Xalapa is a college town that enjoys some fine colonial architecture as well as a nice climate in the highlands above the hot and humid Veracruz coast. It is a hilly town with a smart population hence it is sometimes considered to be the San Francisco of Mexico. Home to a considerable number of expatriates and foreign exchange students, the town really isn't on the typical backpacker/tourist path through Mexico.
The Lencero Airport is a very small airport. It is situated outside the city but it is used only for helicopters and very small planes. The closest airport is the Veracruz international airport. It's about 2 hours from Xalapa.
There are no passenger trains in 99% of Mexico since January of 2000. The only important exception is Chihuahua Pacifico betwen Chihuahua and Los Mochis.
Almost-hourly buses go from Mexico City to Xalapa in several bus lines (ADO, AU), departing from TAPO station. The trip takes 4 hours aproximately.
Hilly, densely constructed Xalapa is one of the world's great scooter cities. Rent one and the back areas of the city really open up for exploration.
Museo de Arqueología (Archaeology Museum): a beautifully-designed museum of the cultures of Veracruz. Avenida Xalapa. A worthy rival to the more famous archaeological museum in Mexico City.
Hostal de Niebla - $140 pesos (dormitorio) - incredible location for the price (Gutiérrez Zamora & Jose Maria Mata, Zona Centro) Hostal Catre de mi Corazón - $150 pesos (dormitorio) - location is just as good as the other, but in a nice neighbourhood named Barrio Xalitic/Xallitic (Calle Francisco I. Madero)
Xalapa has a wide choice of budget hotels. The city should really be a lot more popular with backpackers than it is. The fact most stay on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts is their loss and can be your gain.
* Los Lagos(228)818-2000. 13 de Septiembre No.23. 22 rooms. * Mision de las Americas(228) 814-1145. Av. Xalapa No. 172. 15 rooms. * La Moderna (228) 817-3586. Leona Vicario No. 21. 39 rooms. * El Arebe (228) 817-1777. Av. 20 de Noviembre No. 535. 13 rooms. * Limon (228) 817-2204. Revolución No. 8. 49 rooms. * Yalta (228) 815-0833. Av. Lazaro Cárdenas No. 696. 60 rooms * Araucarias (228) 818-9038. Av. Avila Camacho No. 60. 16 rooms. * Oasis (228) 815-0360. Av. Xalapa No. 1120. 25 rooms. * Bugambilias (228) 814-5863. Av. Miguel Aleman No. 277. 20 rooms. * Atenas (228) 812-8944. Av. Lazero Cárdenas No. 1181. 49 rooms. * El Mirador(228)815-1655. Av. Xalapa No. 1106. 44 rooms. * Tecajetes (228) 812-4973. Bustamante No. 24. 43 rooms.