The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico

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Buildings facing the seafront

Buildings facing the seafront

For us, Campeche was just a quiet overnight stop whilst taking the bus from Palenque to Chichen Itza. Fortunately we still had an afternoon to walk around and take in the brightly coloured streets.

The city was built by the conquistadors on the site of the Mayan city An-Kin-Pech, the name of which was Hispanisised to become Campeche. An-Kin-Pech unfortunately means “place of snakes and ticks”.

Artwork in front of the sea gate in the city walls

Artwork in front of the sea gate in the city walls

In the colonial era Campeche was the most important port on the Yucatan Peninsula, and had thick city walls to defend against attacks by pirates. These walls are still very well preserved, but today protect works of art against the elements.

Collage of modern art on the streets of Campeche

Collage of modern art on the streets of Campeche

Exhibitions of paintings and large sculptures add more shades to the already multicoloured historic buildings.

A peaceful street in Campeche

A peaceful street in Campeche

Motorbikes parked on a street in Campeche

Motorbikes parked on a street in Campeche

The churches here are far less ornate than those in San Cristobal de las Casas, and far more traditional than the churches in the remote Mayan valleys.

Bell tower of the Iglesia de Jesus

Bell tower of the Iglesia de Jesus

Ex-Templo de San Jose

Ex-Templo de San Jose

Campeche Visitor Tips

The historic town centre is small and easily walkable. It centres around the Independence Park and the adjacent Cathedral. The park is also where to find the friendly tourist office.

Catedral y Parque de la Independencia

Catedral y Parque de la Independencia

Sun setting over Campeche

Sun setting over Campeche

We stayed in the Hotel Plaza Colonial. There are two hotels of the same name on the same street, so check which one you’re in. Ours was on Calle 10, and very easy to recommend. Built in an old manor house, the rooms are massive, comfortable and cool – even without the air conditioning. Our room had a small balcony giving us a view toward the main cathedral.

The view from the Hotel Plaza in Campeche

The view from the Hotel Plaza in Campeche

The further north we travelled on the Yucatan Peninsula, the more varied the food became. Campeche has far more international options, as well as vegetarian restaurants and a very beige Burger King. We opted for a nearby restaurant called Marganzo that had won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence a few days earlier. Unfortunately it was pretty dire, with stale bread and soggy ceviche. I never do learn to avoid anything on Tripadvisor

Does anyone know of a decent restaurant review website in Mexico? The usually excellent Urbanspoon doesn’t really have much coverage this far south.

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13 Responses to The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico

  1. Penny Sadler July 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Hey Steve, love, love, love your photos. I want to go to Campeche! Mexico really is such a great deal, and sadly many people are afraid to go.

  2. wanderingeducators July 30, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    WOW! what incredible colors – my eyes feel full.

  3. Marina K. Villatoro July 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    I spent over 4 months in Mexico and never made it to Campeche. Looks like a colorful fun town!

  4. Mary @ Green Global Travel August 1, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    We’re big fans of walkable cities. Campeche looks like a great place to take a stroll.

  5. Micki August 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Beautiful photos. We made it to Merida and Izamal (the yellow city), last year, but you’ve made Campeche look so interesting that I think we’ll try to visit this winter…

  6. Ruth August 10, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Love the colors. Have to plan another trip to the Yucatan Peninsula and visit this city.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sarah F. (@crayscape) - July 19, 2013

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  3. @24qr - July 20, 2013

    Super colourful RT @stevo120665: The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico – http://t.co/d0xViyCKc3 via @SteveWBT

  4. @JanetRoper - July 21, 2013

    RT @leaderswest: The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico http://t.co/w9gkYrzHSo via @SteveWBT

  5. Penny Sadler (@PennySadler) - July 24, 2013

    RT @turnipseeds: The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico http://t.co/qm41GE38R3 via @SteveWBT

  6. @AI_FollowUs - August 22, 2013

    Now this is our kind of town, full of colour.

    “The Pastel Coloured Streets of Campeche http://t.co/UFwgfDDWwX via @SteveWBT #Mexico”

  7. @juanjuanjuan12 - December 4, 2013

    RT @Expat_News: The pastel coloured streets of Campeche – Mexico: The peaceful streets of Campeche’s historic centre are lined… http://t.…

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