Tampico is a city and port in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is located in the southeastern part of the state, directly north across the border from Veracruz. Tampico is the fifth largest city in Tamaulipas with a population of 297,284. The Metropolitan area of Tampico has 859,419 inhabitants. Economic development during the 1920s made the city a pioneer in the aviation and soda industries. Oil is the chief export, but the city also is a major exporter of silver, copper, and lumber, together with wool, hemp, and other agricultural products. Containerized cargo, however, is mainly handled by the neighboring ocean port of Altamira.
The name "Tampico" is of Huastec origin: tam-piko, meaning "place of otters" (literally "water dogs"). The city is surrounded by rivers and lagoons that were the habitat of a large population of otters.
The present city was founded on April 13, 1823, though there had been a series of human settlements in the area for centuries.
The region had several early Huastec settlements, among them the important site at Las Flores, which flourished between 1000 and 1250 CE.
The Spanish Franciscan priest Andrés de Olmos established a mission in the area during 1532. At his request, Spanish officials founded a settlement named San Luis de Tampico in 1554. Its population was relocated in 1684 to the south of the Pánuco River because of frequent pirate attacks, among them a particularly destructive incursion by Laurens de Graaf.
In August 1829, Spanish troops from Cuba invaded Tampico. In September a force under General Santa Ana forced the Spanish troops to surrender and Mexican control of Tampico was re-established.
Notable buildings include the Neo-classical Town Hall (or Palacio Municipal) in Plaza de Armas, and the English redbrick Customs House in the docks. The prevalence of New Orleans-style architecture is attributed to the early years of the city, when many building supplies, including pre-built housing components, were shipped from that city to the area during its initial construction. The historical downtown areas of Plaza de Armas and Plaza de Libertad have been restored and improved in recent years, in part to encourage more tourist revenue.
The Cathedral of Tampico, also known as the Temple of the Immaculate Conception, located in Plaza de Armas, dates to the late 19th century. Its current appearance is the result of many restorations. It is of the Neo-classical style in light brown canter, with Corinthian-style columns and three enormous doors that form the entrance. Its two towers are made of three bodies. The eastern one has a large, London-made, public chiming clock, a gift from Don Angel Sainz Trapaga. Its recently refurbished interior holds several wall paintings and other works of art. The altar is of white Carraramarble. The United States oil tycoonEdward Doheny reportedly donated considerable funds for the Cathedral's construction and maintenance after 1902, when he based his Mexican oil operations near Tampico.
According to the INEGI 2010 census, the population of the city of Tampico was 297,284, and that of the municipality of Tampico was 297,554, both ranking fifth in the state. Its metropolitan area population was 803,196 people. The municipality has an area of 92.73 km² (35.8 sq mi).
Tampico has a Tropical savanna climate, with a Köppen climate classification of Aw based on the mean average temperature of 18 °C (65 °F) for January as well as on precipitation patterns. Its weather, though reasonably pleasant in spring and autumn, is hot in the summer; the average high reaches 32 °C (90 °F) in August, with an average low of 23 °C (74 °F). Winters are cool but not cold. The average January high is 23 °C (73 °F) and the average low in January is 15 °C (59 °F). Rainfall is frequent from May through September.
Liberty plaza at Tampico.
Tampico is an extremely humid city, with summer heat indexes reaching 40 °C (104 °F). During autumn and winter, it is affected by cold fronts that pass through the gulf and bring high winds that can reach 50 km/h (37 mph) with gusts of 70 to 80 km/h (43 to 50 mph). Tampico is located in a hurricane area, but it has not been affected directly by one in more than 50 years. In 2011, during the last week of January and first week of February, the city registered temperatures that are very cold for the zone, the temperatures were from 10°C and the lowest being of 2°C in the morning and noon of 4 February.
In February, 1895, snow was reported to have fallen in Tampico. This is the North American record for the furthest south report of snow at a sea level location and one of the few places that snow has fallen in the tropics at sea level.
Multiple high schools, both private and public, are located in Tampico.
The local professional soccer team was founded in 1945 and is named Tampico Madero, also known as Jaiba Brava. In 1953 the team was Champion of the Mexican First Division and also won the Campeón de Campeones title. In 1961 la Jaiba Brava won the Copa Mexico trophy. They won the first division trophy 2 times and both won by manager Carlos Reynoso from Chile.
"Tampico" is the title of a 1945 song composed by US artists Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher, and produced by jazz musician and conductor Stan Kenton, with lead vocals by June Christy. Roland suggested in his song that the city had become more American than America itself.