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 between 5 and 6 hours.
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.
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 carribbean 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.