Veracruz Port, Mexico
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Category: City Tours
Tips for your next vacation
- The Fort of San Juan de Ulua: A Tale of Decay
- El Tajin: A Sacred City of the Totonaca Culture
- Festive Carnivals in Mexico
- Veracruz Aquarium: A Fascinating Immersion
The beautiful port of Veracruz emerges quite frequently in Mexican history from the days of Mesoamerican civilization to the arrival of the Europeans to the Americas. Now, the biggest trading port in Mexico, Veracruz is bringing in a healthy economy and a vibrant tourist industry.
In Veracruz, you will always notice details that catch your attention. At a restaurant close to the Malecon (seawall), try tapping a coffee spoon on a glass. This action, in this region, is used to call a waiter. Cafe con leche (or cafe latte) is served in a style very particular to Veracruz by pouring a bit of hot coffee into a glass. Then, using a coffee pot with a narrow-nozzled spout, the waiter fills the rest of the glass with boiling milk, lifting the pot high above his head while still pouring. These things set the pace of the Port for the lively hubbub of Cafe de la Parroquia, all following a metronome of the shipyards embarking and disembarking merchandise, youngsters strolling romantically by the waterfront and the harp and "jarana" playing as dancers can be heard tapping out the rhythm.
The Port's modernization has included the creation and restoration of attractions like the Veracruz Aquarium, the San Juan de Ulua fortress, the Naval Museum and the City Museum. If you're lucky enough to travel to Veracruz during the Carnival season, an absolute great time is guaranteed. The biggest carnival in Mexico is an incomparable colorful music show where happy and worry-free locals will always, always welcome you with a sincere smile.
Veracruz has a wide assortment of tourist activities, however, and is not centered only on the Port. The surroundings have an endless array of natural resources, landscapes and climates that go from soft beach breezes on the gulf to snow-capped peaks on the Sierra Madre Oriental. These are factors that have enticed the state tourism sector to invest in and develop ecological and adventure options.
The land where southeastern Veracruz lies today is a large and extremely fertile flood plain, formed over time from sediments carried from the high lands by plentiful rivers. These conditions made it easy for groups of migrants to settle and later to give origin to a very little-known Mesoamerican civilization called the Olmecs. Their name comes from the Aztec word meaning 'rubber country inhabitant'.
The location of the present Port of Veracruz is the fourth settlement of the city after Cortez first founded it on the Chalchihuecan islet. From there, it went to the indigenous town of Quiahuixtlan. Due to administrative problems with the ships, it was then moved north to where the town of La Antigua lies now. Finally, at the end of the 16th century it was taken back to the original site of Quiahuixtlan for it was considered a "more decent and convenient place" according to the viceroy Zuniga and Acevedo.
During Mexico's independence, Veracruz played a heroic role in resisting the invasions from Spain in 1829, from the U.S. in 1847 and 1914, and from France in 1859, when it played the role as the Nation's capital during these arduous times. Even when oil and trade were the source of the state's economic prosperity in the past, at the present, the Port of Veracruz is experiencing a boom due to the active participation of Mexico in international trade. This has propelled a careful but intense development in tourism, preserving the immense natural resources of its surroundings.
Art and Culture
Being a port city with intense trade activity, Veracruz is an authentic melting pot of ethnicities, cultures and art. The state's musical tradition has its origins in the ethnological fusion of African, Native American, Spanish and other cultures. In terms of architecture, the sober and age-old Spanish fortresses coexisted with modern shipyards. The Franciscan and Dominican styles juxtaposed strongly with neoclassical and modern styles. The word "eclectic" acquires a truly wide and unusual sense and whether it is in art or in culture, this intense exchange has shaped the personality of the Jarochos (the word for Veracruz locals), who are known for their friendliness.
Boca del Rio
Boca del Rio is a municipality that sits next to the port of Veracruz, connected by a boulevard with a magical feel to it. It got its name in 1609 because it sits on the left bank of the mouth of the Jampa River. On January 24th 1988, it was declared a city by official decree.
Boca del Rio is a growing city, its modern aspects contrast with the richness of the traditions of its people, steeped in customs. Its world-class hotels, nightclubs, specialized restaurants and first class infrastructure and services along with its World Trade Center and malls make it equal to all large cities without taking away from the warmth of its people. Whether it's just chatting long hours or playing sports, Boca Del Rio will provide a fabulous backdrop for you next vacation.