Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz, highlights for its culture and its green areas where a variety of exotic flowers grow
Dishes you can't miss
Stuffed jalapeno peppers
Delicious dish prepared with a variety of pepper produced locally and that grows up to 7 centimeters (2.8 in) long.
Dish made of chicken with ancho pepper, wormseed, and corn.
Izote flower tamales
Typical corn dough-based dish with izote flower and chili.
Jamoncillo handmade sweets in various shapes that are usually made by nuns.
Torito La Chata
Traditional fruit-based beverage with sugarcane liquor and condensed milk, with flavors such as mango, guava, peanut, coconut, strawberry, and coffee.
Typical food of Xalapa, Mexico
Spanish and pre-Hispanic cultural heritages blend into the Xalapa local cuisine
Among the delights that you can enjoy in Xalapa you can find stuffed jalapeno peppers; chicken chileatole, a stew based on chicken with ancho pepper, wormseed, and corn; and izote flower tamales. Mushbroom broth is also prepared with wormseed and garlic; pipián rojo is made of pumpkin seeds, ancho pepper, dry chili, and wormseed; and green mole that is made with pork or chicken, including acuyo and various vegetables. Other typical regional dishes are huevos tirados, consisting of eggs cooked with beans and served with cheese, chips, fried plantains, and rice; and seafood that is often accompanied by a spicy sauce. Try camarones a la diabla (shrimp in a spicy sauce), crab in chilpachole, fresh oysters, garlic mojarra, and Veracruz-style red snapper, consisting of tomato sauce with onion, garlic, olives, chilies, and spices. Gut and duck are also offered in the Veracruz style. There is also molcajete de cecina or snacks such as gorditas and picadas.
Typical desserts include covered sweets prepared by nuns, cornbread, fritters, jamoncillo, and fruit with brown sugar. In addition, it is traditional to take the dessert with coffee. The traditional local drink is Torito de la Chata, that is prepared with fruit, sugarcane liquor, and condensed milk; you can choose between flavors such as mango, guava, peanuts, coconut, strawberry, and coffee.
- The climate in Xalapa changes from day to night; we recommend dressing in layers on which you can put a sweater or a jacket.
- Xalapa has lots of attractions to visit; you should wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- If you travel between April and October, remember to carry with you a rain jacket or an umbrella at all times.
The weather in Xalapa, Mexico
The climate in Xalapa is humid temperate, influenced by the altitude of the city, oscillating between 1,250 and 1,560 meters (4,101-5,118 ft) above sea level. The average temperature is 18 °C (64 °F) and the annual average precipitation is 1,509 mm (59.4 in)
What to bring by season
Rainy season (April to October): rains are heavy in Xalapa during this season, with a monthly average of 145 mm (5.7 in) of precipitation. The months with heaviest rainfall are June and September, when they accumulate 253 and 226 mm (10 and 8.9 in) of precipitation, respectively. Days are usually hot, with highs ranging between 25 and 31 °C (77-88 °F), and as dawn approaches, the temperature drops about 11 °C (20 °F). You should bring a hand umbrella or a rain jacket, rain boots, shirts with or without sleeves, Bermuda shorts, pants, and a sweater for the evening.
Dry season (November to March): although rains are lighter, there is an average monthly rainfall of 48 mm (1.9 in). During the dry season, Xalapa records the lowest temperatures of the year, with an average of 18 °C (64 °F), an average low of 11 °C (52 °F) from December to February, and average highs reaching 27 °C (81 °F) in March. The weather is usually mild, we recommend wearing pants, sleeved shirts, and a jacket at night.
Xalapa, or Xalapa Enríquez, its official name, is the political, artistic, and cultural capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz. This city, whose name in Nahuatl means source of sand, was also dubbed as the city of flowers and is located in an area with diverse ecosystems, rich in flora and fauna.
Start your tour through the historic center, discover its cobbled alleys and admire the many colonial buildings. Among the attractions of this area you will find the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with a combination of baroque and neogothic styles, where the remains of the fifth bishop of Veracruz, Rafael Guízar, are safeguarded. Visit the Temple of San José, the Preparatory School of Xalapa, and Benito Juárez Park, the central park where the landscape is framed by majestic araucaria trees. Take a walk through the alleys of Jesús Te Ampare, which was named after a legend of the colonial era, or the Diamond Alley, which is full of coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores, and craft stores.
Xalapa highlights for its intense cultural and artistic activity throughout the year and it has multiple venues enjoy it, including the various units of Universidad Veracruzana. Discover the development of this city, nicknamed the Athens of Veracruz, while admiring the mural and sculptural work in places such as the Government Palace, the faculties of Economy and Law, and the Central Library of Universidad Veracruzana, the Palace of Justice, and Stadium at Xalapa, among others. You can also attend a concert of the Symphony Orchestra of Xalapa in the State Theatre, stroll through Sculpture Garden, whose purpose is to promote three-dimensional art, and witness events at Patio Muñoz, or Los Lagos Cultural Center.
The city’s cultural offer includes several museums, including the Museum of Anthropologyin Xalapa, which is the country’s second largest of its kind, with its collection of testimonies of three cultures that flourished in the entity; and the Interactive Museum of Xalapa with an Imax screen and a planetarium. You will also enjoy the exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Diego Rivera Gallery, Agora of the City, or in the House of Crafts.
Parks and green areas abound in Xalapa, such as Paseo de los Lagos, consisting of three lakes where you can take a walk, a bike ride, or a weekend workshop, and Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanical Garden, immersed in the Bosque de Niebla forest that protects exotic species in danger of extinction. Similarly, there is Paseo de los Berros, the city’s oldest and largest park; Tecajetes Garden with ponds, canals, and green areas adorned with sculptures; Natura Park, with a bird watching tower; and Macuiltépec Ecological Park, located on the highest point of Xalapa with an observation deck and the Wildlife Museum on top. At the foot of the Macuiltépec Volcano you will find the Orchid Cave, which is believed to have been used for religious purposes and astronomical observation, and where nowadays guided tours are available.
Enjoy the most important festivities in the capital of Veracruz, which are even recognized internationally. There are concerts of different styles, dance, theater and art exhibitions during the Musical June International Festival; while world-famous artists are presented in the UV International Jazz Festival. The Day of the Dead and Christmas celebrations are also quite popular.
There are interesting places to visit in the vicinity of Xalapa, including the Magic Town of Coatepec, considered the coffee capital, and the town of Xico, famous for its natural attractions and its patronal celebration in which beautiful rugs of sawdust are elaborated. Other options include Jacomulco, a village where you can practice extreme sports such as rafting; Carrizal, a hotel with hot springs, pools, and slides; and Chachalacas Beach, with the famous Sabanal Dunes, which give the illusion of a large desert.
***The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN).