Plaza Principal


Shaded by carob trees and ringed by tiled benches and broad footpaths radiating from a belle-epoque kiosk, Campeche’s appealingly modest central square started life in 1531 as a military camp. Over the years it became the focus of the town’s civic, political and religious activities and remains the core of public life. Campechanos come here to chat, smooch, have their shoes shined or cool off with an ice cream after the heat of the day.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Campeche attractions

1. Biblioteca de Campeche

0.03 MILES

On the northern (seaward) side of Plaza Principal stands a replica of the old government center, now housing the modern Biblioteca de Campeche. The…

2. Museo El Palacio

0.03 MILES

This large museum at the plaza has exhibits about the city's logwood industry and salt trading; a section is designed to make you feel like you're inside…

3. Centro Cultural Casa Número 6

0.04 MILES

During the prerevolutionary era, when this mansion was occupied by an upper-class campechano family, Número 6 was a prestigious plaza address. Wandering…

5. Museo de la Arquitectura Maya

0.05 MILES

The Baluarte de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, designed to protect the Puerta del Mar, contains the fascinating Museo de la Arquitectura Maya. It provides…

6. Puerta del Mar


The Puerta del Mar provided access from the sea, opening on to a wharf where small craft delivered goods from ships anchored further out. The shallow…

7. Museo del Archivo General de Estado

0.11 MILES

At this small museum, learn how Campeche came to be. It’s free and air-conditioned, and you get to check out old documents and maps, and watch a video (in…

8. Mansión Carvajal

0.13 MILES

Once the mansion of wealthy landowner Fernando Carvajal, this beautiful building now houses state offices. Visitors are welcome to take a peek inside,…