With the new highroad from Mexico to Tuxpan, Tecolutla beach is the quickest beach to reach by car from Mexico City, at only 4.5 hours driving distance. It is along the Gulf of Mexico called the “Emerald Coast”. But this is much more than an ordinary beach trip: in Tecolutla you can explore it´s beautiful mangroves by boat, you can release baby sea turtles, walk on it´s beautiful coast line, stroll through it´s relaxed beach town, eat some of the best sea food in the world, relax at the pool of it´s sea side hotels, wonder through it´s rustic aquarium and have a beach party at night with campfire.
Tecolutla can easily be combined with a trip to the impressive archaeological site of El Tajin and / or the beautiful town of Papantla (Pueblo Mágico). It´s time to explore those hidden jewels, in the State of Veracruz!
Enjoying the journey, not only the destination
Driving through the mountains of central México towards the coast of the State of Veracruz, you can enjoy some of the best views México has to offer. So try to stay awake for at least the last 2 hours of the 4.5 hour trip towards Tecolutla!!
Taking a boat trip in the mangroves
Tecolutla’s biggest attraction is its natural settings of wetlands with estuaries, canals and mangroves alongside the river. The best way to explore this natural wonderland, is to take a boat trip on it´s mangroves for 1 to 1.5 hours. And don´t forget to hail the little boats that can prepare you some of the best Micheladas (beer with salt / lemon and or spices; sometimes supervised by a small crocodile), coconuts or other delicacies. So sit back and enjoy the views !! Expect to see a lot of birds, crocodiles (up close, some of them up to 2 meters, so leave your swimming suit at the hotel), crabs and if you are: lucky raccoons.
Releasing baby sea turtles
In 1974, Fernando Manzano began his work of protection for the marine turtles in Tecolutla, when the green turtle was practically extinct. Tecolutla has always been characterized by its fishing activity and it was necessary to confront fishermen as the main predators of sea turtles, due to the lack of knowledge of these endangered species. Vida Milenaria dedicates all their time to rescue and to conserve the sea turtles, among which the olive ridley turtle, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle stand out. In their camp they take care of their nests until their birth, and than liberate them into the sea. It´s a truly beautiful experience to release the baby turtles, as early as possible in the morning. Normally between June and November, ideally enjoying a beautiful sunrise over the bay of Tecolutla.
Relaxing at the beach
Tecolutla long stretched beach is great for a long walk on the beach, trying some local drinks and foods from the very colorful beach cars and admiring it´s beautiful sunrise or sunset. And, of course to take a dip into the ocean.
Eating some of the best sea food in the world
As a small fisherman´s village, Tecolutla has delicious fresh sea food. Try the ´Plato Marinero´, or fishermen´s plate, with fresh fish, shrimp and crab. Bring company or bring a hungry stomach, because it´s VERY well served. But also the other food is excellent and very economic at the many restaurants in town and typical of the State of Veracruz. Some of our favorite restaurants are El Camarón Desvelado, La Trucha Vagabunda and la Barracruda.
Relaxing at your beach side hotel with pool
To really enjoy Tecolutla, make sure you find a centric hotel at or close to the beach, and the city center, ideally with a nice swimming pool to relax a little between all activities.
A good base is important to really apreciate Tecolutla!
Wondering through the rustic aquarium
Near the city center, towards the small port of Tecolutla, you can find this charming and very rustic small community aquarium, where you can see a great variety of sea fish and animals of the region, as well as a simple collection of objects related to marine life. It´s really worth a short stop!
Partying at the beach at night with campfire
Tecolutla is one of the few places in México where you can actually have a legal party right on the beach, with campfire, drinks, fire show, music and dancing. Ask where the ´Lunada´is and party all night long; normally starting around 21.00 / 22.00 at night. Just make sure to walk back with other people to your hotel, and you will be fine.
Strolling through the relaxed beach town
The name Tecolutla means “place of the tecolotes or owls¨. It is very laid back, bohemiam and very colorful. Very enjoyable to walk through, either and day or at night time.
Exploring El Tajin archeological site
At only 1.5 hours from Tecolutla, towards Mexico City, you can find the amazing archeological site of El Tajin.
El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site in southern Mexico and is one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. El Tajín flourished from 600 to 1200 C.E. and during this time numerous temples, palaces, ballcourts, and pyramids were built. From the time the city fell, in 1230, to 1785, no European seems to have known of its existence. El Tajín was named a World Heritage site in 1992, due to its cultural importance and its architecture. This architecture includes the use of decorative niches and cement in forms unknown in the rest of Mesoamerica. Its best-known monument is the Pyramid of the Niches, but other important monuments include the Arroyo Group, the North and South Ballcourts and the palaces of Tajín Chico. In total there have been 20 ballcourts discovered at this site (the last 3 being discovered in March 2013). Since the 1970s, El Tajin has been the most important archeological site in Veracruz for tourists, attracting over 650,000 visitors a year.
Exploring Papantla (Pueblo Mágico)
Papantla is a beautiful town located in the north of the state of Veracruz, at only 1 hour from Tecolutla, and one of the 121 Pueblos Mágico of México. The town was founded in the 13th century by the Totonacs and has dominated the Totonacapan region of the state since then. This is the home of vanilla, which is native to this region and the Danza de los Voladores. Papantla still has strong communities of Totonacs who maintain the culture and language. The city contains a number of large scale murals and sculptures which honor the Totonac culture. The name Papantla is from Nahuatl and most often interpreted to mean “place of the papanes” (a species of crow). This meaning is reflected in the municipality’s coat of arms. A small but very clean and interesting Pueblo Mágico.
Explore Tecolutla, El Tajin and Papantla
with Aztec Explorers
Let´s explore those amazing places together!
The next date exploring Tecolutla beach, El Tajin archeological site and Papantla (Pueblo Mágico) with Aztec explorers, is during the weekend of March 30 + 31; leaving at 6.00 on Saturday and returning at 22.00 on Sunday; all details on Meetup.
Small groups, certified guide, in English and Spanish.
Exploring the State of Veracruz