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Cities Tlacotalpan (Veracruz)

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Tlacotalpan is the place where most Mexican soap operas are made! No wonder. Beautifully painted houses, calm cobbled streets, colorful boats at the riverside, park with palm trees and a marble floor and a church that looks like it was decorated with a whipped cream. All of that below a shining sun. That is Tlacotalpan, a small village (8000 inhabitants) situated on the shore of river „Papaloapan“. It is like a colorful oasis, like a treasure hidden in the swampy lands of central Veracruz. Due to hot humid climate, the surrounding nature is lush and green with fields of tobacco and sugar cane. Sometimes a huge truck storms through the village, its scoop filled with sugar cane sticks. In 1998 Tlacotalpan was proclaimed a world heritage by UNESCO.
What here: Walk through the fascinatingly colorful streets, visit the souvenir shops. During the day, simple restaurants at the riverside serve fresh fish, shrimps or crab dishes. Then you can take a boat ride on the Papaloapan river. The village houses soon transform into luxurious residences, weekend spots of Mexican actors and politicians. The „captain“will happily tell you the name of each owner (plus some extra gossip for free). The half an hour boat ride costs 30 pesos per person. When the night comes (and the riverside restaurants close), the life wakes up on the main square/park „Zaragoza“.

Where to stay:
Right at the waterfront stands a big hotel with aircon rooms www.hoteldonalala.com (650 – 850 pesos). Another smaller hotel is right on Zaragoza square above one of the restaurants. Should you wish something more “homy” then I suggest you try:

Casa de la Luz. Nice white house with 3 rooms, one cat and a small garden is situated about four blocks from the main square and about six from the river. The rooms are tastefully decorated each with a little terrace and a coffee included. The owner is a friendly American who will help you with whatever you need. Upstairs studio is bigger and has its own kitchen, but the downstairs rooms are somewhat cooler. (Tlacotalpan could get very hot.)
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Price: 400 - 800 pesos. www.casadelaluz-mexico.com
How to get here: ADO offers buses that come from Mexico City, Puebla, Xalapa and Veracruz. The ADO bus terminal is at the riverside within a reasonable walking distance from the main square of Tlacotalpan. More second class buses come daily from Veracruz. Transportes TLT offer connections to other nearby cities including Catemaco.