Poza Rica, formally: Poza Rica de Hidalgo is a city and its surrounding municipality in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Its name means "rich pool", because it was a place known for its abundance of fish. In this century oil was discovered in the area. It has since been almost completely extracted. This resulted in the decline of oil well exploration and drilling activities but there are many oil facilities.
It shares borders with the municipalities of Papantla, Tihuatlán, and Coatzintla, and stands on Federal Highway 180. The archaeological zone of El Tajín is located approximately from Poza Rica. The area is intensely tropical, with two popular beaches within one hour, Tuxpan, and Tecolutla, and one within 40 minutes, Cazones. Mexico City is about from Poza Rica. Unlike most Mexican cities, it does not have old buildings because it is a new city founded officially on November 20, 1951. For that reason it has contemporary architecture with well-lined and designed streets with a modern look. While the petroleum industry features heavily amongst the industrial landscape in Poza Rica, the city also has a wide variety of other industries. As one of the largest and most populous cities in Veracruz, Poza Rica is an important industrial and commercial center, and central hub for several road transportation lines. The city has recently seen a lot of growth, with several commercial centers opening around the city. The city had an official population of 174,512 inhabitants and the municipality had 181,438 at the census of 2005. However, the Poza Rica metropolitan area, which includes the municipalities of Papantla, Tihuatlán, and Coatzintla, showed a total population of 458,330.