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Travel in the State of Veracruz, Mexico?

Travel in the State of Veracruz, Mexico?

Old May 24, 19, 5:38 pm
  #1  
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Travel in the State of Veracruz, Mexico?

Marriott has just added some interesting Design Hotels in the State of Veracruz. This has me thinking about travel to this area, where I have never been. My first question is about travel. From San Diego, it is cost and schedule desirable to fly from Tijuana. We have a bridge across the border where we enter from the US side to get to the airport. The closest airport to Monte Gordo and San Rafael, where the two Design Hotels are, is PAZ. I can only find one flight a day from Mexico City. I have yet to find any thru pricing from TIJ.

I can fly to Veracruz, 3 1/2 hours from these hotels, or to Mexico City, 5 hours away. The price is comparable to either city. Any trip to Veracruz is a connection via Mexico City. What do you suggest, fly to Mexico City and drive or to Veracruz and drive?


Is Veracruz (the city) interesting? What do you suggest seeing there?

What is there is see and do in the State of Veracruz other than the beautiful beaches?

How is the safety in this area of Mexico?

Do you suggest driving ourselves or would you hire a driver?
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Old May 27, 19, 8:55 am
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Frankly and honestly, other than perhaps visiting Fortín de las Flores, known for its semitropical beauty and spas, I’d probably not visit Veracruz at this time.

Veracruz is very interesting from the perspective of culture and archaeological sites like El Tajín in the area of Papantla, a rich Totonaca cultural area of Mexico that includes the tradition of the Los Voladores dancers (a preColombian rite to abate drought of five men climbing a 100 foot pole, four tying themselves by vines - now ropes - and jumping off to be lowered to the earth while spinning upside down and unwinding the ropes as the fifth man dances and plays a small drum and whistle at the top of the pole). As the Voladores are usually seen during certain festive days, it’s easier to see them visiting much of the year “flying” in Tulúm, Quintana Roo. See below for photos. Papantla is the center of vanilla orchid growing and processing of vanilla.

There are lovely places like the resort of Fortín de las Flores, the tropical area of Lake Catemaco. The port of Veracruz is ancient and historical, has some interesting if not terribly unique or spectacular sights, and the beaches are - just okay. This is the Gulf of Mexico and it can remain shallow and a bit murky a long way out. It’s mostky lowlands, quite humid much of the year and subject to rain and hurricanes June-October. The best time to visit would be November through March, when it begins heating up.

That having been said, from current information Veracruz is currently terribly corrupt, the murder rate has skyrocketed as narcotrafficking gangs have fractured and are fighting each other for influence and territory; it’s currently uncomfortably unstable in significant parts of the state. New properties opening there were initially scoped and planned ~10 years ago, and under current conditions I doubt they’d be built.

At this time, other than maybe a trip to Fortín de las Flores for the semitropical spa and resort, I’d not recommend you visit Veracruz. There are places in Mexico I love but wouldn’t go - significant parts of Veracruz, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Acapulco and parts of Guerrero would be on my stay away list for a while.

Read https://worldview.stratfor.com/artic...s-cartels-2019

Illustrations:

City of Veracruz (fully Ciudad Heróica Veracruz, formerly Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz)
Fortín de las Flores
Lago Catemaco
El Tajín
Voladores de Papantla
Attached Images      
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Last edited by JDiver; May 27, 19 at 9:00 am
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Old May 27, 19, 12:39 pm
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Thank you for your thoughtful response. I shall put this trip aside.
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Old May 27, 19, 4:13 pm
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JDiver: New properties opening there were initially scoped and planned ~10 years ago, and under current conditions I doubt they’d be built..
I wondered about that when I saw that these were opening. It struck me as an unusual location.

JDiver: Acapulco and parts of Guerrero would be on my stay away list for a while
Same here. All the more reason I'm surprised AA will begin seasonal DFW-ACA service in December. (I was in Acapulco the year before last on a writing assignment. I felt uneasy there.)
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Old Jun 4, 19, 5:03 pm
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I've been in and out of Veracruz state (mostly, the Orizaba-Cordoba-Fortin region, but also to Veracruz city, Xico, and Coatepec) quite a bit since early 2018.

IMO, the city of Veracruz is awfully dull, but history buffs might like the San Juan de Ulua fort, right by the main port. The old downtown also has a decidedly Cuban influence. Good seafood, to be sure (but my vote for best overall shrimp dishes goes to Campeche).

Orizaba and Cordoba are where I've spent most of my time. Orizaba is a bustling city, formerly known for textiles and a French Intervention skirmish, that now has an aerial tramway, small riverside zoo, parks for children, and plenty of restaurants and markets. Cordoba, close by, is a traffic-laden mess. That area - including Fortin - is known for coffee and sugar cane. Brilliant limes, oranges, and pineapple, too.

Have driven quite a bit in the area, but have never felt unsafe. HOWEVER, the worst part about driving in Mexico - thus far - is the significant presence of trailers, and their extremely unpredictable (i.e. drug-influenced) tendencies. The main highway between CDMX and Veracruz goes through the sierra between Puebla and Veracruz states, so the road is windy, and often foggy. Combine that with tired truckers, and a lazy highway administration, and you've got a disaster-in-wait.
(Actually, to sum up the misery of driving overall in the country of Mexico, I'll say the three "t" combo of trailers, tollbooths, and topes (speedbumps) all vie for first place. Pipopes are also an abomination, but that's another thread...
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Old Jun 5, 19, 8:44 am
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Orizaba is interesting, and of course it shares its name with Pico de Orizaba / Citlaltépetl (from Nahuatl citlal(in) = star, and tepētl = mountain), the highest mountain in Mexico at 18,491 ft - 5,636 m above sea level on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla. “The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct, with the last eruption taking place during the 19th century. It is the second most prominent volcanic peak in the world after Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.” - Most taken from Wikipedia

I think that area is safer than some others, like Jalapa.

Córdoba was founded in colonial times and though at 2,680 feet - 817 m above mean sea level, is already in the warm, humid belt.

I’d add the road breakdowns to the hazards of driving: breakdowns marked only with rocks or a tree branch, which make driving at night especially hazardous. Those ad how markers are often left on the road when the broken down vehicle has been removed, leaving rocks or other obstructions in the roadway for other drivers to encounter.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post

I’d add the road breakdowns to the hazards of driving: breakdowns marked only with rocks or a tree branch, which make driving at night especially hazardous. Those ad how markers are often left on the road when the broken down vehicle has been removed, leaving rocks or other obstructions in the roadway for other drivers to encounter.
Yes...bad memories! Not to mention, people rarely looking before they cross the street/highway, and vendors selling everything...and perhaps even their charm to try to rob passengers (my girlfriend said that it had happened to her, I believe in Coatzacoalcos).

(As for topes, the village of Atasta, Campeche must hold the record for most topes per kilometer...)
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Old Jun 6, 19, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
(As for topes, the village of Atasta, Campeche must hold the record for most topes per kilometer...)
I disagree - I believe that honor belongs to Metepec, birthplace of topes and leading exporter of them around the world....
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Old Jun 6, 19, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
I disagree - I believe that honor belongs to Metepec, birthplace of topes and leading exporter of them around the world....
Let's visit each other's contestant and compare...personally, I look forward to checking out Metepec, since chorizo verde is so darn good!
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Old Jun 6, 19, 8:28 am
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sounds like a plan - I havent been to Campeche at all, will have to get my in-laws (Metepec) to schedule it for me next time I am there - hopefully for Xmas.
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