– Helia Bravo Hollis Cactus Botanical Gardens, Zapatitlán Salinas, Puebla
– Xalapa Anthropology Museum plus explore the Coffee Growing Region of Veracruz
– ATV Beach & Sand Dunes Adventure plus Sandboarding
– Port City of Veracruz Tour, including the harbor fort, San Juan de Ulúa
Wednesday, November 4 (L)
After breakfast, you will say goodbye to Oaxaca City and travel north through the state of Oaxaca and cross over into the state of Puebla. There you will take a guided tour of the Helia Bravo Hollis Botanical Garden; a biosphere reserve to help preserve 53 different species of cacti. There are thousands of them as far as you can see. Later, after lunch, you will head north to the city of Orizaba, Veracruz and overnight at the Hotel Misión Orizaba.
Thursday, November 5 (B,L)
There are signs all around the city of Orizaba that say in Spanish, “Smile, You’re in Orizaba.” Yes, it a very clean and friendly city. One of the main
attractions is the Palacio de Hierro (Iron Palace) which was made by the same guy who created the Eiffel Tower. It was built in Belgium, dismantled, shipped, and rebuilt in the center of Orizaba. There are also small museums around town like the soccer museum, the beer museum (Heinekens & Dos Equis are brewed there). Also, you will ride up a cable car (Teliferico) to a nearby hill. On a clear day, you will be able to see the tallest volcano in North America (Pico de Orizaba, 18.500’).
After checking out of your hotel, you will travel to the city of Veracruz which is only a short 2 hour drive away. After lunch, one of the local guides will lead you on a walking tour of this historical port city known as the Gateway to México. It was and still is the most important Mexican port for large cargo ships importing and exporting goods, especially from the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. This is where the Spanish Conquistadors lead by Hernán Cortéz first landed and changed this land forever.
The city of Veracruz has a unique blend of African, Caribbean, Cuban, Spanish, European, and Indigenous mix not found in any other part of México. You will find this mix especially in the music and dance of this region. The Gran Hotel Diligencias, located right across the street from the main square in the center of the city will be you home from the next 3 nights.
Friday, November 6 (B,L)
San Juan de Ulúa fort was built in the harbor of Veracruz on an island in 1565 to mostly protect the city from marauding pirates. Today there is a road that connects the island to the mainland. You will get to explore this fort and hear all about its history as a fort and later, as a notorious prison.
Next, get ready for a fun adventure by the sea; ATV riding down the beach and up into another “sea” of tall sand dunes (2 hours). You can also try your skills at Sandboarding (skiing down the dunes on a specially designed board). Lunch will be at a typical local small restaurant on the beach.
On you way back to the city of Veracruz, you will make a stop to see where Cortéz built one of the first towns in the New World in the town of La Antigua. Parts of the administration building are still standing. Also, you will visit one of the first Catholic churches build in this new land. The evening is free to explore on your own in the city of Veracruz.
Saturday, November 7 (B,L)
Today you will travel to the capital city of the state of Veracruz, Xalapa. First on your agenda will be a guided tour of the modern Anthropology Museum. This will really give you a good idea of the ancient history of this area. Next up will be a quick tour of the city and then a short drive to the pre-Hispanic town of Coatepec which is located in the higher altitudes of Veracruz in the middle of the coffee growing region. Lunch will be at a nice restaurant just off the main square and of course, if you like coffee … shopping is a good activity in Coatepec as you will find some nice boutique stores. You will also visit the town of Xico which is near the waterfall (Texolo) made famous in the movie, Romancing the Stone with
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Traveling back to Veracruz city, everyone will gather for dinner onboard a retired
Mexican Naval Ship in the nearby city of Boca del Rio.
Sunday, November 8 (B)
Travel day home from the Veracruz International Airport
Trip Dates: November 4-8
Includes: Tour guides, transportation, 4 nights hotels, 8 meals, all entrance fees & activities
Not included: Airfare, meals not listed above, alcoholic drinks, travel trip
insurance, trip medical insurance, tips for your main tour guides. See Terms & Conditions for details.