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 inaccessible 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. Resident Seniors with ID have 50% off when traveling by ADO.
- UNO Bus service. High end quality.
- ADO GL Bus service. 1st Class.
- ADO Bus service. Standard service.
Orizaba is not reachable by boat.
In the city:
- 1 The Iron Palace (Next to the main cathedral), ☏ . Mo-Su 9AM-7PM. Aptly named, this iron build was shipped in pieces from Belgium during the Porfiriato. Located inside is the tourism information center, so this is a good place to start your visit. Also located here are a Planetarium, science exhibition, museum of beer, and museum of soccer all free of charge.
- 2 Poliforum Mier y Pesado, Ote. 6 1653, Centro, 94300 Orizaba, Ver., Mexico (on the main highway a few blocks from the Chedraui), ☏ . Mo-Su 9AM-7PM. This large complex contains several museum exhibitions, a digital library, lots of eateries, and a large park-like grounds. The exhibits close at 7pm, but the rest is open til 10pm. At night the fountain is lit up nicely. This is one of the highlights of Orizaba. free.
- 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.
- 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 has been developed as a river-walk with a free linear zoo with many animals to see. Take this walk and check it out. It basically starts behind the City Hall at the cable-car entrance and goes northward about 1.3 miles. At the north end, across the road is another eco-park with Bengal tigers, camels and other animals.
- Panteón Municipal (Municipal Cemetery)
- Cerro Borrego. The new teleférico or cable-car to the top of Cerro Borrego has great views of Pico de Orizaba in the mornings. Or if you prefer, you can climb Cerro Borrego along a very nice trail to the top, which is about an hour's walk. Go in the morning.
Close to the city:
- Los 500 Escalones (The 500 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".
- 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.
- Hotel Fiesta INN
Gte. Gral. Lic. Ivan Mendoza R. Oriente 6 No. 892
Teléfonos: (272) 728 0300 (272) 728 0301
- Hotel Holy Day INN
Gte. Gral. Ernesto Guraieb Argudin Oriente 6 No. 464 entre Sur 9 y 11
Teléfonos/Fax: (272) 724 0077
- Hotel Fiesta Cascada
Gte. Gral. Ana Elena Ramírez Autopista Puebla-México Km. 275
Teléfonos: (272) 724 5599 (272) 724 1596 (272) 724 1598