Outside Veracruz city, the state of Veracruz is home to historical, cultural, and UNESCO World Heritage–listed attractions that make great day trip destinations for those looking to see and learn more about Mexico. Here are our favorite ideas.
La Antigua — 20 miles (30 km) from Veracruz
Considered the first Spanish settlement in Mexico, La Antigua lies just north of Veracruz and houses what may be the oldest Catholic church in the Americas and one of the oldest Spanish structures in the Americas, both built in the 1500s. Tours from Veracruz typically last five to six hours and may also include stops in other areas such as San Juan de Ulúa or the Cempoala ruins.
Tlacotalpan & Alvarado — 63 miles (101 km) from Veracruz
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town of Tlacotalpan draws visitors for its colorful Spanish and Caribbean colonial-era architecture and design. Some tours include a boat ride on the Papaloapan River for a relaxing way to admire the town. Day tours from Veracruz last from eight to 13 hours and usually also stop in the port city of Alvarado.
Coatepec & Xalapa — 72 miles (116 km) from Veracruz
Located less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from each other, the coffee town of Coatepec and the Veracruz capital city of Xalapa offer visitors a look at Spanish colonial architecture, pre-Hispanic and Spanish colonial history, and a piece of Mexican culture—Coatepec received a Magical City (Pueblo Mágico) designation in 2006. Day trips from Veracruz typically last 10 to 11 hours.
El Tajin Ruins — 150 miles (240 km) from Veracruz
The pre-Colombian ruins of El Tajin date to about the year 600 AD and make up the most important archaeological site in Veracruz. El Tajin is known for its pyramids, including the Pyramid of the Niches. Day trips from Veracruz typically last about 12 hours and may be combined with a stop at a nearby attraction like a vanilla factory or the city of Papantla.