We analysed the effect of a hurricane on a plant–ant network and on vegetation cover. Plant cover was sampled using linear sampling in several vegetation types: deciduous forest, a dry forest, sand dune pioneers, sand dune scrub, ecotone of freshwater marsh, deciduous forest and dune scrub, and mangrove forest. We sampled ant–plant interactions and vegetation cover before and after Hurricane Karl hitting (September 2010) the central coast of the state of Veracruz, Mexico. The pre-hurricane network consisted of 16 plant and 25 ant species in 52 associations. The post-hurricane network consisted of 17 plant and 20 ant species in 56 associations. We found a significant decrease in the total linear cover of EFN-bearing plants between October 2009 (646 m, no hurricane effect) and October 2010 (393 m, after hurricane Karl) (total sample length 2025 m). Both networks were significantly nested (0.999 and 0.973, P < 0.001), suggesting that network topology remained similar. Our results show changes in several network characteristics and species proportions. The number of plant species that contributed to nestedness vs. idiosyncratic species did not differ significantly in the pre-hurricane network, while the number of plant species that contributed to nestedness vs. idiosyncratic species did differ significantly in the post-hurricane network. The number of ant species that contributed to nestedness vs. idiosyncratic species differed significantly in the pre-hurricane network, and also in the post-hurricane network. Differences in nestedness contributions of species before and after the hurricane reflect an alteration from a generalized, highly nested, more stable pre-disturbance network, to a more low-degree or specialized network (i.e. fewer interactions among generalist species, those species with the most associations). The maintenance of important core components of the network after a huge disturbance, suggests a short-term resilience typical of mutualistic networks.