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All about Campeche in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips


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Author: Tobias

Campeche is the capital of the state of Campeche in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Campeche is about 175km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 2h 10min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time tranquilly.



Day Trips


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San Francisco de Campeche, Campeche, Mexiko







175km from Mérida

Travel Time:

2h 10min from Mérida


No entry fee

Price Level:



October 4, 1540

Google Rating:

average rating is null out of 5, based on 0 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:


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Campeche - actually San Francisco de Campeche - is the capital of the state of Campeche in southeastern Mexico and the closest major city to Mérida. Campeche was founded on October 4th in 1540.

The city center of Campeche has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 due to the well-preserved colonial architecture of the old town and the fortifications with several bastions.

You will find an old town with beautiful colonial houses and authentic Mexican flair. Due to its somewhat remote location, there is not a lot of tourism. Campeche is perhaps something like an insider tip. It is definitely worth a visit and has some remarkable sights.

El Malecón (shore road)

The approximately three kilometers long and 8m high city wall was once built around the old town to protect of Campeche against pirates and is still quite well preserved.

You can take a walk on it and get a good overview of Campeche. And along to the sea leads a seven kilometer long boulevard with Cafes and restaurants, which is called by the locals El Malecón (shore road).

On Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 pm and again at 9:00 pm, the light and water show "Fuentes Marinas Poesía del Mar" (Poetry of the Sea - Marine Fountains) take place at the Malecón. If you are in the city at this time, you should not miss them.

El Malecón

Sightseeing in Campeche

The central square is the "Plaza de la Independencia" - the Independence Square. From Friday to Sunday, every day at 8 o'clock in the evening, a free light and sound show takes place in the square. If you want a good seat, you should come early.

Right next to the main square is the beautiful Cathedral of Campeche, "Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción" which means "Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception".

Another landmark of the old town is the bright yellow church "San Roque y San Francisquito" with the tower with four steeple bells. And also the baroque church "Ex Templo de San Jose" belongs to one of the most beautiful buildings of the city.

There are two historical entrance gates to the city, the "Puerta de Tierra" (the gate of the land) and the "Puerta de Mar" (the gate of the sea). Between the two gates is the car-free Calle 59, which invites you to stroll with its many small stores, cafes and restauarants.

Cathedral of Campeche
Cathedral (in the background)

Destinations around Campeche

There are also destinations around Campeche that you can consider visiting while you're in the area. For example, about 45 minutes (50km) away from Campeche in northeastern direction is the Mayan archaeological site of Edzná.

And perhaps it is also important to know the following: Campeche is located by the sea, but there is no beach near the city. If you want to sunbathe or swim, the nearest beach is Playa Bonita in the fishing village of Lema (about 13 kilometers south of Campeche). You can take a bus or cab from Campeche to Lema.

How to get to Campeche from Mérida?

Campeche is a long trip but very easy to reach by car from Mérida, just take highway 180 southwest. There are also ADO buses that run directly between Mérida and Campeche (it's about 2.5 hours on the bus from Mérida), and they are perhaps the best way to get there (in Mérida at ADO TAME, Calle 69, No. 554, between Calle 68 and Calle 70).

The ADO bus station of Campeche is located outside the city center, so you will have to take a cab to get downtown (it is about a 15 minute taxi ride). There is also a small airport in Campeche. However, direct flights to Campeche are only available from Mexico City.

Image Source (letters): ©Sharon Hahn Darlin, flickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

Image Source (cathedral): ©Ralf Roletschek, flickr, GNU Free Doc. License, Ver. 1.2, Link

The pictures were modified (resized, image improvements)


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