Having saved the city of Campeche from the pirate invasion in 1704, had its own reward: the vestiges of bastions, loopholes and walls that were built to protect the settlers are part of the historical treasures that were taken into account by Unesco to grant this city the World Heritage designation in the 1990’s.
Nowadays, it is possible to walk through these ancient points of vigilance through the Route of the Presidio, which takes you through the entire walled area that was built in the form of a hexagon and in which each angle was protected by a bastion.
The walk starts at Puerta de Tierra, the old main access to the city. There is a bronze cannon there that was rescued from the waters near Campeche. Also, it is allowed to walk on the remains of the wall until you reach the Baluarte de San Juan.
At night, on the weekends a light and sound show is projected on the wall of the Puerta de Tierra, recreating the constant pirate attacks that took place during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Following the route, you arrive at the Baluarte de San Francisco, where the way of life of the pirates is described.
Later, in Santa Rosa, you must go to the gallery to entrust yourself to Santa Rosa de Lima, the patroness of the city that granted protection to the people of Campeche during the attacks.
Other enclosures that are part of the route are: the Baluarte de San Carlos, overlooking the sea, now transformed into the museum of the city of Campeche; and, the Bulwark of Our Lady of the Solitude (Baluarte de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad), that to its interior protects vestiges of Mayan architecture.
The guided tour lasts two hours. You can hire the services of a tour guide at: www.campeche.travel
Isla Arena, paradise in pink
The final destination of this road trip along the gulf coast is an island inhabited by pink flamingos, located two hours away from Campeche. But, to get there, you must first go to some villages like Hecelchakán.
Villagers allow travelers to enter their homes to eat cochinita pibil, which unlike Yucatan, is less acidic because it does not contain so much achiote and, also it is cooked in an underground oven.
The federal highway of the gulf also crosses the town of Calkiní, famous for its two old henequen haciendas –Santa Cruz and Tancuché– and for the elaboration of jipijapa hats, since the accessory is not exclusive to the town of Becal.
Travelers stop to buy chocolate grinders and other items hand carved in wood.
Isla Arena is basically a small estuary part of the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve, within the state of Campeche.
It is also known as the resting place of Mexican icon Pedro Infante, reason why, the villagers built a museum in his honor.
The main attraction of Isla Arena are the boat trips to observe the pink flamingos, which paint the waters of the estuary in pink. In Isla Arena you can find rustic huts to spend the weekend.
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