Tampico Mexico

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Tampico is a city and port in the southeastern part of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is located on the north bank of the Pánuco River, about 10 kilometres inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and directly north of the state of Veracruz.

Nostalgia can be felt closely in the Port of Tampico as in few other places in Mexico. Warm, friendly and including, the people from Tampico know how to treat visitors, be they immigrants, tourists or just passing through. It is the city where one thousand languages have ceased to exist and where one thousand voices have stuttered their first words in Spanish. It is also a happy, fun-loving city that was built by hard labour and with the richness of the land and the sea, and it has an extraordinary history.

Tampico looks especially attractive today, as it has been looked after and rejuvenated by its inhabitants, who are very proud of their city. The archetypal wooden houses and big elegant buildings combine together to form a most unusual Mexican urban landscape. Walking through the Historic Center of Tampico is like walking towards the beginnings of the modern age.

But Tampico is not only tradition, its urban development took into consideration, the spaces for recreation and amusement, and visitors can fill the hours doing a lot of really fun things: parks, lakes, archaeological sites, modern bridges and the space reserved for the conservation of nature is limited only by the warm sea of the Gulf of Mexico.


Miramar Beach is the northernmost beach on the long coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Its ten kilometres of fine sand, gentle waves and very gradual slope into the sea make it the ideal spot for beach enthusiasts. Sailing, jet skiing and fishing with nets are some of the fun options available at this beautiful spot.

The El Tordo Sandbar
The Carrizal River forms a scenic sandbar at the point where its flows into the Gulf of Mexico, about 165 km north of Tampico. The little fishing village is surrounded by thick vegetation, and beach. An ideal place for camping, it has a few palm hut shelters and some seafood restaurants. You will be able to see turtles and all sorts of fish.


Since the tropic of cancer crosses Tampico, the city has a humid subtropical climate, with an average year-round temperature of 24° C. It is hot and humid in the summer and warm and dry in the winter. Typically, June to mid-October is the rainy season with significantly less rain received the remainder of the year.

Temperature in CelsiusJFMAMJJASOND
Rainfall (mm)2116152037144111120203893439


The city of Tampico is linked with two other towns that together form the metropolitan area: Almira to the north and Ciudad Madero to the south. Located on the left hand side of the Panuco River that arrives here almost dried up from its furiously flowing journey down the Eastern Sierra Madre, Tampico is currently the second most important port in Mexico and it could not have a better geographical location from the point of view of international trade.

The city lies in a rich petroleum-producing region; it is a chief commercial center of northeastern Mexico and one of the most important seaports of the country. Although oil is the largest export of the port of Tampico, it also is a major exporter of silver, copper, lumber, wool, hemp, and other agricultural products.


The origins of the city of Tampico date back to the first years of the colonies when Brother Andrés de Olmos founded the town of San Luis de Tampico north of its current location on April 26, 1554.

The richness of its salt mines and the need to find a location more in accordance with its vocation brought about the founding of modern Tampico on April 12, 1823. Its name at that time was Santa Anna de Tampico.

During its peak years, silver from San Luis Potosí left its docks and imported goods, clothes and prefabricated wooden houses that would set the style of the city's architecture landed there.

Tampico was the first port in Mexico to have a dock, and international trade flourished during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz. This trade has continued and increased due mainly to the 20th century dependence on oil.


Near Tampico you can visit two nature areas with diverse wildlife, making them great spots for ecotourism outings. The Parque Ecologico Laguna El Chairel has a lagoon surrounded by lush vegetation. There you can go kayaking, rowing or fishing for such species as tuna, mackerel, shad, red snapper and shark. The Laguna del Carpintero is a nature park where you can observe a wide variety of flora, such as pine trees, Roselle and lemongrass, as well as various animal species, including crocodiles and turtles.

El Cielo Biosphere Reserve
Declared a protected nature area by the UNESCO in 1987, El Cielo is the most important ecological reserve in Mexico. In the craggy Sierra de Cucharas and the Sierra Chiquita, you will find scenery ranging from a tropical forest at 200 meters above sea level to a pine forest at 1,200 meters within a distance of a few kilometres. There are a great number of birds, mammals and reptiles in El Cielo, some of which are in danger of extinction and living there in hope of their last opportunity for survival. There are some lodging facilities but a permit is required to use them.

Unique to Here

Club Campestre Tampico
Surrounded by luxurious vegetation on the banks of Lake Cairel and beautifully maintained, this is regarded as one of the most beautiful nine-hole golf courses in Mexico. Defined as par 70, it has a 6089 yard course.

  • Airport :
    F J Mina International Airport
  • Airport Tax :
    The departure tax of around US $40 per person is usually included on your plane ticket, please verify.
  • Distance from Airport :
    8 km
  • Tourist Office :
    52 833 229 27 65
  • Tourist Season :
    October though May
  • Festivals & Events

    In Tampico you can enjoy a very festive atmosphere during the city’s Carnaval celebration, which is held in February. During this event you’ll see colourful parades with floats, costume contests, live music, dance performances and fireworks. The city also hosts regattas, fishing tournaments and windsurfing competitions at Playa Miramar during Holy Week. In addition, you can check out sand sculpture competitions, as well as music and dance contests.


    Visitors arrive at the Francisco Javier Mina International Airport. Chartered airlines also fly cheap to nearby destinations. Taxis are at almost every corner. They are an inexpensive means of transportation. Tampico also has a bus service which crosses the main routes in the city, at very reasonable rates. Car rental is best if you want to go explore the region.

    Activities & Sports

    Carpinteros Lake and Metropolitan Park
    This lake was cleaned up several years ago and today, it lies almost inside the Tampico city limits. It has been turned into a recreational center where you can rent boats for trips around the lake and for water sports. You can also watch sports here, especially in April when the Nauticopa power boat races are held.

    Chairel Lake
    Located north of Tampico, this lake is a perfect place to practice aquatic sports such as swimming, skiing and fishing. It is situated in a natural environment and features some of the best water sports clubs.

    In the active port of Tampico, you can play golf on one of the country's most extraordinarily small golf courses.

    Along the coast of Playa Miramar, 12 km north of Ciudad Madero, you can catch marlin, sailfish and swordfish. Fishing facilities are also available in the El Chairel Lagoon.

    The coast of the Gulf of Miramar, at Playa Miramar, is always full of boats participating in fishing competitions and regattas, particularly during Holy Week.

    On the outskirts of Tampico City there are a number of lagoons, such as the one in the Parque Recreativo de la Laguna Carpinteros, which is suitable for water sports. The Nauticopa boat race is held there annually in April.

    You will find locals who rent their horses on Miramar beach near Tampico, where you can ride along ten kilometres of soft, sandy beach.


    In Tampico you can explore the ruins of an ancient Huastec settlement: Las Flores. Inhabited between 900 and 1200 AD, the most striking structure here is a rotund pyramid with a frontal staircase.

    The nearest site is about 300 km south of Tampico but is definitely worth the trip. These are interesting ruins of El Tajin. Located amid the vanilla groves and lush green hills, you will discover the holy city of the Totonacs. It is believed to be one of the most important pre-Colombian sites in Mexico. Make sure to purchase some vanilla liquor in the market, it is simply great over ice cream.

    Attractions & Sights

    The best way to take a stroll through the Historic Centre of Tampico is to have no preconceived ideas so that you can be surprised every time you go around a corner. The mixture of styles, the sensual Art Nouveau stone contours, the strength and soberness of the English style, the delicate French ironwork, the wooden houses painted in Louisiana style and the kiosks, balconies and marquees will speak to you of a universal language.

    The Old Customs Building
    This historical old building was constructed between 1896 and 1898, and it controlled ships sailing between Tampico and other cities in Mexico and the rest of the world. Tampico was the first port in Mexico to have a dock, and international trade flourished during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz. This trade has continued and increased due mainly to the 20th century dependence on oil. Its iron and brick work saw the arrival of travelers and immigrants who came to Mexico on all sorts of ships, mainly from Europe.

    Cathedral Tampico
    This magnificent building was built in the Neo-Classical style and completed in the 20th century. It has an old English clock that dates back to 1888. In its interior there are several wall paintings and other works of art. The altar is of white Carrara marble.

    Maritime Customs Building
    This English style building was inaugurated by Porfirio Diaz in 1902.

    Municipal Palace
    Displaying an eclectic style with elements of Art Nouveau this building houses the Tampico DIF offices.

    Plaza de Armas (Arms Square)
    A pleasant green space with tall palm trees and a curious kiosk designed in the robust Neo Classic style.

    Museum of Huastec Culture
    This museum contains several examples of pre-Hispanic civilization from the region known as Huasteca, which includes part of the neighbouring states of San Luis Potosí, Veracruz and Hidalgo.


    Tampico offers numerous options to enjoy a night out. You can visit establishments where you can listen to live music, have some drinks and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Some of the spots also have music like Boys and Girls, Byblos and Fiesta.

    Side Trips

    If you have a few free days why not rent a car and head south towards Veracruz and the surrounding archaeological sites of Zempoala , El Tajin or Las Mesas; the vanilla and coffee plantations of Papantla; La Antigua claims to be the site of the first European settlement on the American continent; and the lush tropical hills and lagoons of Tecolutla and Nautla River.


    Tampico offers a wide range of accommodation to suit every type of budget. One can find resorts, apartment rentals, B&Bs, small hotels, and youth hostels. Most hotels serve wonderful food.

    Eating Out

    Residents of Tampico are affectionately known as "los jaibos" ("the crayfish"). That is the extent of the similarities with one of the city's most pleasant activities: eating well and enjoying a wide variety of seafood and other dishes and their incomparable seasoning.

    One of the secrets of the food in Tampico is the quality and freshness of the food products: vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and seafood. The other secret is the culinary imagination and warm hospitality of the inhabitants.

    The typical regional dishes are prepared with crayfish, shrimp and succulent fish like sea bass and black conger eel. Flavors from the old baroque time are present in the carne asada a la tampiqueña (Tampico style grilled meat).

    For dessert try regional fruits that includes just about all the fruits you can imagine and finishing it all off with a sorbet in La Minerva.


    You will find all sorts of boutiques, bazaars, department stores, traditional markets and typical shops all over Tampico. Here you can shop for all sorts of locally produced or imported articles, as well as regional handicrafts such as objects made of henequen or palm leaves, furniture, leather clothing and decorative objects made out of seashells.

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