Veracruz
Archaeology

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Our most recommended Veracruz Archaeology

From Veracruz: Tajin Day Trip with Vanilla Factory Visit

1. From Veracruz: Tajin Day Trip with Vanilla Factory Visit

Discover the pre-Hispanic City of “El Tajín”. During this guided tour, you will be able to admire the impressive architecture of the Totonac city north of Veracruz. Its interesting architecture consists of pyramids, palaces, and several ball game courts. Explore the sites' museum, exhibiting pieces found in the area, as well as a pleasant garden with tropical plants. At the end of the visit, you can enjoy the fabulous pre-Hispanic ritual “Los Voladores de Papantla” or “Dance of the Flyers” and buy typical crafts of the region. You will also visit a factory where you'll see the vanilla plantations and how this orchid is processed. The plant is native to this region, and at one time, the municipality of Papantla was the only place in the world where vanilla could be produced — gaining the name “The city that perfumes the world”.

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From Veracruz: Quiahuiztlan, Cempoala & La Antigua Tour

2. From Veracruz: Quiahuiztlan, Cempoala & La Antigua Tour

Learn about the history of Mexico on a guided day tour. Your tour includes three major sites. Quiahuiztlán, which means “place of the rain,” is named due to the natural runoff in the hilltop of Metates, resembling petrified rain in basaltic rock. It was simultaneously a city, cemetery, and fort. In addition, you will get to explore the site considered the capital of the Totonac Empire, Cempoala. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in the center of the state. The town of Antigua is historically important as it was the site of the first encounter between Spanish and Indians. Here you will visit the ruins of the Cortes house and the Rosary chapel, the first Catholic chapel in Mexico.

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From Veracruz: Catemaco, Nature, Waterfalls & Monkeys Tour

3. From Veracruz: Catemaco, Nature, Waterfalls & Monkeys Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Veracruz at 8 AM and take a 2.5-hour drive to Santiago Tuxtla. First, pay a visit to the largest Olmec Stone Head in the region. After marveling at this colossal object, take a 20-minute drive to the Santa Clara cigar factory for a 1-hour tour. Learn about the step-by-step process of making 100% handmade cigars. Next, set off to Eyipantla, where you will find El Salto de Eyipantla, a spectacular waterfall which is more than 50 m high and 40 m wide. Explore this Tuxtla Biosphere Reserve, and enjoy direct contact with nature while you descend the 244-step staircase that takes you to the waterfall. Don't worry, every 15 steps there is a space to rest. When you reach the bottom, be amazed by the magnitude of the crashing water and enjoy a packed lunch (not provided) amongst mulatto trees and fauna of this region. Finally, visit Catemaco, a village next to the magnificent lagoon which is home to shamans, sorcerers, and healers. Enjoy a boat ride through the lagoon, visiting the spider monkey island, macaque island, and heron island. At the end of the day, take a 3-hour return drive back to Veracruz where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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From Veracruz: Xalapa, Xico & Coatepec Culture & Coffee Tour

4. From Veracruz: Xalapa, Xico & Coatepec Culture & Coffee Tour

Start the tour at 8 AM where you will be picked up from the lobby of your hotel in Veracruz, then travel to Xalapa for 1.5-hours. When you arrive, gain an introduction to the city known as a 'pueblos mágicos', and learn everything you wanted to know about the famous local coffee known as 'veracruzano'. Find out why the city was named 'The Flowers City' due to its gardens and fog, and is also known as 'Atenas Veracruzana' due to its culture and history. Then, visit the Anthropological Museum of Xalapa which contains the 2nd most important prehispanic Mesoamérica collections in the world including Olmeca, Totonaca, and Huasteca objects. After this, stop in El Lencero Hacienda, an old building full of colonial-era furniture, objects, and utensils set amongst stunning gardens and courtyards. Next, visit the villages of Xico and Coatepec, which have also both been appointed as 'pueblos mágicos' as part of a Federal program that recognizes cultural, gastronomic, and artistic traditions. Find out how Xico is known for its fiestas patronales, traditions, and delicious local dishes such as 'mole'. Also visit the famous Cascada de Texolo, surrounded by growth. Finally, discover why Coatepec is famous for its world-famous coffee on a visit to the coffee museum. Learn about the process of making coffee from bean to cup, as well as gaining an understanding for the traditions and culture that surrounds drinking it. At the end of the tour, return to Veracruz where you will be dropped off back at your hotel.

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Xalapa, Xico, & Coatepec: Coffee Circuit Day-Trip

5. Xalapa, Xico, & Coatepec: Coffee Circuit Day-Trip

Make the first stop at the El Lencero hacienda, an old farm and plantation house with 500 years of history and constantly changing owners, among them Antonio López de Santa Anna. Continue on to Xalapa, where you can choose to visit the 2nd largest anthropology museum in the country. Learn about the wealth of the 3 cultures that originate from the region including the Olmec, Totonac, and Huastec peoples. Or visit the Coffee Museum in Coatepec. Learn about the region's coffee history and take the opportunity to taste a natural coffee cup. Continue the tour through coffee plantations on the way to Downtown Coatepec, known for its exceptional coffee production. Continue to Downtown Xico, characterized as a colonial village with stone walkways and ancient houses. Finally, arrive at the Texolo Waterfall just outside Xico. See the water from 2 viewpoints.

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From Veracruz: San Juan de Ulua Prison Tour

6. From Veracruz: San Juan de Ulua Prison Tour

Start the tour at 12:30 PM and set off for the fortress. When you arrive, begin the experience in a colorful tram ride, which will take you to San Juan de Ulúa. Upon arrival, a certified tour guide will be waiting for you to share the incredible facts of this fortress. From the first step you make in the fortress, you will feel as if you travel through time, as you begin to explore this incredible building which hides more than 500 years of history. Find out how, at first, the place was a sacred temple where the natives venerated their gods prior to the Spanish conquest. Years later, the Spanish conquistadors built the fort and a pier, galleons that came from Europe, becoming a gateway to Mexico. Later, it became the most feared prison in Mexico, where the legends of Chucho "El Roto" and "Mulata de Cordoba" were created. Before the tour ends, see the port of Veracruz from the San Juan de Ulúa fortress and take incredible photos, so that you can take great memories of this historic place home with you. Take the tram back at around 3 PM. The tour ends at 3:30 PM in Aquarium Plaza.

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From Veracruz: Tajin & Papantla Archaeological Zone Tour

7. From Veracruz: Tajin & Papantla Archaeological Zone Tour

Start the tour with pick up at your hotel at 8 AM and travel for 3.5 hours to the archaeological zone. Arrive at the most important ceremonial center of the Totonaca peoples, the archaeological area of El Tajín which combines history, knowledge, and beauty in one setting. Next, admire the pre-colonial buildings in the middle of the jungle including a palace, temple, and soccer fields. Marvel at the amazing pyramid of Los Nichos which is considered to be an agricultural, civic, and sun calendar, due to its 7 levels and 365 niches. After this, continue the tour to Papantla, also known as Pueblo Mágico, located a few kilometers away in Totonacapan. This place is where vanilla originates from and where local men performed fertility rituals. Learn about how the precolonial and Spanish melting pot of cultures led to the mixing of folklore and taste; a heritage that still lives on in the region. Explore the historical center of Papantla and take in panoramic views of Papantla from the observation deck. Return to Veracruz at 6 PM where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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From Veracruz: Los Tuxtlas Wildlife and Culture Guided Tour

8. From Veracruz: Los Tuxtlas Wildlife and Culture Guided Tour

Explore the rich history and beautiful scenery around Veracruz on a guided tour. Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in Veracruz or Boca del Río. Travel back in time with a guided tour of Tres Zapotes archaeological zone. Admire the ruins of this ancient civilization as you wander between the pyramid and structures of the Olmec capital. Continue to the city of Santiago Tuxtla, where you’ll see the largest Olmec colossal heads in Mexico. Visit the Museo Tuxtleco to learn more about the region’s pre-Columbian heritage. Head to Catemaco for a boat trip on the lake, and observe the rich wildlife as you pass Monkey Island and Heron Island. Afterwards, visit the Reserva Ecológica De Nanciyaga, to discover the area’s biodiversity. At the end of the tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel.

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From Veracruz: Xalapa Heritage Tour with Anthropology Museum

9. From Veracruz: Xalapa Heritage Tour with Anthropology Museum

Take a guided tour from Veracruz to explore the culture and heritage of Xalapa and the surrounding area. Visit a colonial estate and walk the streets of the historic center. Start your experience with pickup at your hotel in Veracruz, and head towards Xalapa. Stop along the way at Museo El Lencero, an old colonial plantation. Wander through the gardens and admire the elegant architecture. Continue to Xalapa and enjoy a panoramic tour of the city center. Wander down quiet streets, see beautiful buildings, and visit the government palace and the cathedral. Enter the Museo de Antropología de Xalapa, the city’s anthropological museum. Discover the rich heritage of the region’s three pre-Columbian cultures. Learn about the history of the Olmeca, Totonaca, and Huasteca civilizations.

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From Veracruz: Guided Tour of Region's Landmarks and Relics

10. From Veracruz: Guided Tour of Region's Landmarks and Relics

Start the tour at 8:00 AM with a convenient pickup from your hotel. Drive 1.5 hours to Quiahuiztlan, a city famed for its deep history of Totonac culture. Take time to admire the city’s unique landscape, structures, and cemeteries. See the city’s mall before moving onto the next destination. Visit Cempoala, a Mesoamerican archeological site in Úrsulo Galván for an informative guided tour. With its many outstanding gardens, lush vegetation, and relics, the history of the site will truly be all around you. Next, go back in time in La Antigua, where Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés founded the first city hall in the New World. See Mexico's first chapel and visit the grounds of Cortés's house, originally built in the 16th century. Made with river stone and coral, the building is now covered by centuries-old trees making for a fascinating sight. Enjoy the spectacular landscape and phenomenal views on offer before ending the tour with a drop-off at your hotel at 5:00 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Veracruz

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