Since the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, Campeche has been luring visitors interested in its charming baroque colonial architecture, palatial mansions and nearby Mayan ruins. Although buzzing during the day with traditional Mexican live music and bustling markets, the city comes alive at night, under the illuminated church and twinkling restaurant lights.
Perfectly restored and well-preserved, Campeche is the colonial gem of the Yucatan and has managed to stay out of the ever-increasing tourism spotlight. Once the principal sea port of the Yucatán Peninsula in the 16th century, Campeche used to attract the likes of infamous pirates, rather than foreign tourists. After receiving orders from the Spanish crown to fortify the area, the citizens began constructing a wall in order to protect its beloved city in the early 17th century. Thanks to this formidable defence system, Campeche was able to keep hold of its thriving port and remains a successful fishing town today. Visitors can admire the remnants of the wall as well as some of the ramparts and gates. The ramparts now house museums and the Land Gate is the site of a dramatic light and sound show that relives the pirate era.
Having undergone major restorations in recent years, Campeche is the perfect destination for visitors wishing to experience the backroads of Mexico and delve into some of the country’s richest history and culture. A few days spent wandering the streets of the Centro Historico, admiring stunning stately mansions that have ornate Juliet balconies and majestic arched doorways, as well as pottering around authentic markets is the perfect combination to experience the true essence of colonial era Mexico. In the city’s heart, Parque Principal is surrounded by beautiful buildings including the cathedral, the Campeche Library and a colonial period home which can be visited daily between 9am and 9pm. The waterfront ‘malecon’ (promenade) is dotted with wonderful lookout points that are particularly magical at sunset. Afterwards, make your way to La Casa Vieja for a margarita or two, soak up the atmosphere and delight in delicious Mexican specialities.
With fascinating attractions right on its doorstep, colourful buildings and a charming allure, the city makes for a beautifully romantic getaway.
When to go: If you’re looking for warm weather and sunshine, head to Campeche between January and May, before the rainy season starts in June. Mexico’s oldest carnival celebration occurs in the city but if you’re interested in this festivity, check the dates as its occurrence often changes between February and March each year. November is also a great time to visit, the humidity has decreased, temperatures are a little cooler, there are fewer crowds and you’ll likely benefit from discounted rates.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942