Campeche, in the Yucatan Peninsula, is one of the most beautiful capitals in the country. It has 17 archaeological sites including Calakmul, the largest Mayan city that has ever been discovered. If you’re looking to escape from the tourist crowd, its Pacific beaches are for you. Campeche has charming corners that you’ll love including the beautiful colonial port, various Mayan ceremonial centers and majestic nature reserves.
When you visit Campeche you have to take a stroll along the Fort of San Miguel, San José el Alto, and the Door of the Earth; their buildings will carry you and will tell the story of this beautiful city. Our Campeche Vacations guide will give you everything you need to plan your beach vacation now. For more information on the wonderful beaches of Campeche and the Yucatan Peninsula, visit here. Also learn more about the Yucatan Peninsula here.
In Campeche, the wet season is oppressive and mostly cloudy, the dry season is muggy and mostly clear, and it is hot year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 65°F to 93°F and is rarely below 57°F or above 100°F. The best time of year to visit Campeche for warm-weather activities is from late November to mid March. The hot season lasts for 4.3 months, from April 10 to August 20, with an average daily high temperature above 91°F. The hottest day of the year is May 10, with an average high of 93°F and low of 75°F. The cool season lasts for 2.6 months, from November 23 to February 11, with an average daily high temperature below 84°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of 65°F and high of 82°F.
Getting to Campeche
Campeche City has an airport, although it only has daily flights to Mexico City. Ciudad del Carmen has flights to Mexico City as well as to Houston Texas. Neither are cheap. The best bet is to fly into Mérida, Yucatan and bus to Campeche. This can also be done from Cancún, although it may take an extra day just to get to the state.
Getting Around in Campeche
Buses in Mexico offer excellent service at cheap prices, and this is no exception in Campeche. The ADO station in Campeche City has recently been moved to the outskirts of the city from the former location downtown, and the cab ride costs roughly 25 pesos. It is possible to make the trip on city bus, but it is not recommended as these buses are small, hot and in varying states of disrepair. The city bus costs 3 pesos. Look for one that says “Centro” in the front window. That will take you to the city market.
If you plan to rent a car, it is recommended that you do this in Mérida as there are few, if any, places to do this in Campeche.
Campeche is perhaps the safest state in all of Mexico. The population is still relatively small, and although there are places of profound poverty in the countryside and the cities, people are friendly and warm. The greatest danger comes from the stray dogs that roam the urban areas in packs, especially in the city of Campeche, although this is also the case in most of Mexico.
Must See Places
Laguna de Términos
Laguna de Términos is the largest and one of biologically the richest tidal lagoons located entirely on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, as measured by water volume. Exchanging water with several rivers and lagoons, the Laguna is part of the most important hydrographic river basin in Mexico.
Balamku is a small Maya archaeological site located in the Mexican state of Campeche, within the Petén Basin. It features elaborate plaster facades dating to the Early Classic period.
Xtampak is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche. A major town in the Chenes region, it flourished during the Late Classic era.
Edzna Archaeological Site
House of the Itza, is one of the most interesting Mayan cities by technological advances showing. It has numerous religious buildings, administrative and residential architectural features which show the Puuc and Chenes styles.
Things to Do
During the 1600s the city of Campeche had a big problem with marauding pirates, so the city spent about 50 years during the late 1600’s erecting a massive 2-mile wall around the city, much of which is still intact today. So whether by car or on foot, come on into one of the entranceways to the walled portion of the city. Once your in, you can find certain points were you can actually walk along the top of the walls for a nice view of the city below on one side and the waterfront on the other.
The 7 Baluartes
There are seven ‘baluartes’ along the old wall of the city. These fortifications of the wall have interiors in which today houses exhibits, gardens, and small museums. Each one houses something different. The entire wall is about 2 miles, so you spend a few hours or a half day walking around the wall stopping at each baluarte.
As the sun starts to head for the horizon, the malecón (boardwalk) right on the water is the place to be. Campechanos come out in droves during late afternoon and early evenings for a bit of exercise on this miles long stretch of waterfront. There are both bike lanes and jogging lanes in addition to areas to simply stroll on by.
Eat Seafood at Parador Gastronómico de Cocteleros
Walk as far north as you can on the malecón during the afternoon and you’ll eventually begin to pass local fishermen returning for the day and setting up impromptu fish markets to sell their daily catch. Its no wonder that just beyond them is a group of about a dozen outdoor restaurants on the water.
As you stroll on by, each restaurant host will come out to walk you through their menu offerings. Competition between these individually owned restaurants is fierce. You might get offers of free margaritas and other goodies thrown in if you were to simply dine with certain establishments.
Best Rated Restaurants
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$$$ La Pigua
Located on the Malecón, La Pigua serves a selection of seafood dishes and is a very popular spot with both locals and visitors. Along with the menu rich in fish and seafood, the restaurant is known for its signature coconut cake that is the perfect end to any meal. For more information call 52-981-811-3365, or visit them on the web at La Pigua.
$$ – $$$ Marganzo
A great place to try local dishes and soak up the Campeche culture, Marganzo is a popular choice. The menu is well stocked with favorites of the regional cuisine, however the restaurant is popular with big tour groups so if that is not your thing you may need to time your visit to avoid the tours. For more information call 52-981-811-3899, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Marganzo.$$ – $$$ Luz de Luna
With tables set out on Calle 59 and a colorful and fun décor you might write Luz de Luna off as just an average tourist spot. However, the food is great quality with good portions and fresh ingredients. It is a wonderful place to enjoy local favorites, as well as a number of other dishes from across Mexico and its local is just perfect. For more information call 52-981-811-0624, or visit them on Facebook at Luz de Luna.
$$ – $$$ Casa Don Gustavo
This colonial style boutique hotel is also known for its restaurant, which serves a great selection of freshly prepared regional dishes. Sitting within the pretty inner courtyard makes a great setting for any meal. Favorites include the Sopa de Lima and the variety of shrimp-based dishes. For more information call 52-981-816-8090, or visit them on the web at Casa Don Gustavo.
$$ – $$$ Mercado 59
Set in a cool, stylish courtyard, this restaurant has a youthful vibe and serves fresh, unique and creative dishes alongside tasty cocktails. Loud music pumps through the courtyard, but those who prefer a quieter ambience can enjoy their meal in the interior dining room. For more information call 52-981-811-6990, or visit them on their Facebook page at Mercado 59.
Café Peón Contreras
The café-bar at Mérida’s landmark 1908 theater is one of the most happening nightspots in town. Tables spill onto the street, where locals gather to hear balladeers singing romantic and politically-inspired songs. The drinks are expensive and the food is nothing special, so only go if you want culture, live music, and an opportunity to splurge. For more information call 52-993-924-7003, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Café Peón Contreras
Location, location, location is the allure of this loud and colorful drinking establishment. Right in the heart of Plaza Grande—but with branches around the city—the tourist magnet offers live music and drinks served in plastic yard glasses. It’s one of the best spots to grab a beer and watch Mérida in action. Check the website for weekly promotions. For more information call 52-981-127-1162, or visit them on the web at La Parrilla.
A pleasant atmosphere, flowing beer, and live music are what make this bar one of Mérida’s best-kept secrets (you might want to pass on the food). Grab a spot in the beer garden where you can listen to live reggae, rock, or jazz. A rather worn billiard table and occasional entertainment—such as belly dancers and fire spinners—draw in a decent crowd. For more information call 52-999-968-7341, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Mayan Pub.
Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Hotel Socaire offers accommodations in Campeche. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. The rooms are fitted with a TV with cable channels. Every room includes a private bathroom equipped with a shower. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk, room service, a tour desk and a gift shop at the property. For more information, pricing, or to make reservations visit here.
Excellent colonial two storey apartment in the heart of the fortified historic center of Campeche. A few steps from the famous 59th Street, where you will find gastronomic, cultural and recreational variety. Ideal to get to know the city, enjoy all the tourist attractions like the cathedral, museums or get on the tram, besides making purchases of handicrafts and typical products of the city. Perfect for families or 2 couples. For more information, pricing, or to make reservations visit here.
Casa Mazejuwi offers accommodations in Campeche. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV. You will find a coffee machine in the room. The rooms include a private bathroom. You will find free shuttle service at the property. The hotel also provides bike rental. For more information, pricing or to make reservations visit here.
Hotel Boutique Casa Don Gustavo
Casa Don Gustavo is a boutique hotel in Campeche. This small luxury hotel provides an experience that portrays the historic and cultural environment of the city, combined with comforts of the modern living. The hotel has 10 exclusive suites, a central courtyard where breakfast, lunch and dinner, and wines are served to enjoy in different areas of the house such as the pool, suites, balcony or veranda with whirlpool tub. For more information, pricing or to make reservations visit here.
Hacienda Puerta Campeche – A Luxury Collection Hotel
Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Hacienda Puerta Campeche a Luxury Collection Hotel offers accommodations in Campeche. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site. There is a 24-hour front desk, concierge services and a gift shop at the property. The hotel also provides free use of bicycles. For more information, pricing, or to make reservations visit here.