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Visitor Information -- The tourism office (tel./fax 229/200-2071) is downtown by the zócalo, on the ground floor of the Palacio Municipal (City Hall). It's open Monday through Friday from 9am to 8pm, Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

City Layout -- Downtown Veracruz is a jumble of streets. The social center of town is the zócalo, or town square (formally Plaza de Armas), where you'll find the tourism office. Two short blocks away is another landmark, el malecón, a long promenade fronting the harbor. Starting at the malecón and running south along the coast is Bulevar Avila Camacho, known as el bulevar. It connects downtown to Veracruz's hotel and restaurant zone, which stretches along the coast all the way to the one-time village of Boca del Río.

Public Insecurity -- Lately, local attitudes have been slightly less carefree, as the violence raging in the bordering states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon has spilt over into this state. The principal cause of the violence is a gang war between two formerly allied criminal organizations -- the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. Travelers haven't been targeted, but there have been shootouts in the street including one in the modern hotel zone to the south of downtown. You should exercise caution when visiting this port city.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.