It was a pretty quick drive down to Campeche – just over 2 hours south of Merida. I was very excited to get to Campeche – of course I first heard about it from my favorite RV youtubers (Dennis and Liz), a couple years ago. This place was on the bucket list! Campeche was founded in 1540 and is a Mexican port city on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known for its preserved baroque colonial buildings, military architecture and walled historic district. Our flat was about a 5 minute walk to the walled historic district and the town centro. Here is a tour of the flat: https://youtube.com/shorts/2MxzDTzdqqc
Just an FYI – i’m getting a little “techy” in my video’s – I’ve been learning, so hence ALL the video’s except one, in the post will be more techy. Also had issues with picture uploads on this post for some reason – so they are wonky.
Once we checked in, we hoped in the car to check some stuff out. We ended up parked next to the biggest circular fruit and veg market I’ve ever seen. If you walked into the next circle, it was the meat market, and the next circle was the lunch market – it was unique. Unfortunately we were too late for lunch, so we left the market and ventured to find some tacos.
There are not too many beaches on the Campeche side to go too, but we did manage to spend a sunny hot day at Playa Bonita – which is about 20 minutes south of Campeche. There is an entrance fee of 40 pesos per tourist, plus 15 pesos for parking. For your fee, you get a Palapa, showers and bathrooms. Having a shower at the beach is pretty novel here….. Here is a beach tour: https://youtube.com/shorts/Ebvo1fJGeQU It was a weekday, so it was pretty quiet until a bus showed up at 2 pm with a group of Europeans and they kind of took over the place with soccer, card games, loud music and making the beach servers run for tables, chairs and loungers for them all. (Man, do I sound old…..)
After supper we went down to see the sunset – and noticed a bunch of people sitting on the sidewalk and the roads were being shut down. We decided to wait and see what was going on. An hour later we got to see the parade….https://youtu.be/5u769cHS4gY (If you don’t watch that video – you won’t get the blog title) Here’s what google told us about Carnaval Campeche:
The oldest carnival in Mexico and the first celebration was in the year 1582. The coronation nights of the carnival and the colorful parades with their traditional comparsas are famous. On these dates the city is dressed in lights, in the style of Las Vegas, to host artists of international stature and popular dances that last day and night. The festivities begin with the funeral ride and the burial of bad humor, represented by a rag doll dressed as a pirate. Later he is paraded through the streets of the city to be placed in a coffin and burned. It is followed by the “Festival of Flowers” with a parade of floats decorated with paper flowers. On “Monday of Mojadera” the children from Campeche throw balloons filled with water at each other, and on “Martes de Pintadera” the neighbors get together and paint each other. The carnival ends with the burning of “Juan Carnaval”, represented by a doll.
Once of the many challenges here is finding out information on things and events on the google. Places and locations are pretty standard and on the google, but events and information are hard to find and navigate. Hence, we couldn’t really find information about nightly carnaval events.
We had to go down to the famous Calle 59 – this street is closed to driving, its all pedestrian. Its about a block off the malecon and aside from restaurants there are shops as well. This was the first night of the Carnaval – so we didn’t really know what we were going to see. Its walking distance from our flat, so we headed over around 6:30 to find something to eat and see what was going on. After dinner there was some sort of live dance off going on at the end of the block on a stage, where every song was JLo – we stayed for a bit to watch, then it just got repetitive and we left (again we are old).
The next day was a cool/rainy day, it was Saturday and the weather channel called it a “severe cold front” – it was rainy and 21C, sounded pretty severe….! Since we didn’t want to hang out in the rain, we went inland to yet another set of ruins. About 3 minutes from our destination – we got stopped by the police roadblock on the highway. A few minutes later this very large entourage of vehicles drives by the other way including police escort vehicles, a shitload of white suburban’s, military vehicles with guns, ambulances and everything you can imagine – at least 30 vehicles when finally the police let us through. Turns out the governor was also visiting the ruins that morning and this was her fleet. We pulled up and at first they wanted us to wait an hour, but changed their mind and let us and all the other tourists that were waiting in the parking lot go in. This was probably our favorite set of ruins so far! Here is a link to me talking in a video about the ruins: https://youtu.be/gP8FTuCSMsY Here is us climbing up the steps: https://youtube.com/shorts/2ueXULlahms and here’s a link of a few photo’s (demonstrating extra techiness): https://youtu.be/SP86CA4Quik
The history in this city is so amazing and in your face. Canada seems so boring compared to what we see here on a daily basis. We toured around and outside of the city for the rest of the week and found lots of great things. The walled area is just so special, its amazing to think that 400 years ago people were fighting off pirates and so they built walls and forts to protect the city. You are able to walk parts of the wall – I have that video here: https://youtube.com/shorts/Nb48vTTI4nA You can also go through the one of the two remaining Forts that are still standing. We chose Fort of San Jose – it was really cool! https://youtube.com/shorts/jHtwqofFsgM They used to curve the walkway leading up to the fort to prevent the door from being attacked head on.
Our flat is walking distance to the malecon, so we went down to the sunset almost every night, it was magical.
Campeche you were everything I hoped you would be!