28 Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Veracruz | 2024 (with Photos)

Katarina P.

Katarina P. - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! Katarina here, sharing some insider tips on the top attractions and activities in Veracruz for an unforgettable adventure. Join me in exploring the vibrant culture, scenic landscapes, and exciting experiences this beautiful city has to offer!

Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Veracruz

Veracruz, Mexico, is a coastal state with so many things to do and explore. Whether you're a history lover, beach enthusiast, or adventure seeker, Veracruz has something for everyone.

This vibrant port city boasts a rich history and is home to Mexico's largest and most important port. From historical sites like San Juan de Ulua to the Veracruz Aquarium, there are numerous attractions that will leave a lasting impression.

With beautiful beaches, boat tours along the Gulf of Mexico, and day trips to nearby destinations, Veracruz City has lots of interesting places waiting to be discovered by locals and visitors alike.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit the Castle of San Juan de Ulúa

Top Choice Hotel

Emporio Veracruz

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Azul y Oro

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

La Bamba Disco

Average Temperature

Mild, with temperatures ranging from 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Transportation Options

Bus, taxi, car rental, train, bike, walking, rideshare.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Veracruz, Mexico is a vibrant city known for its rich history and lively atmosphere. I recommend starting your day by sipping on a traditional cup of coffee at a local cafe and taking a leisurely stroll along the malecon, soaking in the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

In the evening, immerse yourself in the local culture by sampling delicious seafood dishes at a cozy seaside restaurant and ending the night with live music and dancing in one of the city's lively salsa clubs, where you can let loose and create unforgettable memories.

What You'll Need to Bring

Clothing suitable for warm weather, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera. Portable phone charger, local currency, travel guide or map, any necessary medications.

What Not to Miss

  • Veracruz Aquarium

  • Zocalo

  • San Juan de Ulúa Fortress

  • Malecón

  • Café La Parroquia

  • Cempoala Archaeological Site

  • El Tajin Archaeological Site

  • Cascada de Texolo

  • Pico de Orizaba

  • Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve

What to Avoid

  1. Avoid walking alone at night in Veracruz.
  2. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or belongings in public.

1. Veracruz Aquarium

Veracruz Aquarium

The Veracruz Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for marine life enthusiasts. Located on Blvd. Manuel Ávila Camacho S/n, Ricardo Flores Magón, 91900 Veracruz, it holds the distinction of being the largest aquarium in Latin America.

At the Veracruz Aquarium, you can marvel at a wide variety of sea life, such as manta rays, sea turtles, and barracudas.

With its impressive exhibits and educational programs, the Veracruz Aquarium offers an immersive and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

2. Tlacotalpan


Tlacotalpan is a town located less than a two hours drive from Veracruz. Tlacotalpan town is a UNESCO World Heritage site that enchants visitors with its rich cultural heritage.

This charming town in Veracruz, Mexico, is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant traditions.

With its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and picturesque riverfront, Tlacotalpan offers a delightful glimpse into Mexico's past.

Whether strolling along the Malecón or exploring the historic center, visit Tlacotalpan to immerse yourself in its timeless beauty and experience a truly authentic Mexican town.

3. Cempoala Archaeological Site

Cempoala Archaeological Site

The Cempoala Archaeological Site holds significant historical importance as it was the first city in Mesoamerica that Hernan Cortes and his men visited.

This site offers a glimpse into the pre-Columbian civilization that thrived in the region. One of its main attractions is the Templo del Sol or Great Pyramid, a majestic structure that highlights the architectural prowess of the ancient inhabitants.

Exploring Cempoala allows visitors to step back in time and appreciate the cultural heritage of this remarkable archaeological site.

4. La Ermita del Rosario

La Ermita del Rosario

La Ermita del Rosario holds the distinction of being the oldest church in the Americas. This historical landmark dates back to the 16th century.

With its colonial architecture and religious significance, La Ermita del Rosario is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

You can admire the church's unique blend of Spanish and indigenous architectural elements while appreciating its historical significance as a symbol of early Christian influence in the Americas.

5. San Juan de Ulúa

San Juan de Ulúa

San Juan de Ulúa, located at Cam. Escénico a San Juan de Ulúa S/N, Manuel Contreras, 91891 Veracruz, is a historic fortress that has served various purposes throughout history. It is situated on the island with the same name.

San Juan de Ulúa has operated as a royal palace, fortress, storehouse, and prison. Notably, San Juan de Ulúa played a crucial role as the main military stronghold of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.

Additionally, the fortress was pivotal to Spanish rule in Mexico. During World War I, the fortress was taken over by the Americans.

Today, it is a popular destination for day trips and offers you a chance to explore its fascinating historical significance.

6. Coatepec


Coatepec, often referred to as the coffee capital of Mexico, is a picturesque town surrounded by lush cloud forests, coffee plantations, and farms.

Coatepec is renowned for its coffee production and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the history and culture of the coffee industry.

With its scenic landscapes and pleasant climate, it's an ideal destination for coffee lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Exploring Coatepec allows you to immerse yourself in the charming ambiance of a town deeply connected to the art and tradition of coffee cultivation.

7. Playa Villa Del Mar Beach

Playa Villa Del Mar Beach

Playa Villa Del Mar Beach, located at Blvd. Manuel Ávila Camacho 2431, Ignacio Zaragoza, 91910 Veracruz, is a captivating coastal destination that attracts visitors with its scenic beauty.

This picturesque beach offers golden sands, clear waters, and a serene atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and leisurely strolls.

Whether you want to bask in the sun, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or simply enjoy the coastal views, Playa Villa Del Mar Beach provides an idyllic setting to unwind and rejuvenate while embracing the natural splendor of Veracruz.

8. Veracruz Harbor

Veracruz Harbor

Veracruz Harbor is a prominent feature of Veracruz, Mexico, and is known as Mexico's largest and most important port.

Situated along the Gulf of Mexico, it serves as a crucial hub for trade and commerce, connecting the region to global markets.

The harbor's strategic location has played a significant role in the economic development of Veracruz and the country as a whole.

With its bustling maritime activity, scenic views, and proximity to the city's attractions, Veracruz Harbor offers a fascinating glimpse into the dynamic coastal life of this vibrant Mexican state.

9. Orizaba


Orizaba is a charming Mexican city in Veracruz, known for its picturesque beauty and rich cultural heritage.

The city is often referred to as the "magic town" and offers visitors a delightful experience with its numerous parks and a lazy river that winds through its streets.

Exploring Orizaba allows travelers to immerse themselves in the enchanting ambiance of this magical destination, where they can stroll through its parks, admire its architecture, and embrace the unique charm that sets it apart.

Don't miss the opportunity to tour this captivating "magic town" and discover its hidden treasures.

10. Laguna Catemaco

Laguna Catemaco

Laguna Catemaco is a captivating destination in Veracruz known for its famous Monkey Island. This picturesque lagoon offers visitors a chance to witness an array of wildlife, particularly the playful monkeys that inhabit the island.

Visiting Laguna Catemaco is considered one of the top activities to do in Veracruz. Nature lovers and animal enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat, making it a memorable experience in the beautiful surroundings of Laguna Catemaco.

11. Mexico Naval Museum

Mexico Naval Museum

The Mexico Naval Museum, housed in the building formerly occupied by the Naval School of Veracruz, offers a fascinating glimpse into the country's maritime history.

This museum showcases a diverse collection of naval artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that highlight Mexico's naval heritage.

You can explore the historical significance of the Mexican Navy, learn about naval battles, and gain insights into maritime traditions.

The Mexico Naval Museum provides an enriching experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the importance of the sea in shaping Mexico's past and present.

12. Papantla


Papantla is a captivating town where visitors can delve into the history and culture of the Totonac people. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the fascinating traditions and heritage of this indigenous community.

The town is renowned for its vibrant ceremonies, such as the breathtaking Papantla Flyers ritual, which showcases the Totonac's ancient aerial dance.

Exploring Papantla offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to gain insights into the deep-rooted history and traditions of the Totonac people in a setting that exudes cultural significance.

13. La Antigua

La Antigua

La Antigua is a historic city in Veracruz that offers visitors numerous fun things to do. This charming destination, known for its rich colonial heritage, invites exploration and discovery.

Whether it's wandering through the well-preserved streets, visiting the historic sites, or indulging in local cuisine, La Antigua provides a delightful experience for travelers.

The city's enchanting ambiance and cultural attractions make it an ideal place to immerse yourself in the region's past while enjoying the many enjoyable activities that La Antigua has to offer.

14. Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas is the main square in the city, bustling with activity and a focal point for locals and visitors alike.

This lively square is adorned with historical buildings and surrounded by an array of restaurants and street vendors, offering a variety of delicious food and local delights.

It's a perfect spot to soak up the atmosphere, savor local cuisine, and people-watch, immersing yourself in the vibrant energy and cultural charm that Plaza de Armas has to offer.

15. Edificio del Cabildo

Edificio del Cabildo

The Edificio del Cabildo holds the distinction of being the oldest Spanish building in Mexico. Located in Veracruz, this historic structure serves as a testament to the colonial legacy of the region.

The Edificio del Cabildo showcases architectural elements from the Spanish colonial era and offers a glimpse into the rich past of the city.

Exploring this iconic building allows visitors to appreciate its historical significance and admire the craftsmanship that has withstood the test of time, making it a must-see attraction for architecture lovers.

16. Xalapa


Xalapa, the capital city of Veracruz, is a vibrant and bustling destination. It owes much of its liveliness to its large student population, with several universities and educational institutions located in the city.

This energetic atmosphere permeates Xalapa, contributing to its cultural vibrancy, dynamic arts scene, and lively nightlife.

When you visit Xalapa, explore its numerous museums, enjoy the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the city's rich cultural heritage.

With its blend of youthful energy and historical charm, Xalapa offers a captivating experience for travelers of all interests.

17. Isla de Los Sacrificios

Isla de Los Sacrificios

Isla de Los Sacrificios is an intriguing location that can be reached by taking a tour boat. Located off the coast of Veracruz, Mexico, this place holds historical significance and offers visitors a glimpse into the region's past. It is known for its connection to ancient rituals and sacrifices performed by the indigenous cultures.

Exploring this place allows you to witness the island's natural beauty while learning about its intriguing past, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in archaeology and cultural exploration.

18. Boca del Río

Boca del Río

Boca del Río, a charming coastal city. It is a popular destination for its stunning beaches and vibrant atmosphere.

Located near Veracruz city, Boca del Río offers you a range of recreational activities, from swimming and sunbathing to water sports and beachside relaxation.

The city's lively boardwalk, known as the Malecón, is a hub of entertainment with its restaurants, shops, and vibrant nightlife.

Whether you're seeking a relaxing beach getaway or a lively coastal experience, Boca del Río has something to offer for every traveler.

19. Papaloapan River

Papaloapan River

The Papaloapan River is a majestic waterway flowing through the Veracruz. Known as one of the largest rivers in Mexico, it holds great ecological and cultural significance.

The Papaloapan River provides a picturesque setting with its lush surroundings and diverse wildlife. It serves as a vital resource for local communities, supporting agriculture and fishing activities.

You can embark on boat trips, witness the river's natural beauty, and explore the charming towns along its banks. This River offers a tranquil escape and a glimpse into the natural wonders of Veracruz.

20. Jalcomulco


Jalcomulco, a captivating destination in Veracruz, offers an array of thrilling activities that are sure to give you an adrenaline rush.

Water rafting stands out as one of the top attractions, allowing visitors to navigate the exciting rapids of the Pescados River.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rafter, Jalcomulco provides an exhilarating experience amidst its scenic landscapes

21. Casa de Hernan Cortes

Casa de Hernan Cortes

Casa de Hernan Cortes is a historically significant site in Veracruz. This house, once occupied by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, offers visitors a glimpse into the colonial past. Exploring this house provides insights into the life and legacy of one of the key figures in Mexico's past.

22. Palacio Municipal de Veracruz

Palacio Municipal de Veracruz

Palacio Municipal de Veracruz, a prominent landmark, impresses visitors with its grandeur and elegance. This municipal palace boasts stunning marble floors that add to its aesthetic appeal. As the seat of local government, it holds administrative offices and represents the cultural heritage of Veracruz.

23. El Tajín

El Tajín

El Tajin, a significant archaeological site in Veracruz, was once a thriving city and ceremonial centre. It stands out with its intricate relief carvings, numerous ball courts, and distinctive architectural elements not commonly found in other Mesoamerican sites.

Exploring El Tajin is best done with a knowledgeable tour guide who can provide insights into its historical and cultural significance

24. Cathedral of Veracruz

Cathedral of Veracruz

The Cathedral of Veracruz is a prominent religious landmark in the city. This majestic cathedral showcases impressive architectural design and serves as a symbol of faith.

You can admire its intricate details, beautiful stained glass windows, and experience the serene ambiance within its walls, making it a significant attraction for those exploring Veracruz.

25. The Mangroves of La Tuxpan

Mangroves of La Tuxpan

A boat ride experience along the scenic mangroves of La Tuxpan is an activity you should try out. This captivating natural setting allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the mangrove ecosystem while enjoying a peaceful and serene journey. Exploring La Tuxpan's mangroves by boat provides an opportunity to appreciate the biodiversity and tranquility of this coastal region.

26. Taste The Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

When visiting Veracruz, make sure to taste the local cuisine. From seafood delights like Huachinango a la Veracruzana (Veracruz-style red snapper) to traditional dishes like Chiles Rellenos (stuffed peppers), the local cuisine offers a delightful culinary experience.

27. Take a Dip in The Natural Pools of Actopan


Take a refreshing dip in the natural pools of Actopan. These tranquil and crystal-clear pools, nestled amidst lush greenery, provide a serene escape from the bustling city. Enjoy the cool, pristine waters and relax in the peaceful surroundings, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

28. Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve

Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve

The Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve is a remarkable ecological treasure in Veracruz. This protected area encompasses diverse ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, wetlands, and coastal environments.

Exploring the reserve reveals a wealth of biodiversity, with rare wildlife, exotic plants, and stunning landscapes.

The Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve offers nature enthusiasts a chance to connect with the pristine beauty and conservation efforts of this unique region.

FAQs on 28 Fun and Unforgettable Things to Do in Veracruz

Below are answers to frequently asked questions on 28 fun and unforgettable things to do in Veracruz.

Is Veracruz Mexico worth visiting?

Yes, Veracruz, Mexico is definitely worth visiting. There are many things to do in Veracruz, including the opportunity to see the Cofre de Perote, a remarkable shield volcano in Mexico. With its history, beautiful beaches, and natural wonders, Veracruz has something to captivate every traveler and make their visit truly worthwhile.

What is Veracruz best known for?

Veracruz is best known for being a port city and home to Mexico's largest port. It is renowned for its rich past, as evidenced by historical sites like San Juan de Ulua. Additionally, Veracruz is famous for its stunning beaches, offering visitors a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy the coastal charm of this vibrant Mexican state.

Why should I visit Veracruz?

You should visit Veracruz for its captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The city boasts a rich historical heritage, with sites like San Juan de Ulua showcasing its past. Veracruz also offers stunning coastal landscapes and beaches, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the sun. With its warm hospitality, vibrant atmosphere, and wide range of attractions, there are numerous things to do in Veracruz when you visit.

Is Veracruz Mexico Aztec or Mayan?

Veracruz, Mexico is neither Aztec nor Mayan. While the Aztec civilization flourished in central Mexico, and the Mayan civilization thrived in the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Central America, Veracruz was primarily inhabited by indigenous cultures such as the Olmec and Totonac peoples. These cultures predate both the Aztec and Mayan civilizations and have left significant archaeological sites and cultural influences in the region.

Summing Up: Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Veracruz

Veracruz, with its blend of historic sites, coastal beauty, and exciting activities, offers a wealth of experiences for travelers.

From exploring the city's top attractions like the Veracruz Aquarium and San Juan de Ulua to enjoying the sun-kissed beaches and taking boat tours along the Gulf of Mexico, Veracruz is a destination that promises unforgettable moments.

History lovers will revel in the city's history, while beach enthusiasts will find solace in its beautiful coastline. So, pack your bags and embark on an adventure to Veracruz, where countless memories are waiting to be made. And while you are there, you might want to check more of the breathtaking places that you need to visit when in Mexico.