Veracruz and the central Gulf coast

The steamy, seamy city of Veracruz is rich in history and spirit. Filled with lightly crumbling colonial streets, thronging plazas and hordes of ardent party-goers, this is a place where vibrant cultural heritage meets unfettered port-town hedonism. Historically significant, the region had the dubious honour of hosting Hernan
Cortés and his fellow conquistadors - fathers of the Conquest and the colonial enterprise that followed - after their tentative first landing on Mexico's shores. After forging a base, they scouted the surrounding terrain, made allies at Cempoala, and learned of the complex political forces dominating the land - not to mention the great wealth of the Aztec kingdom. Soon after, the strategic port of Veracruz became New Spain's main gateway to Europe, beset by pirates, colonialists and waves of insalubrious sailors. Today, the city retains an air of decadence and pride, enlivened by non-stop music and festivities, the gregarious charms of its inhabitants, and culinary treats that include superb, fresh, spicily seasoned seafood. The expansive Plaza de Armas is the setting to enjoy all these things at once, buzzing each evening with a well attended carnival atmosphere.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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