CAMPECHE CITY SURROUNDINGS
CAMPECHE CITY Surroundings
Campeche is one of the states in the Mexican southeast that is worth visiting for its charming corners full of nature and cultural richness. Therefore, on this occasion, we present some of the most striking interesting places in Campeche that will surely leave you speechless on your next trip. Take the best photos, fall in love with the best views, let yourself be surprised by its little towns full of history and learn more about the richness of this place.
Interesting places around CAMPECHE CITY
House Light Route
Isla Aguada Lighthouse
This is one of the country’s architectural jewels, dating from the times of President Porfirio Diaz. The building offers: public library, children’s park, museum, video library, wi-fi, coffee shop, and exhibition areas.
Isla Arena Lighthouse
This is a historical project and a magnificent site to observe the natural beauties arround it.
Located in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Campeche coast in Seybaplaya.
Some other lighthouses in Campeche are: the Champoton Lighthouse, the Ancient Lighthouse of Campeche, located inside the ex convent of the Campeche Institute, The Cayo Arcas Lighthouse, The Atalaya Lighthouse, and the Xicalango Lighthouse, this last two are located in Ciudad del Carmen.
Laguna de Términos (Términos Lagoon)
For fans of beaches and water activities, Isla Aguada and Laguna de Terminos are two of the most attractive tourist places in Campeche. The first is a town belonging to the municipality of Carmen famous for its shallow and turquoise waters that make you fall in love. On the boardwalk, there is a pier where the same fishermen offer walks through the Laguna de Terminos, where there are large mangrove forests and a great variety of animal and vegetation species.
In this municipality is the Biosphere Reserve of Calakmul, it occupies 723.185 hectares, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico. The forest is classified as dry forest to the west and tall and medium-height rainfores to the east. It is composed mainly of trees like ceibas, mahogany, and chicle or chicozapote. It is home to 86 different species of mammals (jaguars, pumas, ocelots, jaguarundis and margays, white-nosed coatis, spider monkey, howler monkey, tapir …), 282 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, 400 species of butterflies and 73 types of wild orchids.
It is a treasure of Mayan history since it is also home of the largest concentration of Mayan archeological sites: Chicana, Becan, Xpujil, Altamira, Ant, Rio Bec, and Calakmul, with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest ruins throughout Mesoamerica. In Xpuhil there are a host of accredited guides. You can find out about adventure tourism activities such as camping, hiking, wildlife appreciation, photography, ethnographic research, and you can stay there in the beautiful jungles.
The name “Candelaria” is in reference to the Candelaria River, one of the largest rivers in the region, ideal for activities like sports fishing and kayaking. It is also perfect to go camping. On the side of the river there are entrances to old Mayan Canals that used to communicate with interior populations. Candelaria, has many places to visit like: Salto Grande, a park with waterfalls, ponds and streams, ideal for adventure lovers. It has walkways, bridges and pendants.
El Tambor (The Drum), is one beautiful wide waterfall in the Candelaria River, located about seven kilometers from Salto Grande. El Tigre was one of the most powerful Mayan capital during the Late Postclassic. It was also known as Itzamkanak, was the seat of Mayan chiefdom in Acalán. The “Cerro de los Muertos” (Hill of the Dead), is located only 7 km away and it was a surveillance point in ancient times. The Pedro Barracuda Springs, a 200 hectares wetland surrounded by lush vegetation.
Rio Caribe, a place ideal for ecotourism with ecological cabins surrounded by incredible natural landscapes. The Laguna Misteriosa (Mysterious Lagoon), is about 500 hectares long and with a maximum depth of eight meters. It is ideal for adventure tourism activities. The lagoon is full of islets covered with vegetation. Aguas Verdes (Green Waters), crystal clear spring water, one of the most visited resorts in the region.
You can find the famous jipi hats (“Panama” like hats) in Bécal. In Nunkiní, you can see Mayan ruins with buildings of almost 25 meters high. And in Dzitbalché – a farming village- , and towns like Tepakán, Bacabchén and Design, you can enjoy the more relaxed easygoing lifestyle of Campeche.
In Calkiní you most visit the San Luis Obispo monastery built in 1548 by Luis de Villalpando. It is believed that like most or the churches in this region, it was built over Mayan pyramids. It took more than two centuries to be completed and is one of the most beautiful monasteries in southeastern Mexico.
You can also visit the church of St. Bartholomew the Apostle in Tepakán, the Hacienda Tankuché constructed in the mid-nineteenth century, the Hacienda Santa Cruz built in the eighteenth century and the Isla Arena Lighthouse.
Champotón or Chakan Putum, or the Savannah Region, was founded by the Itza, one of the major lineages of the Maya, when they left Chichen-Itza. It is a picturesque town with a beautiful main square, where stands the church of Our Lady of Mercy built in the eighteenth century by the Franciscans, the church kept inside some old pictures of great value.
You can also visit the Church of the Candelaria constructed in the late nineteenth century, located in the village of Hool; the bastion of San Antonio and the Franciscan parishes of Seybaplaya, the Hacienda San Luis Carpizo, completely restore and in perfect condition; the Hacienda San Jose Carpizo founded in 1871, and the Champoton Lighthouse. Champotón is also the name of the mangrove-lined river that runs through the municipality. You can sail through the river, if you like bird watching or fishing.
And in the surrounding area is worth visiting: the Acapulquito beach, Si Ho beach, the remains of Fort San Antonio and Sabancuy. Just 15 km south of Champoton, on the beautiful beaches of Punta Xen and Chenkán, where you can camp here and help in the releaseof the howksbill turtles that come here in their thousands to lay their eggs.
Getting to Escárcega is easy as it is still an important communications center for the southeast region of the country. On the way there you will see how the jungle gave rise to its commercial splendor. Over 70% of the territory is covered by trees, making it a great destination for ecotourism, swimming, fishing and other water activities. In the jungle you will find the Silvituc lagoon, also called the Noh lagoon, the largest inland lagoon in Campeche.
Just 8 kilometers from Escárcega, is the “El Tormento” a botanical garden, with an area of 1.000 hectares, where you can enjoy a collection of 350 different species and various orchids of the region.
Hopelchén means place of the five wells and is located in the Chenes region, the Chenes werepeople who warred with the Mayans for years.
You may visit the Church of San Antonio, which contains an altarpiece dedicated to the Virgin Mary dating back from the late 16th century and notable former haciendas such as San Antonio Yaxché built in 1894, Dzibalchen constructed in 1905, and San Bernardo Huechil construction of the earlytwentieth century.
Hopelchén is linked with the Mayan culture. Leaving the city, Tahcok is just 1 kilometer away. An interesting gem of the Classic Maya. Continuing along the route, you will find El Tabasqueño, a monument associated with astronomical sciences, where many stelae were found. Continue along to Hochob, with its enormous mask representing the Mayan god Itzamna. As you continue, you will find the caves of Xtacumbilxuna’an, a sacred place with an area of 200 meters. After that is Xcalumkin, which is the best example of Puc style architecture in the state.
On the last point of the route, is Santa Rosa Xtampak, considered the largest pre-Hispanic city and the most important in the region, which had more than ten ceremonial plazas. You can also visit Santa Rita Becanchén, with a beautiful chapel dedicated to St. Joseph that dates from the eighteenth century and the natural area of Balam Ku, a famous bat sanctuary.
Most of the municipality is jungle, located in the heart of the Petenes Reserve. The name comes from the Mayan words helel (savanna) and chakan (rest), it has been said that in ancient times, travelers on long journeys stopped here for water from the large cenote.
Here you can visit the Camino Real Anthropological Museum, housed in an old building in downtown Hecelchakán; it exhibits many Mayan vases, dishes, pots, clay figurines, and necklaces. You can also visit the St. Francis of Assisi Church, built with stone blocks and sahcab in the 16th century by Franciscan friars.
Very near is Xcalumkín, an important city in the Puuc region. And by the sea, waits a Mayan treasure that leaves no one indifferent: the Island of Jaina, a necropolis with ruins dating from 600 to 1200 A.D. In the nearby community of Pumuch you can visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception, built with thick stone wallls.
Palizada owes its name and fame to red dye wood, also called logwood, brazilwood and Campeche wood. The “Magic Village” appears before your eyes between the mangroves, with a palette of yellows, blues and greens on the facades of their Victorian-style houses with French-style tile roofs. Explore its small streets, where trade bustles and artisans carve curious objects out of wood, as fish, reptiles, human figures or any order that the public wants …
You can visit the historical center, with beautiful portals, the San Joaquin Church dating from 1792, with a tower and a clock on the top of its facade, the Lord of Tila Chapel, located on the banks of the river, and the Casa del Río (River House), located opposite the old pier, it has a beautiful French style.
The Palizada River starts as a tributary from the Usumacinta River, it runs for 120 kilometers to its mouth in the Laguna de Términos. It is ideal for ecotourism activities such as bird and manatee watching, kayaking, swimming and fishing.
Caves of Xtacumbilxunaán
If it comes to tourist places in Campeche, the caves of Xtacumbilxunaán are unmissable. Located near the town of Bolonchen, these caves, whose name means “hidden woman” in Mayan, are 600 meters long and have stalagmite and stalactite formations. In the past, these caves were used to collect water for the Mayan population, so it was a sacred place.
Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve
Nature lovers will find a paradise in this protected natural area. It is one of the best preserved forests in Campeche. The place is very popular for the tours, both aquatic and terrestrial, that are made to appreciate the flora and fauna of the region.
It is the smallest municipality of the state, but rich on natural resources and archaeological sites, most notably the town of Kanki the ruins of “La Xoch” and “Chun Cedro”, which are Puc style Mayan structures. The first evidence of the site’s occupation goes back to the early Classic period, between 500 and 600 A.D.
Enjoy its jungle and mangroves in the Petenes Nature Reserve and meet Tenabo craftsmen, who are experts in making hammocks and colorful typical costumes of the State, including huipiles, suits and embroidered blouses that represent the traditional clothing of Campeche women. In Tinún women are known for preserving fruit in syrup and liqueur such as nance, plum, mango and others.
Map of CAMPECHE CITY Surroundings
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