The walled city of Campeche has a romantic history of pirates, conquistadors and shipwrecks. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1999, the historic center of Campeche has been restored to reveal cobbled streets lined with pastel-colored houses, some fine colonial architecture and a pleasant waterfront.
A sightseeing tour of Campeche will include the “baluartes” or buttresses of the city’s fortifications. It’s possible to follow the lines of the old walls, passing several museums on the way. In the evening, the walls are illuminated in an engaging “Sound and Light” show.
On a first visit to Campeche, we suggest taking the bi-lingual Tourist Tram tour, which takes in the highlights of the downtown area and is a good introduction to the city.
A second tram takes tourists out to the two impressive forts that dominate the seafront, the Fuerte San Miguel and Fuerte San Jose. These can also be reached easily by car or taxi. The forts offer great views of the city, and Fuerte San Miguel has a good museum too.
The Mayan ruins of Edzna, about 30 miles from Campeche, are well worth a visit. This archaeological site has seen some recent restoration and it is possible to observe a mix of styles including Puuc and Rio Bec elements. The highlight is the Building of the Five Storeys which is around 100 feet high.