Located close by the El Tajin ruins and the interchange city of Poza Rica, Papantla is known for its downtown square (Zocalo) and its cathedral, where voladores (flyers) perform. Other specialties are its homegrown vanilla liquor.
ADO services Papantla, their bus station is Juárez 207, five blocks down hill from the zócalo.
From many destinations it is easier to transfer buses in Poza Rica than to catch a direct bus to Papantla.
Buses from Vera Cruz to Papantla (M$178, 4 - 4.25 hours) leave at 07:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:45, 17:45, 19:00, 20:00 Buses from Poza Rica to Papantla (M$22, 0.45 hours) leave 24 hours a day (generally one every hour, sometimes more)
Hail a taxi for M$15 - M$20 to take you around town. The taxi may have someone else in it, if this bothers you just wait for the next taxi.
Local buses to surrounding towns and El Tajín leave from the corner of 16 de Septiembre and Curato. The Papantla locals are very friendly, and will help you locate which bus to catch.
Take a stroll in the downtown. The town is very compact and everywhere is within walking distance. The central downtown is where the people gather during the weekends. Because Papantla is not exactly a very popular tourist area, some of the things (food, beverage etc) you find here is not as expensive as say, Pueble or Oaxaca.
The main reason people arrive in Papantla is to visit the ruins of El Tajín.
Concerts and festivals are also held in Papantla, celebrating the regions Totonac culture.
The arrival of spring is celebrated with the Festival Cumbre Tajín  in March each year at the El Tajín ruins. The name translates to 'Summit Tajín'. There are modern musical concerts as well as cultural events. This is an opportunity to see Voladores from across Mexico and Guatemala preform, experience Totonac culture and watch international music acts.
In May each year the Kani Tajín festival  is held to celebrate the towns unique Totonac culture. Kani Tajín offers workshops, games, drama, shows, music, storytelling, sports, wrestling, and traditional dances,
A small, hole in the wall style restaurant is tucked away near 16 de Septiembre and Curato. The staff are friendly, and the breakfast M$35.
Small bakery on Lázaro Muñoz, half block down from zócalo. The owners are very friendly, and speak a little english.
Hotel Maria Otilia Falla, General Mariano Escobedo 502. Turn left after coming out of the ADO bus station, walk straight until the General Mariano Escobedo road. Turn left and keep walking until you see the hotel. ~200 meters from bus station. Clean, basic and cheap. Breakfast not included and while the owner does not speak English, is very helpful.
Buses to Vera Cruz (M$178, time 3.35 - 4.15 hours) leave at 01:00, 09:25, 09:30, 12:30, 14:50, 17:10, 17:50
Be aware that buses to do originate in Papantla, and may be full when they arrive in town. It may pay to book ahead at holiday times. Save a trip to the bus station by checking timetables online using ADO or ticketbus.