Veracruz is Mexico's oldest port in the Gulf of Mexico, place for the first Spanish expedition guided by Hernan CortÚs in 1519. Veracruz became Mexico's first European colony which was named Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.
Veracruz is maybe the merriest and most musical city in Mexico. "La Bamba", the most famous example of "son jarocho", is best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs.
If you come to Veracruz, you will see many tourists, and they can enjoy its colonial buildings, cafes, excellent sea food and the malecˇn. Veracruz is famous for its coffee. You can drink the "lechero" (made by steaming hot milk poured into a several spoons of strong coffee). There is the most famous cafeteria in Mexico: "La Parroquia".
A popular dance in Veracruz is the "danzon" and you can see people dancing every Saturday in front of the Government Palace where a band plays classic melodies.
In downtown Veracruz, a large marble-tiled zˇcalo, called the Plaza de Armas or Plaza Lerdo, is the heart of the city's lively nightlife. It is lined with arcades that house bars and cafes. On a nearly nightly basis large groups of people sit outside in the plaza enjoying food, drinks and cigars, while they watch musicians and dancers that perform in the square. Veracruz's 18th century cathedral and 17th century Palacio Municipal are also located on the plaza.
Every year there is a Carnival festival in this city for nine days between February and March, and you can see the parades. This city has several beaches and a long boulevard where people can walk and enjoy the view. Other attraction you can visit is the Aquarium of Veracruz, built in 1992 where you can see barracudas, sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, etc.
Veracruz is an international crossroad, with cargo ships, sailors and tourists who enjoy its music, ambiance and sea food dishes. The city also serves as Mexico's second largest port, after Manzanillo. The port handled 16.5 million tons of cargo in 2007. As you can see, Veracruz is a city with a lot of history and traditions.
Distances from Veracruz to important cities:
- Mexico City - 406 km
- Puebla - 286ákmá
- Xalapa (State capital) - 102ákmá
- Orizaba - 137ákmá
- Canc˙n - 1,327ákm