Travel to Veracruz, Mexico's Best Kept Secret The Veracruz (City) Loop

locator map showing Veracruz, Mexico


In the zocalo live music from strolling musical groups is all afternoon and all night until three or four in the morning.

In the zocalo you can dine and enjoy music from groups like the Veracruz group in this picture or you can enjoy Norteno groups, Tejano groups, Salsa groups, and biggest of all, Mariachis.



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The Veracruz City Loop

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Veracruz, the city, is one of Mexico's busiest tourist spots and is Mexico's second biggest shipping port.

The Zocalo: Veracruz's main downtown square is home to the municipal palace, the cathedral, and a block-long run of outdoor restaurants and hotels. Marimbas, Tejano groups, Veracruz groups, and Marachi play from afternoon until far after midnight. The zocalo is the heart and soul of the city.

The Malecon: The sidewalk along the ocean is about ten miles long. Close to downtown it's full of tourists, walking-vendors, vendors on tricycles or pushing carts, and cultural events. Close to the zocalo the malecon broadens into a concert area. The malecon passes right alongside the ocean-crossing cargo ships and the working tugboats.

San Juan de Ulua: Across the harbor from the malecon, San Juan de Ulua is a huge fort that once stored the gold and silver headed for Span. It fended off pirates and invaders.

El Centro: Veracruz is the state's biggest and most robust city. The old downtown is still the people principal shopping area. Shop after shop one visits in the daily life of the people.

El Acuario: Latin America's finest aquarium is found on the malecon just a couple of blocks outside the harbor itself. Millions come each year to visit it.

Isla de Sacrificos: The port's lighthouse sits on Sacrifice Island. It and the sand bar close by are popular tourist attractions. Access is by small motorboat.

Playa: Veracruz has miles and miles of beaches They run from just outside El Centro, from just outside downtown, all the way to Boca del Rio.

Museo de la Ciudad: In beautiful displays the City's Museum tells the fascinating and historically important story of Veracruz.

The main in-town beach in Veracruz has Palapas, umbrellas and lots of happy families.

Beaches run for about ten miles in Veracruz. This is the main in-town beach with the Aquarium in the distance..

The old, very large fort, San Juan de Ulua, sits right across the harbor from downtown Veracruz.

The guard tower of the historic fort San Juan de Ulua has one of the best views of the port. The fort protected the gold and silver waiting to be taken to Span, and protected Veracruz against pirates. At times it was overtaken by enemies.




Hildago Market has seafood stalls that depend on ice to keep the fish fresh.

A fish booth in Mercado Hildago offers freshly caught seafood. The market remains very popular with locals even today as more and more supermarkets are built around the city.

Veracruz Coral Reef: This large coral reef system (a Mexico National Park) is comprised of 15 major structures. The coral growth is beautiful, and there is abundant fish life. Scubaver is a highly recommended dive shop.

Boca del Rio:This quaint but energetic small town is the southern limit of suburban Veracruz. Kids play in the streets at night and adults bring chairs out onto the sidewalks and sit around together. Like Veracruz itself, Boca del Rio has delicious seafood.

Baluarte Santiago: Built as part of the fortress wall surrounding early Veracruz, the Baluarte is all that remains of the original defenses. Opposing forces faced off across the harbor, one side in the Baluarte and the other in San Juan de Ulua. When the harbor is dredged cannon balls are a common find..

Mercado Hildago: Veracruz's open air market is indoors to offer shelter to the hundreds and hundreds of sellers. Vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, pasta, beef, pork, chicken, and seafood are available from the open top, open front booths. Clothing, flowers, pots and pans, shoes, curtain rods, hats, gadgets and trinkets are to be found. And, not recommended for tourists, cooking areas with open seating serve as restaurants from which the most amazing aromas fill the air.

Museo Naval: One of the City's many fine museums, the Naval Museum is as much historical as military. Many who visit it return for a second look.

Herioca Escuela Naval Militar: Mexico's Naval Academy is one of the most beautifully developed and best maintained spots in all of the country. Cadets who speak a little English are sent to take visitors on tours.

Airport: Veracruz has an excellent, but small, international airport. It's only twenty minutes from the heart of downtown.

Spanish School: Veracruz is a superior location for foreigners to study Spanish. The Language Immersion School offers new classes starting every Monday. Their students are deeply involved in the culture and history of the region.