Veracrúz

A historic port, a mystic state

Veracruz is located in a privileged place of our country, next to the Gulf of Mexico and is neighbor of the state of Tabasco; therefore its natural richness and resources are very diverse and extensive. The state has a lot of history, as it was part of the territories dominated by the Olmecs, one of the most important cultures of Mesoamerica, over 3000 years ago.

Nowadays, the state of Veracruz offers tourists an interesting combination of archaeological destinations, Among which we find El Tajin, founded by the Totonacs and considered done of the most astonishing sites of Mexico and has been acknowledged by UNESCO as World heritage.

The region of Papantla has exuberant vegetation and you can still find vanilla farms, which have always been very important for local economy along with coffee, which is harvested in the region of Xico, a very picturesque town near the great city of Xalapa.

After tasting a delicious coffee in Xico, you can visit the hacienda of El Encero, which used to be one of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s properties (he was president of Mexico in 11 occasions during the XIX century).

Situated in the foothills of Macuiltepetl, 220 miles from Mexico City and surrounded by cloud-covered forests, the capital of Veracruz is an unforgettable place to visit. Xalapa Enriquez (its official name) is perennially draped in mist, giving it an enchanting, mystical atmosphere and inspiring countless legends among the locals. Come and acquaint yourself with Xalapa’s unique charm as you explore its winding alleys and historic monuments. Xalapa, known in Mexico as the “Athens of Veracruz,” is very much the university town: at the center of its cultural life is the Universidad Veracruzana (Veracruzan University), an important educational center for music, theater, dance, the visual arts and other art forms. Xalapa is also an important culinary center. Strolling along the city’s narrow and vibrant streets is a pleasure not only for the eyes: the scent of the high quality coffee produced here wafts continually through the air, along with the gentle melodies of street musicians.

Veracruz City is the most important of all the state of the same name, and also the central city which names the urban zone known as Zona Metropolitana de Veracruz and has the most important commercial port of Mexico. The city was established by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, back in the XVI century, and soon became the headquarters of the Spanish army, that eventually conquered the Aztec empire. It has been named the four times heroic city, as it has participated in four different foreign invasion wars.

Everyone who visits Veracruz receives a warm welcome by veracruzanos or jarochos, who are always friendly and welcoming with all visitors. There are some traditional genres of music, being the most popular danzon, son, salsa, marimba and Bamba.

Local artisans manufacture a great variety of decorative figures, using hard wood as their essential raw material, as well as sea shells and sea snails. Using such elements they create ships, masks, bracelets, necklaces, rings and such.

There are several interesting historic monuments, such as the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, the cathedral and the local Town Hall or Palacio Municipal de Veracruz. These are landmarks that can not be missed!

Another interesting place in Veracruz is Tlacotalpan, considered to be the most typical city of the state, and is also a port town near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Also known as the Pearl of Papaloapan, Tlacotalpan has a unique architecture, which reminds us of a small fishermen’s villa, combining Spanish and Caribbean influences.

You can take a boat and go for a ride along Rio Papaloapan, which keeps many species of tropical birds and fish. Afterwards, you can refresh yourself with a nice “Torito”, at one of the local cantinas, located in the main plaza of Tlacotalpan. One of those cantinas was often visited by Agustin Lara, a very famous Mexican composer, who was born in this town, over a century ago.

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