The colonial town of Campeche was the biggest surprise on our road trip through the Yucatán. The reason: Campeche is wonderfully colourful, wonderfully calm and above all very authentic. We didn’t expect much and were ultimately very enthusiastic. In Campeche you will not find any impressive sights, but Mexico vibes in perfection.
Yucatán is not exactly known for being a travel destination away from mass tourism to be. Luckily, Campeche is quite out of line. In this blog article we will show you why a stopover in Campeche is definitely worthwhile. Of course, we will also tell you our tips for the colorful colonial city.
1. Campeche: Authentic colonial city on the Yucatán If you want to experience Yucatán off the beaten track, you should go to the west coast. That is where the likeable colonial town of Campeche is located in the state of the same name. Campeche, officially baptized with the evocative name “San Francisco de Campeche”, pretty much fits the cliché of a Mexican town.
In everyone Alley colorful houses with wrought-iron window bars beam towards you. To our surprise, many facades have been renovated and shine in the most beautiful colors. Old VW Beetles race over the cobblestones. Women and men push their bikes through the streets with mobile food stalls. And on the main square in front of the cathedral (“Plaza de la Independencia”), old and young gather to romp around, relax and read the newspaper.
Campeche is less lively than you might think. This is also due to the size: In all of Campeche there are more than 200. Resident. Not that much for a Mexican city. It is the slowness and the conviviality that we have come to know and love for Campeche.
Who is Campeche suitable for? Campeche is suitable for those who want to explore the Yucatán want to travel a little off the beaten track. For some reason (which we don’t know to date) Campeche isn’t that much on the agenda of many travellers. You could call Campeche a little insider tip. Most of them are drawn to nearby Mérida. Nevertheless, tourism has of course long since arrived in Campeche. So don’t expect an undiscovered Mexican city.
Although Campeche is on the sea, there are no beaches. So you can in Campeche itself don’t go swimming It is therefore completely unsuitable for a beach holiday. Rather, Campeche inspires those who want to feel the relaxed Mexican attitude to life and simply let themselves be carried away a little in the colorful alleyways.
How long should I stay in Campeche? Campeche is comparatively small. Viewed soberly, you saw all the highlights in one afternoon. However, we would recommend you to stay two nights (as we did). We found this period of time just right, as it also leaves enough leeway to stroll through the streets without a plan or goal.
2. Sights and activities in Campeche Campeche promises colorful photo motifs on every corner, for that all the less classic sights. The good thing about it: You can let yourself drift in Campeche without rushing from one sight to the next.
Plaza de la Independencia & Cathedral of Campeche The heart of the historic center of Campeche is the main square called “Plaza de la Independencia”. Some of the city’s most important buildings are located around the rectangular square. One of them is the Cathedral of Campeche with the almost imperceptible name “Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción”.
In the park on the main square – as in Mérida and Valladolid – there is a shoe shiner to the next. The shoe owner makes himself or herself comfortable in the armchair reading the newspaper while the shoes are being neatly cleaned and polished. Sounds good, right?
Centro Cultural Casa No. 6 The view through the open window of the Centro Cultural Casa no. 6 made us curious. And so we spontaneously decided to pay a visit to this cultural center. It is located on the western side of the main square (“Plaza de la Independencia”) and is intended to give an insight into life in Campeche in the past.
In the 18. In the 19th century an influential family resided in this stately colonial villa . There are several rooms to visit in the building on the ground floor, with the highlight, in our opinion, being the courtyard. Don’t expect too much, but we personally found the Centro Cultural very interesting and above all very photogenic.
Calle 57 (at the main square), 16419 Campeche
Entry: 20 Pesos per person
Opening hours: daily from 8 to 21 (Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.)
City Walls & Museo de La Arquitectura Maya You can walk part of the former city wall. That might sound a bit more spectacular than it is, but especially in the late afternoon, before sunset, we found it very nice up there. You don’t have a real view, but you can at least see the towers of the cathedral.
Access to this part of the city wall is via the Museo de La Arquitectura Maya. To go to the top of the city walls you have to pay entrance fee to the museum. Therefore, of course, we also looked at that one when we were there before. Conclusion: Not a must-see, but not uninteresting.
Address: Calle 8, 16423 CampecheEntry: 45 Pesos per personOpening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8 to 17 Clock (Unfortunately, you cannot experience the actual sunset on the city wall.)
Walk through the old town The alleys around the main square and the city walls are of course by far not all that there is to see in Campeche. For example, we found the former church called Ex Templo de San Jose worth seeing. It looks pretty dilapidated, but with the colorful tiles on the facade it is definitely something special. A small art market is housed inside today.
Sunset at the beach promenade The kilometer-long promenade (“Malecón”)
is more of a traffic artery than a magnificent boulevard. Apparently that is about to change, because during our visit there was construction going on at every corner. It seems that they want to give the promenade more glamor.
Anyway: It’s worth stopping by for sunset because you can from watch the sun disappear behind the sea on the horizon.
3. Eating & drinking in Campeche: Tips for restaurants and cafés Small but nice – that’s how we would describe the selection of restaurants in Campeche. There aren’t too many options, but we really enjoyed the restaurants we visited. Of course we don’t want to withhold our favorites from you.
La María Cocina Peninsular Wow! In this inconspicuous place from the outside, we were actually served the best guacamole of our entire Yucatán trip. The other two dishes we ordered were also to die for. The big advantage: there were comparatively many vegetarian dishes. (We’re only talking about a handful here, but that’s quite a lot for Mexico.)
Too bad you can’t sit outside. That would be the icing on the cake, so to speak. But inside you can also sit comfortably and authentically amidst the colorful walls. The restaurant seems to be at TouristInne n being very popular, but that didn’t bother us. Conclusion: Anytime again!
Address: Calle 8 (between Calle 53 and 55), 16425 Campeche Prices: Dinner including drinks for two approx. 500 pesos
Luan We visited the very friendly and comfortably furnished Luan for a breakfast . There were only Mexican guests around us – most of them well off.
The menu is only available in Spanish and therefore authentic are also the courts. There are countless egg dishes, but also other things such as pancakes or muesli with fruit. The staff is very courteous, but unfortunately hardly understands a word of English. Google Translate was once again our savior in need.
Address: Calle 14 (between Calle 57 and 90), 16419 Campeche
Prices: Breakfast for two including coffee approx. 400 pesos
Chocol’Ha Our favorite place for a few creative hours of work in Campeche is the air-conditioned Chocol’Ha. In the small Chocolaterie good coffee and of course cocoa (hot or cold) is served in several variations. There are also a few small snacks and sweets, but we didn’t test them. There are a few souvenirs for sale in the entrance area, including coffee and soaps.
Address: Calle 59 (near Calle 45), CampechePrices: Cold cocoa approx. 25 Pesos, Espresso 30 pesos
4. Overnight stay in Campeche: Our accommodation recommendation We stayed for two nights in Casa Mazejuwi, which we highly recommend can. The accommodation was clearly the one with the best value for money of our entire Yucatán trip.
Our room (Deluxe with king size bed) was on the first floor and was huge. The interior is very tasteful: a bit Mexican, a bit oriental and above all with great attention to detail! We slept really well in the very wide bed. We paid about 57 euros for two nights. There are also cheaper rooms on the ground floor.
The owners were amazing: we have rarely seen anything so courteous and helpful. Abraham made sure we felt at home from the moment we walked in. The breakfast is excellent and also prepared with a lot of love.
The location is also great: very central, just a few streets away from the main square, but still calm. Conclusion: If we travel to Campeche again, we will definitely stay there again.
You can book accommodation here : Casa Mazejuwi
16425Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever ended up in Campeche? If so, did you like it as much as we did? If you have any other tips or testimonials, we look forward to your comments. Many Thanks!