Travel to Veracruz, Mexico's Best Kept Secret The Orizaba Loop

locator map showing Veracruz, Mexico


The Sierra Madre Oriental rises to the glacier covered Orizaba Peak, North America's third highest mountain peak.

Viewed from a passenger jet flying to the City of Veracruz, Orizaba peak dominates the Sierra Madre Oriental. It is North America's third highest mountain peak. Approaches to the peak begin in Veracruz on the mountain's east face and in Puebla on the mountain's west face. For hundreds of years it has been a navigation guide for ships crossing the Gulf of Mexico headed for the Port of Veracruz.



Travel to Veracruz Home

The Veracruz City Loop

The Los Tuxtlas Loop

The Papantla Loop

The Orizaba Loop

The Xalapa Loop

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The Orizaba loop takes you directly inland for the City of Veracruz.

Cordoba: The center of the state is home to this good-sized city. It's not a tourist center but has a welcoming and enjoyable city center. It's an opportunity to see urban Mexico unadorned by special traditions or geographic conditions.

Fortin de las Flores: Now a suburb of Orizaba, Fortin continues to be a beautiful small town. It is often thought of as being Veracruz's flower nursery, and from hours away folks travel here to walk the nurseries and buy for their gardens.

Orizaba:This modern city that hasn't gone modern is characterized by narrow streets and small shops that close during the traditional midday (2 to 4). The feeling is that one has gone back a hundred years but hasn't left today. It's the gateway to the communities on the slope of North American's third highest mountain peak..

Zongolica:This center of old culture is strongly indigenous and much of the population speaks Nahuatl. Located in lush high valleys the town and surrounding villages lie in areas of cloud forests. Close to Zongolica is the waterfall El Sotano de Popocatl with over 200 feet of drop.

Coscomatepec: Sitting on the skirts of Orizaba Peak, Coscomatepec has government coordinated mountain oriented tourist activities. One can begin an assult on Orizaba Peak from here, and also enjoy less aggressive high mountain activities.

El Pico de Orizaba: The third highest mountain peak in all of North America is located in the Sierra Madre Oriental close to Coscomatepec. The Peak's glacier is visible to sailors passing by Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. Located only 80 miles inland, the change of elevation from sea level to over 18,000 feet gives Veracruz its wealth of environments and eco-systems.

From Coscomatapec fantastic horseback rides up toward Orizaba Peak are available.

Mountain horseback is available on the slopes of Orizaba Peak in the small city of Coscomatepec.

The old municipal palace, city hall, of Orizaba is a bolt together iron building from the time of the Eiffel Tower.

Made in France, the old city hall of Orizaba is an erector-set building. It was first erected in Europe and then disassembled and carried to Orizaba to be reassembled. Today it houses the city's tourism office.




Sidewalk vendors setup outside the town market and sell their fruits and vegetables to those passing by.

Sidewalk vendors

Huatusco:A more beautiful mountain town is hard to find. Like other towns in the area, Huatusco is supported by cattle, corn, and coffee. Settled in a high valley, it is one of Veracruz's most picturesque.

Atoyac: Sitting in the transition between lowlands and the mountains, Atoyac is built across deep narrow gorges. It's a region for caving adventures.

Spanish Immersion: Orizaba is a great place to study Spanish. Almost no one speaks English, and so as you learn Spanish everywhere you go you can practice with patient and friendly native speakers. The Language Immersion School, Orizaba, Mexico provides schooling, housing, and even two meals a day. Spanish courses are offered for students of all levels.