Salsa with divas wearing outrageous costumes at the city’s exuberant Carnaval. Afterwards, or at any time of year, relax with an ice-cold mint julep and soak up the sounds of marimba in the zócalo, one of Mexico’s most vibrant plazas.
Enjoy the café culture in this university town surrounded by coffee plantations. The Museum of Anthropology here is second only to Mexico City’s.
3 Whitewater rafting
There are magnificent rafting opportunities, as well as other adrenaline sports, on the rivers that tumble down the tropical valleys of the Sierra Madre Oriental. Take a tour from one of the cities, or head directly to the riverside towns of Jalcomulco or Tlapacoyan.
4 El Tajín
Explore the unique pyramids and ruins at this magnificent remnant of Classic Veracruz civilization; the awesome voladores perform their aerial dance here too.
Take a boat trip across this enchanting lake, surrounded by one of the last remaining tracts of jungle in central Mexico, followed by a relaxing temazcal, a traditional sauna, or a session with a shaman.