MAGIC TOWNS IN CAMPECHE

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Tourism in the MAGIC TOWNS OF CAMPECHE

Campeche is a destination full of history and culture, it is also surrounded by natural beauty and different attractions to make your visit unforgettable. The different options for all tastes range from a quiet walk along the beach to a visit to the Historic Center, considered Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Here you will find kind, sincere and generous people; which will make you feel at home. In addition, it is considered one of the most romantic states in the country. Its cultural richness, architecture, music, dances and gastronomy are the perfect complements for you to discover the southeast of Mexico.

Among all the wonders of the state, there are also two of its magical towns: Isla Aguada and Palizada. Two ideal destinations to live under the colors of the sunsets, the beauty of its architecture and the legends of its streets.

Palizada - Campeche
Palizada - Campeche
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Map of Magic Towns in CAMPECHE

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ISLA AGUADA

Being an island, pirates took refuge in this territory after having robbed multiple ships and nearby ports. In addition, according to history, this town is separated from the mainland by an arm that joins the sea with the Sabancuy River. Hence the mysticism that hides the territory.

They say that the first settlers of the island were the armed forces that chased away the pirates and recovered part of their stolen merchandise.

The population and the area of influence belong to the “Laguna de Terminos” Flora and Fauna Protection Area; that is, they are part of the complex that constitutes the most important discharge of fresh water and sediments towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Isla Aguada - Campeche
Isla Aguada – Campeche

Thanks to these characteristics, the wetland system forms the most relevant coastal ecological unit in Mesoamerica. Its natural productivity and biodiversity are ideal for coexisting with nature.

It is one of the most recent magical towns, since it only joined the program during 2020. However, its attractions will not cease to amaze you. Visit the Laguna de Terminos Natural Dolphin Sanctuary, El Faro, Underwater Archeology Museum, its mangroves and tour the island to witness the sighting of bottlenose dolphins in the Terminos Lagoon.

Isla Aguada is located at the western end of the Palmar Peninsula, 90 kilometers from the city of Campeche. Although it is called an island, it is rather a bar that separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna de Terminos. It offers miles of pristine beaches with shallow deep green waters.

This small fishing village has a unique charm due to its natural beauty that combines the different shades of the blue sea and its beautiful mangrove landscapes.

In the mornings it is a place very visited by birds such as seagulls, frigatebirds and pelicans, among others. However, the biggest attraction is the visit of the playful dolphins.

What to do in ISLA AGUADA

Lighthouse and Community Cultural Center

In this small town you can visit the Lighthouse and the Community Cultural Center with a small museum that talks about its colonial past when it represented a key point in the fight against pirates.

Its elegant white silhouette seems like the setting for high seas stories. Bringing to a safe port the sailors who came from Spain, France and England was his mission. Since 1907 it has been drawn on the shore of Isla Aguada; with a French neoclassical style architecture consisting of two levels and a tower 18 meters high. Looking at it closely, it is possible to appreciate the original columns and balustrades, also of French origin.

Isla Aguada Lighthouse
Isla Aguada Lighthouse

Specialized research on lighthouses indicates that the one on Isla Aguada was part of a series of seven lighthouses distributed in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Campeche and Yucatán. Now as a Community Cultural Center, with a museum and library, it continues to guide those who want to know more about what has happened on Isla Aguada throughout its existence.

Enjoy fishing and boat trips

Being an enclave of fishermen, you can always find people offering either opportunities to go fishing, or boat trips that will take you to visit such pleasant places as Laguna de Terminos and Isla de Pajaros with dozens of herons, frigatebirds and pelicans.

On the tour through Laguna de Terminos, you may be accompanied by some friendly bottlenose dolphins. This space has been called the Dolphin Sanctuary and it is quite an experience to observe them in their natural habitat. Also, on your walk, if you are lucky you will be able to observe amazing animals such as the boa constrictor and the jaguar on the coast.

Underwater Archeology Museum

In front of the island with the landscape that it supposes, the lighthouse facilities have given space to this museum. There are remains of sunken ships, photographs of underwater finds, cannons and nautical instruments found under the waters of Campeche. During the tour you will also learn about the history of the island, the route of the lighthouses, and the species of plants and animals that have made the island their home. If you go up to the lookout tower, Isla Aguada and Laguna de Terminos are there in all their splendor.

Cayo Arena

Another of the interesting points that you can visit is Cayo Arena, a place that is characterized by having thousands of shells, a place that you will not forget. It is located only 40 km from Ciudad del Carmen and from this city there is public transport that takes you to this paradisiacal place.

Terminos Lagoon Flora and Fauna Protection Area

Palm groves, mangrove forests, lowland jungles and tall grass savannahs surround this 706,000-hectare lake, making it one of the largest and most important estuarine lagoon ecosystems in Mexico. Its diverse ecosystems are home to more than 1,400 species of fauna; of that, 30 species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are neotropical endemics.

Terminos Lagoon - Isla Aguada
Terminos Lagoon – Isla Aguada

Migratory birds also consider it a temporary home where they can rest their wings after days of flight; It is not unusual to find the jabiru stork, the peregrine falcon –the fastest being on the planet– and the white pelican from Canada.

In addition, its flooded lands are covered with nourishing silt and seagrasses that oxygenate its waters and feed aquatic species. Turtles, crabs, shrimp, crocodiles and fish also depend on them. The Laguna de Terminos is an essential link in the delicate chain of life of the entire continent.

Wetlands and Mangroves

Isla Aguada belongs to a system of wetlands that form the most important coastal ecological unit in Mesoamerica due to its natural productivity and biodiversity. It is home to fish species and shelters a nesting area for sea turtles and migratory birds. A kayak ride takes you through this labyrinth of mangroves that reveal the four types that live there: the red, the white, the black and the buttonhole.

The Lord of the Fisherman Parish

Almost on the shore of Laguna de Terminos, the Parroquia del Señor del Pescador rises quietly and silently. Its history does not go back so many centuries, it is only from 1977. But like very few, its construction is the result of the effort and affection of the community. One year was enough to build this enclosure that honors the Lord of the Fisherman.

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PALIZADA

The streets are lined up and the houses have gabled tile roofs, in this town time seems to have stopped. Harmony extends throughout the port with European and even French influences that give it the characteristics that today make it a unique place.

Populated by Mayans, since pre-Hispanic times the virtues of the region were used. The waters of the river represented an important commercial route to fish or simply to observe the majesty of nature. In addition to the experience of fishing and observing the birds that abound in the territory, visitors also have the opportunity to milk a cow, prepare their own cheese and even be part of the extraction of cane juice.

Church of San Joaquin - Palizada
Church of San Joaquin – Palizada

Palizada joined the Magic Towns program in 2011 and has been awarded with recognitions of worldwide importance. Among its main attractions are the Municipal Market, which has a Porfirian structure and keeps the energy of the town; the Benito Juárez Park, the San Joaquín Parish, the Morón Theater and, of course, the Palizada River.

Palizada is one of the Magical Towns of Campeche, which you will love from your arrival for its colorful houses with French tile roofs. These reflect part of its history, when pirates exchanged the tile for dyewood. Enjoy the boat ride on the river of the same name, where you can see crocodiles, manatees, turtles and different birds, while your guide tells you stories and anecdotes.

It is unmissable when the herons fly over the river at sunset to go towards the hills, it is impressive and you will like it! Among the attractions you will find: the Monument to the Mother, the replica of the Statue of Liberty, the municipal market, the Benito Juárez Park and the San Joaquín parish. 

The location of the town is privileged, bordering Escárcega to the east, Palenque to the south and Villahermosa to the west.

What to do in PALIZADA

Benito Juarez Park

It is the central space of the town, it is dedicated to the Meritorious of the Americas who was a decisive character for the founding of the state of Campeche. Around the bronze statue of him converge all the roads, neighborhoods and arcades of Palizada.

There are also the Morón Theater and the Los Portales café that await the arrival of the afternoon to open. At noon, under the porticoes that surround the park, the marimba and local music bands play. In the hours when the sun is seen in all its splendor, there is only room to try the Perla de los Ríos ice cream and enjoy it under the shade.

Benito Juarez Park - Palizada
Benito Juarez Park – Palizada
Replica of the Statue of Liberty

On the boardwalk, admire a four-meter-high replica of the American monument that commemorates the liberal spirit of Paliceños since 1949.

Church of San Joaquin

It is the most outstanding building of the first square of Palizada and also the oldest; its construction dates back to 1792. It has an impeccable red façade with a coral window and a clock. Its roof is made of French tiles and boasts a solitary bell tower.

Municipal Market

Palizada’s life begins here, early. Outside the fishermen settle offering tilapia, mojarra and alligator gar; the women sell strained tamales and new corn atole. Inside, an orderly world of fruits and food stalls awaits, where the pibil cochinita, empanadas and panuchos are the protagonists. It is recommended to drink a cup of hot chocolate, dotted with cocoa foam.

UMA Cocodrilos and UMA Quelonios

In the town of Santa Isabel, 12 kilometers away, is this sustainable space where it is possible to see Moreletti crocodiles of different ages and various species of turtles such as the turtle, mojina, guao, pochitoque, alligator, white and chiquiguao. Whoever is attracted by these animals, here can look at them up close, learn more about their species and, incidentally, admire the environment that distinguishes Palizada.

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