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Papantla
Papantla

Papantla

Papantla, Veracruz

The Basics

You can easily explore downtown Papantla, including the tranquil town square, notable museums—such as the Teodoro Cano Museum—and the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church, on foot in less than a day. However, most visitors combine a visit to this magic town with a tour of the nearby El Tajín ruins. Save the hassle of logistics by visiting both during a full-day excursion from Veracruz City or Boca del Río, which typically include round-trip transportation.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Veracruz

star-5
Well planned. Excellent value...
Douglas F, Apr 2018
El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz
Well planned. Excellent value. Everything was on time. The guide was very knowledgeable and made time to explain everything. He made sure we had time to see everything. Lunch after El Tajín was in a very good restaurant.
star-5
Mexico is truly a beautiful place...
SkyNet, Jan 2018
El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz
Mexico is truly a beautiful place and is rich in history and tradition. Visit El Tajín Ruins! It is a must see if you are a history buff.
star-5
A long day well-spent
Jade-S, Mar 2020
El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz
A long day trip from Heroica Veracruz lasting almost four hours each way but well worth it for us. Our guide Rafael Ortiz was excellent: very safe and skillful driver, so knowledgeable about the history of the period and culture of the Totonacos civilization, obviously proud of his heritage and a really good person. It would have been difficult to spend 10 hours with a guide we just met in the morning if he wasn't such a delight to be with. The ruins were different than others we have seen throughout Mexico so far. Although the pre-Hispanics were mostly trade oriented unlike the Aztecs, one can see the many cross-pollination of ideas and beliefs that were acquired through contact. Enjoyed a lovely lunch across from the Zocalo and a short tour of the town of Papantla before returning to Veracruz. Rafael was a relaxed and engaged guide throughout our entire time with him. His English is excellent. We recommend him without reservations.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Art lovers won’t want to miss unassuming Papantla, which is home to several large-scale Teodoro Cano García murals.

  • Don’t forget to catch a "Danza de los Voladores" ("Dance of the Flyers") performance—the dance is strongly connected to Totonac culture in Papantla.

  • Papantla is also known for its vanilla, so make sure to sample some of the local produce during your visit.

  • Narrow sidewalks and steep curbs may make Papantla tricky to navigate for wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

Papantla is situated 141 miles (228 kilometers) north of Veracruz City and 187 miles (302 kilometers) from Mexico City. From Veracruz City, catch a bus to Poza Rica and transfer to Papantla by taxi or arrive by private vehicle. You can also make it easy on yourself and visit Papantla as part of an excursion from Veracruz City that includes round-trip transportation.

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When to Get There

Papantla is humid year-round, but don’t let that deter you from combining a visit to Papantla with the nearby El Tajín ruins. To see the city really come to life, visit during one of its annual festivities. Each December sees the arrival of the Vanilla Expo, while June welcomes the Corpus Christi Festival. You can also time your visit to Papantla to coincide with the Festival Cumbre Tajín, which is held at El Tajín in late-March.

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"Magic Towns" in Veracruz

While technically a city, Papantla is one of six so-called pueblos mágicos (magic towns) in the state of Veracruz. Coffee lovers should make a beeline for Coatepec, thought to be the coffee capital of Mexico, while adventure seekers will particularly appreciate Coscomatepec and Orizaba. For handicrafts, Zozocolco is the best bet, while Xico is a culinary gem.

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