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.
Hernan Cortes named this colony Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (Rich
Town of the True Cross). The name was later shortened to Veracruz.
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.
Small markets and roadside stands sell crafts made with sea shells.
Veracruz has one of Mexico's best Carnival
celebrations, which begins every year on Fat Tuesday.