Nestled on the western coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Campeche is a picturesque colonial city steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. With its well-preserved historic center, vibrant cultural scene, and proximity to stunning archaeological sites and natural wonders, Campeche offers travelers a wealth of experiences to discover. In this travel guide, we’ll explore the highlights of Campeche, from its fascinating history to its top attractions and Campeche travel tips.


Founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadors, Campeche quickly became an important port city and a key trading hub for goods flowing between Europe and the New World. Its strategic location made it a target for pirates and buccaneers, prompting the construction of fortifications and defensive walls to protect the city from maritime attacks, especially from English and Dutch pirates. Today, Campeche’s well-preserved colonial architecture, fortified walls, and historic landmarks offer a glimpse into its storied past and colonial heritage.

Things to Do and Sites to See in Campeche

Explore the Historic Center

Begin your journey in Campeche’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its colorful colonial buildings, charming plazas, and cobblestone streets. Wander through the picturesque streets lined with pastel-colored facades, and admire architectural gems such as the Cathedral of Campeche, the Puerta de Tierra, and the different fort batteries.

Walk Along the Malecón

Stroll along the Malecón, a scenic waterfront promenade that offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the city’s skyline. Watch the sunset over the sea, relax in one of the waterfront parks, and soak in the relaxed ambiance of this coastal city.

Visit Forts and their Museums

Explore Fort San Miguel and Fort San José, both of which are some of the best-preserved colonial forts in Mexico, are located at the edge of the historic center, and have museums located within their walls. Climb to the top of the ramparts for sweeping views of the city and learn about Campeche’s maritime history and defenses at the onsite museums.

Discover Edzná

Venture outside the city to explore the ancient Maya ruins of Edzná, located approximately an hour’s drive from Campeche. Explore the impressive pyramids, temples, and plazas of this archaeological site, and learn about the history and culture of the ancient Maya civilization.

Experience Campeche’s Cuisine

Indulge in Campeche’s culinary delights by sampling traditional dishes such as pescado a la campechana (Campeche-style fish), cochinita pibil (marinated pork), and pan de cazo (local dogfish bread). Visit local markets, street food stalls, and restaurants to savor the flavors of Campeche’s rich culinary heritage. Some of the best samples of local foods can be tried in the mercado near the city walls.

Visit the Mercado de Campeche

Located just outside the walls of the City, Campeche’s mercado is an immersive experience that tantalizes the senses and offers a glimpse into the vibrant culinary and cultural heritage of the region. As you wander through the bustling market stalls, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors, aromas, and flavors, as vendors peddle fresh produce, aromatic spices, and local delicacies. From juicy tropical fruits and fragrant herbs to freshly caught seafood and handmade crafts, the Mercado is a treasure trove of culinary delights and artisanal treasures waiting to be discovered.

Visit the Battery Museums

The batteries located within the city walls, especially the Baluarte de San Carlos and the Baluarte de la Soledad, both have museums and exhibits showcasing the history of Campeche, and provide access to the upper part of the city’s walls.

Go Out in Calle 59

Calle 59 is the street where all the bars and restaurants are located. It’s a very pedestrian friendly area located right by Campeche’s Puerta de Mar. Have a dinner or a drink as you sit outside and take in the seaside social scene.

Try Chocolate in Xocol Ha

In my opinion, one of the best chocolate shops in southern Mexico. Try a traditional cup of chocolate caliente or buy a chocolate goodie to have on the go or as a souvenir for friends back home.

Campeche Travel Tips


Campeche enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April, when temperatures are cooler and rainfall is minimal.


Getting around Campeche is easy with taxis, buses, and rental cars available for exploring the city and its surrounding attractions. The historic center is compact and walkable, making it convenient to explore on foot.


Campeche is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s important to take common-sense precautions, such as keeping your belongings secure and avoiding isolated areas after dark. Avoid drinking with strangers.

Campeche is a captivating destination that offers travelers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether exploring the city’s colonial architecture, discovering ancient Maya ruins, or savoring the flavors of its cuisine, Campeche promises an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.