Unlike other popular tourist destinations in Mexico, in Veracruz you can experience the real Mexico and its people, while also enjoying its entertainment. There are many reasons that make Veracruz a good place to go on your next trip to Mexico. Check them out in the following article.
Get a better understanding of the Mexican culture
Some tourist destinations seem to be on permanent vacation, partying hard 365 days a year. Veracruz is not one of them. As you will be visiting a normal city, you’ll be able to see the good and bad aspects of its everydayness. Getting closer to a different culture lets you “put yourself in somebody else’s shoes” and understand the reasons that make its citizens the way they are. Read its history, walk on the streets where the change of a civilization started, and feel how it defined a big part of how its inhabitants are. Observe the bus drivers, the executives walking in downtown, watch the people and understand why they are so cheerful and get new hope and a positive mind every morning despite the complex times Mexico is going through.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Delight in its gastronomy
One thing is for sure: you’ll enjoy the local food and will have to be careful to not put weight on. The delights of its gastronomy are an indescribable pleasure. The typical dishes go from its characteristic sea food to the picadas and gordas of the traditional morning breakfast. Taste the filete a la veracruzana, ceviche and camarones al ajillo, paired with a local cocktail called a Torito. If you come in July, make sure to visit the festival Las Fiestas de Santa Ana—every year they break the Guinness world record for the biggest fillet stuffed with seafood; check it out and have a bite yourself.
Have an eco-touristic adventure
Veracruz has mountains, volcanoes, rivers, sea, forests, amazing waterfalls, and more. Once you visit the city’s main attractions, take your backpack and have an eco-touristic adventure in the charming towns around. Unlike some of the popular nature parks, here the places are almost virgin, letting you connect with nature, totally stress-free. The thrilling activities you can do here include rappelling in waterfalls, kayaking, zip lining, hiking in the jungle, bird watching, rafting, mountaineering, windsurfing, and even observing some pre-hispanic ceremonies. For that, visit Los Tuxtlas, Córdoba, Jalcomulco, and Catemaco. Enjoy of the calm of the natural places and admire the flora and exotic fauna.
Enjoy the folkloric traditions
Discover the Mexican traditions outside of the stereotypes: in Veracruz you’ll discover some that you never even imagined. Just in the harbor you can experience a danzon night—a traditional old dance that has the romantic touch of the older generations, with people wearing white clothes, elegant hats and flowers. Just hang around and somebody will invite you to dance. Enjoy the musical rhymes of the fandango veracruzano and the son jarocho. If you want something more mystic, visit Córdoba and discover what a “limpia” ceremony is.
Get to know Mexico through its arts
The historic events of this land are an inspiration to talented artists who come from around the world to learn its stories and project it through their work. The American Invasion, the cultural heritage from the African slaves and the cheerful traditions are the subject of photography, art video, paintings, street art, and performances. The way the artwork is presented is also creative: admire a display of artistic photos while enjoying a Mojito Cubano and a DJ playing in the back of the Fototeca de Veracruz, or head to the San Juan de Ulúa Castell and enjoy the music and performances presented in one of its prisons.
It’s where the song “La Bamba” comes from
This iconic song originated in Veracruz in the 18th century, with the aim to satirize the useless efforts of the leaders to defend the harbor from pirate attacks. The rhythms belong to the son jarocho music, a traditional folk music in Veracruz identifiable by its cheerfulness, creativity and fun. The lyrics are humorous, its verses invented spontaneously to laugh about features of people and events. Son jarocho is a fusion of Spanish, indigenous, and African elements. If you like music, you’ll love discovering new instruments, such as marimba, arpa jarocha, and güiro.
Watch the Papantla Flyers
Performed by the Totonac and Nahuas Indians from the Totonacapan in Veracruz, the ritual of the Papantla’s Flyers has been named a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The ritual arose in the Mesoamerican pre-classic period. Four dancers—the birdmen—wearing a special costume that alludes to diverse elements of nature, represent the four cardinal points. They climb up to the top of a high pole, then suspend by their feet and “fly” around the pole in circles. Meanwhile, another one is dancing at the top, playing music. This ritual is related to fertility and the ones performing it start learning from childhood. You can witness this amusing and interesting ritual in Boca de Río, Papantla, and the archaeological zone of El Tajin.
Enjoy the Cumbre Tajín Festival
If you’re thinking of visiting Veracruz, you should do so during the spring equinox (at the end of March), when the Cumbre Tajín Festival takes place. This event promotes the cultural richness of the Totonacapan region through conferences, exhibitions, and workshops to show and learn the artisans’ crafts. There are also mystic rituals, alternative therapies and traditional games. The Takilhsukut Park and the archaeological site El Tajín host concerts of both national and international artists, folk singers and orchestras. Take your tent and camp during the event so you don’t miss anything. Or if you prefer, there are cozy hotels nearby where you can stay. Enjoy four days of culture, music, mysticism, history, creativity, and fun.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.