Sometimes known as the Pearl of the Papaloapan River, many travelers in Veracruz overlook sleepy Tlacotalpan, yet you can easily explore the city’s downtown highlights in just a day. Start from Plazas Hidalgo and Zaragoza, stroll along the riverbanks, and learn about Mexican singer Agustín Lara at the Casa de la Cultura Agustín Lara, before taking to the water for a boat ride. You can also combine a visit to Tlacotalpan with a stop in Alvarado, ideal if you want to make the most of limited time in the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
For the most brightly colored backdrops for photos, make sure to walk along Cházaro and Enriquez streets.
Tlacotalpan’s privileged riverside position means the town has some of the region’s best fresh seafood.
There are a few ATMs in downtown Tlacotalpan but take plenty of change and small bills in case they’re out of service during your visit.
While Tlacotalpan’s downtown has some flat sidewalks, wheelchair users may not find the predominantly cobblestoned town fully accessible.
How to Get There
Tlacotalpan is situated 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Veracruz City, on the banks of the Papaloapan River. While second-class buses run daily from Veracruz City, most travelers find it more convenient to arrive by private vehicle. You can also save yourself the hassle by opting for a tour that includes round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
Tlacotalpan is hot and humid year-round but weathers a brutal rainy season during the summer months. For the coolest, driest weather, stop by between November and March and—to see the city at its vibrant best—try to coincide your visit with the annual Candlemas celebrations which take place in late January and early February.
What to Do Nearby
While Tlacotalpan is an easy day trip from Veracruz City, there’s plenty more to do in the area if you’re looking to make the most of your visit. Stop by nearby Alvarado for sugar cane and coffee, or go further east to San Andrés Tuxtla, a hub of cigar production with proximity to natural attractions such as the Eyipantla Falls and Catemaco Lake.