The state of Campeche is surely the most preserved and little known of the peninsula of Yucatán. It is also the only state in all of Mexico to have two "cities" declared cultural heritage of humanity: the ancient Mayan shrine city of Calakmul and the fortified city of Campeche. It is surrounded by the States of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, which you can find on our site, as well as the state of Tabasco that we have only crossed. Like neighboring states, it is almost completely flat. The state of Campeche is bordering on the south with Guatemala and Belize, and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast. On the eastern border of the state is the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico's largest protected natural area and one of the most beautiful Maya archaeological sites in the country! With its peaceful beaches open on the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Campeche attracts visitors looking to escape mass tourism. It is very sparsely populated and 40% of its territory is occupied by the jungle. It is an ideal destination for vacationers who prefer to discover the "secondary roads" of Mexico.
The ancient Mayan city of Calakmul is surely one of the most beautiful things we could see in the whole Yucatán peninsula! What a slap! The UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002 is about 30 kilometers from the Guatemalan border in the heart of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, on the road between Chetumal and Escarcega. This ancient and mighty Mayan city engulfs the forest, leaving us dreamy between the very pleasant undergrowth and its high pyramid coming out of nowhere. Far from the usual tourist circuit and the very Riviera Maya side, Calakmul is isolated and it does not come at random. Arriving at the opening of the park, you can have a more intimate and exceptional relationship with this place filled with magic, and thus mount the 4 different pyramids overlooking the canopy of the State of Campeche. What is great about this archaeological site is the presence of a majestic fauna and flora. Spider Monkey, Bats and other Jaguars will make you happy to reveal themselves. Because yes, it is here on this small road between the expressway and the parking of the site, you will have the chance to see one of the 4000 jaguars still living in Mexico. A true moment of adventure that we do not regret on the road to Chiapas, Bacalar or the city of Campeche, whether you are a passionate archaeologist or a simple traveler enjoying the beauties of the state of Campeche.
The state capital is a colonial coastal city of just 190,800 inhabitants. Only 2.5 hours south of Merida, Campeche is a captivating port with its rich naval history, Baroque architecture and ancient beauty. It was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, which stimulated the restoration of splendid architectural treasures of the city. UNESCO has described the city of Campeche as an "urban model of a Baroque colonial city" where more than 1,000 buildings of historical importance have passed through the great moments of the history of Mexico since the sixteenth century, witnesses of the superposition of time and space. We loved to stroll through the warm, colorful and especially desert streets, the antipodes of the market located outside the old city where the hustle and bustle of the city is hidden. After almost a century of incessant attacks by French, Dutch and English pirates on the city, the Spanish built an important fortification in 1686. Over time, Campeche became the main colonial port of Yucatán, thanks to its formidable system defense; One of the best of the "new world". In recent years, hundreds of colonial buildings in the historic center have been restored, making the city one of the most photogenic in Mexico. At the end of the 90s, approximately 1,600 facades of buildings were restored. High-ceilinged stately homes, beautifully decorated balconies and majestic arches, line the streets of the city. The residential neighborhoods of San Román, Guadalupe and San Francisco are particularly worth seeing. In this very pretty town of Campeche, you can walk, skate or jog on the seafront promenade restored in 2000. In the evening you can walk among the rusty guns silenced which, in the past , defended the port.
Edzná, which means in Maya "the house of the men who know the water" is the good surprise of the state of Campeche! The archaeological site of Edzna is located 60km east of the town of Campeche between the villages of Nohakal and Pich. It contains in Yucatán one of the rare examples of Maya pyramids whose floors are equipped with vaulted rooms. Excavations have shown that in 650 AD. J-C., It had at least 70,000 Mayan inhabitants. Its great acropolis, the wealth of its buildings and its different styles make it possible to get an idea of the extraordinary political, economic and religious power of this city. The panorama at the top of the 5-storey pyramid is grandiose and gives a good idea of the richness of this ancient city. The visitors are few, which allows to take full advantage of the places during a quiet and contemplative visit.
These 4 little visited Mayan sites are located on the same road as the Mayan archeological site of Calakmul. Becan site is the largest and is one of the few pre-Columbian sites to have possessed a defensive wall and moats to protect against enemy attacks, such as the European Medieval Castles of the Middle Ages. Balamku is aimed mainly at the great fans of Mayan history. The main interest of the Balamku site lies in the quality of conservation of its frieze and what it teaches us about history. The site of Xpuhil (or Xpujil) is camped in the center of the Ruta Becan and owes its name to a local wild plant called "Cat's Tail". The main attraction of Xpuhil is the "I" structure called "Three Towers Building". The last site is that of Chicanna and certainly draws the origin of its name, "House with the mouth of snake", the majestic front of the front door of the main building called "Structure II" by the INAH . Chicanna is for historians, an extension of the Becan site.