Campeche, my hometown, might not be very popular. But there’s a reason why Campeche is a UNESCO world heritage site. So, here are 10 things to do in Campeche.
1. You need to walk the “malecón” (boulevard) by the sea and see the most amazing sunsets. Families, teens, people with their dogs, runners, all meet here to share a good time. And you can take a picture on the “Bride of the Sea”, a statue of a woman who lost her love and waits forever for him to come back.
2. - Campeche has the best seafood in the world. Try one of the regional specialties like “Pan de cazon” (shark bread) it’s not really a bread but tortillas, beans and a species of tiny shark that is delicious.
3.- Take the tourist bus on a ride through the city. Visit the Spanish forts the city has in both extremes and view the whole city from their balconies. The most famous one is “San Miguel”. There’s an archeological museum inside. Families gather to spend the day here on weekends. The second one is “San Jose” where you can find a Navy Museum. They were both built in the XVII century.
4.- Rent a car and go to “Edzna” ruins just an hour out of the city (61 km).There are also tour buses in town that can take you to the ruins. Edzna is a city that was once home to 25,000 people and was influential from 400-1000 AD. It was discovered in 1970. The abandonment of Edzna in 1450 remains unexplained.
5.- You can also take a bus to “Playa Bonita” (Beautiful Beach) a public beach where there are Kibbeh vendors. There are many Lebanese people among our citizens. Buy a Michelada, (it is a delicious drink made with beer and spicy sauces) to go with your meal.
6.- If you feel more adventurous, you can rent a car. Explore the highway and take one of the many exits to the almost virgin beaches. Try “San Lorenzo” there’s a turtle camp where baby turtles are released every year. The beach is really blue and beautiful.
7.- People love to take walks enjoying the historical downtown. A lovely cathedral next to a cozy colonial park and houses painted in multicolor will be a beautiful scenery for any picture.
8.- At night, you must go to 59th Street. It’s in downtown and you can find bars for all tastes. From delicious “micheladas”, wine, pulque (a drink similar to tequila) and of course foods of all kinds. Try the market on the 59th for original ways of cooking the typical dishes in this inspired author cooking.
9.- Visit the Cristo Negro (black Christ) it is located in San Roman church, a lovely colonial church. The legend said this Christ came from Veracruz in 1565 and it was supposed to leave to New Spain but the boat faced a terrible storm and the sailors almost sank, but the Christ guided the boat back to the shore of Campeche and so they believed this is where he wanted to stay. Every year people celebrate with a festival and a fair.
10.- If you like the sea, you can take the pirate cruise. You will enjoy the view the sea on a tour that will tell you, how pirates used to come to this shore and seduced women. That’s why there’s a tradition in Campeche that men are the ones who go for the groceries so women can remain saved at home. Also, you can ask the fishermen and they can take you around to see the mangroves swamps. You will see crocodiles, herons and a lot of other bird species.
Visit Campeche and you will find why it is certainly one of Mexico’s hidden treasures.