Being one of the most important seaports on the Gulf of México, the City of Tampico is blessed with a sub-humid tropical climate and average temperatures of 24°C (75°F). The Puerto de Tampico is the main tourist center in the State of Tamaulipas and has the architectural, archaeological, and natural resources to make a visit interesting, exciting, and entertaining.
One of the first things you’ll want to see when you visit the Puerto de Tampico is the 19th Century Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. With a light brown neoclassical façade, the Cathedral is adorned with Corinthian-style columns, and it has three huge doors to bring a sense of awe as one enters. One of the three towers has a London Clock. The inside of the building contains several wonderful wall paintings and a gorgeous altar made of white marmol.
The wonderful Edificio de la Aduana (Spanish), or Maritime Customs Building, is in the heart of the Puerto de Tampico. Built during the Presidency of Porfirio Diaz, he personally ordered materials from a European catalog and inaugurated the building in 1902. This huge building is the pride of the Puerto de Tampico’s citizens, and guided tours are available every day.
Las Flores (Spanish) is a pyramid that bears witness to the early (600-1200 AD) inhabitants of the Río Pánuco, the Huastecans. Today, you can visit the main building that was once the center for over 40 buildings in the pre-Hispanic era. The circular pyramid, with one platform build atop another, was made of clay, soil, pottery shards, and seashells then plastered over with a lime and clay mortar.
The Huasteca Culture Museum contains information about the nomadic peoples that lived in the area of the Puerto de Tampico before Spanish conquest. The museum houses countless artifacts including clothing, statues, paintings, pottery, and many pre-Columbian archaeological objects. One of the displays shows how the Huastecans extracted crude oil to use to make dye.
About a half hour from downtown, the Puerto de Tampico’s Playa Miramar (Spanish) is a popular tourist destination for residents of Monterrey, some 450 kilometers to the northwest, and to tourists from all over the world. Safe and clean, the beach is ten kilometers long and offers many opportunities for water sports like fishing, jet skiing, and sailing. With a well-sloped seabed, there is plenty of shallow water for swimmers to enjoy safely. At the southern end of the beach is the Malecon, the channel allowing vessels to enter the river from the Gulf of México.
The Laguna del Carpintero (Spanish) (Lagoon of the Carpenter), is about 15 minutes from downtown Puerto de Tampico. This rich ecological treasure is thought to be an example of how humans can live harmoniously with wildlife. The lagoon contains fish farms and plant nurseries. Visitors can charter a boat to see the wildlife that includes alligators, iguanas, turtles, and seabirds. It is also the home of the Metropolitan Cultural Space, a modern theater that hosts world-class artists and important art exhibitions.
The Chairel Lagoon is the major water reservoir for the region, and it is a must-see for tourists. It is surrounded by public parks and a private yacht club that sponsors fishing tournaments. Visitors can enjoy sport fishing, jet ski, and canoeing at the Lagoon.