|The Sierra de Los Tuxtlas is the insular volcanic mountain range centered on Catemaco, bordering on the
Gulf of Mexico in south central Veracruz, Mexico.
The Sierra encompasses the gulf coast, slopes and foothills of 2 major volcanic massifs, extending inland
from near Angel R. Cabada to the northeast, to southwest of Acayucan and east to near Laguna del Ostion.
The two major Sierra components are the Volcano San Martin Tuxtla complex to the northwest of
Catemaco and the Sierra Santa Marta to the southeast. The southern Sierra apparently formed 5 to 7 million
years ago, while the northern portion began to form 2 to 3 million years ago.
Hundreds of volcanoes and cinder cones dot the area with a handful reaching above 5000 feet. Lying on a
NE - SE axis the Sierra is app. 75 miles long and 44 miles at its widest. All the coastal area and most
elevations above about 1000 feet are included in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve
The Gulf of Mexico bathes the shores of the Sierra from Angel R. Cabada to Pajapan.
Most of the population centers are inland. Inhabitants are almost 100% mestizos in the northern section,
while the southern section has large percentages of Popoluca and Nahua speakers.
|Sierra de Los Tuxtlas
|Los Tuxtlas Geography
|San Martin Tuxtla
|Although including several subsidiary volcanoes, the area is generally known as Volcano San Martin.
The San Martin region stretches app 41 km along the Gulf of Mexico between Punta Puntilla and Laguna
Catemaco. Volcano San Martin Tuxtla dominates the area.
Politically the San Martin Region is occupied by parts of 5 municipios: Catemaco, San Andrés Tuxtla, Santiago Tuxtla, Angel R
Cabada, and also Hueyapan de Ocampo which overlaps with the Santa Marta region.
The city of San Andrés Tuxtla is the commercial center of the region, which is only served by one major north to south access
road, Mexican federal highway 180. A spur near the city of Santiago Tuxtla leads to the western toll highway leading south to
Acayucan and north to the Mexico City - Veracruz toll road.
A recently almost completed road loops from north of Angel R Cabada to the Gulf coast and Montepio, and then returns to
highway 180 via Catemaco.
Most of the northern sections of these municipios are included in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve but not the major cities,
nor Laguna Catemaco.
Volcano San Martin Tuxtla and Cerro El Vigia dominate the area.
|The Sierra Santa Marta stretches app. 65 km along the Gulf of Mexico between Laguna Sontecomapan
and Laguna del Ostion and reaches inland to the 300 foot elevation levels near the city of Acayucan.
This Sierra is also known as the Sierra de Soteapan
This is the most massive and most inaccessible sector of the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas. Several large volcanoes form its relatively
ecologically unscathed center, while most of the volcanic slopes to the Gulf of Mexico and the inland highlands have been
converted to cow pastures.
Politically the Sierra is occupied by 6 municipios: Soteapan, Mecayapan, Tatahuicapan de Júarez, Pajapan, Hueyapan de Ocampo
and Acayucan. All of the coast and inland elevations above about 1000 feet are included in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere.
Numerous dormant volcanoes create a visually impressive skyline. Volcano Santa Marta is the tallest at
1750 meters, and Volcano San Martin Pajapan the most unique because of its separate eastern location
overlooking the coast and Laguna del Ostion.
The Sierra is divided into several hydrographic regions and is the source of water for major cities to the
south, including Coatzacoalcos.
Several municipios are dominated by native language speakers, with the Popoluca language heard mostly in Soteapan and Nahuatl