As the port city of the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche has had a colourful history of Amerindians, conquistadors and pirates. Although a city, it has an easy-going, small town feel and a beautifully restored colonial quarter, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built upon the Mayan city of An Can Pech, the Spanish conquistadors established Campeche in 1540 to become the most important port on the Peninsula and the scene of many clashes with pirates and natives.

Still small enough to easily stroll around, sadly Campeche doesn’t make it onto most traveller’s itineraries, but it’s an incredibly pretty and relaxed place, steeped in history, old world architecture, Moorish urban mansions, and old naval ramparts that give off great views of the city. You are also well placed to explore many a national park, Mayan ruins and coastal biosphere reserves in this state.

What to do

  • Take a private historical tour of the city with one of our expert local guides, weaving through the old quarter and dipping into some Moorish-style mansions, ornate churches, visiting museums and strolling around the old naval bastions for fantastic views over the city and coast
  • Much of Campeche is fairly compact and easy to walk around for taking in the sights and charm
  • Excursions to the Mayan ruins of Edza, Calakmul, and Becan
  • Expeditions to the Petenes-ria Celestun National Park for its diverse ecosystems and wetlands, the Calakmul Biopshere is home to 5 out of 6 of the large cats (jaguars, jaguarundis, ocelots, pumas and margays) as well as a monkeys, coatis, parrots and toucans