Located right along the Gulf of Mexico, about 5 hours away from Mexico City, is the stunning port city of Veracruz. The city is littered with fascinating historical sites, archaeological mysteries, and colonial charm. If history isn’t your thing, you’ll enjoy the warm sandy beaches, full of cheerful locals and tourists from around the world. It’s not quite off the beaten path, but the city of Veracruz is far from a cheesy tourist trap. You’ll just have to explore it yourself to see.
THE WEATHER IN VERACRUZ
Mexico, Veracruz Ver, Faro Venustiano Carranza,
The city of Veracruz is located within the State of Veracruz, which is located across a widely varied environmental terrain. A huge portion of the state, including the port city itself, experiences relatively moderate temperatures throughout the entire year. Temperatures in the city tend to be warm and humid, with temperatures averaging around 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 Fahrenheit) throughout the year.
Mexico, Veracruz, Amanecer, Vista al Faro Venustiano Carranza desde la ventana del Hotel Emporio
It is important to note that Veracruz, and the rest of Mexico, is prone to hurricanes. Hurricane season in that area tends to be between June and October, just after the rainy season ends. While hurricanes are closely monitored, some people prefer not to travel to Veracruz during this time.
Catedral de Centro de Veracruz, Plaza de Armas, Veracruz Ver.
The area is also prone to cold fronts, which can form any time of the year as cold air masses come up from the Polar Regions. They cold air meets the warm gulf wind and forms clouds and precipitation.
ETIQUETTE IN VERACRUZ
Veracruz, Veracruz – City Busses
When traveling in the city of Veracruz, or in any other area of Mexico, you should follow the same tipping standards you would throughout the rest of North America. Remember, though, that service employees in Mexico do not earn any type of base salary, as opposed to the meager base salaries earned in Canada or the United States. What you leave as a tip is the only income that person may receive.
Proper etiquette, however, dictates leaving your tip in Mexican currency, otherwise known as pesos. If you do not do so, the person you leave the tip for will have to have it exchanged at a bank or financial institution and may incur a processing charge.
El Barrio de La Huaca – Veracruz, Veracruz
Taxi drivers are part of a union, charge high fees, and usually include the tip in the charge. You do not need to tip a taxi driver unless he goes above and beyond the call of duty for you.
Centro Comercial Plaza de las Americas, Boca del Rio, Veracruz
Make sure you tip about 15-20% of the bill before tax in any restaurant. If you see the word “propina,” the tip has already been included in your bill. You will usually only see this if you are a part of a large dining party.
WHAT TO SEE IN VERACRUZ
Templo de la Santa Veracruz – Toluca, State of Mexico
Believe it or not, the city of Veracruz is actually a combination of two smaller towns – Veracruz and Boca del Rio. They combined into one city, focusing in the center on a 6 mile stretch of land filled with businesses to attract tourists. The Veracruz section of the city is a bit more elegant while the Boca del Rio section of the city focuses on the beaches and beach life.
Beach at our rv park just east of Veracruz
When you get to Veracruz, start your trip with a visit to the Acuario de Veracruz. It is considered the biggest and best aquarium in all of Latin America. You’ll see more than 2,000 different marine species, all of which are native to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as several other exhibits showcasing species from around the world. If you’re brave, you can even take a dive into the aquarium immersion tank to play with the sharks.
The Museo Historico Naval was once the building several navy officers had to call home. Inside you’ll learn about the history of the country’s navy, including four significant battles fought at the port to protect Mexico from the French and the Americas. The only drawback here is that the materials provided for explanation are only offered in Spanish.
A boat in the Naval Museum
If you’re looking for a bit of traditional entertainment, head towards Parque Zamora. Men and women elaborately dressed in traditional garb dance around an old-school Victorian bandstand. The sight alone is magnificent and, you never know, you might just be inspired to join in.
The city of Veracruz is charming in its own right. Book a hotel in Veracruz, pack your bags, and prepare to explore one of the most active sea ports in the entire country. Don’t forget your bathing suit, either. You’ll want to spend some time on the beaches in between excursions into the city.