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Campeche, Mexico Travel Guide: Things To Do In Campeche And More


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Celestia Worth



Welcome to Campeche, a hidden gem nestled on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. This charming city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture. Campeche offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern attractions, making it a unique destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Mexico.


With its colorful colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and UNESCO World Heritage status, the historic center of Campeche is a sight to behold. Here, you will find a treasure trove of well-preserved landmarks, including ancient forts, majestic cathedrals, and picturesque plazas. As you wander through the streets, you can’t help but be captivated by the city’s captivating ambiance and the warm hospitality of its residents.


But Campeche is not just about its stunning architecture. The city also boasts some of the best beaches and islands in Mexico. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on powdery white sands, thrilling water activities, or pristine natural landscapes, Campeche has it all. From the tranquil shores of Seybaplaya to the vibrant atmosphere of Isla Aguada, there’s a beach or island to suit every preference.


When it comes to gastronomy, Campeche offers a delightful culinary experience. The region is famous for its seafood dishes, influenced by both Mayan and Spanish cuisines. Indulge in traditional dishes like pan de cazón, a savory layered tortilla filled with shark meat, or pescado a la tikin-xic, grilled fish marinated in achiote paste. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing Nanche sour, a local cocktail made with the region’s indigenous fruit.


For history buffs, Campeche is a treasure trove of Mayan ruins waiting to be explored. Just a short distance from the city, you can discover the fascinating archaeological sites of Edzna and Calakmul. These ancient ruins provide a glimpse into the rich and mysterious Mayan civilization and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle.


Campeche is also home to two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Calakmul and Los Petenes-Ría Celestún. These protected areas showcase the region’s diverse ecosystems, including dense rainforests, mangroves, and lagoons. Embark on a thrilling eco-adventure as you explore the biodiversity of the region and encounter unique species of flora and fauna.


Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing beach getaway, an exploration of ancient ruins, or a cultural immersion in a charming colonial city, Campeche has something to offer. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through this enchanting destination.


History of Campeche

The history of Campeche dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human occupation in the region dating as far back as 3000 BCE. The area was originally inhabited by the Maya civilization, who established several settlements in what is now modern-day Campeche. The city was known as Ah Kin Pech, which means “Place of Serpents” in the Mayan language.


During the 16th century, Campeche became a major hub for Spanish colonization in the Yucatan Peninsula. The city served as an important port for the Spanish conquistadors, who sought to expand their empire and access the riches of the New World. The wealth brought in through trade, particularly with Europe, led to the construction of impressive fortifications, which still stand today as a testament to Campeche’s historical significance.


However, Campeche’s strategic location also attracted the attention of pirates and buccaneers, who frequently raided the city during the 17th century. To protect themselves, the people of Campeche built an intricate system of fortresses, including the iconic Fuerte San Miguel, which played a crucial role in defending the city against pirate attacks.


Throughout its history, Campeche has experienced periods of prosperity and decline. The city thrived during the colonial era, with wealthy merchants and traders contributing to the development of grand mansions, churches, and public squares. The unique blend of Spanish and Maya influences is evident in the city’s architecture, giving it a distinctive charm.


In 1999, the historic center of Campeche was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its exceptional cultural and historical value. The preservation of its colonial buildings, fortified walls, and strong cultural traditions is a testament to the city’s commitment to honoring its past.


Today, Campeche proudly showcases its rich heritage through various cultural events and festivals. The city comes alive during the annual Festival Internacional de la Ciudad de Campeche, where locals and visitors alike can enjoy traditional music, dance performances, and exquisitely crafted handicrafts.


Exploring the historic center of Campeche is like stepping back in time, with its well-preserved streets, colorful facades, and stunning architectural details. From admiring the beauty of the Cathedral of Campeche to strolling along the Paseo de Montejo, every corner of the city tells a story of its fascinating past.


With its deep-rooted history and unique blend of cultures, Campeche offers a captivating journey through time. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply a curious traveler, Campeche’s historical charm is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Getting to Campeche

Getting to Campeche is relatively easy, with several transportation options available. Whether you’re arriving by air, land, or sea, here are the different ways to reach this charming city.


By Air: Campeche International Airport (CPE) is the main airport serving the city. It offers domestic flights from major cities in Mexico, including Mexico City, Cancun, and Merida. There are also a few international flights connecting Campeche to destinations in the United States, such as Houston and Miami. From the airport, you can take a taxi or arrange for a shuttle service to reach your accommodation in the city center.


By Bus: Campeche is well-connected by a network of highways, making it easily accessible by bus. Several bus companies operate routes to and from Campeche, including ADO, OCC, and Mayab. You can catch a bus from neighboring cities like Merida, Cancun, and Tulum. The bus station is conveniently located in the city center, making it easy to reach your hotel or explore the sights on foot.


By Car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and take the scenic route to Campeche. The city is connected to the rest of Mexico via the Federal Highway 180, also known as the Gulf Coastal Highway. The drive to Campeche offers breathtaking views of the Yucatan Peninsula’s landscapes, including lush jungles and coastal scenery. Just make sure to have a valid driver’s license and familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules.


By Sea: Campeche is also accessible by cruise ship. Several cruise lines include Campeche as a port of call on their itineraries, allowing passengers to explore the city’s historical center and enjoy its attractions. The cruise terminal is located near the city center, making it convenient for visitors to disembark and start their exploration.


Once you’ve arrived in Campeche, getting around the city is relatively easy. The historic center, where most of the main attractions are located, is best explored on foot. The streets are pedestrian-friendly, and you can take your time to admire the beautifully restored buildings and immerse yourself in the city’s ambiance.


If you want to venture beyond the city center, there are taxis available, both traditional yellow cabs and ride-sharing services like Uber. It’s always a good idea to agree on a fare before getting into the taxi or using the app-based service. Another option is to rent a bicycle and explore Campeche at your own pace. Many shops offer bicycle rentals, and the city has dedicated bike lanes that make cycling a safe and enjoyable way to get around.


Whether you choose to fly, take a bus, drive, or arrive by sea, reaching Campeche is the first step to embarking on an unforgettable journey through history, culture, and natural beauty. So plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to experience all that this enchanting city has to offer.


Exploring the Old Town

One of the highlights of visiting Campeche is exploring its historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its well-preserved colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and charming cobblestone streets, the old town is a delight to wander through and offers a glimpse into Campeche’s rich cultural heritage.


A great starting point for your exploration is the main square, known as Plaza Principal or Plaza de la Independencia. This lively square is the heart of the city and is surrounded by significant landmarks, including the impressive Cathedral of Campeche. Take a moment to admire the intricate details of the cathedral’s facade and step inside to appreciate its beautiful interior.


As you stroll through the streets, you’ll be greeted by a stunning display of colorful facades. The buildings in the old town have been meticulously restored to their former glory, combining Spanish and Mayan architectural influences. One of the most picturesque streets is Calle 59, lined with vibrant mansions that now house boutique hotels, restaurants, and art galleries.


Keep an eye out for the ancient city walls that surround the old town. These fortified walls were built to protect Campeche from pirate attacks during colonial times. You can walk along the ramparts and enjoy panoramic views of the city, the Gulf of Mexico, and the picturesque San Francisco neighborhood.


Don’t miss the chance to visit the Baluarte de San Francisco, one of the restored forts along the city walls. Inside the fort, you’ll find a museum that tells the story of Campeche’s history and its relationship with piracy. Explore the exhibits, learn about the city’s defense strategies, and climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views.


Another must-visit landmark is the Casa 6, an 18th-century mansion that has been transformed into a museum. Step inside to admire the period furniture, artwork, and architectural elements. The museum offers insights into the daily lives of the wealthy families who once resided in these grand mansions.


As you continue your exploration, make sure to stop by the bustling Mercado Principal, the city’s main market. Here, you’ll find a vibrant atmosphere with stalls selling fresh produce, local handicrafts, and traditional snacks. Immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas of Campeche as you sample regional delicacies and interact with the friendly vendors.


In the evening, the old town transforms into a magical setting. The colonial buildings are beautifully illuminated, creating a romantic and enchanting ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll along the streets, soak in the atmosphere, and indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the many restaurants offering traditional Campeche cuisine.


Exploring the old town of Campeche is like stepping back in time. Whether you’re fascinated by history, architecture, or simply enjoy the charm of wandering through narrow streets, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit destination that will leave you captivated by its beauty and rich cultural heritage.


Visiting Fuerte San Miguel

Fuerte San Miguel, also known as San Miguel Fortress, is an iconic historical landmark in Campeche. Located along the city’s ancient walls, this fortress played a significant role in Campeche’s defense against pirate attacks during the colonial era. A visit to Fuerte San Miguel is a journey into the past, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich maritime history.


Constructed in the 17th century, Fuerte San Miguel stands as a reminder of the city’s strategic importance as a port and its role in guarding the valuable treasures that passed through its waters. The fortress was designed to withstand pirate invasions, featuring thick stone walls, cannon emplacements, and a system of defensive structures.


As you approach Fuerte San Miguel, you’ll be greeted by its imposing facade and can’t help but be impressed by its architectural grandeur. Step inside the fortress, and you’ll find a museum that showcases the history of Campeche and its maritime heritage. The exhibits provide insight into the challenges faced by the city’s defenders and the tactics they employed to safeguard Campeche from marauding pirates.


Explore the different rooms within the fortress, each filled with artifacts, weapons, and displays that tell the story of Campeche’s past. Learn about the daring exploits of the buccaneers who roamed the seas, the legends of famous pirates, and the bravery and resilience of Campeche’s defenders. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who lived and fought here centuries ago.


Make your way to the top of Fuerte San Miguel and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city and the Gulf of Mexico. From this vantage point, you can appreciate the strategic location of the fortress and gain a better understanding of the role it played in protecting Campeche.


Adjacent to Fuerte San Miguel, you’ll find a tranquil plaza where you can relax and take in the surroundings. This peaceful space is adorned with sculptures, gardens, and benches, providing a serene atmosphere to reflect on the fortress’s historical significance.


Visiting Fuerte San Miguel is not only a chance to delve into Campeche’s maritime history, but it’s also an opportunity to appreciate the architectural beauty of the fortress itself. The combination of its defensive structures and intricate details showcase the craftsmanship of the time, creating a captivating sight.


Embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself in the captivating history of Campeche by exploring Fuerte San Miguel. From its formidable architecture to its enlightening museum exhibits, this landmark offers a fascinating window into the city’s past and is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.


Experiencing the Local Cuisine

When visiting Campeche, one of the highlights of your trip will undoubtedly be the opportunity to experience the rich and flavorful local cuisine. Influenced by Mayan and Spanish culinary traditions, Campeche offers a delightful gastronomic journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


Seafood takes center stage in the local cuisine of Campeche, thanks to its coastal location. Indulge in dishes like pan de cazón, a savory tortilla layered with shark meat, black beans, and tomato sauce. Another must-try is pescado a la tikin-xic, a grilled fish marinated in achiote paste and spices, giving it a vibrant red color and smoky flavor.


The region is also famous for its delicious empanadas de cazón, fried turnovers filled with shark meat seasoned with spices, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. These savory delights are a perfect snack to enjoy while exploring the streets of Campeche.


For a truly unique culinary experience, be sure to try cochinita pibil. This traditional Yucatecan dish features slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote paste, bitter orange juice, and various spices. The resulting tender and flavorful meat is often served in soft corn tortillas and topped with pickled red onions.


Campeche is also known for its refreshing beverages. Cool down with a traditional Nanche sour, a cocktail made with the region’s native Nanche fruit, lime juice, sugar, and a splash of mezcal or rum. The Nanche fruit lends a tropical and slightly tart flavor to this refreshing drink.


When it comes to dining in Campeche, you have a wide range of options. Explore the city’s historic center, and you’ll find charming restaurants tucked away in beautifully restored colonial buildings. These establishments offer a blend of traditional and contemporary dishes, all prepared with fresh and locally sourced ingredients.


Visit the Mercado Principal, the city’s main market, to sample a variety of local delicacies. Here, you’ll find stalls selling fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and spices. Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure by trying ceviche, seafood cocktails, tamales, and other street food offerings.


Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with some traditional Campechano desserts. Try the famous marquesitas, a sweet and crispy rolled waffle filled with a choice of fillings such as cheese, caramel, chocolate, or Nutella. Another delightful treat is the cocadas, coconut-based candies that come in different flavors and textures, from soft and chewy to crunchy.


While in Campeche, be sure to experience the local cuisine at its finest. Whether you’re indulging in seafood delicacies, sipping on refreshing beverages, or savoring traditional desserts, the flavors of Campeche will leave a lasting impression and make your culinary adventure a memorable part of your trip.


Discovering the Mayan Ruins

Immerse yourself in the ancient world of the Mayan civilization by exploring the captivating Mayan ruins near Campeche. These archaeological sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and complex culture of the Mayan people, showcasing their architectural achievements and spiritual beliefs.


Just a short distance from Campeche, you’ll find the spectacular ruins of Edzna. This ancient city was once a thriving Mayan center, known for its impressive architecture and ceremonial complexes. Explore the site and marvel at the Great Acropolis, the Temple of the Masks, and the magnificent Gran Juego de Pelota, a ballcourt where ancient Mayans engaged in a sacred ball game.


Another must-visit site is Calakmul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most significant Mayan cities of the Classic Period. Located deep within the jungle, the sprawling complex of Calakmul is a testament to the grandeur and power of the Mayan civilization. Climb to the top of the main pyramid, known as Structure II, and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest.


These Mayan ruins offer more than just architectural wonders. They provide a window into the Mayan way of life, their religious practices, and their connection with the natural world. Hieroglyphic inscriptions, intricate carvings, and sacred cenotes add to the mystique of these ancient sites.


Guided tours are available at both Edzna and Calakmul, giving you the opportunity to learn about the history, significance, and cultural importance of these archaeological wonders. Local guides are well-versed in Mayan history and can provide valuable insights into the remarkable achievements of this ancient civilization.


Exploring these Mayan ruins is not only a journey through time, but it also allows you to connect with nature. Many of these sites are located within lush rainforests, offering a serene and immersive experience. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as howler monkeys, toucans, and other tropical creatures that call the jungles of Campeche home.


As you explore these archaeological sites, it’s essential to respect the surroundings and follow any rules or regulations in place to preserve these historical treasures. Help ensure that future generations can also enjoy the beauty and cultural significance of these Mayan ruins.


Discovering the Mayan ruins near Campeche is like stepping into a time capsule, allowing you to glimpse the magnificent achievements of the ancient Mayan civilization. With its intriguing history, awe-inspiring structures, and natural beauty, these archaeological sites are a must-visit for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula.


Exploring the Biosphere Reserves

Campeche is home to two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Calakmul and Los Petenes-Ría Celestún. These protected areas showcase the region’s diverse ecosystems, from dense rainforests to coastal wetlands, and offer ample opportunities for eco-adventure and nature exploration.


Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, located in the southern part of the state, is a vast expanse of tropical rainforest that covers over 1.7 million acres. It is one of the largest protected areas in Mexico and is home to incredible biodiversity. Explore the reserve’s network of trails and you might encounter a wide array of wildlife, including jaguars, howler monkeys, ocelots, and a variety of bird species. Hike to the top of the Calakmul pyramid for breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle canopy, or take a guided tour to learn about the medicinal plants and traditional Mayan uses of the forest.


Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Los Petenes-Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve is a coastal wetland ecosystem that encompasses mangroves, lagoons, and a rich network of freshwater and saltwater marshes. This reserve is a haven for migratory birds, serving as an important breeding ground for flamingos, herons, egrets, and many other species. Take a boat tour through the mangrove forests, where you can observe the diverse birdlife and witness the delicate balance of the ecosystem. You may even be fortunate enough to spot crocodiles basking in the sun or encounter the unique marine life that thrives in these pristine waters.


Exploring these biosphere reserves allows you to connect with nature in a profound way. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the rainforest, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world. The reserves offer a range of activities such as birdwatching, wildlife spotting, hiking, and even camping, providing the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with the environment.


As you venture into these protected areas, it’s essential to practice responsible ecotourism to minimize your impact on the delicate ecosystems. Follow the recommendations and guidelines provided by the reserve authorities, stay on designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife or their habitats.


Exploring the biosphere reserves in Campeche is a chance to witness the beauty and biodiversity of untouched nature. By experiencing these natural wonders, you not only gain a deeper appreciation for the environment but also contribute to the conservation efforts that protect these valuable ecosystems.


Relaxing on the Beaches

Campeche is blessed with pristine beaches that offer a slice of paradise along the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, a sun-soaked vacation, or thrilling water activities, the beaches of Campeche have something for everyone.


One of the most popular beaches in Campeche is Seybaplaya. This tranquil coastal town boasts a long stretch of white sand and calm turquoise waters, creating the perfect setting for relaxation. Lounge on the beach, take a leisurely swim, or simply soak up the sun while enjoying the gentle ocean breeze.


For those seeking a more vibrant and lively beach experience, Isla Aguada is the place to be. Known for its festive atmosphere, this island offers a range of water activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. You can also explore the vibrant coral reefs by snorkeling or scuba diving and discover the colorful marine life that thrives beneath the surface.


Escape the crowds and head to Isla de Pájaros, a serene and secluded island known for its breathtaking natural beauty. As you walk along the pristine shores, you’ll find yourself immersed in a paradise untouched by development. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, sunbathe on the soft sand, or go for a leisurely stroll along the coast to enjoy the solitude and serene ambiance.


When you visit the beaches of Campeche, be sure to explore the nearby coastal towns, as they offer a unique glimpse into local life and provide opportunities to savor delicious seafood dishes. Try the freshly caught fish or shrimp prepared with local spices and flavors at one of the waterfront restaurants, and experience the taste of the sea.


Campeche’s beaches are not only a place to relax and unwind but also serve as a gateway to explore the region’s natural wonders. Many of the beaches are located in close proximity to lush mangroves, estuaries, and protected ecosystems. Embark on a boat tour or kayak through the mangrove forests to witness the beauty of these unique environments and encounter diverse flora and fauna.


As you spend a day at the beach, don’t forget to take in the stunning sunsets that paint the sky with hues of pink, orange, and purple. Find a comfortable spot on the sand, sit back, and marvel at the natural spectacle as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the water.


Whether you prefer a tranquil escape or an adventure-filled beach experience, the beaches of Campeche offer a pristine and inviting destination. From the soft sands and clear waters to the picturesque coastal scenery, you’re sure to find your own slice of paradise along the beautiful coastline of Campeche.


Enjoying Water Sports and Activities

With its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Campeche offers an abundance of water sports and activities for enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush or prefer a more leisurely experience, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the waters of Campeche.


For those who love the thrill of speed and the rush of the waves, jet skiing is a popular water sport in Campeche. Rent a jet ski and carve through the waves, feeling the wind in your hair as you explore the coastline and take in the picturesque views from the water.


Another exhilarating water activity is parasailing. Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning beaches and coastline as you are lifted high above the water, attached to a parasail. This exciting experience offers an unmatched perspective of the coastal scenery and is sure to leave you with lasting memories.


If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, snorkeling and scuba diving are fantastic options to explore the underwater world of Campeche. The calm, crystal-clear waters along the coast provide excellent visibility, allowing you to discover vibrant coral reefs, unique rock formations, and a rich variety of marine life. Keep an eye out for colorful tropical fish, graceful sea turtles, and even the occasional playful dolphin.


Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the mangroves, lagoons, and estuaries that are abundant along the coastline of Campeche. Paddle through the calm waters, immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature as you admire the lush vegetation, spot unique bird species, and perhaps catch a glimpse of a crocodile or two.


Sailing enthusiasts can take advantage of Campeche’s coastal winds and embark on a sailing adventure. Rent a sailboat or join a guided tour to explore the open waters, feeling the freedom of the seas and the thrill of catching the wind in your sails.


For a more relaxed and leisurely experience, consider leisurely fishing. Campeche is known for its abundant marine life, making it a great destination for fishing enthusiasts. Cast your line from one of the piers or charter a fishing boat, and try your luck at catching a variety of fish species, including snapper, grouper, and tarpon.


No matter which water sport or activity you choose, it is important to prioritize safety. Always follow the instructions of experienced guides, wear appropriate safety gear, and be mindful of weather conditions and water currents.


Embrace the water and indulge in the exciting water sports and activities available in Campeche. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure or a relaxing escape, the pristine waters of Campeche await, offering endless opportunities for fun, exploration, and unforgettable experiences.


Shopping for Local Handicrafts

One of the highlights of visiting Campeche is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and bring home unique handicrafts that reflect the region’s rich heritage. From traditional textiles to intricately carved wooden crafts, shopping for local handicrafts in Campeche is a delightful experience.


Exploring the streets of the historic city center, you’ll come across numerous shops and market stalls offering a variety of handmade goods. Look out for brightly colored textiles known as huipiles, which are traditional blouses worn by Mayan women. These beautiful textiles showcase intricate weaving techniques and vibrant patterns, each telling a story of the Mayan culture.


Another popular craft to look out for is the famous Campeche Panama hat, also known as the jipi-japa hat. These finely woven hats are made from the leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant and are known for their lightweight and breathable qualities. They make for a stylish and practical souvenir, perfect for protecting yourself from the sun’s rays.


Wooden crafts are another specialty of the region. Artisans carve intricate designs into wood, creating beautiful sculptures, masks, and figurines. Look for items such as alebrijes, which are whimsical and colorful wooden sculptures of animals and mythical creatures.


For those interested in ceramic arts, consider purchasing Talavera-style pottery. Originating from Spain, Talavera ceramics feature intricate designs and bright colors. From decorative plates to delicate figurines, these hand-painted ceramics make for exquisite and unique souvenirs.


When it comes to jewelry, be sure to keep an eye out for traditional Mayan-inspired pieces. Look for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets made from natural materials such as seeds, shells, and stones. These pieces often incorporate ancient symbols and designs, representing the deep-rooted Mayan culture.


To support local artisans and find a wide range of handicrafts, make a visit to the Mercado Principal. This bustling market is a treasure trove of handmade items, including woven baskets, hammocks, leather goods, and more. Take your time to explore the market, bargain with the vendors, and discover unique and authentic crafts to bring back as meaningful souvenirs.


Shopping for local handicrafts in Campeche not only allows you to take home a piece of the city’s culture but also supports the local community and helps preserve traditional craftsmanship. Each item holds a story and a connection to the rich heritage of Campeche, making it a cherished memento of your visit.


So, dive into the vibrant world of local handicrafts and bring home a piece of Campeche’s cultural legacy. Whether it’s a beautiful textile, a hand-carved wooden craft, or a unique ceramic piece, these locally made souvenirs will serve as a reminder of your unforgettable time in Campeche.


Festivals and Events

Campeche is a city known for its vibrant cultural scene and rich traditions, and throughout the year, it comes alive with colorful festivals and events that showcase the region’s unique heritage. These celebrations offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and experience the local culture firsthand.


One of the most highly anticipated events in Campeche is the Festival Internacional de la Ciudad de Campeche. This annual festival takes place in January and features a diverse range of cultural performances, including music, dance, theater, and art exhibitions. The festival brings together both local and international artists, creating a vibrant and eclectic celebration of creativity and talent.


During Holy Week, Campeche hosts Semana Santa, a religious celebration that commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The city becomes a hub of religious processions, with locals and visitors taking part in the reenactments of biblical events. Elaborate floats, street decorations, and religious ceremonies create a solemn yet captivating atmosphere.


For music enthusiasts, the Festival del Centro Histórico de Campeche is a must-attend event. This music festival, held in April, showcases a wide variety of musical genres, including traditional Mexican music, jazz, rock, and classical. From intimate performances in historic buildings to energetic concerts in plazas, the festival offers a diverse and captivating musical experience.


In November, Campeche celebrates its independence with the Feria de San Francisco de Campeche. This week-long celebration features traditional dances, parades, rodeos, exhibitions, and cultural performances. The fairgrounds come to life with vendors selling local handicrafts, delicious food, and carnival rides, creating a festive atmosphere that is enjoyed by both locals and visitors.


Throughout the year, Campeche is also host to various art exhibitions, theater performances, and cultural workshops. These events provide an opportunity to engage with the local arts scene and discover the talents of Campeche’s artists and performers.


Attending these festivals and events not only allows you to witness the vibrant culture of Campeche but also provides an opportunity to interact with the warm and welcoming locals. You’ll have the chance to taste traditional food, learn about local customs, and join in the festivities, creating lasting memories and connections.


When planning your visit to Campeche, be sure to check the festival calendar to see if any events correspond with your trip. Make the most of your experience by fully immersing yourself in the vibrant celebrations and embracing the rich cultural heritage of this captivating city.


Day Trips from Campeche

While Campeche itself offers a wealth of attractions and activities, venturing out on day trips from the city allows visitors to explore even more of the surrounding natural and cultural wonders. From ancient ruins to picturesque towns, there are plenty of options for memorable day trips in the region.


One popular day trip destination is the archaeological site of Uxmal. Located a couple of hours away from Campeche, Uxmal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its well-preserved Mayan architecture. Marvel at the majestic Pyramid of the Magician, explore the intricately carved Governor’s Palace, and discover the ballcourt where the ancient Mayans played their sacred games.


For a taste of colonial charm, head to the town of Mérida, the vibrant capital of the neighboring state of Yucatán. Meander through the city’s historic center, with its pastel-colored buildings and bustling plazas. Explore the bustling markets, indulge in traditional Yucatecan cuisine, and visit the stunning Cathedral of Mérida. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the lively atmosphere of the historic Paseo de Montejo, lined with grand mansions and offering a glimpse into the city’s wealthy past.


If you’re interested in cenotes, natural sinkholes created by collapsed limestone caves, take a day trip to Cuzamá. Embark on a unique adventure by riding a traditional wooden cart pulled by horses through the countryside. Explore the hidden cenotes, swimming in the refreshing, turquoise waters and marvel at the exquisite rock formations and otherworldly beauty of these natural wonders.


Experience the picturesque coastal beauty of Celestún, a small fishing village famous for its flamingos. Take a boat tour through the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve and witness flocks of vibrant flamingos in their natural habitat, alongside other bird species and mangroves. Enjoy the pristine beaches, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, and savor fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.


For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is a must. Explore the lush rainforests, hike through the verdant trails, and watch for exotic wildlife, including jaguars, monkeys, and colorful tropical birds. Climb to the top of the Calakmul pyramid for panoramic views of the surrounding jungle.


These are just a few examples of the diverse day trip options from Campeche. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or culture, the region surrounding Campeche offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration and adventure. Take advantage of the city’s central location to discover the wonders that await just a short distance away.


Tips for Travelers

When planning your trip to Campeche, it’s helpful to keep a few tips in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. From logistics to cultural etiquette, here are some practical tips for travelers visiting Campeche:

  • Weather and Clothing: Campeche has a tropical climate, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing, along with a hat and sunscreen, to protect yourself from the sun. It’s also a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Language: While Spanish is the official language, many people in the tourism industry can communicate in English. However, learning a few basic Spanish phrases will go a long way in enhancing your interactions with locals.
  • Currency and Money: The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Be sure to have some cash on hand for small purchases, as not all establishments accept credit cards. ATMs are widely available in Campeche for convenient cash withdrawal.
  • Local Customs and Etiquette: Embrace the local culture by respecting the customs and traditions of the region. When entering churches or visiting sacred sites, dress modestly and observe any rules or guidelines. It’s also customary to greet people with a polite “Buenos días” (good morning) or “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon).
  • Transportation: Within the city, many attractions can be easily reached on foot, especially in the historic center of Campeche. Taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available for longer distances or convenience. If renting a car, familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and parking regulations.
  • Health and Safety: It’s advisable to drink bottled water and exercise caution when consuming street food. Remember to use insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes, especially in outdoor areas. As with any travel destination, be mindful of your personal belongings and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas at night.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Respect the local customs and traditions by seeking permission before taking photos of individuals, especially in rural communities or during traditional events. It’s also important to be mindful of your behavior in sacred sites and to follow any guidelines provided by guides or authorities.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trip to Campeche. Embrace the local culture, savor the delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the history and natural beauty of this enchanting destination in Mexico.



Campeche is a destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From exploring the well-preserved old town with its colonial architecture to venturing into the lush rainforests and pristine beaches, there is something for every traveler to enjoy.


Through its rich Mayan heritage and historic significance as a colonial port city, Campeche tells a story that dates back thousands of years. The Mayan ruins, such as Edzna and Calakmul, offer a glimpse into a fascinating ancient civilization, while the well-maintained forts, like Fuerte San Miguel, remind us of its colonial past.


The natural beauty of Campeche shines through its biosphere reserves, where dense jungles, mangroves, and coastal wetlands are teeming with diverse flora and fauna. The beaches, with their powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation or thrilling water activities.


Not to be missed are the vibrant festivals and events that bring the city to life. From music and dance festivals to religious celebrations, these festivities showcase the rich cultural traditions of the region and offer an immersive experience for visitors.


As you venture through Campeche, remember to savor the local cuisine, shop for unique handicrafts, and embrace the warm and welcoming atmosphere of this charming city. From the colonial architecture of the old town to the rich flavors of traditional dishes, every corner of Campeche invites you to experience the beauty and authenticity of Mexican culture.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Campeche promises to captivate and enchant you. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the treasures of this incredible destination, and create memories that will last a lifetime.