Veracruz State, Mexico
Vacations, Travel and Tourism to Veracruz State
With a rich past and a promising future, Veracruz is one of the most special states in Mexico. Its decisive role in the Mexican history during the Spanish conquest turn it into the cradle of mixed races, while its countless artistic and cultural expressions make it also a cultural cradle. Veracruz comprises culture, art, traditions and at the same time business, tourism, and modernity.
Thanks to its privileged location in the country, right in front of the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Veracruz features a beautiful climate and a large array of tourist attractions throughout its vast territory.
Home to several pre-Columbian civilizations, Veracruz was the first place in Mexico to get in contact with the Spaniard conquerors, after the discovery of the Americas. It was here where Hernan Cortez began the conquest of the Mexican territory.
The state of Veracruz boasts an extensive variety of tourist attractions, as well as business and investing opportunities, but it is specially known for being a land full of natural and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered by the traveler that looks for adventure, culture, entertainment, matchless cuisine, friendly people and unlimited fun.
With outstanding tourist potential, the state of Veracruz offers fantastic attractions in its different cities. The state has a proper option for every taste and desire, to satisfy every travel plan and budget. Veracruz also offers excellent openings for business travelers in industrial cities like Orizaba, Coatzacoalcos, Poza Rica, Minatitlan and the port of Veracruz.
The ocean and mountain ranges are the borders that nature gave to Veracruz. In the east side, an impressive coastal strip facing the Gulf of Mexico provides the state with awesome beaches and abundant oil and fish resources. In the west side, a beautiful mountain range is a natural backdrop of matchless beauty.
To the north, Veracruz borders the state of Tamaulipas; to the south, it borders Oaxaca and Chiapas; to the southeast it borders Tabasco and to the west Puebla, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosi. The Gulf of Mexico is the state's border to the east, creating a coastline where some of the most important cities of Veracruz are located.
Cradle of the Mixed Races
Inhabited by several indigenous groups since pre-Columbian ages, the territory of Veracruz offers its visitors the vestiges of three different civilizations, the Huasteca, the Totonacan and the Olmec. This cultural fusion provides every traveler with the opportunity to immerse in the history and culture of a whole nation.
On April 22, 1519, the Spaniard conqueror Hernan Cortez arrived at Mexican beaches, within the current territory of Veracruz, where he founded a village that became Mexico's first colonial settlement. According to the Christian calendar, that date was Good Friday, the day when the passion of the Christ is commemorated, a day also known by Spaniards as "The day of the True Cross" (La Vera Cruz day), so they decided to name the settlement "La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz," which means The Rich Village of the True Cross. With the passing of time, the name was shortened to Vera Cruz, currently Veracruz. On August of the same year, Hernan Cortez began the journey towards the center of Mexico, in order to conquer Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire.
Because of this historical process, Veracruz became the cradle of mixed races, with roots that belong to both Spanish and pre-Columbian civilizations. This mix of cultures has now originated colorful, special celebrations, festivities, dances and music. A festive lifestyle fills the atmosphere of Veracruz, where every town and city has something particular to offer to its visitors and where it is always possible to find beautiful, attractive cultural expressions.
The Port of Veracruz
Besides being the first city founded by the Spaniards in the continental area of the Americas, the port of Veracruz is the biggest city in the state and the biggest port in Mexico. Apart from its historic importance, the port of Veracruz offers many tourist attractions, thus being an ideal destination for vacationing. A large number of museums, outstanding natural attractions in its surroundings, and Latin America's biggest aquarium are some of the attractions in the port of Veracruz, a city full of history, culture, entertainment and a tropical feel. The festive, joyful spirit of this land is best displayed in the world-famous Carnival of Veracruz, which is Mexico's biggest carnival.
For those looking for upscale tourist services, the port of Veracruz offers the glamour and modernity of Boca del Rio, an adjoining municipality that forms part of the port's metropolitan area. Boca del Rio has become the most developed, fastest-growing area in the city, featuring luxury hotels, elegant restaurants, and sophisticated tourist services such as clubs, shopping and entertainment centers.
Located in the central-west part of the state, the city of Xalapa is the capital of Veracruz. Besides being the political and administrative hub for the state, Xalapa is distinguished for being a city with a clear artistic lifestyle, featuring an extensive variety of theaters, cultural centers, art galleries and museums as well as several art academies and institutions that create and promote cultural events. Thanks to its great cultural activity, Xalapa is known as the "Athens of Veracruz." In fact, Xalapa boasts excellent museums such as the Museum of Anthropology, which is one of the most important museums of pre-Columbian history in all of Latin America.
Thanks to its beautiful climate and its excellent location near the geographic center of the state, Xalapa features a variety of natural attractions, ecological parks and gardens, not only in the city but also in its surroundings.
When visiting Xalapa, don't forget to try some of the scrumptious specialties of the local cuisine in its numerous restaurants as well as an aromatic cup of Xalapa's well-known coffee in any of its quaint cafes.
The origins of Poza Rica date back from the late 19th century, but it is until the middle of the 20th century when it reaches the category of city. Currently it is one of the most important cities in the north of the state, thanks to its economic development, its geographical location and its tourist potential. Its active commercial lifestyle and pleasant quality of life is also outstanding, and it has been considered a good option for both living and vacationing.
Poza Rica is the hub for a great part of the state's commercial and industrial activities, especially as for oil processing and the production of its derivate products. A high GDP and intense commercial activity make it an ideal city for doing business while enjoying a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. Due to its economic activities, Poza Rica features appropriate facilities for hosting conventions and business events, along with numerous hotels and tourist services.
Apart from excellent hotels and business services, the city features different recreation and entertainment options, including movie theaters, museums, golf course, shopping malls, restaurants, and nightclubs. Poza Rica is also the starting point for many travelers that head for the attractions located around the city. Near Poza Rica you will find beautiful beaches, archeological sites like El Tajin and picturesque, magical towns full of traditions like Papantla.
San Andres Tuxtla
San Andres Tuxtla, the commercial area of the region called Los Tuxtlas, is located in the south of Veracruz State, in the San Martin mountain range. Due to its fertile lands, this region is famous for tobacco farming and manufacturing high quality cigars in the renowned factories of Matacapan Tabacos, Puros Santa Clara and Tabacos San Andres, which are all located in the region.
San Andres Tuxtla is a paradise for people looking for adventure, since sports like rafting, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and bird watching can all be enjoyed here. San Andres Tuxtla is a very beautiful destination that features many natural attractions in the surrounding areas, such as the wonderful beaches of Playa Escondida, Punta Roca Partida, and Laguna Encantada. The amazing waterfalls at El Salto de Eyipantla and Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve are also well worth visiting during you visit to Los Tuxtlas.
Santiago Tuxtla is a city located in the Los Tuxtlas region, on the northern slope of a dormant volcano, called "El Vigia". From Santiago Tuxtla you'll have amazing views of the surrounding areas. It is considered by its inhabitants as the most culturally rich city in this part of Mexico because of the three gigantic Olmec heads found here and the many festivities that take place in the city throughout the year. Santiago Tuxtla features the Tuxteco Regional Museum and the Tres Zapotes Museum, which both have exhibitions about the Olmeca people, who once inhabited the region of Los Tuxtlas. Santiago Tuxtla is located just a few minutes away from San Andres and Catemaco, so you can also enjoy and discover all the natural attractions located in these towns as well.
In the south of the state you will find Coatzacoalcos, the third largest city in the state after the port of Veracruz and Xalapa, the state capital. Coatzacoalcos is an important industrial and commercial port that manages business related to the oil, which accounts for a great part of the city's development. As a deep water port Coatzacoalcos manages a great number of import and export transactions, being the third most important port in the Gulf of Mexico, after the port of Veracruz and Tampico.
Coatzacoalcos concentrates several petrochemical complexes that represent altogether one of the most important groups of its kind in Latin America. The city is home to the headquarters of Pemex Petroquimica, a subsidiary company of the state-owned enterprise in charge of producing and distributing secondary petrochemical items. More than 80% of this subsidiary's production is generated in Coatzacoalcos.
Due to its great petrochemical importance and to the national and international oil-related business carried out in the city, Coatzacoalcos features first class convention facilities, including a modern convention center considered one of the best in Mexico.
The city of Coatzacoalcos has an attractive seawalk and beautiful beaches that local people visit for sunbathing, swimming, and having fun, enjoying the hotels, restaurants, and nearby shopping centers. Thanks to the city's fast growth and tourist potential, it is an excellent choice for investing, doing business, or vacationing with all the services.
Very close to Coatzacoalcos and sharing its economic success derived from the petroleum, picturesque Minatitlan city stands out for the great number of oil-related products that are elaborated, distributed and commercialized by one of the plants of Pemex Refinacion, a subsidiary of the state-owned oil company.
Minatitlan is the fifth largest city in the state of Veracruz and the oldest oil-producing town in the southeast of Mexico. It has one of the six oil-refining plants of Pemex, which processes about 300 thousand barrels a day to produce different kinds of fuel such as diesel, gasoline, and gasoil.
Despite being a business-oriented city, Minatitlan maintains intact most of its provincial, easy going lifestyle. It also has a great number of tourist and natural attractions, beautiful architectural works like the city hall and the main church, delicious restaurants and, particularly, an animated nightlife.
Due to the features of its territory, Catemaco is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Veracruz. Surrounded by the natural beauty of a region filled with rivers, lagoons and mountains, the city has a special atmosphere that is worthy of admiration.
Small and peaceful, with deep-rooted traditions, the city is submerged in the middle of imposing landscapes of the Sierra de los Tuxtlas mountain range, boasting spectacular sceneries and singular ecosystems.
Catemaco offers great opportunities to enjoy ecotourism activities in pristine sceneries, getting in contact with landscapes of outstanding biodiversity. Among its numerous tourist attractions, Catemaco boasts a beautiful lagoon known by its small islands, one of which is inhabited by a funny colony of monkeys, which is a popular attraction among the city's visitors.
In the entire world, especially among people that believe in magic and other superstitions, Catemaco is known for some locals that carry out practices or "trabajos," (works) "limpias," (cleanings) and other rituals that are believed to bring richness, health, love, etc. This believes that attract people from all around the world derive from the practices of the pre-Columbian civilizations that inhabited the region, believes that were passed on from one generation to the next until the present day.
Thanks to its natural beauty, many filmmakers have chosen Catemaco and the nearby reserve of Los Tuxtlas as a fascinating backdrop for their movies, including Mel Gibson and Sean Connery.
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