As far as colonial cities in Mexico go, Campeche is easily one of the most beautiful. Buildings of saturated pastel hues line the streets that appear to be cleaned regularly. Like Antigua in Guatemala, Campeche’s downtown area attracts visitors from around the globe. The history and architecture of this town are its main selling points, with plenty of restaurants and a large and inviting central zocolo that add to the appeal.
While certainly a tourist town, now named a UNESCO Heritage site, Campeche still feels separated from the main tourist trail though Mexico… from places like Merida, Tulum, or Palenque. If you’ve grown weary of towns that are tourist-populated, Campeche can be a welcomed place to relax for a few days: restaurants and bars aren’t over-crowded, and neither are hostels. Though without a beach, you’re still on the Gulf, and Campeche has a beautiful walking and biking path that follows the coastline. The baluartes in the fort that surrounds the City Center are now home to Museums and Markets, and in certain areas you can walk atop the city wall as well.
One downfall is that Campeche is located right on the Gulf and there are markets with fresh seafood to be had, but finding a hostel with a suitable kitchen (more than hot plates) was a challenge. The tourism industry here seems more centered around the fancy-hotel and high-end restaurant crowd. Though still, you can find something for every budget if you’re willing to look. And since our first visit, we’ve sought out a few dorms in Campeche where it’s still affordable to sleep solo. These hostels generally offer private rooms as well, though often at the same price as you can find in the lower-end “hotels” (around P$250).
Finally, Campeche is a great base for visiting a number of ruins in the State, ruins that are also off the beaten path, and thus less crowded as well. If you are interested in visiting any nearby ruins, the museums in Campeche are a great place to begin your adventure.