When you are visiting the Yucatan Peninsula it is always a good idea to make a special trip to Campeche, and for those who ask, “What can we do in Campeche?”, TYT brings you the first five of 11 recommendations on places to visit and activities to experience, according to El Universal. The second part will be posted Wednesday Sept. 13 on TYT….
CAMPECHE — Campeche is a state full of natural and archeological areas. 40% of its territory is protected natural areas. In addition, it has the only Mixed Heritage of Humanity in our country. Not to mention that the Mayan tradition prevails in each of its corners.
San Francisco de Campeche is the name of the state capital, better known as “the fortified historic city”. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Only one-third of the wall, which prevented the entrance of pirates, remains standing. This story can be told during a guided tour.
Do not forget to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception which, illuminated, is simply incomparable. From here we start to know places and traditions that only this state has.
- Bastions and doors
Originally there were four doors that allowed the entrance to the city, today only the Puerta de Tierra and the Puerta de Mar are left. There were also eight bastions, pentagonal constructions that supported the walls that protected the city from attacks of enemies; of the seven that still are conserved, the most recognized ones are the one of San Carlos, Santa Rosa and the one of Soledad.
You can walk through them and enjoy the spectacular view and structure of this ancient fortification. Some are now art galleries, archeology museums and even have a vaulted auditorium. www.campeche.travel/ruta-circuito-baluartes/
- Forts of San José and San Miguel
During the raids of English pirates, in the eighteenth century, fortresses were built to protect Campeche from enemy attacks. San José Fort, now the Museum of Ships and Weapons, and the San Miguel Museum of Mayan Archeology are still preserved. www.campeche.travel/museo-de-barcos-y-armas/
- Calakmul Biosphere Reserve
The capital of the Snake Kingdom (Calakmul) is located in a part of the Peten area and is the only Mixed Heritage of Humanity in Mexico for possessing archaeological vestiges of the Mayan culture and for being a Biosphere Reserve.
There you can take a tour and appreciate the beauty of the tropical reserve considered the largest in Mexico, its fauna is so varied that you could meet a monkey and delight your eyes with the plumage of different species of exotic birds in your path.
Calakmul has five architectural complexes connected through squares, whose focal point is the Great Central Plaza. If you are in good physical condition, we recommend walking through the archaeological area that has around 6,750 ancient structures or climb its staggered temples and enjoy the view.
The estela (monuments carved in high stones that tell important events) are a must-see point of Calakmul. So far, 117 estelas have been recorded; the oldest one is the glyx Uxtle ‘tuun (three stones) dating from 435 A.C.
In Structure VII there is a funeral chamber where the remains of a man who was part of the upper classes of that time were found. His tomb was decorated with jade stones, ceramic pieces and shells.
You can stay at the Hotel Puerta Calakmul, whose cabins are spread out in the jungle, with the sounds of the animals cooing. www.puertacalakmul.com.mx
- Archeological zone of Edzná
To the south of Campeche is this Mayan archaeological zone of 15 centuries of antiquity, also known as the House of the Itzáes (Maya who migrated from Yucatan to Campeche). Its buildings, made with blocks of limestone, are decorated with glyphs dedicated to deities, mythical animals and geometric figures. Edzná has influence of several architectural styles: Peten, Chenes, Puuc and Late.
There are more than 20 buildings that Edzna has, the most important are the Big House, ek Temple of the South, Ball Game, Temple of Masquerades (dedicated to the God of the Sun), the three estelas of Eighth Baktún, the Building of the Five Floors, Patio Puuc and the Temple of the North.
To highlight more the beauty of this place, from Friday to Sunday, offers a light and sound show.
- Palizada: magical village of pirates
This municipality is the only Magical Town that has Campeche and is full of a colorful harmony in their houses with French tile roofs. Here, the ideal is to take a tour next to the river or get on a boat to watch crocodiles, turtles and even manatees. Out of the water, you will find that its streets are full of handicraft workshops.
To be continued in Part 2, Wednesday Sept. 13…
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