As others have noted, a Puebla - Veracruz vacation would be a lot of fun. Just ot put in my two cents, the recommendations made above are right on.
And you'll find very good inexpensive eateries at El Acuario food courts in Veracruz.
The water at Veracruz is not as spectacular as farther down toward the Yucatan, but, you could do the following itinerary.
Fly into Mexico City and take the bus directly from the airport to Puebla. Several gastronomic days in Puebla, then on to Xalapa for several days with side trips to Coatepec and Xico, then either north to see the ruins of El Tajin or straight down to Veracruz. Then back to Mexico City via Cordoba and Orizaba.
I would recommend grabbing the Frommer's Guide to Mexico and using it as your trip planner. We had excellent luck with the hotel recommendations. The only downside was, at the time we went there, Papantla, home of the vanilla industry and near to El Tajin, had a dreadful selection of hotels and eateries. I have travelled in Mexico for over 30 years and it was in Papantla that I was concerned about food preparation and sanitation.
I remember that when we were last in Xalapa, we stayed at El Cafetal. We had a day trip to Naolinco and discovered a family there that made a terrific mole negro, and we brought back several kilos.
We dined very well in Xico and hiked to the coffee area where Predator, Rambo and several other movies have been filmed.
We saw a spectacular archeological museum in Xalapa and toured the ex-hacienda of General Santa Ana.
Edited by Jay Francis, 10 November 2006 - 08:14 PM.