Veracruz
Mexico
By Jenni Keller

The city of Veracruz, founded in 1519 by Hernán Cortés, is Mexico’s largest and oldest and most historically important port city on the Gulf of Mexico. It has the feel of other tropical port cities with a relaxed air and a vibrant, affable mix of African, Spanish, Caribbean and Cuban cultural influences. If you’re looking for something off-the-beaten-tourist-track, WhatsCheaper.com recommends spending some time in Veracruz.

You can easily book flights to Veracruz through WhatsCheaper.com using the following link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). The General Heriberto Jara International Airport also known as Veracruz International Airport (VER), has daily flights to Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) and international flights to George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston (IAH) and Dallas/Ft. Worth International (DFW). Car rentals, taxis and public transportation services are available at the airport which is located just on the outskirts of Veracruz.

The city has a wide array of hotels and bed and breakfasts to select from that are sure to fit anyone’s budget. WhatsCheaper.com suggests booking your destination hotel by clicking on the following link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

To start off, WhatsCheaper.com recommends taking a stroll around the Zócalo (Plaza de las Armas), the city center’s vibrant, palm tree-lined plaza. It beckons the traveler with a little bit of everything: Restaurants that serve up the local favorite, huachinango a la veracruzana, (red snapper), souveneir shops, people playing dominoes, lively music and street performers. The Zócalo buzzes at night when the outdoor seating fills up and traditional dances known as “Danzon” are performed nightly.  

The Municipal Palace, built in 1608, and the city’s Cathedral, Virgen de la Asunción, completed in 1731, can also be found in the zócalo.

A few blocks from the Zócalo, you will find the Baluarte of Santiago, the only part of the 18th century city wall that remains. Today, it houses a small collection of artifacts from pre-Hispanic and Colonial era. Hours:  Tues.-Sun. 10:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m.

For history buffs, WhatsCheaper.com recommends visiting Fort of San Juan de Ulúa. Built on an island in 1565, and now attached to land, the fort is comprised of a cluster of forts, prisons and castles. Hours Tues. – Sun., 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Small entry fee.

The Aquarium, (El Acuario), is a must see and is the largest in Latin America. The fresh water exhibits highlight aquatic species from Asia, Africa, South America and Mexico and the salt water exhibits are dedicated to the species of Veracruz, the Red Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Among the most popular exhibits is the Reef Tank, best known for its sharks, and the ring-shaped tank. Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If you are a museum-goer, WhatsCheaper.com recommends The City Museum (Museo de la Ciudad) located in the historic center. It showcases archeological finds and art from native Indian civilizations as well as paintings and photos of the history of the city. Hours: 10 a.m. -6 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Closed Mon. & Tues. Also of note is the Naval History Museum (Museo Historical Naval), which charts Mexico’s maritime history and has displays ranging from model ships to some of the most advanced nautical instruments available today. Hours: Tues. to Fri. from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Next on the list, Whatscheaper.com recommends visiting the port area. The malecón (boardwalk) ambles along the Gulf and provides great views of the harbor activities. It’s a great place to walk or exercise, to eat or buy knick-knacks from the vendors and shops along the way. Along the way you can also see old light house (Faro) and the Pemex Tower (Oil Company) and the Crafts Market. It becomes even more popular at night especially around the city center when it fills with families and couples strolling about, people dancing and music filling the air. 

If you are looking for some R&R on some of the local beaches, WhatsCheaper.com recommends Playa Martí, just outside the city’s historic center; Playa de Hornos, located next to the Veracruz Aquarium, and the more popular beach of Villa del Mar, just south of Playa de Hornos.

In conclusion, WhatsCheaper.com can promise that your Veracruz experience will give you a great taste of the centuries old culture mixed with modern influences for a unique travel experience or vacation destination.

MUST SEE IN Veracruz LIST:

  • 1. Zócalo
  • 2. Veracruz Cathedral
  • 3. Veracruz Aquarium
  • 4. Fort San Juan de Ulúa
  • 5. Baluarte de Santiago
  • 6. City Museum
  • 7. Municipal Palace
  • 8. Crafts Market
  • 9. Naval History Museum
  • 10. Villa del Mar

Veracruz EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Three Kings' Day - January
  • 2. Candlemas Day - February
  • 3. Dia de la Constitucion - February
  • 4. Wheat Festival - February
  • 5. Carnaval Veracruz - February
  • 6. Holy Week - April
  • 7. Corpus Christi Day & the Vanilla Festival - June
  • 8. Patronage Festival - July
  • 9. Mexican Independence Day - September
  • 10. Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe - December

PHOTO GALLERY

Holiday Inn Veracruz-Centro Historico
Calle Morelos 225, Col. Centro, Veracruz, Mexico
By Sara Katayama

Engulf yourself in the rich Latin cultures of Veracruz. This circa 1640 constructed piece of history, has been transformed into the beautiful Holiday Inn Centro Historico hotel, making it a destination of perfection. For those renting a car, or bringing their own, there are valet services provided for your convenience. If one is planning on taking a Taxi, it is a less than thirty minute drive through the beautiful landscape and rich architecture to the wonderful wooden furnishings and ceilings that tower towards the sky.

There are rooms available with two beds, though some have one if you are traveling alone. The suites have their own living rooms. Additional cots are available for a nightly cost. Each room comes complete with a coffee maker for that morning, or afternoon, pick me up! Some rooms also come with a mini refrigerator. There are smoking rooms and those for nonsmokers.

The hotel provides many ways to stay connected, via wireless and direct connections. Additional fees may apply. There are business facilities provided to help any business person with faxing, troubleshooting, printing and many other amenities.

Boasting one hotel restaurant that serves traditional Veracruz foods, as well as a wide variety of others, they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For health conscious guests, or ones just looking for a bit of exercise, there are on-site gym facilities available to every guest, as well as being around the epicenter for local attractions! Anything from scuba diving to knowledgeable museums are less than two miles away! Take a taxi, or enjoy the scenic route and walk to your destination! For those adventurous, hike to the 19,541 foot peak of the highest mountain in Mexico!

The Holiday Inn in Veracruz is the best way to immerse in the rich cultures and see where unique and tantalizing history meets modern day conveniences in the best way. For fast reservations at great prices, let WhatsCheaper.com guide the way! Click (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to get started now!

PHOTO GALLERY