For a relatively small city, Campeche has a lot of things to see and do within the city limits and beyond.
Of the eight bastions that originally made up the city’s fortification, seven survive in their original state and one has been restored. Large segments of Campeche’s famous wall have survived as well. One bastion boasts a museum of Maya culture, while another hosts a botanical garden and another the city museum. You could feasibly visit them all in one day or just pick the ones of most interest.
For history enthusiasts this museum is a great option, since it tells the story of the construction of Campeche post conquest. Learn about the trade and pirate attacks that played a large role in Campeche’s past as your explore the interactive displays.
This 18th-century house has been restored to its original state and gives a great insight into how the gentry in Campeche would have lived. You can observe the original Italian-tiled floors and the imported European furniture as you explore the dwelling.
Take a wander down the central pedestrian street Calle 59, with its brightly colored houses, small interesting stores and boutiques and multiple cafes, restaurants and bars. There is often art displayed along the central walkway too, which changes every few months.
The Malecón is a walkway that runs along the seafront. It is a great place to wander as the sun sets. Look out for the sculpture of the Bride of the Sea, which tells the story of a young bride-to-be whose fiancé never returned from a trip out at sea.
Like most main plazas in Mexico, Campeche’s is bustling with local life. It is a great place to sit under the shade of a tree and watch the world go by. While you are there you could also pop into the cathedral to admire its brightly tiled floors and the multiple depictions of Mary in the stained-glass windows.
This small church in the neighborhood of San Roman is famous for the Black Christ that sits at the altar. There are multiple legends behind the image that give different explanations as to why this Christ that is said to have originally been carved from white wood is now black.
Every Thursday- Sunday at 8pm the Puerta de la Tierra is lit up in a light and sound show that tells the story of Campeche’s history. It is an interesting and fun spectacle that is worth seeing if you are in the city on these days.
For regional arts and crafts head to the Casa de Artesanias Tukulna (Calle 10 #333), which boasts a wide variety of handicrafts from the area.
Just outside the city is the fascinating archeological zone of Edzna. It showcases a number of different Mayan architectural styles and the Temple of the Five Storeys is especially impressive. It is worth hiring a guide to get a deeper understanding of the site.
Fish the real flats of the Campeche Bay in its magnificent miles of mangrove channels and mouths. You can take fishing trips from the docking port of San Francisco, Campeche.
The largest biosphere reserve in Mexico is found in Campeche state and sits some 318km from the city of Campeche. The area is home to jaguars, howler monkeys, deer, pumas, wild cats and many other mammals, as well as spiders, reptiles, insects and more than 800 plant species. Calakmul is also home to a Mayan archeological site with some impressively tall pyramids.