Campeche: The Cool Coastal City in Mexico We’re Making Tracks To

Campeche: The Cool Coastal City in Mexico We’re Making Tracks To

A cool coastal city is fast becoming the Mexican destination of choice for savvy travellers, thanks to the recent refurbishment of a glamorous guesthouse. Read on for the lowdown on Campeche’s must-visit ruins, finest dining spots and botanical gardens


Campeche, Mexico.

Why now?

Situated in the country’s south-east, Campeche has long
attracted day-trippers to its sorbet-coloured streets, but its
appeal has gone up a gear lately, with the refurbishment of
18th-century guesthouse Las Lupitas. Both honouring the port city’s
history and showcasing contemporary style, the five-key boutique is
a stylish independent base unlike anything else on the local
accommodation landscape.

Between hazy hours spent lounging in hammocks, visitors will
find much to explore in this culturally rich destination. Founded
in 1540, Campeche first made its mark as a major trading hub. The
luxury goods passing through quickly made it the target of pirates,
and a string of attacks wiped out almost a third of its population.
Designated a Unesco World Heritage site in 1997, the city is home
to two preserved fortresses, and encircled by crumbling walls. Get
to grips with its turbulent past at the Fort of San José Museum,
which perches at the highest point of Campeche. On display in its
gallery space is an impressive collection of artefacts recovered
from sunken ships.

Campeche, Mexico

Don’t miss

Head to Campeche Botanical Garden, where narrow passageways
flanked by rare tropical plants lead to a beautiful central
fountain – the perfect spot at which to curl up with a good book.
Many of the plant species found here are used in the production of
herbal medicines and fabric dyes.

A palpable energy courses through the city in February, when
Campeche hosts the oldest carnival in Mexico. The two-week
celebration champions the local community through a series of
concerts, parades and artistic activities. Expect vibrant costumes
and extravagant floats galore.

Where to stay?

Following the unveiling of its recent refurb, it has to be
. Enjoying a prime position on one of the most beautiful
squares in the city, the property is a tranquil oasis in the
Guadalupe neighbourhood. Five boutique suites are designed with the
modern traveller in mind, offering three functional spaces: living
area, fully-equipped kitchen and airy bedroom. Finer design details
include original pasta tile floors, high, beamed ceilings, tropical
wood furnishings and regional Mayan artworks. Outside, a garden is
planted with a sea of cacti and overgrown palm trees. There are
plenty of hammock-strewn corners, and a centrepiece saltwater
plunge pool.

Where to go for dinner?

Most locals will point you in the direction of Calle 59, a
street lined with outdoor dining spots, but we suggest veering away
from the hustle and bustle and heading straight to Marganzo
, whose burnt-orange facade is bordered by
oyster-white columns and windows are laced with potted plants.
Inside, you’ll find buttercup-yellow walls, chequered tile floors
and tables topped with abstract-print cloths. The seafood-filled
menu includes the likes of shrimp soups, cod tacos and crab salad.
Arrive for 7pm to see a lively crowd gathered around the bar, then
order a refreshing margarita. When in Mexico…

And for a drink…

Sometimes, the bars with the best cocktails come with the
grittiest interiors. Case in point? Barko
. This low-lit set-up draws on a nautical theme, with
rope-clad beams, fishing net-draped ceilings and shelves brimming
with ocean trinkets. Come for the stellar drinks menu, but stay for
the burritos.

Who to take with you?

That friend who decks their flat out with SAD lamps once the
winter draws in, who will appreciate Campeche’s balmy

Essentials to pack

An SPF gloss that also makes lips pillowy? Yes, please. Snag the
Dr Lara Devgan Platinum Lip Plump for a
nourishing dose of moisture.

How to get there

No airlines fly direct from the UK to Campeche. We suggest
flying from London Heathrow to Mexico City Airport. From there,
jump on a connecting flight to Campeche Airport, which is just a
10-minute drive from the city’s vibrant city centre.

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