Campeche; a historic look this stunning colonial city located on the Gulf of Mexico


The Spanish settlement of Campeche was built on the site of a former Mayan fishing village in about 1540. In colonial times it was one of the most important port on the Yucatán Peninsula, exporting large amounts of timber and roots used to make dyes in European textile production.

Campeche was frequently attacked by English, Dutch and French pirates who in fact destroyed the city on several occasions. The worst of these attacks came in 1663 in which massacres of thousands of people were killed. As a consequence, thick walls were built around the town. The wall was strengthening by 8 bastions (7 of them are now used as points of interest for visitors). The most visited ones are Baluarte de la Soledad (a Mayan Museum), Baluarte de Santiago (a botanical garden) and Baluarte de San Pedro (handcraft store).

Two gateways in the walls the Sea Gate and the Land Gate – give access to the old part of the city. Don’t miss going to see the Casa de Teniente del Rey (Kings Lieutenants House) the former residence of the Spanish Kings military representative of the Yucatan. The courtyard is spectacular and well worth a visit.

The city of Campeche is full of things to do, the focal point is the old part of the city – the Parque Principal where you sit in and enjoy a traditional marquesita and watch the world go by. In the northern corner of the square you will see one of the first cathedrals to be built on the Yucatan. Well worth a look inside.

What to do in Campeche:

  1. A “must see” is the ancient Mayan ruins of Edzna (just 40 minutes bus ride from the city. Take the bus in front of the old castle walls, costing 55 pesos per person one way)
  2. Take a walk inside the walled city, and be astonished by the pink, yellow and blue houses.
  3. Enjoy some typical “camarones al coco” (coconut shrimps) at the famous Restaurant Marganzo (Calle 8 between 57 and 59)
  4. Walk around the Archeological Mayan Museum, here you will see many artifacts from many Mayan ruins.
  5. Campeche is perfectly located on the Gulf of Mexico; take a short walk to the boardwalk and see the Fuerte de San Miguel and to watch the sunset. Very impressive!
  6. By night, the young people head out along the city’s modern seafront, the Malecon. We recommend you watch the sunset in the Malecon, the view is amazing.

How to get to Campeche from Cancun:

  • From Cancun, head towards Merida and then following the signs to Campeche, roughly 6 hours traveling time
  • Playa del Carmen & Tulum, head towards Coba, and follow the signs to Merida and from there to Campeche, roughly 5 hours and half traveling time.
  • By bus: You can take the ADO from Cancun and Playa del Carmen toward Campeche. The roundtrip cost from Cancun to Campeche is around $880 pesos , and it takes around 7 hours .


Campeche interesting facts

  • In 1999 UNESCO added the city of Campeche to its list of World Heritage Sites.
  • During Campeche´s heyday, wealthy Spanish families built mansions, many of them can be seen today
  • The small town of Becal (between Campeche and Merida) is renowned for their Panama Hats, which are made from palm leaves and became very popular with the workers who built the Panama Canal.


 Where to eat in Campeche:

– La Casa Vieja – Is the ideal and one of the best restaurants in Campeche where you can watch the sunset behind the cathedral.

– Marganzo – One of the most important restaurants in Campeche where they have specialities like the pan de cazon ( baby shark cooked between layers of tortillas in a mole sauce) , the famous cochinita pibil and papazules ( the typical yucatecan dishes).

– La Parroquia – A 24 hour cafe in Mexico


Where to stay in Campeche:

– Casa Don Gustavo hotel

– Hotel Castelmar

– Hotel Lopez Campeche

– Hotel Tucan Siho Playa

– Ocean View Hotel

– Hotel Plaza Campeche

– Best Western del Mar

– Holiday Inn  Campeche

– City Express Campeche

Luxury hotels and Haciendas in Campeche

– Hacienda Uayamon

– Hacienda Puerta Campeche


Economic Hotels and Hostels in Campeche

– Hotel Castelmar

– Hotel AmericaCentro

– Monkey Hostel

– Pirate Hostel

– Hostal La Parroquia





Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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