How do regular folks live in Mexico? You can get a taste of the provincial side of the country in beautiful Coatzacoalcos, a medium sized city in the state of Veracruz.
Coatzacoalcos is a peaceful, riverside destination that is very representative of Southeast Mexico. It used to be a thriving commercial port for the country, but in modern times it’s the oil industry that has brought prosperity and growth.
At first glance, there’s nothing too special about Coatzacoalcos. But, if you look closer and spend some time there, you’ll find that it’s the perfect place to experiment a more typical facet of Mexico.
What to do in Coatzacoalcos
Paseo de las Escolleras is the best place to watch a sunrise or a sunset in Coatzacoalcos. We suggest you grab a coconut water from one of the vendors at the entrance and walk this half mile while you enjoy the view and maybe peek into the rocks to catch some fishermen doing their thing.
Another great spot to watch a sunset is Plaza de la Armada, where you’ll have an amazing view of the San Martín volcano and the Gulf of Mexico.
If you enjoy walking, you can’t miss the malecón costero, a pedestrian way that runs parallel to the river and is constantly teeming with life and activity. Restaurants, bars, cafes, stores and boutiques fill the 6 miles of this classic attraction.
To get to Museo del Faro, you’ll have to take a boat to cross the Coatzacoalcos river, all the way to the municipality of Allende. Allocated inside the old lighthouse, this museum takes you on a ride through the region’s maritime history. You can also visit the adjunct Parque Bicentenario, which features a zoo and vast green areas.
The Olmecs are considered to be the oldest civilization that ever existed in the American continent. The over 900 authentic objects in Museo de Arqueología Olmeca will give you a glimpse of this ancient culture’s splendor.
Where to eat in Coatzacoalcos
It should be no surprise that seafood is at the heart of the local cuisine, since there’s plenty of fresh supply all the time. The other branch of it that you must try are the so called antojitos veracruzanos, the regional version of classic Mexican snacks.
For breakfast, we suggest you try La Flor del Istmo, one of the classic restaurants in town, right by the Coatzacoalcos River. Enjoy a lechero (one part strong coffee, two parts milk), delicious huevos divorciados or snacks like the corn based gorditas and picaditas. Speaking of the latter, La Picadita Jarocha has several branches throughout the city and it’s definitely a must.
Hermanos Hidalgo Carrión is a family run place, famous for its fresh and tasty seafood. Ask for the pescado a la veracruzana or the shrimp stuffed fish fillet. Another great place to eat seafood in Coatzacoalcos is the funny named Mariscos Juan Chinchoncha.
That should be enough for a first visit to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. If you’re interested in visiting this alternative destination in Mexico, look up City Express Coatzacoalcos, we’ll be more than happy to have you staying with us!