Mexico

Getting Lost in the State that Smiles

written by | Posted on July 1st, 2009

For a full immersion in Veracruz’s offerings, there’s Discover Veracruz Tours’ Clouds to Coast Multi-Sport Adventure Trip. Imagine the exhilaration of biking down a 7,000-ft. dirt road or swimming in mountain pools, to start. Clients will visit the base camp of the Orizaba Peak at 14,500 ft. and be, literally, above the clouds before they either bike or ride down in a vehicle. They’ll also zipline above a wooded valley and witness the beautiful El Chorro waterfall, have time for a bit of shopping during market day at Coscomatepec and try their hand at both rappelling down a cliff and rafting on class II and III river rapids. Once they reach sea level, they’ll go on a boat ride to try to spot howler monkeys and enjoy a trek through the jungle near the village of Ejido Miguel Hidalgo before getting slathered in mud and participating in a traditional temazcal ritual. After that, it’s all about water—kayaking on a mountain stream, cooling off in crystal-clear pools with adjacent waterfalls and taking a dip and a “banana boat” ride on the beach. Accommodations are in three- and four-star hotels, including Hotel Colonial in Puebla, recognized as a National Historic Monument for its colonial architecture, and Hotel Veraventura, known for its thermal pools.

The 10-day tour is organized with a small of group of no more than eight people and priced at $2,895 pp dbl (not including airfare); the next confirmed departure is Jan. 9.

bird’s-eye view “Softer” travelers have much to do here, too, whether it’s a cultural tour of the many archaeological ruins and colonial structures, or a closer encounter with nature. Environmental Adventure Company has a Birding in Veracruz tour that coincides with the fall migration, when diverse species, especially hawks, make their way across the state. Clients will come back with tales of thousands of feathered creatures blurring the skies above mountains and sea—and true birders will love the variety of species, from the miniature bumblebee hummingbird to the Aplomado falcon, as well as an abundance of dragonflies and butterflies. The local guide will take them through different elevations of evergreen forests, woodlands and coastal mangroves, and through the towns of Cardel, Playa Juan Angel, La Joya, and Xalapa, with a special visit to the Macquiltopetl Ecological Park to hunt for blue mockingbirds. They’ll even get a movie moment at the Texolo waterfall, featured in “Romancing the Stone.”