How to Spend 2 Days in Veracruz
Two days in Veracruz means you have time to take in the city highlights, including the aquarium and San Juan fort. You can also relax on the beach and enjoy a day trip to Tlacotalpan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here’s how to spend two days in Veracruz.
Day 1: Highlights of Veracruz
**Morning:**Explore the historic port, starting with a visit to the 16th-century fortress of San Juan de Ulúa. Book your tickets in advance to save time and climb up to the ramparts for a view across the harbor. Afterwards, stroll along the seafront malecon, or promenade, browse the crafts market for souvenirs, and admire central landmarks such as Veracruz Cathedral.
**Afternoon:**Visit Veracruz Aquarium—the largest of its kind in Latin America—to spot giant manta rays, sea turtles, and nurse sharks. Afterwards, stroll down to Villa del Mar beach, the city’s main beach, and spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, sunbathing, or sipping mojitos at one of the beach bars.
**Night:**The Zocalo or Plaza de Armas—the main Veracruz square—is the place to be at night. Grab a seat at one of the terrace cafes and make the most of the happy hour drink deals as you watch the free entertainment. Street performers and dancers fill up the square around sunset, dancing to traditional marimba and danzón music.
Day 2: Explore UNESCO-listed Tlacotalpan
**Morning:**One of the most popular day trips from Veracruz is to the colonial city of Tlacotalpan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located along the Papaloapan River. Explore the city on a walking tour, stopping to admire architectural landmarks such as Candelaria Temple and House Rafael Murillo; pose for photographs in front of brightly painted buildings; and stroll around lively Zaragoza Square.
**Afternoon:**Many tours of Tlacotalpan include a stop in the historic town of Alvarado. Alternatively, return to the city and head north to Chachalacas beach. One of the more beautiful beaches in the region, it’s fringed with dramatic dunes. Adventurous travelers can try activities such as sandboarding and quad biking, or dive in to swim and snorkel along the colorful coral reefs.
**Night:**The modern neighborhood of Boca del Rio, just south of the historic center, is a popular spot to spend the evening. Watch the sunset along the beachfront, be entertained by street performers along the main street, and then tuck into regional cuisine at one of the neighborhood restaurants.Caldo de mariscos (seafood stew) is a menu staple.