Campeche often gets overlooked because of its relative proximity to Mérida, Yucatán, but this is a city that is absolutely worth a visit! It is a beautiful, colonial town that is situated right along an equally beautiful stretch of coastline. The City of Campeche was founded in 1540 by the Spanish (though it is important to note that indigenous peoples lived in the region well before this date). Campeche is a World Heritage Site full of colorful, historic buildings, Spanish forts, and a Franciscan cathedral. Campeche might be one of the most picturesque cities in all of Mexico- yet you won’t find the crowds like you will in some of the more popular destinations across Mexico!
What to Do
♦ Walk Around the City
As with many of the colonial cities in Mexico, our number one recommendation for what to do in Campeche is to walk around the downtown area. The downtown streets of Campeche are absolutely stunning. The beautiful fort walls that surround downtown combined with the colorful buildings make Campeche a really pretty, quiet place to explore on foot.
♦ Visit the Fuerte de San Miguel
It isn’t every day you see forts built in the 1700’s, (unless of course you live in Campeche)! The Fuerte de San Miguel was created by the Spanish to ward off pirate attacks and it is truly an incredible sight to see in Campeche.
♦ Visit the Baluartes and old Sections of the Fort Walls
Campeche retains many sections of the old Spanish fortifications to protect the city from invaders. This makes walking around Centro Historico (downtown) one of the more unique experiences in Mexico as the original downtown area is surrounded by this fort wall. Some of the more beautiful sections of the wall are near the Baluarte de San Carlos and the Ex-Templo de San José. If you have the time, spending the day tracing the walls route along the outside of downtown is a great way to see more of the town!
Where to Stay
Hotel Castelmar-- We stayed in the centrally located Hotel Castelmar. It is in an excellent location, the staff was extremely kind, and the price was great ( around $39 usd/night). Bonus: this place has air conditioning which you will reallllly want in a warm place like Campeche! To book Hotel Castelmar, you can click here.
Where to Eat
♦ El Bastión de Campeche-- For some amazing food typical of this region of Mexico, El Bastión is a great option! The bread they serve is amazzzzing! Address: Calle 57 2A, Zona Centro, Campeche
♦ Calle 59-- No, this isn’t the name of some trendy restaurant- it is the name of a street. Calle 59 is a street in downtown Campeche that is absolutely beautiful. It is closed off to traffic and it is lined with many great restaurant options.
In our opinion, Campeche is well worth a day trip (or more!) from Mérida. In fact, we actually liked Campeche quite a bit more than Merida. Merida is beautiful, but Campeche seemed to have a little something that Merida lacked (in our opinion). Campeche boasts the beautiful colonial buildings without all of the hype of surrounding areas, making it much more peaceful and tranquil!
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions about the beautiful city of Campeche.
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.