Basílica del Carmen


Resplendent in blue and white on Catemaco’s zócalo, this church was named a basilica (ie a church with special ceremonial rights) in 1961, due primarily to its position as a pilgrimage site for the Virgen del Carmen. It's said she appeared to a fisherman in a cave by Laguna Catemaco in 1664, in conjunction with a volcanic eruption. A couple of statues of the virgin, whose feast day is July 16, reside in the church.

The intricately decorated interior and splendid stained glass of the church belie its modernity; the current building only dates from 1953, though it looks at least a century older.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Veracruz attractions

1. Laguna Encantada

5.86 MILES

The ‘Enchanted Lagoon’ occupies a small volcanic crater 3.5km northeast of San Andrés in jungle-like terrain. A dirt road goes there, but no buses do…

2. Cerro de Venado

6.49 MILES

This 23-hectare reserve, which was created in 2009 with the planting of thousands of trees, is 2.5km from Laguna Encantada on the road to Ruíz Cortines…

3. Salto de Eyipantla

6.84 MILES

Twelve kilometers southeast of San Andrés, in the eponymous village, a 250-step staircase leads down to the absolutely spectacular Salto de Eyipantla, a…

4. Santa Clara Cigar Factory

7.49 MILES

Watch as the torcedores (cigarmakers) speedily hand roll and finish puros at this cigar factory, on the highway, a block or so from the bus station…

5. Ruíz Cortines

7.67 MILES

Tucked at the base of Volcán San Martín, an hour north of San Andrés Tuxtla, this little village has installed very rustic cabañas (M$450) and offers…

6. La Barra

12.3 MILES

The small fishing village of La Barra, with its pleasant beach overlooking the Laguna Sontecomapan, can be reached by a lancha from Sontecomapan (M$650…

7. Playa Escondida

12.72 MILES

This is probably the single best beach in the whole state, but it's not an easy one to access. Turn off the main road onto a dirt road just before…

8. Museo Tuxteco

13.07 MILES

This small museum on Santiago Tuxtla's main plaza focuses on the pre-Columbian peoples that inhabited this region from 1600 BC to around AD 1200, with a…