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

locator map showing Veracruz, Mexico


Good food is available all around Veracruz.  The prices are low, and the people are happy to visit with you.

Grab a quick meal where you can. This restaurant is about to start up for the day. The floor is concrete; the roof is thatch. The food is inexpensive and super tasty. While you eat, the locals will be happy to talk to you.



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The Veracruz City Loop

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The Papantla Loop

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The Papantla loop takes you along the Gulf Coast north of the City of Veracruz.

El Tajin: Dating from the 800's, El Tajin is the State's largest and most impressive archaeological site. It is a Totonac site, and it served as the religious center of the Totonacs of the time. It has 165 structures.

Papantla: Sitting close to El Tajin, Papantla is a thriving old and traditional small Mexican city with strong and beautiful Totonac influence. Voladores fly almost daily from the expecially high pole in front of the cathedral. They also fly almost daily at El Tajin itself.

Tecolutla: Built on the triangle formed by the Gulf of Mexico and the Rio Tecolutla, Tecolutla is a delightful tourist spot with fine beaches, and dazzling river rides running deep into Mangrove growths. As all of Veracruz, it is very safe, and the people are warm and friendly.

Martinez de la Torre: Come inland to Martinez de la Torre sitting on the edge of the Rio Bobos. Here you'll see a small city whose economy is primarily based on the surrounding agricultural areas.

Nautla: Always mentioned whenever anyone speaks of the Emerald Coast, Nautla is possibly Veracruz's most popular remote tourist center.

The Emerald Coast: No beaches in Veracruz are more beautiful than those of the Emerald Coast. A little pricier than much of Veracruz, the Emerald Coast, like all of the state, has very few visitors who aren't Mexicans themselves..

Laguna Verde: Mexico has only this one nuclear power plant. Reports are that it is very well managed and that it is in excellent operating condition. It is owned and run by Mexico's Federal Electric Commission.

The impressive, beautiful ruins at El Tajin is the biggest in the State.  It was the sacred home of the Totonac peoples.

El Tajin is a spectacular ruins built starting as far back as the 800's by the people of theTotanac empire. Each year the festival El Cumbre de Tajin is held at the time of the vernal equinox.

Flyers of Papantla, Voladores, are wrapping their ropes as they prepare for their backwards fall and spinning descent as they come back to earth.

The Voladores de Papantla, the Flyers of Papantla, climb high today on poles of steel, wrap their ropes, fall over backward, and come spinning down to earth..




Fishermen at the Lagoon La Mancha, parts of Veracruz's wetlands, are clearing a path for nature-tour boats in the mangrove growth.

Along the coast of the State of Veracruz lies a major wetlands system comprised of many large lagoons. Here on the La Mancha lagoon, fishermen are opening passage into the mangrove growth. Several local groups offer high quality eco-tourism.

Villa Rica: It's hard to find a beach as unspoiled and beautiful as Villa Rica. It's a tiny spot with only several restaurants and only a few room rentals. It's the location where Cortez first encountered Mexico's coast (Cortez made his thunderous landfall a little farther south).

Quiahhuiztlan Ruins: On a hillside overlooking Villa Rica and out to sea, this ruins is an ancient graveyard with uncommon structures.

La Mancha: One of many large lagoons in the Veracruz lagoon system, this one houses a research station, oyster harvesting, incredible birding, and the donkey on Travel to Veracruz's home page. Lagoon nature tours (you can go by donkey if you wish) are wonderful.

Los Luceros: If snowboarding is a little rough for you, then duneboarding might be just the thing. Here where the sugar cane fields give way to the ocean's edge, nature excursions cover a wide variety of environments.

Cardel: For many, Cardel, a small city north of the City of Veracruz, is the center for birding along this major North American Migratory route.

Zempoala: This good-sized archeological site was built of river rock instead of cut stone. This Totonac group was the first to unite with Cortez against the Aztecs.

La Antigua: Only half an hour north of the City of Veracruz and sitting on the Rio Antigua, this small town will take you back in time over a hundred years. The oldest chapel in North America is here. And it is here that Cortez and the Conquistadors came ashore.