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MEXICO

Exploring Veracruz City
by Ron Mader

MEXICO WIKI

Para mí sólo recorrer los caminos que tienen corazón, cualquier camino que tenga corazón. (I only trek the paths that have heart, whatever path that has heart.)
- Mexico Notebook

mexico me gusta

FLICKR ALBUM: Lessons from Mexico


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Veracruz City is not your ordinary coastal resort.

The capital of Veracruz State was the first city built in Mexico by the Spaniards (1519) and is the country's oldest and grandest port. When you visit, spend a few hours walking through the downtown area, the Malecón, bordered by a seawall promenade.


DOWNTOWN

The best place to get your bearings is from the center of town in the Plaza de Armas, where you'll find the cathedral, Palacio Municipal (city hall), which houses the tourism office, numerous cafés and several great seafood restaurants. The plazas teem with music and in the evenings the city acomes alive with mariachis, marimba, trios and more playing their distinct melodies, all of which overlap with one another.

The famous Gran Café de la Parroquia coffeeshop is the favorite meeting place of Jarochos (native Veracruzanos) and travelers alike. The people of Veracruz are known as Jarochos because ranch hands used to carry switches, or jarras, to herd the cattle.

The City Museum, on the corner of Zaragoza and Morales, has great displays on the early regional history.

HISTORY

Hernan Cortes named this colony Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (Rich Town of the True Cross). The name was later shortened to Veracruz.

MUSEUMS

The Veracruz Aquarium was built in 1992 and may be the largest of its kind in Latin America. Nearly 2,000 species are featured. The aquarium also serves as a marine research center.

The home of Mexican composer Agustin Lara has been converted into a museum bearing momentos of his life. A beloved songwriter, Lara penned classics of the 20th Century, including the trademark 'Veracruz.' The Casa Museo Agustin Lara is located on the outskirts of town in Boca del Rio.

ARTESANIA

Small markets and roadside stands sell crafts made with sea shells.

CELEBRATIONS

Veracruz has one of Mexico's best Carnival celebrations, which begins every year on Fat Tuesday.


VISITING?

LOCATION -- Veracruz is located 423 kilometers (263) miles east of Mexico City and east of Xalapa. It's also 455 kilometers (283 miles) northeast of Oaxaca City.

Travel!

TRANSPORTATION -- The city's airport is General Heriberto Jara Internaitonal aka Veracruz Intl. (VER).


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


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