DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Veracruz.
Where is Veracruz, México?
Located to the East of Mexico City is the Heroica Veracruz, at about 5.5 hours by bus from Mexico City. If you decide to travel by plane to this magical city, the flight is only about an hour. However, stay tuned for more news coming soon as there is a project underway to create the Route of Cortés to offer visitors the chance to travel by train from Mexico City to Veracruz.
Fort San Juan de Ulúa
One of the most interesting and stunning tourist attractions in Veracruz, Mexico is the fortress on San Juan de Ulúa Island. A reminder of past pirate attacks, this fort transports you to another time and will make you call into question your belief in ghosts. As you walk through this intricate fortress’ defense systems you can sense a haunting and fortuitous feeling climbing up your spine. You might even get goosebumps as you learn that, in addition to a first line of defense, this fortress was also a prison, where sacrifices and torture took place during colonial times.
Another must visit tourist attraction during your visit is to go to the Aquarium. Its larger-than-life marine life exhibits will hypnotize you for hours. A bonus feature is you will be able to watch toucans, blue macaws, and boa constrictors while exploring the turtle forest. Walk through the largest cylindrical tank in Mexico and observe corals. Other tanks are dedicated to freshwater species and sea animals, such as sharks, medusas, manatees, and penguins, so there is plenty of marine wildlife to entertain you for hours.
Veracruz City Beaches
You will love to know that there are some great beaches near the city of Veracruz you definitely will not want to miss. We’ve identified some of them to make it easier to plan your visit.
Villa del Mar Beach
Very near the city’s downtown, there is plenty to do at this beach. Including visiting the Aquarium, walking down the beach and explore the Marina’s ships. Its tranquil waters make it an idyllic family outing, some say sometimes it is possible to see dolphins close to shore.
If you are looking for an active beach party, this is the venue for many summer parties featuring some of the most popular DJ’s. Come and play some beach soccer or volleyball. Many people choose this beach to exercise or do yoga.
One hour away is Chachalacas beach where besides basking in the sun and taking a dip in the ocean you can ride all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or motorcycles through its unbelievable sand dunes. If besides taking a swim you are interested in exploring, 20 minutes away from Chachalacas you can visit the Cempeala archeological site, an important Totonac settlement.
Villa Rica Beach
About one hour from Veracruz, you can come visit Villa Rica beach, where Hernán Cortés ordered his army to sink to avoid them from running back to Cuba when facing off with the Aztecs. Its calm waters make it the perfect family destination, peppered with some history. You can also visit Quiahuiztlán, or the place of rain, an ancient Totonac archeological site on Cerro de Los Metales. Snorkel and delight in the coral reef system at La Piedra, La Mancha, Los Muñecos, Punta Delgada, and El Turrón. This beach is also ideal for water sport lovers, as there is kayaking, scuba diving and fishing.
Day or Weekend Trips
Boca del Río, Veracruz
Nearly 1.5 hours from the city of Veracruz is Boca del Río, known to be one of the best business travel destinations. So, whether you are taking a business trip or on holiday, make sure to reserve your stay now at the Hilton Garden Inn Boca del Río Veracruz. Hilton’s upscale services and food will make you feel right at home. If you are interested in sightseeing, you can kayak and snorkel at Isla de Sacrificios. Layback and suntan with a cold beer at Boca de Río or Mocambo Beaches. Make sure to enjoy the best seafood at Isla del Amor beach.
Catemaco and San Andrés Tuxtla
In Catemaco tourism is all about feeling renewed and refreshed. The Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve is a must visit stop during your trip. It holds nine different types of vegetation and it is the subject of many research studies. At the Nanciyaga Reserve, a tropical rainforest, you and your family can hike, do some birdwatching, participate in a Temazcal (an indigenous cleansing ritual), kayak, and even receive a relaxing massage. Make sure you visit the Eyipantla waterfall, but be prepared, you will have to go up 244 steps to reach it.
While in Veracruz, travel to its magical towns. Make sure to visit Coatepec’s historical center, Orchid Museum, and Coffee Museum. It is famous for its coffee, so make sure to buy some to take home with you. At Xico, you can come in close contact with nature hiking at the Texolo and La Monja Waterfalls. They are truly beautiful and magical corners of the world with exuberant bright green vegetation. They are so magnificent we hope you get to visit both.
Papantla town has it all: waterfalls, ecotourism, handcrafts flea market, and two jaw-dropping Totonac archeological sites, El Tajín and Cuyuxquihui. The Insurgentes Socialistas Waterfalls is an ideal field day surrounded by nature and family. Danza de los Voladores is the region’s emblematic pre-Hispanic dance, which influences the town’s murals and monuments. The Xanath Ecológical Park revolves around promoting the ecosystem of the vanilla plant, which is an endemic orchid species of this town.
At the foothills of the Citaltépetl volcano is the enchanting town of Coscomatepec. At the Orizaba Peak National Park, you will be able to photograph this amazing volcano up close. You and your family will be able to bond with nature at the Nacimiento de Agua. In addition, at its archeological site Tetlalpa you will explore 32 small pyramids, a ball game and a ceremonial center. Here you will find the state’s best saddlers, so be sure to explore these stores and maybe take some souvenirs home.
Called the City of the Happy Waters, the valley of Orizaba is part of the Orizaba Peak National Park. Zipline or hike at Cerro del Borrego Eco Park. This mountain covers the towns of Orizaba, Río Blanco and Ixhuatlancillo and is rich in Mexican independence history. At the top, you will be able to see the ruins of an old fortress and museum where you can learn about its past. Watch and learn about ants at Cerro de la Escamela Eco Park and enter this subterranean world through the Zopilote and Caracolescaves.
You do not have to be Odysseus to be bewitched by a siren. You just have to visit Laguna de Ojo de Agua, where they say she appears every June 24. But this is not the most mysterious feature at Orizaba, this prize goes to Piedra del Gigante o de Xipe. This monolith is found within the local cemetery and was the result of Citlaltépetl’s last eruption, over 5 centuries ago.
Colors and dreams at the Zozocolco de Hidalgo fill the sky every November where air balloons in all shapes and sizes are released during their air balloon festival. What will truly move you will be its gorgeous waterfalls, which we can safely say will mesmerize you and you won’t believe your own eyes. This spectacular natural design created with a combination of water, rocks and vegetation is the stuff of fairy tales. The Cascadas de Zozocolco evoke peace and unity, even the one called Del Diablo, which locals say was created by the devil himself.
Finally, throughout your travels you will be able to delight in exquisite local and international food. Veracruz is renowned for its mole. For the best seafood try El Bayo or La Cevichería. If you are looking for beef and traditional cuisines, Mardel is the place for you. For a typical meal, visit El Grán Café del Portal. During a tourist pit-stop, the ideal place for a Mexican snack is Los Farolitos or Gran Café de la Parroquia. If you want something other than Mexican food, you can try the Argentinean restaurant El Gaucho. Five minutes from the boardwalk, is the best breakfast at Samborcito. For a fine dining or romantic dinner, Dos Restaurante, Fussion, or Casa Nouvelle are your best bets.
Veracruz will leave you wanting more in terms of pure air, refreshing swims, scrumptious gastronomy, cultural history and art. It has all the elements for a perfect novel, poem or song. It is truly where dreams come true. Come be inspired.