Orizaba is a city in Veracruz, Mexico.
Orizaba is one of the main cities of the Mexican State of Veracruz-Llave. It's located between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. The city is also known by locals as "Pluviosilla".
Being a relatively small city by Mexican standards, it is not possible to get to Orizaba in a commercial flight from a major airline. However, it is possible to reach the city flying to Mexico City International airport and taking a bus directly to Orizaba from the airport.
If you know someone or are alone when travelling to Orizaba, it may be more convenient to fly into Veracruz International Airport in the city of Veracruz. The drive to Orizaba is about 3 hours long, but the roads are fairly well maintained. There are numerous car rental companies in Veracruz.
The reason for flying into Veracruz vice Mexico City is for several reasons:
1) Traffic in Mexico City is notoriously horrible. Veracruz traffic is considerably thinner and easier to manage.
2) The mountain overpass between Orizaba and Mexico City is extremely dangerous, with sharp turns and angles of nearly twenty degrees vertical. During the winter it is nearly inaccesible and not recommended for driving.
Getting to Orizaba by car is easy. From Mexico City, take the Mexico-Veracruz highway. Orizaba is about four hours from Mexico's capital.
Major bus companies (ADO, ADO GL, UNO, AU, etc) offer service to Orizaba. Rates vary according to quality service. Seniors have 50% off when traveling by ADO.
Orizaba is not reachable by boat.
In the city: (Note that Orizaba has just been awarded "Pueblo Magico"!!!)
- The new teleferico, or cablecar, up to the top of Cerro Borrego is a must. You get a great view of Pico de Orizaba and there is also a zip-line. Located behind city hall.
- The Iron Palace. Can you believe this city has a cute European small iron castle in downtown? (This was designed by Gustave Eiffel and constructed in 1894. Excellent place for a coffee or beer, etc).
- La Alameda. This the central park of Orizaba. Dedicated to Francisco Gabilondo Soler better known as "Cri-Cri" (1907-1990) a popular writer and interpreter of children songs. (this park just underwent a make over and is back open and very nice).
- El Palacio Municipal (The City Hall). A building dating from 1905 and originally used as public school. Since 1991 this building is the City Hall. The building has a mural by José Clemente Orozco.
- State Art Museum
- Rio Orizaba (Orizaba stream). A beautiful stream in the middle of the city. The stream is crossed by several bridges. It is also a linear Zoo with Jaguars, ostriches, monkeys, etc....excellent walk and free.
- Panteón Municipal (Municipal Cemetery)
- Cerritos Market is very nice as well. Its NW of city center on the periferico.
- There also a market called Melchor Ocampo just north of the Iron Palace.
Close to the city:
- Los 500 Escalones (The 500 Steps_Its actually about 210 steps!). A traditional ride for locals. This a very long stair (almost 500 steps) which takes you close to 34 m high waterfall known as the "Cascada del Elefante" or "Cascada de Barrio Nuevo". You can also walk to Los Siphones spring for a cool swim too!).
- Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (from Nahuatl citlal(in) = star, and tepētl = mountain). This is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America.
- Puente de Metlac (Metlac bridge). This is a 115m tall bridge linking Orizaba to Cordoba by the highway.
- Paragliding 30 minutes from Orizaba, in Fortin de las Flores.
- Hotel Fiesta INN, Gte. Gral. Lic. Ivan Mendoza R. Oriente 6 No. 892, ☎ (272) 728 0300 (272) 728 0301. edit
- Grand Hotel De France, Prolangacion De Avenida Ote. 6 186, Centro, 94300 Orizaba, Vericruz., ☎ 01 272 725 2311. very nice, historic and cheap. Right close to centro as well edit
- Hotel Holy Day INN, Gte. Gral. Ernesto Guraieb Argudin Oriente 6 No. 464 entre Sur 9 y 11, ☎ (272) 724 0077. edit
- Hotel Fiesta Cascada, Gte. Gral. Ana Elena Ramírez Autopista Puebla-México Km. 275, ☎ (272) 724 5599 (272) 724 1596 (272) 724 1598. edit