Not yet as famous as its neighbours, Veracruz holds unknown diving potential. Among its secrets: an eight-platform reef system that is ripe for exploration and five major wrecks - several of which are US military ships.
The seabeds of this naval port are blessed with a spectacle of sunken ships so wreck diving in Veracruz draws divers of all experience levels. Some vessels lie in as little as 10m of water and are great for fine tuning your skills.
Scuba diving in Veracruz isn't limited to wrecks - the marine park filled with sharks and macro is still largely undiscovered. Drift over a rainbow of boulder brain and great star coral with reef fish of every kind including the iridescent ‘Gobio Jarocho’ - a fish found exclusively in Veracruz. Spot turtles, rays and sharks if you're lucky.
Diving in Veracruz is fantastic year-round. If you like warmer dives with fewer crowds, book your trip between May and November. During these months water temperatures of around 82ºF (28ºC) match the balmy conditions enjoyed in Cozumel and Cancun.
Conditions at the dive sites are great all year but from November wind direction determines which sites boats can navigate to. Provided you can access the site on the day, diving in Veracruz is just as excellent out of season (and should be nice and quiet).
You can observe the wrecks with stunning 30m visibility year-round. In terms of marine life, migrational patterns are not known so it’s possible to see anything from whale sharks to bull sharks at any point. Veracruz hosts great music festivals so try to tie these in with your trip.
Veracruz is a city on the Gulf of Mexico. Its main airport is Veracruz International. You can fly direct to Veracruz from Houston (2h 20m). If travelling from elsewhere in the US or from further afield, fly to Mexico City or Cancun and hop on a connecting flight to Veracruz. Mexico City and Cancun welcome visitors from major cities around the world making diving in Veracruz accessible to all.
Once at Veracruz Airport it's a 20 minute drive to the port where you'll have easy access to the best diving in Veracruz with or without your own transport. Renting a car has benefits for non-diving days: travel up into the mountains, explore ruins and cathedrals and end up in Catemaco where you can sail to an island of howler monkeys.
Alternatively, spend time in Mexico City soaking up the culture and sampling delicious coffee before renting a car. A road trip from Mexico City to Veracruz take around 5h 30m and can pass through the stunning national park if the route is carefully plotted.