4 reasons Xico Should Be on your mexico travel Bucketlist
Xico (pronounced hee-ko) is a unique pueblo magico in the state of Veracruz and is one of the best places to visit in Mexico. Just a quick 40 minute drive from the capital city of Xalapa, the small town of Xico is located high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre Oriental which has an ideal temperate climate with incredible biodiversity.
Its colonial style architecture and cobblestone streets make it one of the best places in Mexico to walk around and explore. Together with its neighboring city of Coatepec, another pueblo magico, this region is a perfect place to visit for a day trip or weekend adventure. If your planning to travel Mexico, here are 4 reasons why Xico should be on your Mexico travel bucket list.
Xico is one of the best places in Mexico if you have an appreciation for delicious artisan coffee. At over 4,000 feet above sea level, the town of Xico is perched on top of fertile mountains, the perfect growing grounds for this aromatic bean.
The surrounding area is renowned for its cultivation of tropical fruits, vanilla and of course, coffee beans.
Driving up through the mountains you will undoubtedly see coffee plants and banana trees growing right on the side of the road.
Savor a cup of coffee at one of the quaint cafes in town — most are owned by local producers that roast and sell their own beans you won’t find in any commercial store. If you have more time, spend a day touring one of the nearby coffee fincas (plantations) or take a tour.
2. Cascada de Texolo
Just outside of Xico is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico. The Cascada de Texolo is a massive 80 meter waterfall surrounded by a mountain cloud forest. A steep but quick hike will get you down to the bottom of the falls or you can walk across a suspension bridge to see them from above.
The best time to go is during the rainy season (June-September) when the water becomes a powerful force making a real spectacle. After your hike, visit one of the restaurants overlooking the ravine to reward yourself.
A local delicacy is the trucha al gusto or local river trout cooked to your liking. Sit back, eat, and enjoy the incredible view.
3. Dancing Clowns
Xico is one of the best places in Mexico to experience the culture, tradition and history of the people of Veracruz. These elements all come together when you encounter the surreal dancing clowns known as payasos. The tradition of the dance dates back to the arrival of the Spanish who used it as a form of evangelizing the indigenous people. The clowns wear carved wooden masks in unsettling expressions with colorful costumes, tall pointy hats, and clap castanetas while they dance.
Whether you are frightened or enthralled, it really is a sight to see! During festivals and celebrations, clowns and other masked characters roam the streets with musicians performing their ritualistic dance. If you really want to experience the cultural traditions of Xico, including bullfighting, visit in July during the festival of their patron saint, Fiesta de la Magdalena. To learn more about the fascinating history of the dance and how the masks and costumes are made, head over to the Museo del Danzante Xiqueño located a few blocks from the Cathedral.
4. Mole Xiqueño
If you are a foodie, the state of Veracruz is one of the best places in Mexico to visit and one of the most famous dishes hails from Xico. Mole Xiqueno is a rich mole sauce made in Xico and prepared in almost every restaurant in town. It is slightly sweeter than the popular Mole Poblano deriving from Puebla and it’s absolutely delicious. Made with over 24 ingredients, this mole boasts flavors of banana, apple, nuts and ancho chile.
Try it over some chicken for dinner or enmoladas for brunch. Enmoladas are similar to enchiladas but instead of covered in salsa, the stuffed tortillas are smothered in mole sauce.
You can buy the mole paste to bring home at one of the many shops lining the main street as well. If you are there on a weekend you will likely find an outdoor market in the main square selling the sweet mole paste at some of the booths.
Xico, Veracruz is an unfrequented pueblo magico full of fascinating culture, delicious coffee, rich food, amid the natural beauty of Mexico. Hopefully this list has shown you why you want to add Xico to your bucket list if you want to travel to Mexico for a totally unique experience.
Where is Xico located in Mexico?
Xico is located in the central part of the state of Veracruz, high up in the mountains. It is about a 40 minute drive from Xalapa, the state capital and about 2 hours from the coastal city of Heroica Veracruz. Xico is easily accessible by car which makes it an excellent day trip from one of the larger cities of Veracruz.
Best time to visit Xico, Mexico
Xico is a great place to visit anytime of year. Because it is located high in the mountains, the weather tends to be mild year round with average highs in the 70’s. For cooler weather, a visit to Xico during January-March or October-December would be most ideal.
But if you aren’t afraid to visit during the warmer rainy season (June-September), it can be an excellent time to see massive waterfalls and the lush tropical coffee plantations. The mountains of Xico are also a great escape from the steamy summer weather on the gulf coast.
Where to stay in Xico, Mexico
Xico is a small town, so there aren’t many camping options. Try Hacienda San Bartolo or Hotel Hacienda Xico on the outskirts of town for both camping or hotel accommodations. Both provide bathrooms, showers, wifi and electricity. But because the city is so small and quiet, stealth camping on the streets around the cathedral is easy and convenient, if you are traveling in a smaller self-contained van or RV.
Finding an airbnb is easy in Xico because it is a pueblo magico and easily accessible from the capital city of Xalapa and neighboring pueblo magico Coatepec. Many locals from Veracruz will vacation in this area so there are plenty of options around.
Liz & Dennis
We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!
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