We also toured the spectacular ruin of Kabah, just across the state line in Yucatan. Two other sites we visited that are not shown on the map are Oxkintok (also in Yucatan) and Dzibilnocac. In addition to those on the map, or that I have mentioned, there are many more pre-hispanic sites in Campeche. It would take several more visits to see even a majority of them and possibly a lifetime to see them all.
Several of the sites we visited were quite remote. As a result, we traveled through a great deal of Campeche. We passed through lush farmland closer to the coast and deep jungle in the interior. Overall, the road system is good-to-excellent and the pueblos we passed through seemed relatively prosperous. The people we encountered were friendly and helpful, which has been our universal experience in Mexico.
Hotel Plaza Campeche
hotel is located in the northeastern part of the old city. It is just inside the old walls but still only 3 blocks from the Plaza Principal. A charming botanical garden housed in an old fortress is only a block away. Directly across the street from the hotel is Parque San Martin, a small plaza. Rates for a double room at Hotel Plaza Campeche are quite reasonable at $1581 pesos ($79 USD) per night.
The rooms are air conditioned and have flat-screen TVs and in-room safes. The last is especially important because it enables us to lock up all of our valuables and important documents. The hotel provides off-street parking, another important consideration since we had a rental car. We found the hotel staff to be friendly and efficient and at least some spoke English.
The only downsides we experienced at the hotel were the icy level of their restaurant air conditioning and the traffic noise outside our room window. It is always advisable to ask for a room away from any street and in this case we neglected to do so.
King Phillip specified that open arcades should run along the front of one or more sides of a plaza. These would provide shelter from rain and hot sun to those who might want to conduct business there. After 500 years, the king's plan still shapes urban centers, large and small, throughout Mexico.
The green "touribus" parked by the plaza will take you on a tour through the city. Tickets are sold at a nearby kiosk. Most tour guides on the buses speak only Spanish, but even if you are not biligual it is still worth it to get an overall sense of the town.
The displays in the museum primarily relate to the period between the 16th and 19th centuries. The four main areas include: pre-hispanic artifacts, the colonial-era fortifications, seaborne trade, and the commerce of the colonial era and the 19th century. Museum hours are 10AM to 7PM.
The building that houses the Museo and Centro Cultural is known as the Palacio because it was once the Governor's office. One of its most important functions was Aduana (Customs). It is no coincidence that the Palacio is located very near the Puerta de Mar (Sea Gate), where incoming ships tied up at a long pier that once extended out into the bay.
constructed between 1540 and 1760 in the Baroque architectural style. Because of the ebb and flow of church finances, it was not uncommon for a major construction project to last for a century or two. In the late 18th century, the interior was remodeled in the Neo-Classic style. The church did not gain the rank of cathedral until 1895, when it was awarded by Pope Leo XIII. A cathedral is the headquarters of a geographic area, called a diocese, presided over by a bishop.