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

locator map showing Veracruz, Mexico


The Xalapa Museum of Anthropology has incredible displays of past Mexican cultures.  This carved head dwarfs anyone standing near it.

This giant stone head is part of collection at the fabulous Xalapa Museum of Anthropology. The museum is one of the finest in all of Mexico.



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 Xalapa loop, northwest of the City of Veracruz, is shorter but takes as long to see as the others.

Xalapa: The capital of the State of Veracruz, and the state's center for fine arts, Xalapa is oftened called the Santa Fe of Mexico.

Xalapa Museum of Anthropology: Located in Xalapa, the museum is one of the world's best for the study of Totonac culture. Many say that this museum is surpassed only the Mexico's major museum in Mexico City.

Coatepec: This good-sized town is known for being one of the purest examples of traditional Mexico. The feeling you have as you walk the streets and visit the churches and parks is one being a hundred years back in time. A major bakery makes bread in an oven fired from the inside by wood. The flavor of the bread and sweet bread is deliciously different.

Xico: Known best for its running of the bulls (dangerous but exciting to many) and its nearby waterfall, the Cascada de Texolo, Xico is a charming small town.

Chavarillo: Some villages in Mexico are built on community owned land, and Chavarillo is one of these. It is a great site for birding and nature trails. A group of villagers has opened the wonderful experience called Cafaselva (www.cafaselva.com) and offers overnight stays in the homes of the group's membership.

Jalcomulco: For whitewater rafting or for just visiting a lively small town with an orientation toward adventure tourism, Jalcomulco is a treat. It's happy and energetic. It's an old town, and its people love to visit.

Parque Nacional Cofre de Perote: Up at 14,000 feet this volcanic neck sits atop one of Mexico's national parks. On the way in one doesn't want to miss stopping at the tiny village, Pescados. It's the last chance to pick up any provisions.

These hardworking women are stirring huge pots of simmering meat with three foot long wooden paddles.

Cooking meat for a large and popular restaurant in Xalapa is a tradtitional job. Over huge gas burners in the largest of pans, cooks simmer meat until it's just right to shred and turn into delicious dishes.

Santa Ana built this very tall but small church for his marriage to his second wife.

Santa Ana was a recurring figure in Mexico's history. Among his many government positions were General of the Army and President. His retreat is just outside Xalapa at El Lencero. Santa Ana built this chapel for his marriage to his second wife.




In Xalapa even the main city plaza is graced with happy, artistic construction.

Xalapa's main plaza is a family park carved into the city's hilly terrain. It's a place where locals sit and visit. It's a kid's play-place.

Xalapa Museum of Anthropology Second only to the national museum of anthropology in Mexico City, the Xalapa Museum of Anthropology is a spellbinding trip back into the lives of ancient Americans. Unbelievable Olmec Heads, incredible statues and carvings, and dazzling artifacts are beautifully presented. The museum itself is one of the most impressive and attractive buildings in the entire state.

Spanish Immersion: Xalapa is a wonderful place to study Spanish. The Language Immersion School, Xalapa, Mexico offers Spanish immersion at all levels. As you learn Spanish, you can put it right to work throughout the City and region. The locals, almost all of whom don't speak English, greatly enjoy talking and visiting with foreigners.