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What a difference a wall makes…
The Gulf of Mexico-fronting city of Campeche has an old quarter surrounded by an imposing wall built by the Spanish centuries ago to shield the city from pirates, and tourism authorities say that alone gives their city a unique character.
Indeed, Campeche is the only walled city in Mexico and the old quarter is known for its colonial architecture, says Julio Pena of the Campeche Tourism Board.
“You have a good idea of how the city was (centuries ago),” says Pena. “We have a lot of history, we have a lot of culture.”
Boutique hotels await those who visit what Pena calls a “very safe city.”
The old quarter of Campeche, founded in 1540, has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
But Pena adds the state of Campeche has many other tourist draws besides the city of Campeche alone, pointing to the sprawling Calakmul Biosphere, home to Mayan sites dating back over 1,000 years, 90% of which haven’t yet been excavated. Calakmul is also home to jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, toucans and many other creatures.
The Maya influence remains very visible in the state, with visitors particularly likely to encounter it in smaller communities.
Pena also notes the state has many beach options, with those beaches not being as well known or as popular as those on Mexico’s Caribbean coast but are still nice.
Pena says birdwatchers will be in their element in the state, with, for instance, flamingoes visible on the coast.
Three golf courses are available for those eager to get out on the links.