Xalapa, a picturesque city set in the coffee-growing country of the Mexican state of Veracruz, is a favorite with both Mexican and international visitors.
From most parts of the city you can enjoy the view of the nearby snow capped Pico the Orizaba.
Xalapa, seat of the State Government, is nestled in the hills a 1,586 mosl above the Gulf of Mexico and an hour and a half away from the historic port of Veracruz. Xalapa has a temperate climate, with an average temperature of 64.4º F (18º C). You will love the romantic atmosphere on the narrow streets of the city on misty nights.
Xalapa, a word which comes from xallapam, a nahuatl compound word meaning “Spring in the sand”, was originally a market town along the Spanish route to Mexico City. While you will still find traditional outdoor markets – which are particularly colorful in connection with the preparations for the Day of the Dead, at the beginning of November – the main businesses in Xalapa today are government and education.
If you enjoy music, you will have the opportunity to enjoy all types in Xalapa: from salsa bands and jazz, to classical music played by the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, the country´s oldest. Disco dancing is part of the night life, starting around 10 PM and continuing into the small hours of the morning.
And if you are interested in Archaeology and History, you will not want to miss the Museum of Anthropology, considered one of the finest in the world both for its stunning contemporary architecture and its remarkable collection of artifacts representative of the Olmec, Totonac and Huastec cultures. Also, be sure to visit the gracious Lencero Mansion, once home of General Santa Anna. But if you are interested in Science do not forget to visit The Museum of Technology, also world-class.
Day-trips to local points of interest include the town of Xico and the nearby Texolo waterfall where the movie Romancing the Stonewas filmed.
It is well worth your time to take a day to visit the port city of Veracruz. You can go for a stroll along the docks and enjoy the steamy, dark coffee served from the ancient and famous Café de la Parroquia. You may want to visit the Aquarium, but above all, don´t miss the San Juan de Ulúa Fortress, with its mysterious, medieval atmosphere.
If you are planning a short stay or expecting visitors, Xalapa has many fine hotels, ranging from quaint colonial inns to modern, multi-tiered buildings. The DGRI and the EEE (School for Foreign Students) will provide you with a list.
If you are still hungry for knowledge and adventure after your stay at Xalapa, there are many other beautiful and interesting sights to be seen in Veracruz. The largest city in the world is only five hours away. Travel south, and you can visit Los Tuxtlas, a famous region for its beautiful lagoons. Or visit Tlacotalpan, a picturesque coastal town famous for the Candelaria annual festival where the clock is turned back only for a day, and dark eyed ladies wear long lacy dresses and execute intricate dances with their elaborated fans.
For more information visit the following websites: