How to Get There

On Your Own
The Northern Route
Quiahuiztán, Cempoala, Antigua

Photographs and Text by John Todd, Jr.

I Like to See the Best
If you are a dedicated teacher of Spanish or Latin American Studies, you may want to make this trip to Quiahuiztlán/Villa Rica, Cempoala, and Antigua, Veracruz as your own personal pilgrimage. While you are at it, you should try to bring some of your students along.

The History of the area around Veracruz is fascinating.This is where Europe first met America.

If you don´t have the funds to hire a car, here is how to get to these places. There is public transportation, but it will take you more time on the bus. So, you will need to have a spirit of adventure.

Renting a Car Will Save You Time
If you are on your own, renting a car is NOT a luxury. If time is not important, you need to set aside two full days to do this trip.

The First day would be to explore Quiahuiztlán and the Villa Rica Peninsula.

The Second day would be to visit the pyramids of Cempoala and Antigua.

Do Your Own Homework, or Hire a Guide
The fully understand what you are seeing, you need to do a lot of homework ahead of time. If you don´t, what you will see will appear to be piles of rocks.

You will get the most out of it by hiring an experienced guide. He will help you save a lot of time. I can´t remember how many times I´ve told myself after a trip, "Oh, Man, I wished I´d known that!"

A Trip That´s Really Worth It
When you come to Veracruz, be sure to try to see these places. You´ll find it´s really worth it.

Quiahuiztlán/Villa Rica
The View of Villa Rica from Quiahuiztlán

How to Get There
Quiahuiztlán/Villa Rica
To get there, you you take the AU bus from the ADO bus station in Veracruz.

I´m not sure what busfare is, but it should be less than $10 USD.

The trip by car takes about an hour and 15 minutes, so it will take you at least 2 hours by bus.

Probably a little more if the bus stops for passengers in Cardel.
El Cerro de los Metates
After leaving Cardel, ask the driver to let you off at Villa Rica.

It´s just after El Farallon which is the housing area for the people at the nearby Laguna Verde Nuclear Plant.

At Quiahuiztlán, there is an admission fee of less than $3 USD.

Villa Rica Peninsula
As you can see from the picture, you will have a lot of walking to do.

From the main highway, it´s about a 4 mile walk up a dirt road. And I mean up.

I think the caretakers at Quiahuiztlán may speak a little English.

For people who feel the challenge, there is a trip up to the top of the Cerro de los Metates.

I have never made it, but people who have say it´s wonderful on a clear day.
The Cliffs of Villa Rica
Villa Rica Peninsula
After walking back to the highway, you can walk over to the small village of Villa Rica.

Here you can buy cokes and get something to eat. It´s probably cheap.

To get to the cliffs, walk across the sand to the peninsula. You will find a trail that takes you to the spectacular cliffs.

There are steps where you can walk down to the water.
The Pyramids of Cempoala
How to Get There
How to Get To Cempoala from Veracruz
If you drive, it takes about an hour and is about 20 minutes south of Quiahuiztlán. If you take the bus it will take longer.

Take the AU bus at the ADO bus station in Veracruz to Cd. Cardel. There are buses leaving about every 20 minutes. I think it costs less than $5 USD.

At Cardel, ask for the bus that goes to Cempoala.

Another possibility is to take the AU north from Veracruz and ask the driver to let you off at the Cempoala junction.
The Pyramids at Cempoala
From there, take a taxi the 4 miles into town. Everybody in town knows where the pyramids are.

You can hire one of the guides at the gate to the pyramids. I think they speak a little English.

The little museum is nice.What I like about Cempoala is the peacefulness of the swaying palm trees. These pyramids have been here for centuries.

At the pyramids, there is an admission fee of less than $3 USD.
Antigua, Veracruz
How to Get There
How to Get There from Veracruz
If you drive, the ride from Veracruz is about 30 minutes. The bus will take longer.

Take the AU bus at the ADO bus station in Veracruz to the Antigua toll road house. There are buses leaving about every 20 minutes. I think it costs less than $5 USD.

From there, you can walk 2 miles or so to town or look for a cab to take you to Antigua. A cab probably costs less than $3 USD

Another possibility is to take the AU north from Veracruz to Cardel.Then look for the bus to backtrack to Antigua. I think it leaves about every hour.
Locations in Antigua
What´s There
There are no admission fees in Antigua.

1. La Ermita de Rosario is the oldest Church in Continental America It´s also Km. 0 on the Camino Real

2. For about 80 years La Casa de Hernan Cortes was the adminstration area and living quarters for the Casa de la Contratación.

3. The lively Parish Church in Antigua with the old gazebo.

4. The tree where it is said that Hernan Cortes tied his ship.
First Church in Continental America
5. The Suspension Bridge over the Antigua River.

There is also a little market here. Down along the shore are a couple of restaurants.

Places to Eat
The Cabaña de Doña Juana is good and inexpensive.

Further down the river is Las Delicias which as a lot more atmosphere and style.

They often have live music and feature the dances of Veracruz.
Where Hernan Cortés Anchored his ship
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