Campeche, Mexico: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
The state of Campeche in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, is teeming with Mayan ruins. Some of them, like Calakmul, stand in the middle of the largest tropical forests in Mexico, while others, like Edzna, are just an hour away from the regional capital of Campeche. The city itself offers wonderful colonial buildings among its top attractions and makes for a great base for exploring the surrounding regions. Because of its pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, well preserved mansions and fortified ramparts, the state capital was declared a the Unesco world heritage sites in 1999. Strangely enough, the city has been greatly overlooked by travelers and offers a great contrast to the modern touristy resort-cities on the eastern coast of the Yucatan. A handful of bars and cafes coupled with several restaurants, make up Campeche’s nightlife.
Campeche features some nice accommodation options, but generally doesn’t offer great value for their prices. Getting around the city isn’t difficult, since most attractions and restaurants are in walking distance, while for the few that aren’t it is best to take a taxi, since navigating Campeche by bus can be tricky.
The city was founded by Francisco Montejo in 1540 as San Francisco de Campeche, atop the pre-existing Maya city of Can Pech. Little remains of the pre-Columbian city. The fortifications were added in the 17th century to protect the city from pirates and buccaneers. The standing historical buildings and monuments such the Franciscan cathedral, the Maya ruins, and the city walls and forts are some of the finest features of the city.