Discovering the Hidden Gem of Veracruz, Mexico

Irrespective of the season, Mexico is a go-to destination for American travelers, particularly in winter when the tropical storms subside and the weather stays warm. While Cancun, Mexico City, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta are the most popular destinations, there is an underrated coastal spot that is worth exploring – Veracruz. This culturally significant city is Mexico’s oldest and most important Atlantic port, yet it remains relatively untouched by mass tourism. With its colonial-era charm, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, Veracruz offers a unique and authentic experience.

Heroica Veracruz, the largest city in the state of Veracruz, is located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to over half a million inhabitants and serves as the cultural and economic center of the region. Established in 1519 during the Spanish colonization, Veracruz played a vital role in the Transatlantic trade and flourished as a wealthy mercantile hub. Today, remnants of its golden era can still be seen in the well-preserved historic center, filled with colonial monuments and beautiful architecture.

What to See in Veracruz

A visit to Veracruz would not be complete without exploring the main attractions. Plaza de las Armas, also known as Zócalo, is a picturesque square with colonial buildings that hosts cultural events, including traditional danzón performances. Nearby, you’ll find the Municipal Palace, the oldest city government building in Mexico, and the Neoclassic Cathedral of Veracruz.

For history enthusiasts, the Fort San Juan de Ulúa is a must-visit. This fortress, built to defend against pirate raids, is located on an island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island is part of the La Gallega coral reef, offering 2,500 meters of beach to explore.

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Delicious Cuisine

Veracruz is also a paradise for food lovers. Along the malecón, a several kilometers-long boardwalk along the Gulf, you’ll find street vendors selling various Mexican dishes such as tacos, tamales, and burritos. The regional cuisine is a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences, featuring ingredients like vanilla, corn, and seafood. Don’t miss out on the Veracruz-style baked snapper fish, crema de palmitos, and eggs with beans.

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The Emerald Coast

Just north of Veracruz, you’ll discover the Emerald Coast, a hidden gem of natural beauty. This untouched stretch of coast is lined with small fishing villages, lush green vegetation, and stunning sandy beaches. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tropical atmosphere without the crowds often found in popular tourist destinations.

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Affordability

Veracruz is also a more affordable option compared to Cancun or Los Cabos. There are beachfront hotels with affordable rates, starting as low as $66 for a King Room. For those seeking luxury, five-star hotels like the Grand Fiesta America offer reasonable prices, with rates as low as $216 per night this winter.

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How to Get There

Fortunately for American travelers, getting to Veracruz is convenient. Houston International Airport offers nonstop flights to Veracruz, often at affordable prices, making it easily accessible for a quick getaway.

Veracruz is a hidden gem that offers a rich cultural experience, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re a frequent visitor to Mexico or looking for an off-path destination to explore, Veracruz should be high on your list.

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Source: Why You Should Visit This Underrated Coastal Destination In Mexico This Winter

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