Tuxtepec is the most important city in the Cuenca de Papaloapan region, which covers part of the state of Oaxaca and Veracruz. It is also the second most populated city in the state of Oaxaca and place of the famous Flor de Piña folk dance.
Here I describe five things that you must when visiting Tuxtepec.
1.- Parque Juárez
This is the heart of the city where you can take a photo with the letters of Tuxtepec and have a pleasant time, especially after the sun has gone down and the heat is less intense. Here, is the Municipal Palace that has more than 30 arches. At night, the Parque Juárez is filled with locals who come here to have a pleasant time. On weekends they organize cultural events and if you are lucky, you can even see the typical dance Flor de Piña, one of the most dynamic and famous folk dances in Mexico that comes from Tuxtepec and it is performed every year at the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca city.
2.- Regional Museum “Casa Verde”
Another place you should visit is the Casa Verde Regional Museum. The museum is called that way because there was previously a green “Casa de Raya” in this precise place. Workers will come here to be paid for harvesting bananas, which at that time was the main industry of Tuxtepec. Due to its advanced state of deterioration, the historic monument could not be rescued and in its place the Regional Museum that bears its name was erected.
The entrance to the Casa Verde Regional Museum is free and you can learn a little bit about the history and cultural wealth of the region. It is open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Just keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays.
In the Museum you will see a representation of what would have been a large wheel made of gold from the tributary province of Tuxtepec. This was given to Hernán Cortés with the aim that he will leave the coasts of Veracruz and not continue on his way to Tenochtitlán.
It is a small museum but it is worth visiting. They hold events very often where they invite some indigenous towns from the Chinantla to offer their crafts and gastronomy. There is also a museum store where you can find souvenirs. Here, you will find photographs of the old village of Tuxtepec, books about history and archeology and much more.
3.- Mercado Central
In the “Mercado Central” you can find souvenirs, Mezcal, huipiles and local products. The best view of the Papaloapan River is found here. If you get hungry you can also enjoy the local cuisine in a dining room with a view of the Papaloapan River.
4.- Suspension bridge
Another point you should visit is the pedestrian suspension bridge (Puente Colgante). This bridge connects the San Bartolo neighborhood with Tuxtepec. There are many legends around this suspension bridge. Crossing the Papaloapan river on this bridge can be very fun.
5.- El Castillo Ruins
Tuxtepec was very important for the Mexica (Aztek) empire. From here the tributes that the indigenous people of Chinantla had to pay to the Mexica empire were collected. The ruins of El Castillo are witnesses of what was once a very important site.
As its name says, they are literally ruins. This site was dynamited and looted many times by bandits who stole treasures and archaeological objects. Now only mounds of rubble remain that serve as home for some animals. Some structures can still be seen that give us an idea of what it may have looked like.
Extra: Gastronomy of Tuxtepec
Finally, you cannot miss trying the local cuisine and products. Try the coconut water, it is delicious. You can find people selling these products everywhere in the city or in the Muro.
And since we are in the land of the dance Flor de Piña, you can’t leave Tuxtepec without trying the pineapple juice.
Regarding the gastronomy of Tuxtepec, you will find in the street stalls and restaurants fried banana with cheese and cream, empanadas, garnachas and gorditas. Something typical for lunch is the beef broth with banana and Tesmole that has balls of corn dough and acuyo (edible leave).
If you like bakery, you will surely love the Cono Relleno (stuffed cone). You can find it in all the bakeries around the city. You also find them in the big supermarkets like Aurrera or Chedrahui. But the ones I like the most are in this panificadora “La Luz”.
But if what you are looking for are some good tacos, I recommend tacos of Carnitas San Miguel (Google it). They are cheap and very tasty.