Veracruz State, Mexico

Although the state of Veracruz in Mexico has one of the country’s leading economies, its economy isn’t as dependent on tourism as those of some of the other states in Mexico. Petroleum and agriculture are the two biggest industries in Veracruz. This is good news to travelers who prefer to avoid areas in which mass tourism prevails. Visitors to Veracruz find it easy to experience the authentic culture of the region without feeling crowded by large numbers of other tourists.

Veracruz is located in the eastern part of Mexico and has a long coastline featuring many miles of sand dunes. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide superb sports-fishing opportunities and there are many fishing guide services to accommodate the fishing enthusiast. Those who prefer snow-topped mountains will find plenty of them in Veracruz also.
Mexico State Veracruz, City of Xalapa Cathedral
The city of Veracruz is the oldest city in Mexico. Founded in 1519 by Hernán Cortés, it’s now a vibrant, modern port city. It’s the largest city in the state of Veracruz and offers many activities. From May to August, scuba diving is a popular pastime. The Plaza de las Armas in the center of the city of Veracruz is always filled with musicians, dancers, and other attractions such as vendors selling craft items and food. For those interested in marine life, the Veracruz Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Latin America.

Xalapa is the state capital of Veracruz and is noted for its many museums. More than 400 exhibitions are on display at the Museum of Science and Technology in Xalapa. An extensive collection of Mesoamerican artifacts can be found in the Museum of Anthropology. Xalapa Is also located in a mountainous region of Veracruz, making it a good choice for those wishing to escape the heat.

Veracruz has much to offer the person who desires to experience authentic cultures. Those who have an interest in handmade arts-and-crafts will appreciate the quality of the furniture made in the town of Castillo de Teayo, the musical instruments created in the town of Los Tuxtlas, and the beautifully embroidered women’s blouses created in the communities of Tlalixcoyan and El Higo. There are many more rural communities that specialize in different types of handicrafts. Those with an interest in indigenous arts-and-crafts will find much to explore in Veracruz.

Veracruz is the perfect travel destination for those who want to avoid tourist-filled commercialized areas and to experience authentic, vibrant culture.


Tlaxcala State, Mexico


With La Malinche volcano serving as a backdrop, the Mexican State of Tlaxcala has the cool, semiarid climate of the Mesa Central where it is located. This densely populated state is Mexico’s smallest by area. It has an economy built upon agriculture, cattle raising, and finely made woven handicrafts. The state and its capital both derive their name from the local, pre-historic culture. The current boundaries of the state are similar to those of a native federation that never surrendered to the Aztecs.

Principal church of the town of Ixtacuixtla, located in the Mexican State of Tlaxcala.The storied past of the area has led to a vibrant tourist industry. Visitors will see the archeological ruins of Cacaxtla, Tizatlan and Xochitecatl. Archeologists are currently excavating, exploring and documenting these ancient sites. At the time of the conquistadors, the region was a land of grand plazas, palaces and temples consistent with a Post-Classical period, Mesoamerican civilization. The Xochitecatl ruins date from approximately 400 A.D. It is here that you can view the Serpent Pyramid, the Spiral Building, the Volcano Base and what is believed to be the most important structure, the Flower Pyramid.

The Cacaxtla ruins are from structures that were built around the 7th century A.D. This archeological site is larger than that of Xochitecatl. Nearby is the modern town of San Miguel with its amazing murals that adorn the walls of various temples. The Tizatlan site is unique because the ruins consist of adobe brick, which is extremely rare for this time period and location. There are numerous other historical sites worth visiting along with the colonial architecture of the capital, Tlaxcala City.

Although in its infancy, eco-tourism is centered on the La Malinche Volcano National Park. Visitors can mountain bike, rock climb, rappel and horseback ride during the day. At night, you can camp out under the stars after watching the sunset over the panoramic vista from the top of the volcano.

Guests who spend time in the cities of Apizaco, Huamantla and San Pablo del Monte will witness regional festivals that feature dances of masked men who imitate the Spaniards of old and don colorful garb and plumed hats. There are festivals that commemorate historic events and religious holidays. This is an opportune time to sample the local cuisine of barbacoa and mixiote along with regional delicacies of escamoles, maguey larvae and the xoconostle cactus fruit.

Not as widely known as other Mexican destinations, Tlaxcala is a hidden gem awaiting discovery.


Tamaulipas State, Mexico


Tamaulipas is a state found in the northern part of Mexico, just south of the American state of Texas. It has four main areas. There is the frontera border with Texas, the Sierra Madre mountain range in the west, the Gulf Coast region in the east and the Huasteca region in the south. Here is a guide to the best things to see and do on a trip to Tamaulipas.

Located on the Gulf Coast, Tampico is a tropical paradise that is the most popular tourist attraction in Tamaulipas. It is about a six hour drive from the Texas border, but most visitors fly into the international airport.Sunrise, La Pesca, Tamaulipas State, Mexico Photo By Andres Tortoriello

Playa Miramar is the beach in the area, and it has beautiful water and lots of open space. There is an old colonial square downtown that has a great market, a beautiful old church and lots of great shops. The Metropolitan Cultural Center features ballet, symphony and opera performances. Also, several times a year the local cattle ranchers put on bullfights.

The best thing to do in Tampico is to go out and explore the many wonderful restaurants. The location on the Gulf Coast means that there is an abundance of seafood, and the local restaurants are masters at preparing it.

Located about halfway between Tampico and Texas is the fishing hotbed of La Pesca. It is located on the Gulf, just north of the mouth of the Rio Bravo. The fishing is excellent in both the Gulf and on the river, and there are many locals that are happy to take tourists on guided fishing charters.

In addition, there is a great stretch of beautiful, sandy beach just outside La Pesca. This is a spot that is not overrun by tourists like many other Mexican beaches have been, so visitors will often have it all to themselves.

The food is cheap and the people are friendly. This is a nice spot for those who want to make a short drive into Mexico for some great fishing or beach lounging.

La Pesca and Tampico are the two best tourist attractions in Tamaulipas. Other cities that visitors may visit are Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Victoria. Neither have a lot to offer in the way of tourist attractions, but there is a nice lake 30 kilometers north of Ciudad Victoria. Called Presa Vicente Guerrero, it has some good fishing and nice scenery.


Tabasco State, Mexico


The southeastern Mexican State of Tabasco should hold a special place in the heart of chocolate lovers worldwide. It was in this area of Mexico that the cacao bean originated. Tabasco is also home to the major Olmec civilization site of La Venta. Historians believe that Olmec was the cradle for subsequent Mesoamerican cultures. The area receives abundant annual rainfall. As a result, the state is covered by an extensive network of rainforest, lakes, wetlands and rivers. The weather, location and terrain combine to form four distinct ecosystems of wetlands, beaches, tropical savannahs and rainforests. The state has set up several unique tourist routes that crisscross the countryside to provide visitors the opportunity to explore history and culture of this environmental treasure.

Monument located at Villahermosa city, state of Tabasco in MexicoGuests can select a route that provides cultural immersion, outdoor excitement or a combination of the two. The Central Route begins in the capital city of Villahermosa. This path takes visitors to many of the areas cultural and historical museums, the Yumka Ecological Reserve and the Tomas Garrido Canabal Park as well as the Tabasco Cathedral. The Cacao Route takes guests to a journey through the world of chocolate as it transforms from “bean to bar.” Along the way, you will visit the city of Comalcalco and the archeological site that bears the same name. You will also have the sweet treat of the chocolate museum in La Luz.

The outdoor adventurers take the River Route. Eco-tourists will be thrilled by canopy top vistas, rafting and rappelling. In addition to the river and rainforest, guests can visit the archeological sites of Pomona and Reforma Mayan. You will be amazed by the flora and fauna of the Wetlands Route. There are over 500 species of plants and a wide variety of animal life that includes herons, crocodiles, manatees and turtles at the Centla Biosphere Reserve. The route also takes you to Frontera, the location of Spain’s first settlement on the American mainland. The Mountains Adventure Route takes guests into the highlands where they can explore caves, rappel and hike scenic trials. Visitors can enjoy swimming snorkeling or deep sea fishing at one of the many seaside resorts. You can relax and sample local dishes and watch the Zapateo and listen to the musical style of the Tamborileros, the area’s traditional dance and music.

Tabasco is a marvelous mix of culture, history and adventure waiting to be discovered.


Sonora State, Mexico


Sonora State Mexico is situated on the Gulf of California in the northwest region of Mexico. As you traverse the land from the west to the Sierra Madre Mountain range, you will discover coastal plains, rolling hills and higher mountain elevations. The area has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years and is the homeland of eight distinct indigenous groups. Due to its close proximity to the United States, Sonora is a popular tourist destination and manufacturing center that is visited by more than seven million people each year.


Natural Park Pinacate, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora State, MexicoThe four most important destinations for business and leisure visitors to Sonora are Guaymas, the capital of Hermosillo, Nogales and the resort city of Puerto Penasco. Other popular vacation destinations are San Carlos and Navojoa. Most visitors are attracted to the beaches along the Gulf of California. Guests can participate in a wide variety of water activities including scuba diving, deep sea fishing and jet skiing. Eco-tourists can visit Acuario de Cer-Mar, the local aquarium and the nearby El Pinacate wildlife preserve. These two sites, along with the Isla Tiburon protected habitat, enable guests the ability to view the flora and fauna native to the region. You will also enjoy the magnificent views of the High Mountain Route as it winds its way through the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Cultural tourists can explore the Missions Route that follow the missionary path of Jesuit Eusebio Kino. You will view numerous churches and missions established by Father Kino as he brought Catholicism to the region. His remains are in a mausoleum in Magdalena.

You will also enjoy the routes that take you past historical colonial buildings, restored haciendas and ancient archeological sites, such as the Cerro de Trincheras. Tourists interested in gastronomical delights will enjoy the River Route, especially during the chili pepper and peanut harvests. You can also enjoy several wonderful museums that are dispersed throughout the state.

Visitors to Sonora can experience the unique music, handicrafts, traditional dances, literature and cuisine of the area during any one of the numerous festivals held throughout the year. The busiest times of the year for tourist activities are Holy Week, the summer months and the Christmas holiday season. No matter when you visit, Sonora has a vibrant, modern flare that builds upon cultural traditions while paying homage to its ancestral roots.


Sinaloa State, Mexico


The Sinaloa State of Mexico is located in the Northwestern part and includes a good portion of the Gulf of California on the west coastline. The name derives from the Cahita dialect and essentially means a kind of round Pithaya. The capital city is Culiacán Rosales and other notable cities include Mazatlán and Los Mochis as well as some islands right off the coast. A fun fact about Sinaloa is that it is the only place on the entire continent where Mesoamerica (an ancient ball game) is still played. This game dates back to the Aztec and Mayan period. There were over 2.7 million people living in this state of Mexico in 2010 and it is a popular tourist destination.

Green island near Mazatlan, Sinaloa State, MexicoMazatlan is probably the most notable and popular tourist area in Sinaloa but it’s not the only area that appeals to travelers. One such day excursion is to Stone Island which is fairly close to Mazatlan. Tourists can take a cataramann over to the island or it is possible to drive to this island. On the way to the island, one can usually see sea lions and a few other islands like Deer Island, Goat Island, and Bird Island. Once one reaches Stone Island there are countless opportunities for fun including horseback riding, canopy riding, snorkeling, horse drawn rides, banana boats, ATV rides, motorcycle rides and a ton of water sports. In addition to the adventure found on the island, there are plenty of restaurants and opportunities for great food.

Adventure seekers have it made with a visit to Sinaloa state of Mexico. The coastline offers activities like parasailing and other high adventure water sports. The jungle part of the state is great for jungle tours. There are disco and dance clubs located all over. A visit to the Centro Mercado is perfect for bargain hunters as it is an open air market where tourist can haggle over hand made goods, fresh seafood, and fresh fruit and vegetables and experience a little flash back in time as they shop this way. And of course there are tons of great restaurants like Pancho’s By the Beach, Panama Restaurant, Los Arcos and Erine Tomato’s that are consistently rated highly by visitors.

A visit to Sinaloa state of Mexico is sure to be an adventure no matter what choices one makes while they visit.


Querétaro State, Mexico


Querétaro is the fifth-smallest of Mexico’s 31 states and is similar in size to Connecticut. The capital city of the same name is located 136 miles northwest of Mexico City and 730 miles south of San Antonio. Other significant cities in the state include San Juan del Río, Corregidora, El Marqués and Cadereyta de Montes.

The Querétaro International Airport is located about 20 miles east of the capital city. It opened in 2004 and replaced Ingeniero Fernando Espinoza Gutiérrez Airport. The airport receives flights from cities such as Dallas, Houston and Monterrey, Mexico.

Bernal in the State of Queretaro, MexicoThe capital city was ranked 13th by National Geographic in its list of the top worldwide historical destinations. It is appreciated for its aqueduct, which was built in 1738, goes above ground for 4,200 feet and has 75 rock arches that reach high into the sky. The aqueduct was built to bring fresh water into the city.

It is also known for its churches. One is La Santa Cruz. This is where missionaries such as Junípero Serra set out to establish missions in Texas and California, including the 21 that were established from 1769-1823 in a line from San Diego to Sonoma, California. These California missions were situated about a day’s travel apart.

The nearby Sierra Gorda Biosphere was also mentioned by National Geographic as an attractive feature of the area. The reserves take up about the same size as Rhode Island and include tropical deciduous and pine-oak forests and a number of historic missions.

The Centro Histórico of Querétaro was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 as a place that is of special culture and physical significance. The organization references the historic geometric street plan dating to the Spanish conquerors and the numerous Baroque monuments dating to the 17th and 18th centuries as especially notable.

The Teatro de la República (Theater of the Republic) is a historic place in Mexican history. The 1917 constitution was written inside its walls, and the country’s national anthem was sung here for the first time. The state’s philharmonic orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Querétaro, plays here on a regular basis.

The local soccer stadium, the Estadio Corregidora, was built for the 1986 World Cup. At that event, four games were played here. These included a 5-1 win for Spain over Denmark in the round of 16 when Spain’s Emilio Butragueño scored four goals, tied for the second-highest total ever posted by an individual player in a World Cup game.


Puebla State, Mexico


Located between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the Mexican highlands, the Puebla State of Mexico is on the route from Veracruz to Mexico City. There are a number of national parks highlighting the natural beauty of the area, i.e., Izta-Popo Zoquiapan, La Malinche and Pico de Orizaba National Parks. The best known of these is Izta-Popo where bio-diversity is carefully protected including the volcano Popocatepetal and the adjoining forests; even so, there are some available hiking trails and horse paths accessing small caves where pre-Hispanic natives performed religious ceremonies and history can be revisited.

Archaeological site of Cantona, located in the Mexican State of PueblaA number of crafts are sourced out of Puebla. Pottery workshops abound throughout the state: Talavera pottery, an Arab design brought to Mexico by the Spanish in the mid to late 16th century, is prevalent throughout the state with workshops in the capital city and other communities. Unfortunately, it is expensive often appealing to collectors who can turn a profit from it. Another type of pottery, less expensive and more useful, is the black clay from Acatalan de Osorio used to make plates and cups. Finally, in the small town of Izucar de Matamoros there are sculptures of early biblical figures crafted and sold to tourists and sometimes distributed worldwide. Textiles and embroidery designs dating to times prior to Spanish invaders are produced by Hueyapan. Lastly, the tourist should visit Amozoc where silver smithing from the 16th century is exhibited as knives and swords among others.

Other than learning about the local crafts, most visitors to Puebla will want to follow one or all of the twelve tourist routes dedicated by the state. The city of Puebla has seven and the state has the remaining five. In the city, routes visit cathedrals, the library, a museum and several important local residences as well as the theatre district. All promote familiarity with local history and cultural events. The state routes generally provide access to above mentioned national parks and wildlife viewing areas.

By some standards, the most interesting activity offered in Puebla is eating. Everything from spicy mole verde, cemitas and chalupas has their genesis in this region of Mexico. One of the best and most widely known mole or sauces is mole poblano, named for the city and the pepper of the same designation. Poblano chiles are now exported all over the world. With a medium heat index this is Mexico’s preferred chile. It is a dark green, fat chile with enough interior space to make it perfect for stuffing, enter its most perfect North American result, the chile relleno. It appears that there is much to gastronomically appreciate from the state of Puebla.


Mexico Beaches

Looking for the perfect Mexico Beach for your next vacation? From stunning sunsets overlooking the glistening Pacific Ocean to the gentle breezes and tranquility of the Caribbean Sea, Mexico offers a wealth of exceptional beaches to explore along these breathtaking coastlines.

CancunWhite sand beach and hotels in Cancun, Mexico With its long stretch of powdery white beach and brilliant Caribbean waters lapping at the shore, Cancun provides a vibrant destination for watersport enthusiasts. Situated on the east shore, Playa Bellenas, Playa Marlin and Chac Mool offer ideal conditions for parasailing, sailboarding and volleyball. The beaches of Punta Nizuc and Playa Delfines are well-known for their extraordinary views and excellent sunbathing and surfing conditions. Most Cancun beaches provide lifeguards, and a fine variety of restaurants, shops and markets as well as hotels such as the Marriott hotel in Cancun can be found nearby.
Playa del CarmenCaribbean Sea scenery in Playa del Carmen, Mexico Home to a variety of exceptional beaches such as Mamitas Beach, Zubul Beach and Coco Beach, Playa del Carmen in known for its white sand, typically warm Caribbean waters and limestone accents. Visitors can experience a variety of watersports or charter a fishing boat at the local marina. Dolphin, manatee and sea lion programs allow tourists to spend time with these fascinating animals up close. Known as Playa del Carmen’s energetic promenade, La Quinta Avenida runs along the ocean and features a variety of restaurants, shops and hotels.
CozumelCoast line view of the island of Cozumel, Mexico Those in search of exceptional scuba diving and snorkeling conditions can take the local ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. Scuba diving and snorkeling tours are an enjoyable way to experience the beauty of Cozumel. With its long stretch of white sand, Playa Casitas is a relaxing getaway that features palapas for shade, gentle waters for swimming and an authentic Cozumel experience. Known for its excellent watersport conditions, Palancar Beach is a fabulous destination for kayaking, diving and sailing.
Puerto Vallarta Coastline of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico With breathtaking beaches, rivers and the Sierra Madre mountain range, Puerto Vallarta is an exceptional destination for nature enthusiasts. Circled by rocks, Playa de Oro features a bay that is perfect for swimming, waterskiing and parasailing. Situated near the mountains, Mismaloya Beach puts on a stunning display of flowers and birds during the rainy season. Los Muertos Beach is ideal for family outings and romantic strolls at sunset. In addition to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Vallarta beaches are conveniently located near a variety of gourmet restaurants, boutiques and galleries and the Marriott hotel in Puerto Vallarta.
MazatlanThe Malecon in Olas Atlas area of old town Mazatlan , Mexico Mazatlan offers a pleasing blend of both secluded and active beaches that feature typically warm waters and 16 miles of extraordinary coastline. One of Mexico’s largest beaches, Playa Norte is known for its excellent beach fishing and fresh seafood specialties. Peaceful and relaxing, Playa Sabalos is a popular location for parasailing, waterskiing and sailing excursions in the Pacific Ocean. Referred to as the beach of big waves, Playa Olas Atlas is a favorite destination for surfers around the world. Those searching for gentler waves will find a sea pool located at the northern end of the beach. A variety of restaurants and hotels are conveniently located nearby.




Whale Sharks

Residing in a world apart from our own, marine life has always been quite intriguing to us land-dwellers. All of the many sizes, shapes and colors of the different species of fish have been of great interest to us from the beginning of time. Whale Sharks are the largest existing fish and have been the object of fascination to thousands of divers all over the world, though many divers spend their entire lives trying to find one.

Whale Sharks are majestic creatures. These gentle giants swim with their enormous mouths open, gulping down plankton, small fish, squid and crustaceans along their way. They can open their mouths to up to five feet wide. They are the largest fish in the oceans and only a few whales are larger than them. They are cold blooded creatures and they breathe through their gills. Whale sharks can weigh over nine tons and grow up to 40 feet long. Amazingly, their skin can be over 4 inches thick! These fish have a two colored pattern of light spots and lines on a dark brown dorsal surface.
Whale Sharks
Whale sharks can be found all over the world. Popular destinations for travelers to dive with whale Sharks can be found in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Africa, and Western Australia are a few countries divers go to find them. But they are easily spotted all over Central America. Cancun, Mexico, Belize and Honduras are just a few of the hot spots for spotting whale sharks.

Utila Island, off of Honduras, has been called the whale shark capital of the Carribean. Whale sharks have been seen there all year long. Though they can be spotted throughout the year, the best times to try to find them are March through April and August through September. A whale shark sighting usually involves finding just one, but it is possible to see five or more whale sharks in the waters around Utila.

Belize is one of the most popular spots in the Americas for whale shark sightings. Gladden Spit, located in the Belize Barrier Reef, is located 26 miles off the coast of Placencia. There are lots of whale sharks in this area during April and May, when schools of cubera snapper fish are actively spawning. Gladden Spit is a protected area. Rangers allow only six tour-operated boats at a time, making the experience much more intimate.

An important habitat for the whale shark is in the Gulf of Mexico. The major oil spill that resulted from the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon platform in 2010 in the Gulf still poses a critical threat to the whale sharks that reside in the region.

Whale sharks are harmless to humans. They are quite friendly and will often interact. They are very large creatures but are quite docile and serene. They will even allow swimmers to catch a ride with them, though this is discouraged by scientists, conservationists and researchers. Younger whale sharks can be especially playful.

It's vital for any diver lucky enough to encounter one of these animals to always treat them with respect. Whale sharks are an endangered species and it's imperative to their survival that they not be mishandled or harmed.