San Juan de Ulua, Veracruz

#1 of 21 in Historic Sites in Veracruz
Must see · Castle · Historic Site
Admire an impressive military structure that stood for centuries at San Juan de Ulua. Construction began on the fort in 1565, although it was expanded numerous occasions thereafter. In 1568, the Spanish in the area succeeded in trapping and humiliating an English fleet, commanded by Sir John Hawkins, and including his cousin, a young Francis Drake. The fort even held strong during the Mexican War of Independence, with the Spanish finally handing it over four years after Mexico achieved independence. Take a tour of the structure to learn its history, and the features that made it so durable for so long. Our Veracruz trip itinerary planner makes visiting San Juan de Ulua and other Veracruz attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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San Juan de Ulua reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,100 reviews
  • It is bigger than you think and a lot of history is behind it. It was a fortress, a castle and prison. Thank God they have preserved it.  more »
  • This is a nice place to visit, it used to be a very famous prison, is the Mexican version of Alcatraz. 4 Mexican Presidents were in this jail. Has a lot of history. It was very hard for prisoners to.....  more »
  • What an unreal place to walk through! Eery was an understatement. All aspects were accessible. Signs describing specific areas were all over and quite descriptive. A note if you're bringing children: there are many old and unsafe spots where the facility should maybe consider putting up guard rails to prevent any accidental (and possibly injury causing) falls. This place also provides a terrific view of the shipyards and of the Veracruz city skyline. Definitely check this place out!!
  • San Juan de Ulua, Veracruz’s little gem. I recommend visiting this attraction. The tourist bus will take you there for $50 pesos ( $2.25 ) and the cost to enter is $60 pesos ($3 dollars). It’s an amazing attraction and as cheap as it gets. You’ll get the option to pay a little bit more for a guided tour or you can just freely walk around the premises. Bring water, for sure. Sun block and a hat wouldn’t hurt. If by any chance you forget, worry not, plenty of vendors outside the Fort selling everything you’ll need, CHEAP. Definitely visit. Worth it.
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