Campeche City, Campeche

A hidden treasure of the Yucatan Peninsula is the state of Campeche. The capital city of the same name is a colonial and fortified destination full of history and romance with a renewed Historic Downtown that visitors ought to stroll. Military archit

Before the Spanish arrival, the zone where Campeche is located was inhabited by Mayan people and it was a major town in the district of Ah Kin Pech. In 1517, the first conquerors came but it was until 1540 when they succeeded in defeating the natives. Thus, 1541 is the year of foundation of the Village of San Francisco of Campeche.

Due to the different historic passages through which Campeche has passed, the city can be divided into three zones. Firstly is the city center, with the old wall surrounding the area and which was inhabited by the Spaniards during their occupation. To the north is San Francisco; here the Mayan population was concentrated. Then, to the south, is San Roman and it was the place where native Mexicans established and mixed with the people brought from the Caribbean islands.

The city has many forts that were built to defend the city from pirate attacks. City tours should start at Moch-Cuouh square. From there it is possible to visit the San Carlos Fort and the Sea Gate. In the Museum of Mayan Stelae or Fort of Solitude it is possible to know some pieces and equipment that was used to fight pirates.

Mansion Carvajal is an Arabian style building that today houses a souvenir shop and government offices. Another interesting museum is the House of the Lieutenant of the King, where several European weapons from the 12th to the 19th century are displayed.

The main square and its surrounding area features beautiful colonial architecture, like the Church of Saint Joseph or the Church of San Francisco which was built in the 16th century.

A handicraft market displaying many regional arts and crafts is housed in the former Fort of San Pedro. Beneath the fort many secret passages or tunnels can be seen and they were a means to escape during battles.

Campeche offers today excellent fishing opportunities, an abundance of fresh seafood prepared in different ways, including Caribbean styles. Besides, its humid, warm climate is ideal for visiting the many nearby archaeological zones, such as Balamku, Becan, Calakmul, Chicanna, Dzibilnocac, Edzna, Hochob, and Xpujil.