Mexico's Gulf Coast is dominated by the state of Veracruz, where Hernan Cortes landed in 1519 and began his conquest of New Spain. Today, the state is the base for the largest, nationally owned oil industry. Though Veracruz is not really a beach-blessed tourism center, the state has some prestigious claims to fame. In the northern part of the state is El Tajin, the incredibly intact remains of this city built by the Huastec and the Totonac Indians. In Veracruz, you can also climb Mexico's highest peak, the Pico de Orizaba, with its majestic height of 18,551 feet.