THE HUASTECAS AND THEIR OUTSTANDING BEAUTY

 

A center of Mexican jungle beauty, the Huasteca region offers everything from pure nature – like the Sótano de las Golondrinas (Swallow’s Cave, a vertical cave populated by birds) – to modern places like Tampico, where local economy and tradition meet, and also through custom from Veracruz or Tamaulipas and gastronomy from Hidalgo.

Destinations that make up the Route

PUERTO DE VERACRUZ

 

TAJIN

 
       

The most important maritime commercial port in Mexico has represented, for centuries, the entrance to the Americas. It is an essential place for people who are passionate about history, who must visit the prison of San Juan de Ulúa, full of legends, and a nearby little town where the ruins of the Conquistador Hernán Cortes’ house are found. The white walls, the coffee aroma and the marimba sounds in the pier steal sighs from visitors. In addition to its famous coffee houses, the culinary offer from Boca del Río stands out.

 

This is the ancient capital of the Totonac state, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose names means “City of Thunder” in the original language. The niche pyramid, emblematic of the site, is a Pre-Hispanic piece of astronomical connotations and great construction merit. Each March, the Cumbre Tajín takes place, a festival that celebrates Pre-Hispanic identity and heritage. Around the archaeological site, vendors offer fresh vanilla and handicrafts.

 

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PAPANTLA

 

CIUDAD VALLES

 

Many travelers who only go to Tajín make the mistake of missing out on this Pueblo Magico. The parish of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, the monument to the volador (person who flies), and its markets – where you can taste dishes like the delicious zacahuil – in addition to its lovely streets, are places where you can spend an unforgettable afternoon. At the town hall, it is possible to hire the services of a local guide: they know every corner of the town and its surroundings, such as household vanilla plantations or ranches like El Gaya, where you can buy natural vanilla.

 

At the banks of the Valles river, a tributary of the Panuco, this important agricultural and livestock center has attractive tourist services, like the ecological reserve Abra-Tanchipa, rich in caves and basements, and where it is possible to practice activities such as kayaking and rafting. Its exuberant vegetation and intense humidity explain the buoyant flora that stands out in the streets and around them. In neighboring areas, there are rivers and waterfalls – like Micos – that are worth visiting, as well as other water bodies that the Huasteca has to offer.

 

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TAMPICO

 

HUASTECA POTOSINA

 

Framed by an imposing bridge, Tampico is characterized by a neoclassical architecture similar to that found in New Orleans, and also by its rich gastronomy. On Juarez street, there are handicrafts based on the city’s motto: “historical and maritime”. The visitor can explore Colonial places such as the Plaza de Armas and the Inmaculada Concepción cathedral, or modern structures like the Espacio Cultural Metropolitano (Metropolitan Cultural Space). And for those interested in ecotourism, the nearby Del Carpintero lagoon is refuge for several bird species.

 

In addition to waterfalls, rivers and lagoons formed by the warmth and humidity of this region, this place is home to places with unbelievable natural landscapes, like the Sótano de las Golondrinas (Swallow’s Basement), the most beautiful vertical cave in the world, where various types of birds nest. And what can we say about Xilitla? This is the small town where the surrealist artist Sir Edward James, a friend of Salvador Dalí’s, created structures that are apparently absurd but which blend into nature in a welcoming manner.

 

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POZA RICA

 

PACHUCA

 

Poza Rica enjoys a privileged climate, with annual average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (around 75 ºF). This is the departing place for the routes that lead the traveler towards the Huasteca and archaeological sites in the state. For the more adventurous, rafting in the Filobobos river is a very attractive option. The mural on the façade at the Municipal Palace, created by Pablo O’Higgins, is of breathtaking manufacture, and at Juárez Park, you can dance danzon every Thursday. In March, the Carnaval del Petróleo (Petroleum Carnival) takes place, an ideal moment to taste local dishes.

 

The legacy of the Industrial Revolution is still evident in this city’s streets. The excavation tradition that arrived with the English during the second half of the 19th Century can be seen in the Miner Museum, while the Barreteros Market is full of local handicrafts and delicious options for tasting barbacoa, the state’s specialty. The clock that commemorates the first anniversary of the Independence is the culminating place of La Bella Airosa (the city’s nickname, meaning elegant and beautiful), which can be contemplated in its totality from the viewpoint on the road to Real del Monte.

 

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REAL DEL MONTE

 

TOTONACA REGION

 

This is one of the highest places inhabited in the Mexican Republic. Its cold climate and mountain vegetation are a special touch for the English style architecture that prevails in this Pueblo Magico. Only 10 minutes away from Pachuca, this picturesque town, where the first soccer game in Mexico was played, is also the birthplace of the traditional paste. The Acosta mine is one of the most emblematic in the region, and a visit to the Mineral del Chico National Park, a few kilometers away, is also worth a visit, somewhere ideal for camping and hiking.

 

This fragrant territory, where good-smelling vanilla is cultivated, is rich in culture, nature and history: it will win over anyone who visits it. The archaeological site of El Tajín houses imposing and beautiful Pre-Hispanic constructions; Papantla is a Pueblo Mágico famous because of the ritual by the adventurous voladores (flyers); Costa Esmeralda has beautiful beaches with blue-green waters; and the Filibobos river is ideal for lovers of adventure tourism. All this, without mentioning the gastronomic offer, which includes both fresh seafood (chilpachole de acamayas is a delicacy) and sweets like cocadas, or tortilla chips with panela cheese.

 

 

 

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Route experiences


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States that make up

Baja California

This is the land of Tijuana, the most vibrant border city in Mexico; Ensenada, a very popular port for fishing aficionados; and Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), a region of clay and loam soils, with extravagant white rocks, where vineyards are grown, drinks get better and better, and food is wonderful. You must drive a car to explore the surprises that each one of the wineries holds, where the traveler will find signature wines, enchanting small hotels and the best restaurants in the country.

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Baja California Sur

One of the best tourist developments in Mexico is located on the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. This is a place where Hollywood stars come for vacations, because of the quality of their hotels and the service. The contrast between the desert and the sea is dazzling. But that is not all; this is the place for world-class spas and golf courses. Since the times of John Wayne and Ernest Hemingway, fishing has also been one of the biggest attractions of this area in Mexico.

states