Neither of us had ever been to this side of the Yucatan Peninsula before. When we were mapping out our journey from Cozumel to Central Mexico, we knew that we wanted to spend at least one night on the Gulf of Mexico. Campeche has been highly recommended by other travelers, so this was a no brainer. The city is beautiful, but unfortunately it felt like we arrived after everyone had left for somewhere else. The pandemic had obviously sucked the life out of Campeche.
After our first taste of Campeche, we definitely have ambition to come back when things are better. While there weren’t a lot of activities to keep us occupied, we did the best we could. Even if things were open for business, we wouldn’t have stayed here for very long as we still had a long journey ahead of us. Much like or visit in Merida, we spent most of our time walking around the historic city and just admiring the architecture and soaking in the history. Both states currently have restrictions on many activities, which meant that even though we had some time to spare, there wasn’t much to do.
In Campeche, the streets were empty and even most of the restaurants were shut. The historic center was empty. One night while walking in Campeche we were told not to cross the street by the police while there was a pretty sunset taking place. The city looks like a lovely place, so someday in the future we will give this spot a fair chance to impress us.
What Makes Campeche so amazing?
This feels like the most off the beaten track of the big cities we’ve been to anywhere on the Yucatan Peninsula, though its hard to tell if this is because it was so quiet or if it’s just that great of a hidden gem. Of course, we were unable to visit many of the attractions, what we were able to see was amazing.
The city is located along the Gulf of Mexico, so there is obviously some incredible seafood and views of the water. We went for a few long walks through the center of town and along the beautiful malecon. The city has a 500 year history which dates back to some of the early colonial days.
The original city was ransacked by pirates so in order to secure its survival the city was enclosed within a massive walled city which helped to protect it from invasions. On either side of this walled city there were two fortresses build – San Miguel and San Jose – were built to protect the city from future invasions. This strategy obviously worked, as the city has lasted the test of time and remains to this day.
Where is Campeche and how do you get there?
Campeche is the capital city of the state of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico about halfway between Merida and Chiapas on the Yucatan Peninsula. Being on one of the main highways that connects Merida and Cancun with the rest of Mexico, it is fairly easy to arrive here. For those who are flying, the main international airports would be located in either Merida or Cancun.
Especially after a stopover in the busy city of Merida, we quite enjoyed the peaceful nature of this waterfront town.