Before You Come to Veracruz
Organize Your Trip

By John Todd, Jr.

Make Every Moment Count
Use Veracruz as your Base and Your Hotel is Where You Sleep.
Spend Your Days on the Streets with the Friendly People of Veracruz.
Here´s a Menu of Things You Might Want to Do:

Here are some of activities that I think are fun. You´ll find some really good seafood food at the many restaurants along the way:
    Short Trips Around Town (3 Hours)
    • Take a tour of the old Spanish fort of San Juan de Ulua,listen to the story of Chucho El Roto, Mexico´s Robin Hood, and see where Sir Francis Drake lost his ships. It´s a good idea to hire one of the guides, otherwise it will only look like a bunch of old rocks and empty rooms.
    • Typical Market Exploration. The Fish Market and Hidalgo Markets. Plan on a delicious lunch with regional specialties.
    • Need a haircut while you are here? Go to Miguelito´s Barber Shop and find out about local politics, history, and music. He plays a great selection of trios, salsa, and danzón music, and speaks a little English. After 5 minutes you´ll feel like a regular customer.
    • Dance along with the construction workers and maids, and learn the timeless Danzón on a Sunday in the Parque Zamora. Or weekend evenings on the Plaza de la Constitución.
    • Boat Trips in a native launch by the hour to Reefs and Islands. There are also mangrove swamps near Mandinga. Great Seafood Lunch. Endangered species observations,
    • Tour the Barrios of Veracruz. Join in the local life. You will feel different afterwards.

    Longer Trips (5 Hours)
    • Most guide books are incomplete and are sometimes wrong. Before you come, be sure to read the History of Veracruz.
    • Quiahuiztlán and Villa Rica is where the first Veracruz was located. It was the second Veracruz, and where Montezuma´s gold was loaded on the ships to Spain.
    • Be sure to visit timeless Antigua, Veracruz. It was the second Veracruz, and where Montezuma´s gold was loaded on the ships to Spain.
    • Visit Alvarado and Tlacotalpan along the Papaloapan River. You won´t many tourists and the people are friendly.
    • There are other out of the way places like Paso de Ovejas along the Third Camino Real.
    • Trip to old hacienda at Boca del Monte. Enjoy good country cooking. See the bullet holes from the Revolution in the backyard.
    • The French Foreign Legion Monument in El Camarón. It´s the only place in the Western Hemisphere where the French Foreign Legion was defeated.
    • Relaxing thermal baths and restored hacienda. in El Carrizal,
    • If you are fortunate, catch a performance of the Voladores at the pyramids in Cempoala, Veracruz.

    Longer Trips(7 Hours)
    • Tlacotepec de Mejía, a quiet village along the wool route to Spain. Nestled among the coffee and cinnamon trees about 2 hours from Veracruz in the land of eternal spring.

    Longer Trips (Plan on All Day or Overnight)
    • A day trip or overnight trip to Playa Hermosa and Montepío to visit some of the best unspoiled beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.

    Have I left anything out?

Spend a Week in Veracruz:

Day 1 - Getting your feet on the ground. 6-8 Hours with Lunch
Centro Historico, San Juan de Ulua, and the Aquarium. Boca del Rio, and lunch in Mandinga. Do a Walking Tour of Downtown. Nothing heavy the first day to get your feet on the ground and get the lay of the land.

Day 2 The Route of Hernán Cortés - 6 hours
Quiahuiztlán-Villa Rica, pyramids at Cempoala, lunch in Antigua.

Day 3 Alvarado and Tlacotalpan - The Southern Route 8 hours
Shrimp Boats and Seafood in Alvarado and beautifully restored Tlacotalpan Lunch in Mangdinga.

Day 4 Xalapa - Former El Camino Real 8 hours
Restored Hacienda at El Lencero and Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa. Lunch at el Mirador on the way back.

Day 5 - Los Tuxtlas and Lake Catemaco - 12 hours
Tlacotalpan or the Falls at Eyipantla, Lake Catemaco, boat ride to Nanciyaga. Lunch at La Ceiba restaurant in Catemaco.

Day 6 - Beaches and Boat Rides Roca Partida and Playa Hermosa - 12 hours
Roca Partida, Montepío, and Playa Hermosa are new areas where you have everything to yourself. No tourists. Pristine jungle river next to a blue beach cove. Boat trips to Pirates cave at Roca Partida. After seafood lunch you can relax in a hammock at Faustino´s place.

Day 7 - Rafting at Jalcomulco and El Carrizal Hot Springs 7 hours
Jalcomulco Rafting and Hot Springs at El Carrizal for those interested or relax in warm thermal waters and hammocks. Lunch at the restaurant in El Carrizal.