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The jarocho tunes, a mixture of Iberian and African rhythms, incite to dance and unleash the festive enthusiasm in Veracruz, an effervescent and jovial City, a port of assorted roots where the indigenous and Hispanic legacies nurtured from the cultural background of men an women of other continents, who came onboard the galleons that cleaved the oceans of the planet.

Veracruz beats joy and its people sway like the boats anchored on its port, the largest in Mexico, while dancing. Here the party is with jarocho music, marimbas and dances, which mark the rhythm of the melodies that unravel at the end of the day in the crowded Plaza de Armas.

The current joy contrasts with the uncertainty of the old times, when the founders of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz lived in constant alert due to the incursions of the treacherous and fearful corsairs and pirates, who prowled the port to capture the riches of the Iberian galleons.
They were times of unrest, Mexico was the New Spain and Veracruz projected as the main Mesoamerican port, but it was still a small, defenceless, almost itinerant City because its inhabitants had to move to Quiahuiztlán first, and to La Antigua later, to finally return to the site of its foundation in 1519; a place chosen by Hernán Cortés in front of the Island of San Juan de Ulúa.

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VERACRUZ - MEXICO TRAVEL AND TOURS
Veracruz Travel
Attractions in Veracruz
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Cortés would initiate his march towards the great Tenochtitlán from this port city backed by the Totonaca king, Chicomacatl, known as the "Fat Chief", who was convinced that the westerners would free his people from the high tributes they paid to the Mexicas.

After the consolidation of the Spanish dominion the City would pose itself as Mexico's port of entrance, so in that regard impressive fortresses of European airs, such as the bulwarks of San Juan de Ulúa on the homonymous Island, and that of Santiago in the southern zone, along with extensive walls, were raised to protect the prosperous City.

The historical relevance of Veracruz, which is located 405 kilometres away from Mexico City and at 135 kilometres from Xalapa, the State's capital City, would consolidate three centuries later, when the Spaniards signed the treaty on which they recognised Mexico's independence in nearby Córdoba.

Later the brave Joropo people would give their lives in the defence of the nation's integrity when US and French troops invaded part of Mexico's territory in 1847 and 1914 respectively. Due to these decisive actions of its population, the City would be granted the title of "Four Times Heroic".

Today the times are happier, there are neither pirates nor foreign soldiers razing the coastlines, only restless travellers wishing to visit its colonial vestiges, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Ascension, the agitated Plaza de Armas, the Municipal Palace and its tall and thin tower from where the ships' arrivals were controlled.

A stroll along the traditional jetty promenade is indispensable, for in this way you will begin to understand the port essence of Veracruz. Another amazing place is the Aquarium, the eighth most visited on the planet and the largest in extension (3493 square metres) and equipment in Latin America.

It was inaugurated in 1992 an it hosts 3000 marine species in 25 pools, with an awesomely huge Great Oceanic Fishbowl, with a perimeter of 69 metres and 13 walls of transparent acrylic 22 centimetres thick. Fearful sharks inhabit it, and it stands a pressure of 1250000 litres of salt water coming from the Gulf of Mexico.

On the adventure along Veracruz' lands one must not forget the idyllic beaches of Mocambo and Costa de Oro, neither the colonial cities of La Antigua, whose tired colonial buildings inspire nostalgia, or Córdoba where you will always find a good reason to taste an excellent cup of coffee.

You should not fail to visit the Town of Papantla, of pre-Hispanic roots, cradle of the famous flyers of Papantla, a traditional dance on which four dancers perform pirouettes in the air to worship the sun god; or the appreciated City of Tlacotalpan, home of the Totonacas and Olmecas, and an archaeological zone declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity.

If you still lack sufficient reasons to visit Mexico's main port, try an imagine the tastes of its excel gastronomy and the burst of joy of its vertiginous and festive carnival, amongst the most visited within the country. Come on; be encouraged to know Veracruz, the land of the jarocho, the marimba and the dances.

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