IVSA Conference 2024:
Welcome to Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Travel and Accommodation Information
La ciudad de las flores y la atenas veracuzana.
The city of flowers and the Athens of Veracruz
Veracruz has one of the most important deep-water ports on the continent of North America, a gateway to Mexico. Xalapa is a city famous for its universities, coffee, and music, and renowned for its ceramic arts and puppetry theatre.
Important travel information:
We have four hotels registered for the 2024 Conference. We recommend you book early as it will be high season.
Travellers who need visas, should acquire them in advance from the nearest Mexican Consulate. The updated list of countries that require visas for entry into México can be found here:
Much of Mexico is located in the subtropical regions of the Northern hemisphere. The natural beauty and attractive climate bring millions of visitors to Mexico each year. Nevertheless, some vaccines recommendations and travel advisories are in place.
The following vaccines are recommended (but not required): COVID-19, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Influenza, Meningitis. Malaria is not a risk in the Xalapa area. However, other mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika and Dengue have been found in the area. Use an effective mosquito repellent to prevent infection. A vaccine for Dengue is also available.
Tap water is NOT potable. For drinking water, purchase bottles of water from the local convenience stores (OXXO; X24, Fasti), supermarkets, or small corner stores (these are cash only). Restaurants and hotels use bottled/filtered water. Tap water is fine for brushing teeth or bathing.
The areas around Xalapa are not part of the travel advisories related to drug-cartel violence. Xalapa is considered one of the safest regions of the country. Still, we recommend avoiding visible valuables such as ostentations jewelry, and being discrete with electronic devices, which can be locked in your hotel safe when not in use. Most of downtwon Xalapa is considered safe at all hours. This is also true of the various campi of the Universidad Veracruzana.
Be careful when crossing the street, as drivers often do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Take the same safety precautions in Xalapa as you would in any other major city.
How to travel to Xalapa, Veracruz.
We strongly recommend that travellers visiting Xalapa arrive by airplane at the Veracruz International Airport (a.k.a. General Heriberto Jara International Airport ) (VER). This is especially true if travellers don’t speak Spanish. Connecting flights into Veracruz can be from Houston (Texas, USA), as well as these major airports in Mexico: Mexico City, Monterrey, Cancún, Guadalajara, Mérida, and Tijuana. These airports accept incoming flights from various foreign points of origin.
Once in Veracruz, it’s easy to purchase a bus ticket to Xalapa, as follows:
Via bus from México City:
At the airport in Mexico City, ask the porter to take you to the Taxis Seguros. If you use a porter, it is customary to tip at the end. $20-$50 (MEX) should suffice. In Mexico City, the only currency accepted is Mexican pesos; you can take cash out from ATMs at most international banks (Santander, Scotiabank, HSBC), or change USD dollars to pesos at a money changer. These are found throughout the airport.
At the window, pre-pay for a taxi to TAPO (Terminal de Autobuses del Oriente). You will receive a ticket which you will give your taxi driver. After this, no other money is required, unless you wish to tip.
At TAPO, purchase a direct ticket to Xalapa from the ADO bus company (cash (pesos), debit, or credit cards). You can also purchase tickets from ADO through their mobile app. Fares will cost about $1300 (MEX) (Fares subject to change). This trip should take between four and five hours.
Busses arrive at the CAXA (Central de Autobuses Xalapa) bus station in Xalapa. There, travellers go downstairs to the Taxi Seguro kiosk, where they purchase a taxi fare to their hotel. They will be given a ticket which they will hand to the waiting taxis. There are no UBER services in Xalapa. Taxi seguros are registered with the CAXA bus terminal. Make note of the taxi registration number (on the windshield of the taxi) in case you forget anything in the taxi.
Via airplane from Mexico City to Veracruz
Multiple flights are offered from Mexico City to Veracruz. You may need to change terminals, using a light-rail train (free). AeroMéxico and Volaris offer flights to Veracruz from Mexico City. Once in Veracruz, follow the instructions (below) about how to arrive in Xalapa.
Via Veracruz (Heroica Veracruz) (VER) to Xalapa
Go to the ADO bus company (there is one inside the airport) and purchase a fare to CAXA (Central de Autobuses Xalapa), Xalapa. You can also purchase tickets from ADO through their mobile app. This trip takes about 1.5 hours.
Busses will arrive at the CAXA (Central de Autobuses Xalapa) bus station in Xalapa. There, travellers go downstairs to the Taxi Seguro kiosk, where they purchase a taxi fare to their hotel. They will be given a ticket which they will hand to the waiting taxis. There are no UBER services in Xalapa. Taxi seguros are registered with the CAXA bus terminal. Make note of the taxi registration number (on the windshield of the taxi) in case you forget anything in the taxi.
To return to the airport in Veracruz, take a taxi to CAXA. Purchase a ticket from the ADO bus line to the airport in Veracruz. This journey should take less than 1.5 hours.
Local transportation in Xalapa
Many visitors travel around downtown Xalapa on foot. This portion of the city is built on the edges of an extinct volcano, and therefore some of its streets can be quite steep.
At present, services such as UBER are not available in the city. Taxis are the most effective and fasted means of transport within the region.
Travelling by Taxi within Xalapa:
Travel around Xalapa with taxis or on foot. Taxis are numerous and tend to be affordable. Settle on the fare before taking the taxi. Most taxi services within the city will cost under $100 (MEX), with the average being $50-60. Make note of the taxi registration number (on the windshield of the taxi) in case you forget anything in the taxi.
To travel to the conference venue, you will ask to go to the marked location in the program. All taxi drivers will know how to get there. Taxis are cash only and prefer smaller bills ($100 or less) or exact change. You can take cash out from ATMs at most international banks (Santander, Scotiabank, HSBC, BBVA) in Xalapa. ATMs usually give large bills on withdrawals, so try to withdraw amounts that aren’t in even thousands, such as $1100, $!200, $2100, $2200, etc. The only currency accepted in Xalapa is Mexican pesos. Small businesses prefer to deal in cash.
However, since there are numerous universities in Xalapa, it can be possible to find people who can speak some English. Having a translator on your phone or a Latin American Spanish phrasebook might prove handy.
Most of the conference will occur at the Universidad Veracruzana, Museo de Antropología and USBI. The USBI is nestled within a park setting, next to Xalapa’s principal concert hall, Tlaqná. This section of the UV campus is a favourite location for walkers, runners, and cyclists, due to its lush, green parks, and trails.
Arrangements have been made with multiple hotels in Xalapa. All the hotels included WIFI for guests.
Hotel Balcón del Parque
Rafael Ramírez #62
For reservations call: 52-228-504-0477
Reference for group rates: IVSA Show Don’t Tell
This is a brand-new luxury boutique hotel with a view overlooking the beautiful Parque Tecajetes.
Amenities: The restaurant in this hotel is superb!
Holiday Inn Express Xalapa
Av. I. Zaragoza #8
For reservations call:52-228-141-1690
Reference for group rates: Conferencia Anual IVSA 2024
Fitness Center, breakfast included, hotel located half a block from the city square, cathedral, many cafés, restaurants, and shopping.
Hotel Gamma Fiesta Americana Xalapa
Av. Ruiz Cortines #912
For reservations call: 52 228-368-5000
Reference for group rates: IVSA Show, Don’t Tell
Swimming pool, gym, enclosed garden, breakfast included.
Gran Hotel Xalapa
Calle Victoria #163
For reservations call: 52-228-818-2222
Reference for group rates: IVSA Show, Don’t Tell
Swimming pool, gym, restaurant, located a short walk from one of Xalapa’s nicest parks, Parque Tecajetes, breakfast included.
In the event there are no vacancies left at the aforementioned hotels, we suggest you contact:
Hotel Villa Las Margaritas Xalapa
This hotel has three locations, two of which are ideal for this visit:
one in front of the main bus terminal (CAXA) in Xalapa:
Calle Benito Quijano #10
and one located in the city center:
Calle Dr. Rafael Lucio #186
Having data on your mobile phone will make navigating Xalapa much easier. Purchasing a SIM card for Mexico is quite easy. Pay-as-you-go plans can be purchased for as little as $50 (MEX) at any Telcel store or OXXO convenience store. Extra data can be purchased at these stores, should your SIM card need more credit.
Restaurants and cafés
In the list below, we’ve provided some of our favourite restaurants, including some taquerías. If you like spicier food, of course Mexican cuisine won’t disappoint. Be sure to try (at least once) one of the nation’s most famous culinary creations, Mole Negro (a dish prepared with a sauce made of ground nuts, fruits, and chocolate. Street food is also very popular here. But to avoid food poisoning, we recommend eating in established restaurants.
La Cocinita de Doña Clarita
Tacos La Vecindad
Tacos Don Chema
Fonda El Itacate
La Casona del Beaterio
La Estancia de los Tecajetes
El Salto de Xala
Comida de Reyes
Toque de Gracia
La Casa del Tío Yeyo (Coatepec)
Arcos de Belen (Coatepec)
Finca Andrade (Coatepec)
Reformanda – Barra de Café
Green Coffee and Tea
Bola de Oro
Ofelia Pan y Café
Jaco Jazzy Café Catando Ando
El Café de Avelino (Coatepec)
Un café para tus muertos (Coatepec)
Matita de Café (Coatepec)
Tueste Café (Coatepec)