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Campeche Festival Mexico

December 2010

It is now one of the least populated Mexican states, however Campeche was once the site of a booming Mayan civilization and home to Mexico’s oldest Carnival. If Mayan history fascinates you then you cannot miss a visit to Campeche. This city with its pastel housing and narrow streets, which is indicative of the old Mexico.

Many visitors are mesmerized by the breathtaking archaeological sites scattered throughout the state, not to mention the stunning historical center of the capital, scattered with museums, local handicraft stores, fabulous night clubs and restaurants that offer an abundance of experience and sightseeing opportunities both day and night.

Calakmul the city of two adjacent pyramids is one of the largest Mayan centers ever discovered. It can be accessed by Campeche’s tropical forest approximately 30 kilometers north of the Guatemalan border. This well-preserved ruin is bursting with historical artifacts from the Mayans.

About 6,000 Mayan buildings and ceremonial structures have been identified in the city of Calakmul in southern Campeche. Calakmul had a population of up to 50,000inhabitants at its height in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D.

A smaller yet just as amazing archaeological site is Chicanna, which is close by. Some historians believe that Chicanna was a retreat for privileged Mayan citizens, due to the ornate elegance and splendor of its buildings.

For reasons that are still to this day unknown, the entire Mayan civilization declined sharply during the 8th and 9th centuries, Mayan settlement on Jaina Island, which reached its peak from 900 to 1100 A.D., was one of the last to survive in Campeche.

When you visit Campeche you will learn of its turbulent history, however this amazing city is one not to be missed for those wanting a slightly more educational Mexican experience.

While visiting Campeche don’t forget to see…

The historic walls built around the city between 1686 and 1704 to protect the city from pirates.

The Reserva de la Biósfera Calakmul, Mexico's largest nature preserve, home to over 400 endangered species, see the jaguars, pumas, ocelots, spider monkeys, eagles and falcons, rainbow-beaked toucans, pink flamingos and maritime turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs. The biosphere also features several archaeological sites, including El Ramonal, Hormiguero, Chicanna, Río Bec, Becán and Calakmul.

If you are in the neighborhood of San Román, make sure you take a look at the Black Christ, an amazing six-foot ebony statue brought to Mexico from Italy in 1575.

Campeche is truly one of the gems of Mexico, the Campeche festival runs annually throughout December and has a host of events, concerts, popular arts and food fair for revelers to enjoy!

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