"CAMPECHE - BALUARTES Y PIRATAS" Top 5 Page for this destination Campeche by mtncorg

Campeche Travel Guide: 70 reviews and 206 photos

There were two ports by which Spanish colonialists in New Spain - Mexico - could trade with the Old World: Veracruz and Campeche. Veracruz has always been the main eastern port for Mexico and it still is, being on the direct path to the Valley of Mexico and the heartlands of the country. Campeche became the port for the Mayan peninsula, exporting timber, chicle, local dyewoods for textile dye production, and timber among other items. Prosperity attracted all sorts of folks, worst of which were the pirates - English, French and Dutch - who frequently raided the port and the city - the main pirate port being the nearby Isla del Carmen. A large pirate fleet attacked and captured the city in 1663, slaughtered most of the inhabitants. This led the Spanish Crown to fortify the City - city walls of three meters thick and ‘a ship’s height’ were constructed, along with eight baluartes (fortress bastions). It took 36 years to complete but the fortifications proved pirate-proof and prosperity returned until Mexican independence was achieved. Monopolistic trade was lost and the city declined into an obscure backwater. Only with a road to the main part of Mexico being constructed in the 1950’s and the oil boom of the ‘70’s (though much of that is reserved for the further west communities of Isla del Carmen and Villa Hermosa), did a renewal of sorts begin. Today the City enjoys a modest tourist trade, another stop on the Ruta Maya, thanks to the nearby Edzna ruins. The city walls were torn down, but the balustrades have been renewed - some house museums; one has a small, but very nice botanical garden. The malecon along the seawall is a very pleasant place to walk in the evening and the Parque Principal (zocalo or main square) is also a very pleasant place to hang about and watch the campechanos interact in their easy going manner. Just south of town, is the main port from which many fishing and shrimp boats put forth. There is also a beach there called Playa Bonita, though better beaches exist farther south - Playa Bonita can get very crowded and dirty. Edzna and the old city with the balustrades and the malecon make a visit to Campeche a worthwhile affair when you are touring the Yucatan. The Yucatan also sports-wise tends to be more Caribbean in that baseball is as popular as soccer/football. In the Mexican Leagus (LMB- Liga Mexicana de Beisbol), both Merida and Campeche field teams (as well as nearby Villa Hermosa - the Tobasco Olmecas) and Las Piratas de Campeche were the league champions in 2004, not an insignificant event!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History, People, Seafood
  • Cons:Beaches are not what you are coming for
  • In a nutshell:A historical and laid-back counterpoint to the Cancun Scene
  • Last visit to Campeche: Mar 2005
  • Intro Written Mar 22, 2005
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Reviews (19)

Comments (9)

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Great page. I'm in the mood for Mayan ruins (I never get enough). Thank you for sharing.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2005 at 4:48 PM

    Never heard of Campeche or Edzna - thanks for sharing - fascinating.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2005 at 11:59 PM

    What an interesting destination ! Mayan ruins are always fascinating !

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2005 at 12:13 PM

    nice page mark. i really liked campeche when i was there. great sports tip too.

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2005 at 8:00 AM

    A fascinating look at the Mayan ruins! I trust the Mexican Baseball League game you attended had a happier ending than those Mayan ball games 1100 years ago... Great page!

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2005 at 9:15 AM

    This town seems to be right for my taste ... old architecture ... and Edzna looks amazing. But hey - no alcohol on the Malecon ??

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2005 at 9:30 PM

    Seemed that you had fun also in Campeche :-) Hugs around the globe from old Ingrid

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2005 at 10:55 AM

    I never thought about baseball being so popular here - great tips all around! Nice to hear that Edzna is still in a peaceful setting.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2005 at 9:54 AM

    Excellent page, as usual! Hope you enjoyed your stay there!

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