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Mexico is the number one destination for Americans traveling abroad. Famous for its pristine beaches, turquoise oceans and well-developed tourist areas, it attracts million tourists every year who are looking for a sunny break.
However, not everyone who crosses the southern border is interested in lounging poolside all day: Mexico is, in fact, best known as a tropical getawaybut it is also one of the world’s top cultural destinations, with its myriad of UNESCO-listed ancient sites and rich hispanic heritage.
If it’s culture you’re after, then you should consider adding a visit to this lesser-known spot as well:
Why You Should Add Campeche to Your Mexico Bucket List
Campeche is one of the 31 federal entities of Mexico, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, where it borders the Gulf of Mexico and borders the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
Unbeknownst to most vacationers, who flock to neighboring provinces, where Mérida, Cancún, and Tulum meet, Campeche is perhaps Mexico’s most up-and-coming cultural destination, largely due to its stately capital.
San Francisco de Campeche, more commonly known simply as Campeche, is among the oldest European colonies in the Americas, having been founded by the pathfinders already in 1540almost seven decades before the settlement of Jamestown in Virginia.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, Campeche was the site of a Mayan port called Can Pech, from which it derives its name, although very few vestiges of the original town remain.
The modern city is a treasure trove of priceless treasures from the colonial era, so much so that it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Campeche is a colonial jewel waiting to be discovered
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The designation recognizes Campeche well-preserved historic corebuilt by the Spanish according to the Iberian customs of the time and then fortified amid the threat of pirates in the Gulf and the Greater Caribbean region.
The Campeche fortifications are one of the main points of interest in the city and contain beautiful monuments from the Spanish era such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conceptionand the colorful baroque buildings that surround the Independence Square.
History buffs may want to check out Campeche’s defensive strongholds, specifically Our Lady of Solitudewhich is no longer a military stronghold, and now the home of the City History Museum in its place, and the Saint Charles section, attached to the Puerta del Mar, now converted into a smaller city museum.
Even if culture and a more authentic Mexican experience are what you are looking for exclusively, you should definitely take a day to just relax and soak up the ocean vibes.
Beautiful Beaches A Short Drive From The City Of Campeche
After all, Campeche is a coastal destination and its plenty of places to swim rivals even that of the Riviera Maya.
The city’s modern seafront, the Malecón de Campeche, attracts thousands of visitors due to its collection of historical monuments on both sides of the coast and the stunning sunset views it offers, as do the golden-sand beaches around it. Campeche.
Caracol beach perhaps the most frequented beach due to its proximity to the city, the crystalline tonality of the waters and the shallow depth.
Further afield, Manigua is also not to be missed, with its coconut palms, sparkling blue ocean, and traditional seafood restaurants.
TO Sure culture hotspot
Although Campeche (city) is It is not yet a Magical Town in itselfas defined by the Mexican tourism and culture authorities, while certainly a strong contender, the state in general has two Magic towns just a short drive from the capital, you may want to add to your wish list.
These are Isla Aguada, an island in the Gulf of Mexico famous for its historic lighthouse, underwater archeology museum, and pristine beaches, and Palizada, a small European-style town with colorful houses and French-inspired architecture.
In addition to being a unique cultural center, Campeche is from Mexico safer tourist destination next to the neighboring state of Yucatán.
Both are on the US Department of State’s Level 1 travel advisory list, which means « normal precautions » apply when traveling.
How to get to Campeche
The closest airport to Campeche (city) is the Alberto Acuña Ongay International Airport, which serves both the capital region and the entire state, although only receives flights from Mexico City.
There is a bigger airport in Meridain the neighboring state of Yucatán, just 2h17 by car.
Downtown Merida is better connected, hosting non-stop flights from several cities in the US and Canada, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, and Toronto (seasonal).
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com