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Introduction

Campeche is one of the 31 states in Mexico, located on the Yucatan Peninsula. It borders the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo to the northeast and east, and the state of Tabasco to the southwest. Guatemala is to the south and the Gulf of Mexico] to the west.

The formation of the state began with the city, which was founded in 1540 as the Spanish began the conquest of the Yucatán Peninsula. During the colonial period, the city was a rich and important port, but declined after Mexico’s Independence. Campeche was part of the province of Yucatán but split off in the mid-19th century, mostly due to political friction with city of Mérida. Today, much of the state’s economic comeback is due to the finding of petroleum offshore in the 1970s, which has made the coastal cities of Campeche and Ciudad del Carmen important economic centers. The state has important Mayan and colonial sites but they are not as well known or visited as others in the Yucatán.

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Geography

Campeche is a relatively flat area of Mexico with 523 kilometres of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the surface is of sedimentary rock much of which is from marine origin. The area with the highest elevations is near the borders with Guatemala and Quintana Roo. Notable elevations include Cerro Champerico, Cerro los Chinos, Cerro El Ramonal, Cerro El Doce and Cerro El Gavilán. However, these hills are separated by large expanses of lower flat land. In the south of the municipality of Champotón begin a series of rolling hills known as the Sierra Alta or Puuc, which extend northeast to Bolonchen and then into the state of Yucatán. These have only an average altitude of between forty and sixty meters with some reaching 100 metres. There other areas of these rolling hills, near the city of Campeche with main ones known as Maxtum, Boxol and El Morro. Another set is called the Sierra Seybaplaya in the center of the state.

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Sights and Activities

Calakmul

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Calakmul, also known as Kalakmul, is one of the largest Mayan cities ever discovered. Located deep in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve near the Guatemalan border, this ancient city is well preserved. Only found in 1931 the city was a major seat of power for the Kaan dynasty and had a population of over 50,000. The city was a rival to Tikal during the late classical period with the Caracol as an alley. The city was occupied from the 6th century to the 10th century and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexciowhere where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

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Weather

The state is in the tropics with a humid climate with a defined rainy and relatively dry season from late winter to early spring. Average annual rainfall varies between 900 and 2,000 mm. The hottest and most humid areas of the state are along the coast between the Laguna de Términos and the northern border. Average annual temperature is 26 °C with highs up to 36 °C in the summer and lows of 17 °C in the winter. Prevailing winds are from the northwest from November to March, from the north between September and October, from the southeast from June to August and from the south in April and May. In the winter, storms from the north called “nortes” can bring colder dry air from the United States. In the late summer, there are sometimes hurricanes.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are flights to/from Cancun and Mexico City.

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Campeche (State) Travel Helpers

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This is version 6. Last edited at 9:21 on Jun 1, 16 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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