Welcome to Veracruz
Taking up much of Mexico's Gulf coastline, the long and diverse state of Veracruz is where the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs began. It was also the cradle of the aptly named Veracruz Mesoamerican culture at El Tajín and is home to Mexico's highest peak – soaring, snowcapped Orizaba.As a destination, it's routinely overlooked by travelers, and while it's true that the beaches are better in the Yucatán and the... Read More
Top experiences in Veracruz
Playa Mia Grand Beach and Water Park Day Pass
Playa Mia Grand Beach and Water Park is located on the south part of the island, just a 15-minute ride down the coastal road from downtown Cozumel. Make your way to the park whenever you’d like—it’s open from 9am to 6pm—and stay all day if you’d like. Have a blast with family and friends, using your day pass to enjoy a range of exciting activities for all ages. With several day pass options (see descriptions below), you’ll find everything you need for a fun-filled, carefree day!Explore the water park, which boasts more than 20 attractions. Let the kids go wild at Buccaneer’s Bay or swim in a lagoon pool full of fun activities, including a pirate ship, water cannons, water sprays and animal slides. Jump into the Oasis Island pool and hydro-massage tub or make a splash on the 200-foot-long (60-meter-long) Twin Twister waterslides. Enjoy the best of the Caribbean at the famous beach park, an ideal place to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the sea, sunbathe on the white-sand beach and have a blast in the Floating Park—an amazing floating circuit packed with adrenaline-filled fun! Whenever you're ready, make your way back to your hotel, enjoying the day at your own pace and on your own time.Option 1: Day PassYour entrance ticket includes access to lounge chairs, hammocks, underwater Mayan city, organized games, kids’ club, playground, kayaks, paddleboats, Hobie cats, beach volleyball, a large shopping area and more. (Food, drinks, massage, snorkel gear rental and motorized water toys are available for an additional fee.)Option 2: Day Pass with BuffetYour entrance ticket includes all of the above plus a self-service international buffet with green and Caesar salads, fresh fruit, BBQ chicken, Veracruz-style fish fillet, roasted suckling pig, meatloaf, beef fajitas, hot dogs, Mexican rice, chilaquiles in mole sauce, chili beans, refried beans, bread, mashed potatoes, zucchini au gratin, tortilla chips, salsas, mac and cheese, French fries, flavored water, Jell-O, cookies and soft-serve ice cream. (Note: Menu is subject to change without prior notice.)Option 3: Day Pass with Buffet and Open BarYour entrance ticket includes all of the above plus a national open bar: house wine, draft beer, tequila, mezcal, brandy, rum, vodka, margaritas, piña coladas, rum punch, daiquiris, juice, soft drinks, coffee and bottled water. (Note: Shots are not available.)Please note: if you have chosen an option that includes transportation, please enter your hotel or cruise ship details in the "Special Requirements" box on the checkout page.
Viator Exclusive: Chapultepec Castle Early Access
Start your tour at Chapultepec Park, the largest city park in the world and take a train up to the top of Chapultepec Hill and reach Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec). With this Viator Exclusive, you'll arrive as one of the first visitors of the day to explore the 12 halls of the 18th-century castle and enjoy the rooms and exhibits without being jostled by crowds. During your 2-hour tour, wander through sun-lit halls, up and down marble staircases and into Neoclassical-style apartments. Hear about Chapultepec’s origins as a retreat for Aztec rulers before it was partially destroyed and rebuilt into the home of Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg. It then served as the residence for Mexico’s presidents before most of the castle was converted into the National History Museum. The exhibits trace the country’s history, from the pre-Columbian era through Spanish colonialism, to Mexico’s revolution and its independence.Admire the state carriages of Benito Juárez and Emperor Maximilian, and learn the stories behind the sculptures and busts of historical figures. See the sword wielded by independence fighter José María Morelos and gaze at murals of battles painted by famous artists, including José Clemente Orozco, John O'Gorman and David Alfaro Siqueiros.After the castle, purchase lunch at a local spot offering sandwiches, salads, and traditional dishes like chapatas and chilaquiles, along with coffee and tea.Refueled, head to another section of Chapultepec Park and arrive at the world-class National Museum of Anthropology, the city’s most-visited museum spanning nearly 20 acres (8 hectares). Opened in 1964, the museum houses the largest collection of traditional Mexican art in the world. Over the course of 2.5 hours, your guide takes you on an informative journey through the exhibits, showing you only the most impressive sites. Marvel at the Aztec Stone of the Sun, and the Olmec carved heads, uncovered deep in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz. Learn about the different cultural regions and indigenous groups that gave rise to this diverse capital city.Your 6-hour tour ends in the afternoon so you have the rest of your day to enjoy at your leisure.
Combo Tour: Cozumel Island
Board your air-conditioned coach at a central location in Playa Mia and relax on the 20-minute drive. Your first stop is Hacienda Antigua, where you’ll take a fun tequila tour. Learn about the extraction process, the proper way to taste the iconic Mexican alcohol, and receive tips on how to identify the good stuff from the rest. Then it’s bottom’s up!After your 15-minute tour, hop aboard your comfortable coach and head to the western side of Cozumel on a scenic drive. Take in the Caribbean views from Cozumel’s uninhabited side, making a quick stop en route at El Mirador — a vista point with fantastic photo ops. When you’ve completed your route around the island, arrive at Playa Mia Grand Beach and Water Park for about two hours of fun in the sun.Enjoy the best of Cozumel at this top-notch facility, which offers a range of activities for all ages. This famous beach park is the ideal place to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, sunbathe on the white-sand beach and have a blast in the pools at the water park. Take the kids to Buccaneer’s Bay with a lagoon pool, which includes a pirate ship, water canons, water sprays and animal slides. Make a splash on the 200-foot (61-meter) long Twin Twister waterslides, check out the Floating Park or head to the underwater Mayan city.With unlimited non-alcoholic beverages from the still drinks fountain included, relax with your favorite drink at the Oasis Island pool and Hydro-massage tub. When you’re hungry, enjoy an international buffet at La Velaria Restaurant, where you’ll find a variety of salads, side dishes, entrées such as Veracruz-style fish fillet, roasted suckling pig, barbecue chicken and beef fajitas, and last but not least, dessert.After Playa Mia, take a short ride to Discover Mexico Park, where you’ll spend about 45 minutes. During a four-screen video-collage presentation of Mexico’s culture and history, enjoy lively and rousing images from all over the country, including the Riviera Maya, Oaxaca and Chihuahua. Explore the on-site Museum of Popular Art and follow the architectural evolution of Mexico as you walk through replicas of Chichén Itzá, other Aztec and Mayan pyramids, monuments built during the Spanish colonial era and the elegant boulevard of Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma.Your tour ends with drop-off in the late afternoon at the original departure point.
Mexico City Food and Local Markets Walking Tour
Meet your local guide in the morning at Cafe Triana, located inside the lively San Juan Mercado de Especialidades (San Juan Market), and begin your culinary adventure with a steaming cup of organic coffee from Veracruz. Cafe Triana is frequented by famous chefs, and the coffee served here has won European awards.Then follow your guide through the maze of winding stalls that make up San Juan Market, renowned for foods one doesn't ordinarily find elsewhere. Marvel at the array of exotic delicacies piled on counters row after row — quail, imported crocodile, wild boar and creatures of the sea, including stingray, eel and freshwater gar. Sample Mexican crackling, grasshopper, river shrimp and the edible flower, and return to familiar ground with gourmet cheeses. The stalls you visit, including Cevicheria el Puerto de Alvarado and Gastronómica San Juan, have been carefully chosen by your guide to provide you with a wide range of Mexican cuisine, considered a UNESCO World Heritage since 2010. Meet stall owners, hear about their backgrounds and listen to how they prepare their specialties from scratch.Afterward, walk a short distance to Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela (Artisan Market), which offers the city’s largest selection of wares.Find beautiful handcrafted goods from all over Mexico, including Talavera pottery, silverware, leather belts, tile-encased mirrors, papier-mâché skeletons, guitars, rugs and lacquered trays from Olinalá. Your guide introduces you to artisans and traders from select booths, who share with you where their goods come from and how they are made.Your all-in-one culinary and cultural tour complete, take the afternoon to further explore the food and market stalls recommended by your guide.
Veracruz Combo Tour: La Antigua, San Juan de Ulúa and Veracruz City Sightseeing
Your Veracruz combo tour begins with pickup from your hotel, followed by the drive to La Antigua, about 20 miles (30 km) up the coast.With your guide, tour the small, tree-lined town, learning about its history as the first Spanish settlement in Mexico. See its main attractions such as La Casa del Cabildo (one of the oldest Spanish structures still standing in Mexico), the first Catholic church in the Americas, and the house of the 16th-century Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés.Back in your minivan, return to Veracruz to visit San Juan de Ulúa, a fortress that dates back to 1565. Situated along a peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Mexico, the complex once served as a prison and then a presidential residence. Today, it's a museum where you can learn about its role in several major events in Mexico’s history.After your tour of San Juan de Ulúa, return once more to your minivan to start your sightseeing tour of Veracruz. You’ll have a break to get lunch (own expense) and then start the panoramic city tour which covers Veracruz’s top landmarks, including the Old Customs Building, Postal and Telegraph buildings, the Santiago Bulwark (defense wall) and the train station.You'll also visit the beautiful Zocalo, Veracruz’s main plaza, home to the Municipal Palace and the city’s 18th-century cathedral. From there, take a walk on the malecón to enjoy views of the Gulf of Mexico, and enjoy a drive through the neighboring port city Boca del Río to see its upscale hotels.You’ll be dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour.
Veracruz Combo Tour: La Antigua, Cempoala and Quiahuiztlan Ruins
Your day trip from Veracruz begins with hotel pickup by minivan for the approximate 45-mile (75-km) drive up the coast to Quiahuiztlan. When you arrive, walk around the archaeological ruins, set on a hill with beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico. During its time as part of the Tlaxcala confederation, the site was home to Totanac temples, plazas and a ballcourt. See what remains and learn about their significance from your guide.Back in your minivan, head south about 20 miles (30 km) to the archaeological site of Cempoala. Admire its ruins, including the Templo del Dios del Viento y la Cruz (God of Winds Temple and the Cross), Templo Mayor (Major Temple), Templo de las Chimeneas (Temple of the Chimneys) and Circulo de los Gladiadores (Circle of the Gladiators).From your guide, hear about Cempoala's Mesoamerican history — from its time as the capital of the Totanac Empire to its invasion by the Aztecs — and learn about the source of its name, which means ‘twenty waters.’ Then re-board your minivan for the drive to your final stop, La Antigua, about 20 minutes south. When you arrive in La Antigua, the first town the Spanish settled in Mexico, enjoy lunch (own expense) at Las Delicias del Mar, a local eatery. Then wander the small, tree-filled town with your guide, checking out its main attractions like La Casa del Cabildo (one of the oldest Spanish buildings still standing in Mexico); Ermita del Rosario (the first Catholic church in the Americas); and the 16th-century house of Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés, who led the invasion of the Aztec Empire.Your tour ends with a final drive back to your Veracruz hotel.