Coatzacoalcos Veracruz is one of the nine ports of the Gulf of Mexico.
It owes its importance to the oil industry and petrochemical complexes, such as the case of Ethylene XXI.
It also has a perfect location between the sea and the Coatzacoalcos River, making it an ideal choice for business tourism.
Coatzacoalcos means “in the enclosure of the snake” coming from “Coatl” snake and “Tzacualli” pyramid or temple. Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl disappeared here sailing on a raft.
Coatza (short name) is one of the most populated cities in the state, exceeding 325,000 inhabitants.
Since it is not an island, you can find traditions from different parts of Mexico and the state due to this municipality’s cultural diversity.
Coatzacoalcos Veracruz is recognized worldwide for its oil refineries (Pajaritos, Oleosur) and the birthplace of the famous actress Salma Hayek.
10 Best things to do and see in Coatzacoalcos Veracruz
Tourists in Coatzacoalcos can enjoy different activities, but the most prominent attractions are all over the city’s boulevard and parks.
Here I share with you the ten best tourist places in Coatzacoalcos, which will make it easier for you to know where to go and what to visit.
1. The Malecon
The Coatzacoalcos boardwalk boasts more than 15 km, making it an excellent choice for walking or jogging along the seashore.
It has certain parts enabled with a track for jogging or biking, besides having several monuments. Also, there are several food options along the coast if you get hungry.
2. Visit the Olmec Archaeology Museum
On the boardwalk, you can find another interesting thing to see in Coatzacoalcos, the “Museo de Arqueología Olmeca,” which contains more than 500 specimens of the Olmec culture.
Its main attraction is its architecture, as it resembles a pyramid, and inside, the rich history that you can learn quickly is a small museum, so it’s perfect to kill time if you are on the boulevard.
3. Las Barrillas Beach in Coatzacoalcos Veracruz
Playa Las Barrillas is the most popular beach here, located on the city’s shores, between the Laguna del Ostión and the sea.
It is a place known for its palapas, where they serve excellent seafood, plus the area is kept clean and with water games for children.
I highly recommend taking a boat ride to explore the region’s mangroves, or you can also take an ATV ride and practice gotcha.
4. Paseo de las Escolleras
The Paseo de las Escolleras is located at the junction of the river and the sea and has an extension of approximately 1 kilometer.
You can appreciate the big cargo ships, run, and see some of the city’s fishermen.
Undoubtedly, the view you get from the end of the stretch motivates you to walk the entire corridor; remember that it will be 2 km (back and forward) if you achieve this feat.
5. Lighthouse Museum
Another famous tourist landmark of Coatzacoalcos is the Lighthouse Museum, where you can find another exhibition of the Olmec culture, images, and instruments about the maritime sector of the city.
It also houses a small zoo, where children will indeed have a good time, and the adults walk around its clean and pleasant facilities.
6. Bicentennial Park
Bicentennial Park is the zoo located inside the lighthouse. It has a workshop for children.
Everything is amicable and clean.
There are different types of animals and above all a very familiar atmosphere, you can even bring your food.
The main attractions are the jaguars and crocodiles that live there.
7. Jaguaroundi Ecological Park
Inside the Jaguaroundi Ecological Park, you can take tours through the rainforest managed by PEMEX (Mexico’s oil company) and canoeing and kayaking.
The area has guides explaining the importance of this reserve and the different flora and fauna you can find. Remember to bring insect repellent.
8. Jurassic Coatzacoalcos Park
Coatzacoalcos Jurassic Park is one of the favorite tourist attractions in Coatzacoalcos, ideal for kids.
It is a small place compared to similar parks, but it has the difference of taking a tour in a “lanchita” (small boat) through the site, climbing a wall, and rappeling down it.
9. The Soteapan waterfall
The Soteapan waterfall is another tourist attraction around Coatzacoalcos Veracruz that you must visit, where you can rent boats and palapas and swim in these relaxing waters.
You can take guided tours if you want to go a little deeper into the area.
The access to get there is not easy, but you will have an enjoyable time there.
10. Visit the water parks
Also within the places to visit near the city are the different themed water parks, such as the Bajio Sports Center and the El Gallero Aqua Park, with very accessible costs.
These are excellent options to cool off during the hot summer and spend time with your children, nothing like relaxing in their different pools.
Restaurants in Coatzacoalcos Veracruz
Other typical dishes are its exquisite fish and seafood, so if you want to know where to eat in Coatzacoalcos, here are the best restaurants in the city:
- La Flor del Istmo restaurant, where you can enjoy delicious breakfasts and excellent seafood
- A good seafood buffet option is Mariscos Juan Chinchoncha
- La picadita Jarocha, where you will find regional snacks
The hotels you can find in the city are of good quality.
The most sought-after are Hotel One Coatzacoalcos, Hotel Enriquez, Hotel Fiesta Inn Coatzacoalcos, Hotel Terraza del Sol, Hotel Playa Varadero, and Quetzalcoatl Hotel & Suites Deluxe.
How to get to Coatzacoalcos Veracruz
To get to this municipality, you can choose to arrive by land or air since it shares its air traffic with Minatitlan in the Canticas airport.
To give you an idea, a flight from Mexico City costs between 1,500 and 4,000 MXN through Interjet or Aeroméxico.
If you decide to drive, the capital city Xalapa is 410 km to Coatzacoalcos (about four and a half hours), from Veracruz is 310 KM (3.30 hours), from Minatitlan is 22 KM (30 min) and from Merida is 730 KM (9.20 hours).
This municipality has a tropical climate, so the rains are periodic; the rainiest month is September.
The average annual temperature is around 25° C, with a maximum temperature of 28° C in May and 22°C in January.
I hope you get a chance to visit this part of Mexico. Although the Gulf side has always been underrated, there are many exciting things to do and see.
Also, historically speaking, it’s super-rich!