According to the singer Agustín Lara, Veracruz is “a little corner where the waves make their nest”. Walking through the port is doing it to the rhythm of the marimba, like this until you reach Alvarado, one of the most representative cities of the Sotavento.
The ports have something of nostalgia, perhaps because of that constant sight of seeing the ships leave. However, Veracruz is overflowing with joy and has always prided itself on being the capital of music. It has been a refuge for artists such as Celia Cruz, Beny Moré and Pérez Prado.
The Plaza Mayor or Zócalo is the most representative symbol of the area’s way of life, in the surroundings that draw the Cathedral and the Municipal Palace , zapateado dancers, danzoneros and soneros jarochos are installed. Around cafes and confectioneries welcome visitors to the beat of the marimba.
A sonero tour of this city should include a visit to the Agustín Lara House Museum , known as La Casita Blanca , where graphic and musical memories and belongings of the most famous jarocho singer, also known as El Flaco de Oro , are exhibited . In addition, bohemian Wednesdays are held here.
La Bamba, La Chuchena and El Zapateado are some of the most renowned Jarocho sounds and had the city of Alvarado as the cradle of their ingenuity. The House of Culture was home to the musician and composer Narciso Serra , author of La Golondrina. It exhibits photographs of the old Alvarado, musical instruments and archaeological pieces found in the Totonac culture area.
To have contact with nature, you must visit the mangrove reserve, highlighting for its beauty the Laguna de Mandinga and the Lagunar de Alvarado System , the second largest in the state, with abundant red mangroves.
This area is the only place in Veracruz that is home to manatees. There are boat tours through a landscape of palm trees, migratory birds and precious wood trees. Sport and night fishing are two activities that are carried out, either from the boardwalk, in a boat on the banks of the river or in the open sea.
It is said that Agustín Lara was born here so his steps resonate everywhere. There is a statue in his honor and a House Museum donated by the wife of El Flaco de Oro. Even a private initiative: a mini-zoological museum was installed on a family farm that, in addition to various animals, has a room dedicated in his honor.
Continue your way to Otatitlán , to get an idea of the fandango of this area it is best to visit its House of Culture where there is an open-air theater. It also houses guitar, harp and jarana workshops. But the most important tourist attraction here is its majestic Cathedral and its tower that can be seen before entering the town. On the main altar there is a singular black Christ.
Now you can take a tour of La Antigua, which was the first existing city in the country, is on the banks of the Huitzilapan river and shelters ancient trees, walls, ruins and medieval architecture. There is a property that, it is rumored, was the house of Hernán Cortés.
It is not only music and bastions, it is also a beach! The Costa Smeralda is a 20-kilometer strip of toasted sand beaches and green waters. Activities such as snorkeling and fishing can be done. Less than an hour from the port is Playa Chachalacas with a calm sea and spectacular dunes where motocross is practiced.
Day 2. Tlacotalpan
It is a city of colorful houses. The tour could start with Plaza Zaragoza and its marble benches. On its sides you will find the Church of San Cristóbal, with an English clock. There is also the Chapel of Our Lady of Candelaria, with a coral stone dome.
Day 3. Alvarado
Antón Lizardo’s battery is a fort on the Veracruz river of Alvarado. It was ordered to be built after the taking of Havana by the English in 1762. It has an area of 522 square meters with an irregular bastioned plan.
- The historic center of Veracruz is very well known on a tourist tram that leaves every day from the boardwalk.
- The Veracruz Viajes agency conducts tours to La Antigua and Chachalacas.
- The Alvadoran menu, served in Alvarado, includes arroz a la tumbada, coconut candy, and guava empanadas.
Where to eat
The Great Coffee of the Parroquia
Insurgentes Veracruzanos 340, Centro, Veracruz.
T. 01 229 932 1855
Km 2 Federal Highway Alvarado – Paso del Toro, Del
T. 01 297 973 3036
Where to sleep
Av. Las Américas 241, Boca del Río, Veracruz,
T. 01229 923 0570
Posada Doña Lala
Venustiano Carranza 11, Tlacotalpan
T. 01 288 884 2455
Sánchez Tagle 973, April 21, Veracruz.
T. 01229 150 8316.