The capital of the state of Veracruz, XALAPA is a big city, remarkably attractive despite its relative modernity and traffic-laden streets. Set in countryside of sometimes breathtaking beauty, sprawling across a hillside below the volcanic peak of the Cofre de Perote (4282m), it enjoys views to the snow-capped Pico de Orizaba and a warm, damp climate that encourages rich, jungly vegetation. In addition to these natural advantages, Xalapa has been promoted by its civic leaders as a cultural centre, with a classical and traditional music festival in June, an international jazz gathering in August and a major literary festival in September, as well as many lesser events year round. Home, too, of the University of Veracruz and the exceptional Museo de Antropología, it’s a lively place, enjoyable even if you simply hang out in one of the many cafés in the centre of town, sip the locally grown coffee and watch life pass by. For adrenaline junkies and lovers of nature there’s much more, though, as Xalapa is also close to numerous rivers: as they crash down from the high sierra to the coast, these create numerous spectacular waterfalls and some of Mexico’s finest opportunities for whitewater rafting and kayaking.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Mexico features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The colours of Mexico captured in 14 pictures

The colours of Mexico captured in 14 pictures

Travel photographer Tim Draper has shot images for more than 20 Rough Guides guidebooks, visiting far-flung corners around the world. Here he shares some of h…

21 Jun 2016 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Marvellous Mexico: 8 insider tips from our authors

Marvellous Mexico: 8 insider tips from our authors

Surviving 42ºC (107ºF) desert heat, tramping hurricane-battered Pacific beaches and scaling lofty volcanoes, our hard-travelling authors have visited every co…

06 Jun 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Cozumel: an insider's guide to Mexico's Caribbean jewel

Cozumel: an insider's guide to Mexico's Caribbean jewel

Most people visit Mexico's Isla Cozumel for one of two reasons: to scuba dive, or to kill time with food and drink before their cruise ship takes off again. Eve…

03 Jun 2016 • Mandy Gardner insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month