When you think about visiting Mexico, the top destinations that come to mind are Cancun, Tulum or Puerta Vallerta. But Mexico is a huge country with so much beauty, culture and history to offer! I recently visited the state of Campeche, with no idea what to expect, it did not disappoint.
Here are 5 reasons why you should check out Campeche, MX.
1. Experience authentic Mexico
You can visit the more popular areas of Mexico and still never experience what Mexico has to offer. Many people hold the belief that Mexico is dangerous and to stick to the touristy areas, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, some of the most dangerous areas of Mexico are in fact the tourist destinations, where there are lots of customers.
Campeche is not a very touristic town, we we’re the second American family I saw the whole time we were there, you are enveloped in the local culture. So be prepared to find some of the best food in a hole in the wall store and to brush up on your spanish.
The people are extremely kind and do not try to overcharge you on the things you buy like the more touristy places in Mexico.
2. Rich history and architecture
One of my favorite things about Campeche is it’s architecture, attributed to it’s unique history with pirates. A tree sap was of high value to pirates back in the day and the city was under attack for decades because of it. During that time, a wall was built around the city to protect them from the pirates, a lot of the wall is still up today and is absolutely gorgeous to see. You can tour the wall and learn all about it’s past.
On top of that, Campeche has several gorgeous cathedrals and the cobblestone streets are filled with homes of so many colors. Every home is a different bright color and it is absolutely beautiful.
3. Mayan Ruins
This area of Mexico is known for it’s Mayan ruins, they are not just located in the Quintana Roo and Yucatan state. In fact, the Mayan ruins here are incredibly unique because they are much less popular and you can get the full experience of a Mayan civilization all to yourself.
4. The Gulf of Mexico
The state of Campeche is the beginning of the Gulf of Mexico and it is bountiful as well as gorgeous. If you escape the city to see the coast lines of the gulf, they are a radiant blue, booming with fish. We stayed at an Airbnb in Champoton and were able to see tons of unique fish right outside our back door in the water. I would recommend going snorkeling, without a boat or with one, a lot of the coastline stays shallow for a long while.
5. Local cenotes
We visited a gorgeous cenote while staying in Campeche, and unlike Cancun and Tulum, they are not covered in tourists here. Unfortunately there are not many near this area, there is the giant Cenote Colorado and the one we visited, San Ignacio. This one is about an hour from Campeche and is underground. The water is incredibly blue and we were surrounded by local Mexicans, which made it even more special.
We also were able to stop and see a place called IIch Ha Lol Xaan. This spot is absolutely beautiful and remote. There was not one single tourist there, we were completely alone. Although it is not very well upkept and covered in misquitos, it was still one of my favorite places we visited.
Things to keep in mind :
Because Campeche is not very touristy, I recommend either renting a car or getting a reliable taxi drivers number. We relied on the bus system the first day and it goes without saying that it is unreliable and never on time.
Have patience while visiting this city, you can easily get lost but give yourself the time to enjoy getting lots and be open to finding something amazing along the way!
A popular shopping and restaurant area is called calle 59, it is closed off to traffic, so if your having trouble finding your way around, you can keep this street in mind.