Port of Veracruz

Founded by Hernan Cortez almost 500 years ago, this City and Gulf of Mexico Port, offers interesting history, rich traditions, and marvelous natural landscapes to its visitors. The Port of Veracruz faces the Gulf of Mexico.

History and modernity together welcome international and national tourists. The City and Port of Veracruz worth to be visited because of its interesting and historical sites like the 17th and 18th Century buildings, beautiful ecological surroundings, theaters, museums, expositions, but above all because of the warmth of its people, which have made this destination worldly recognized.

In 1525, the first settlement of Hernan Cortez was moved down from the Island of the Sacrifices to La Antigua, near the mouth of Rio Huitzilapan. Therefore Veracruz was from 1533 through 1599 in La Antigua. Here there are only ruins of the house of Cortez. However the first Catholic church called La Ermita del Rosario built in 1523, still can be visited.

The historic Fort of San Juan de Ulua witnessed the times of piracy and Inquisition. Although built in the 1500's, it was fortified by year 1635 to protect the port from enemies. As it served as a prison, its dungeons have 24 feet thick walls.

Veracruz features as well XIX century architecture that can be admired in the Square of the Republic, like the Old Custom House, the old train station, the post office, and the building of the civil registry.

In 1992, the largest Aquarium in Latin America opened its doors in a very tourist zone of the Port of Veracruz; it functions also as a marine research center and more than 2000 species of the Gulf of Mexico can be admired in its tank.

Most port's social life takes place around the coffee houses in and around Downtown, which are zones visited by tourists. To drink coffee and milk in these places has been a tradition since the first half of the XIX century. To call a waiter in this restaurants people clink spoons against glasses; it is a sound that identifies this part of Veracruz across Mexico.

The Island of the Sacrifices, where Veracuz was settled during the second half of the XVI century, offers today the possibility to practice diving and kayaking.

Perhaps one of the best beaches in the Port of Veraruz is Mocambo. It is ideal for water sports or just for relaxing and taking sunbaths.

Only 23 km south of the Port of Veracruz is Anton Lizardo, a beautiful beach with fine sand and smooth waves. This part of the sea houses the Veracruz Reef System.

Local people as well as tourists prefer Anton Lizardo to practice many different water activities, specially snorkeling and scuba diving due to the submarine beauties that can be found in the reef.

Veracruz has a strong musical tradition. Its origins are an ethnic fusion of different cultures including African, Native American, and Spanish.

Visiting the port allows to witness the importance that music has for the people of this part of Mexico.

By night, the popular dance known as Danzon is the star in this area. Brought to the city from Cuba in the 1870's, this dance is characterized by sensuous, yet elegant movements performed by the couple executing it. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular dance in the city, the country, and abroad. From 8:00 pm on, couples dancing Danzon can be seen in different squares in the downtown area; together, with different musical groups, they create a unique atmosphere that distinguish this city.

In Veracruz is located the house of the famou7s composer Agustin Lara, who married seven times and had enormous success from the 40's through the 60's and it is said that he never learned musical notation. He is the author of very famous songs like "Maria Bonita", "Granada", "Madrid", "Farolito" and of course "Veracruz".