Campeche is characterized, among other things, for its protected natural areas, for hosting the only Mixed World Heritage Site in the country, for resisting pirate attacks and for its Mayan traditions. Culture, history and natural wonders are clearly a focal point for this state, and areas of distinction during your stay. The best way to visit this region is to take Ciudad del Carmen as a starting point and then, get to know the rest of the state of Campeche. So, book now at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Ciudad del Carmen Campeche and explore the magical towns of Campeche. To help you decide what to do in Campeche, we have identified locations according to their distance by car. We begin with those located farthest away and end with those closest to the City of Carmen.
This picturesque and peaceful magical town is the ideal spot for rest and relaxation, which the doctor has so eagerly prescribed for you. Walk through the streets without a care in the world, and delight in the colors, smells and native flavors that surround you, all while enjoying its coastal climate. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to get to know its Municipal Market, Benito Juarez Park, San Joaquin Parish, Morón Theater, Malecon and Palizada River. But this is not the only thing to do in Palizada.
This magical town, about four hours from Ciudad del Carmen by car, owes its name to the wood from Palo de Campeche, also known as Palo de Tinte or Palo de Brasil. The abundance of this wood is the reason why wood-carving crafts are the best memories you can take with you, you can’t go wrong with a gift made out of Palizada wood.
Campeche is the top exporter of crocodile skins to Europe, Japan and the US. The “crocodile” of Palizada is the second Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife (UMA), which operates under a sustainability and ranching system. In other words, the UMA collects crocodile nests to produce captive offspring. That’s very interesting! To learn more, visit the UMA and get more information around these majestic and imposing reptiles, the UMA of turtles, and, if you are lucky, you will see howler monkeys.
Finally, we recommend navigating down through the Palizada River. You can choose to do it by kayak, canoe or boat. During your trip to the Laguna de Terminos Reserve you can enjoy bird- watching, see crocodiles and manatees in their natural habitat, while you learn about the fishing history of this magical town of Campeche. Keep in mind that you can also get to Palizada from Ciudad del Carmen by boat.
A little more than 3.5 hours by car from Ciudad del Carmen, you will run into the town of Calkiní, which means “throat of the sun.” It is also known as the Athens of the Royal Way. Famous for being a manufacturer of jípi hats and woven rugs or duffel bags.
One of its main attractions is Isla Arena, which is part of the Celestún Biosphere Reserve. Here you can fall in love with pink flamingos and admire the diversity of seabirds, which includes pelicans and mops. You can also visit Wotoch Aayin, where you can tour this crocodile farm and canoe through the mangroves. A pleasant surprise is the Pedro Infante Museum, which every afternoon presents a film featuring a Mexican icon and is part of the Lighthouse Route of the Integral Port Administration (API).
You can get to know the old farms of Tankuché and Santa Cruz. Each was initially known for Palo de Tinte and then went on to produce henequen, but they were expropriated. Its buildings are architectural beauties unlike any others.
About three hours by car from Ciudad del Carmen, this small town offers an abundance of history and culture. You can visit the Church of Asunción and appreciate the image of the patron, the Great Power of God, or enjoy a play at the Teatro de Marentes cinema. You can also visit henequen and cattle farms such as Hacienda San Pedro X’cuncheil, Hacienda Bohola, Hacienda Chilib, Hacienda Orizaba and Hacienda Santa Rosa. Its majestic architectural constructions transport you to the past. The Archaeological Zone of Kankí is the expression of the Puuc style. The Palace, Column Sets, and the Vault of Inverted Stairs are its main structures.
A little more than two and a half hours from Ciudad del Carmen, you will find archeology and adventure. The archaeological site of the Tiger or Itzamakanac used to be the principal Mayan market. Historical accounts say this is where the conqueror Hernán Cortés murdered Cuauhtémoc, and the wooden bridges he had built still remain. The most unique thing about this site is there is no single architectural style, as it combines the Petén, Río Bec and Tardío styles. The ball game stadium, the ceremonial center and the palace are the most important structures. Keep in mind that you can access the Tiger by boat or road.
If you are looking for exciting and challenging experiences, you must go rafting on the Candelaria River. Along this river you will be able to kick back and lose yourself in the lush nature offered by its waterfalls, the Salto Muerto, the Salto Toro and the Salto Grande. If you prefer hiking, sport fishing and bird watching activities, head to the Balam Ka-Ax ecotourism park (jaguar jungle). You will feel as if you are on a safari and it will awaken all of your basic instincts.
If you only want a quiet picnic, you can choose between the Manantiales de Pedro Baranda, the Nuevo Coahuilita spa or a boat trip through the La Misteriosa lagoon. We recommend the springs, which offer you peace, life and endless photographic moments that do not require a filter while you bathe in these crystalline waters that go beyond your dreams.
It is worth noting that the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is only two and a half hours away from Candelaria (as well as Champotón). This reserve has been declared mixed heritage of humanity (cultural and natural) by UNESCO and it is the most magical in the world by combining a rainforest with archaeological sites.
San Francisco de Campeche
A little more than two and a half hours from Ciudad del Carmen, we find the capital of Campeche. Declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for being the “historic fortified city of Campeche.”
The meeting point is 59th Street, whether it’s day or night. The Fort of San José el Alto and the Fort of San Miguel were constructed to protect and defend against looting and pirate attacks. Both are mandatory stops, including the 6 bulwarks, as well as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Plaza de Independencia and the Church of San Román, where you will find the Black Christ. Take advantage and visit the sites of Edzná. Unlike other places, at the entrance of the ruins you will find a vending machine. And even if you have seen 1,001 Mayan sites, you’ll be glad you brought your camera, as this view can’t be beat.
2 hours and a half from Ciudad de Carmen, is the “Valleyof Rest ” or Hecelchakán. Its name is indicative that this place was where travelers stopped to take a rest before continuing on their journey. Xculhoc is your main ecological destination. Keep in mind that access is complicated. On the other hand, do not forget to visit the Church and Convent of San Francisco de Asís and the Church of the Purísima Concepción. Jaina Island will surely arouse your curiosity. Jaina means “house on the water” and was a necropolis. In the Archaeological Museum of the Camino Real, you will be amazed by the vestiges coming from the Island.
Just two hours from Ciudad del Carmen you will find yourself in Champotón, where it is worth visiting the Bulwark of San Antonio, or also Moch-Cohuo Castle, the scene of the first battle between the indigenous people and the Spanish, and the churches of Our Lady of Las Mercedes, the Candelaria and the Assumption. This magical town has also served as the backdrop to several historical events of looting and pirate attacks that are worth learning about, such as the looting of pirate Laurent Greiff or Lorencillo as he is known, in 1672 and that of pirate Jackson in 1644.
The best part of Champotón is its beaches and spas. We recommend Costa Blanca and Aguada de Santa Cruz de Rovira for fishing and Acapulquito, Payucan, El Morro, Mangrove, Rocamar and Sihoplaya for sunny days, breeze and sea. You can also navigate the Champoton River by boat, a river that, in the distant past, was the only means of communication with other cities.
While here, we recommend you take advantage and visit the 3 cenotes in Miguel Colorado, which are the Cenote Azul, Cenote de los Patos and the Cenote K41.
As you can see, there is so much to do in the state of Campeche, where you can feed your mind and purify your soul as well as your lungs. It is the ideal place for holidays with family or friends. In any of the magical towns you choose to go, you will find rest and adventure. Come and experience this unexplored, mysterious and amazing corner of the world.