Photo essay – walled Campeche and Playa Bonita
Campeche is the capital of one of the 31 states in Mexico with the same name. Campeche state, together with Yucatán and Quintana Roo belong to the Yucatán peninsula with Campeche being the poorest one when it comes to money but the richest one in the fauna species.
San Francisco de Campeche (the proper name of the town) was founded in 1540 as Can Pech in Mayan, never became a town until King Carlos III as a city in 1770.
Everyone knows the town of Campeche as a walled town. Why? The centre is surrounded by walls, those that still have survived the time and recently even the destroying of the government. Do not ask me why the government destroyed some parts of the walls because no one finds the right answer. Maybe not even them. Anyway, you can ask now why they needed the walls around the city?
Walled Campeche used to be a very important port in the Gulf of Mexico for the Spanish. Many natural resources were transported to Europe once the Spanish conquered Campeche. That was the reason why the port and the ships were often attacked by pirates in the 16th and 17th century.
To save the exported treasures, the walls were made around the town. In the present still more than a thousand of the original buildings and parts of the walls and towers survived the attacks. Some of them, called baluartes in Spanish, are now museums ( e.g. Baluarte de San Carlos is Museum of the City, Baluarte de la Soledad is Mayan Architecture Museum.) Nowadays the town of Campeche goes much behind the walls, inside the remaining walls it is just the centre.
Walled Campeche is a mixture of the native Maya and Spanish culture. As an urban baroque colonial town, with many churches and the walls, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in December 1999.
The main square with the cathedral and the kiosk is a wonderful place, both during the day as at night. It leaves a great impression on people during the sunset when the sun is going down and the lights are on already. The main square is a place of many cultural and social events, concerts, dance, family reunions etc. There is wifi internet in the park of the main square accessible without any password.
The long pier of Campeche is one of the nicest places that belong to the town. Many people just sit here to watch the sunset, roller-skate, cycle, run, jump or walk with dogs. Probably, it was my favorite place in Campeche.
The town itself does not have a beach, but you have to take a bus to Lerma which has the closest beach calles Playa Bonita. It is a perfect place for families, with no waves for children to swim or take a siesta in a hammock.
My stay in walled Campeche was a press trip organized by Hostal La Parroquia. Many thanks to its owner Fernando!