There are not many things in the city of Coatzacoalcos geared for tourist visitors. Along the Malecon, there is a small monumental Olmec pyramid. Quite often you'll see locals climbing up it to take some pictures of the beach, or maybe a couple teenagers sitting on its steps to have a private moment.
But if you go to the side and down the steps, inside is a small Olmec museum. It is cheap and small, only takes a couple minutes to visit. All the placards are in Spanish and despite the enthusiasm of the staff to help, they too only speak Spanish.
Inside are a couple thousand small clay figures, clay dolls and faces some dating back more than 2000 years. In the mix are also a couple made out of granite. All the display pieces are small, but in good condition. They are presented in a way that you can see the differences in both styles and fashions of the local Olmec settlements (ex La Venta, San Lorenzo, etc.)
Open Tuesday ~ Saturday 10am to 6pm.
Open Sunday 11am to 5pm.
Adults 10 pesos, students 5 pesos, seniors and children are free. No photos are allowed inside.
Blvd Costero 801, Coatzacoalcos, 96538, Mexico
Good for: Families
The hotel has been around for a long time. My contacts here say they remember it over 30 years ago....more
7.5, Col. Tierra Nueva, Coatzacoalcos, Mexico
Good for: Couples
This place is very popular with local families since the food is good, relatively cheap and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. There are two restaurants with the same name in Coatzacoalcos but I did not eat at the other.It is an open air restaurant, so dress for the weather. On the table will be a large paper menu and simply check off with a pen...more
If you are like me and enjoy eating street foods and dining at the places the locals eat, this no-frills restaurant that serves cheap tortas (sandwiches) the size of plates is a great option.It was pointed out to me by a couple local friends and I was quite pleased. The sandwhiches are as large as plates and can easily feed two people with...more
This restaurant was recommended by some local coworkers as being one of the best overall restaunts in Coatza and definitively the best steak house.The restaurant is separated into several smaller dining rooms, so you'll feel it is a bit more private and the noise levels will be more reasonable. The tables are dressed with while linens and the white...more
There are several places to go on the Malecon (beach front), but two that are more popular and always have a good crowd are Cocoa Beers and Bule Beers. These are about one block apart from each other.
Both have lots of TV's which play music videos on regular days or the big sports games on the special occasions. Both also serve food, but if you're principally looking for dinner, I recommend Cocoa Beers.
Dress Code: Dress code is casual and there is no cover charge.
If you need a rental car, there is a National Rental at the Minatitlan airport, but they are not incorporated into the reservation system, so you may have difficulty making a booking. If you do, some of my colleagues have had many problems with their cars being old and having mechanical issues.
There is a EuroCar office in downtown Coatzacoalcos, but that also requires you to somehow get all the way to the center of town during business hours.
One option is the "Global Rental". They will make arrangements for you either at Minatitlan airport or the hotel of your choice. They have a service desk at the Terranova Hotel also. The staff does not speak any English, but if you speak Spanish or have a translator, they are more than helpful to solve any issues or overcome any problems.
Regardless if you drive a rental car or your own, be wary of large potholes, deep water and poor lighting. Combine these three at night and it can be dangerous. If you are driving at night, you should stay on roads that you know or drive very slow and cautiously.
The town is most active at night on Fridays and Saturdays. In the areas with the largest crowds, you'll be the safest.
Some of the large buildings along the beach front may have nice artwork to look at. But after the sun sets, these should be your cue that you've gone too far west. The bars and restaurants along the coast east of Independencia are perfectly safe at night, but the areas to the west get a little dodgier.
I write this tip under the town of Coatzacoalcos because La Venta (state of Tabasco) is not in the database. It is located about 50km east of Coatzacoalcos, which is relatively closer than the 135km between it and Villahermosa.
La Venta is a very small town, with nothing more than a main street with a few shops and a small population.
It does however have the "La Venta - Zona Arqueologica y Museo de Sitio". La Venta is one of the main Olmec sites in Mexico. The Olmec are the oldest civilization in Central American and are most popularly known for their gigantic head sculptures (cabezas colosales).
La Venta's museum (entry ~37pesos) has a variety of sculptures, photographs and dioramas from the ancient Olmec city, dating back to 1000BC. In the open air portion, the grassy walking path has a selection of statues (both original and replicas).
The main museum in Villahermosa, similarly named as the La Venta Museum is where most of the artifacts now reside.