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





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.










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.










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.









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.









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.





Route experiences

Go to R4


States that make up

Distrito Federal

Everything comes together in this huge city, the oldest in the American continent: Colonial buildings, Pre-Hispanic vestiges, and the whirl of contemporary living. The variety of cultural spaces and heritage sites has given it a cosmopolitan nature. Neighborhoods – all different – offer bohemian, sophisticated, fun, and educational experiences, as well as much more. And exploring the Centro Historico (downtown area), where everything began, is undoubtedly something you cannot miss. In the range of possibilities in Distrito Federal, there are also rural areas: capsules of peaceful green like those offered by tours around Xochimilco canals.


In the discreet but very beautiful capital of the state of Tlaxcala, travelers can enjoy a relaxed Colonial ambiance, with gastronomy that rescues the best from the land: corn, nopal (cactus), green tomatoes and species from the region are the basis of a series of dishes whose only theme in common is that they could all appear in a Mexican recipe book: escamoles, huitlacoche, mixiotes, barbacoa, quesadillas, and naturally, mole for festive days (all this accompanied by delicious freshly-made tortillas).



Among Colonial buildings, boutique hotels and churches (so many that they have lost count), Puebla vibrates thanks to its cultural, artistic and commercial life. The birthplace of mole (or at least one of them) offers the traveler a large number of restaurants where to taste it; and also, the incomparable chiles en nogada (a stuffed chili covered in cashew sauce, another dish that is registered by the city). Before you leave, you must visit the Barrio del Artista, the workshops, shops and restaurants at Container City, in Cholula, and naturally, the former Santa Rosa convent.



“You’re going to have some amazing meals” is the first thing you hear when plan on travelling to Oaxaca, and then the endless suggestions of restaurants, markets and diners where you can try the best black mole, the crunchiest chapulines (edible crickets) or the biggest tlayudas. Much later, you will hear suggestions about visiting the archaeological sites of Monte Albán and Mitla, the central valley towns where you can purchase handicrafts, the southern beaches where you can catch the best waves for surfing, and art galleries in the capital.