Is Campeche safe?

Is Campeche Safe? Your 2024 Guide by a Local

Is Campeche safe to travel to in 2024? Safety is likely to be at the forefront of your mind if you are planning a trip to the southeastern Mexican state of Campeche. 

(Safety is one of the main concerns for people traveling to Mexico, period. It’s a place that people are often concerned about visiting). 

The state is one of three that make up the Yucatan tristate peninsula. 

(This consists of Campeche, the Yucatan state, and Quintana Roo). This region is ultra popular with tourists and is known for being one of the safest parts of the country that you can travel to. 

However, at the same time, Campeche is the least visited state in the region. Campeche is both the name of the state and its capital city (Campeche city). 

So is Campeche safe to travel to? Absolutely yes! 

This article has been written by a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico. I have traveled to Campeche numerous times – both with friends and as a solo female traveler. 

It will run through all the things that you need to consider before you travel to Campeche, and how to stay safe during your trip. 

Is Campeche Safe to Travel to in 2024? 

Is Campeche safe?
Is Campeche safe?

Campeche is generally a very safe place to travel. Use the same common sense precautions here as you would at home or when traveling anywhere else and you will be fine. 

The U.S. Department of State awards a safety rating to each of the 32 Mexican states based on any perceived risks or dangers. Campeche state and the Yucatan state have been identified as the two safest states in the country. 

The official advice is to “Exercise normal precautions when traveling to Campeche. There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Campeche state.” 

This should be reassuring if you are concerned about traveling to the region. Other states have been flagged as places to “exercise increased caution” and “reconsider travel”. 

A handful of Mexican states are on the “do not travel” list. The safety situation varies from state to state in Mexico and various government travel advisories differentiate between them. 

The UK government travel advisory also recognizes Campeche as a safe place to travel. 

Crime rating in Campeche 

Crime levels are low in Campeche. This includes both violent crimes as well as petty crimes like bag-snatching, pickpocketing, etc. 

Numbeo index provides a safety rating out of 100 to assess how safe or dangerous various global cities are. 

Campeche has a rating of 27.08 out of 100 which is low. By comparison, New York City has a “moderate” rating of 53.44 as does Los Angeles with a rating of 59.57. 

When comparing crime rates in Campeche to those in other Mexican cities, Guadalajara has a high crime rate of 73.74 and Chihuahua has a high crime rate of 69.7. 

Tips for staying safe in Campeche 

Is Campeche safe?
Is Campeche safe?

Some practical tips to help you stay safe during your time in Campeche are detailed below. 

Safety in Campeche City 

Despite the fact that Campeche City is the capital of Campeche state, it has a very small-town feel about it. The city has a population of just under a million people. (928,363 residents)

Campeche was a super important trading port during the Spanish occupation in the 17th century. From here, dyewood, salt, and other goods were transported across the world. 

Campeche was the capital of the Yucatan peninsula on several occasions. It then became the capital of the new Campeche state in 1863. 

Today the historic center of Campeche is UNESCO protected. It is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. 

The pastel-colored houses and narrow cobbled streets and passageways here are a photographer’s dream. Campeche’s strategic importance as a Spanish trade port made it a target for attacks from pirates and other invaders. 

As such, numerous fortresses and defensive walls were built around the city. These still exist today and are a highlight of visiting. 

You can walk along the bastions of the old defensive walls. At night, fabulous light and sound shows portraying the history of Mexico are projected onto them. 

The fortress of San Jose (Fuerte de San Jose el Alto) sits high on a hilltop and offers incredible panoramas over the city and the Gulf of Mexico. You can also visit the underwater archeology museum inside. 

Public transport in Campeche state 

One thing to keep in mind about Campche being the least-visited state in the Yucatan peninsula? The tourism infrastructure in the area isn’t quite where it needs to be yet. 

Public transport exists here and it is okay for getting from Merida to Campeche (and vice versa) and out to the pristine Isla Aguada. But besides that, getting where you need to go can be a bit of a headache if you are not renting a car in Mexico. 

The ruins of Edzna and Calakmul are two of the best Mayan ruins in the country. Because they are a little trickier to get to than places like Uxmal or Chichen Itza they see a fraction of the crowds. 

It is incredible to reach Calakmul, nestled deep in the jungle, and be the only person wandering around the ruins. If you love history and archaeological sites, it is well worth the effort to get to them. 

But do mentally prepare yourself for long journeys that involve multiple changes and extended periods of waiting around at the side of the road or in small towns. Direct buses from Campeche to Edzna run a couple of times a day. 

Since they are infrequent, you may find that you wait a while for your return journey. To get to Calakmul, you have to first take the bus to the village of Xpujil.  This takes just under 4 hours.

From Xpujil to Calakmul, it’s another 2 hours. The hotels here run small trips where they take tourists to and from Calakmul each day. Keep in mind that you probably need to stay overnight in Xpujil to break up the journey.

Traveling in remote areas

Is Campeche safe?
Is Campeche safe?

It is a good idea to pick up a Mexican sim card once you arrive in the country so that you can stay connected. However, when you reach remote areas – like woodland near Edzna or the dense jungle in the southern part of the state, there is no data or phone service. 

If you were to break down here while driving, well, it would be a while before someone came the other way. That’s not super likely to happen (let’s think positively here!) 

But it pays to prepare. Always make sure that you have plenty of water and snacks for long journeys and a spare tire in the trunk of your car. 

The remote nature of some corners of Campeche state can be extremely daunting. When you get to the region near Calakmul, jaguars, and other wild cats have even been seen wandering down the road. 

Campeche city is (mostly) safe at night 

Campeche has some great restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Calle 59 is the place to go when the sun goes down.

This pedestrianized street is lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants. Tables and chairs are set out in the middle of the street and reggaeton music blares out from every angle. 

Calle 59 is usually bursting with life, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. This is also a great place to sample some Yucatecan cuisine. 

Food in this region of Mexico has some distinct differences from Mexican food in general. Many of the recipes are thousands of years old and still follow the same cooking practices that were invented by the Ancient Maya! 

If you want a more low-key spot away from the noise and the crowds, Aduana Vasconcelos (C. 59 1, Zona Centro) is a great place to go. They serve up Yucatan and Campechan delicacies and they even prepare little charcuterie boards so that you can try lots of little local dishes at once. 

The Campeche seafront Malecon is also lined with bars and clubs. You are perfectly safe walking to either place after dark. 

The Malecon is a pretty lively place and there are always local couples taking romantic walks, groups of teenagers hanging out, etc. It never gives a creepy vibe. 

Just be sure to watch your alcohol intake and not wander around drunk. Stick to the main areas and you will be fine. Don’t go wandering off down random dark, sketchy-looking side streets to shortcut back to your hotel. 

Is Campeche safe? Final thoughts

Is Campeche safe?
Is Campeche safe?

Do you have any final thoughts or concerns about staying safe in Campeche?  As I mentioned, I live in Mexico and have traveled to the area dozens of times. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything. I will do my best to get back to you ASAP. 

If this is your first time planning a trip to the area and you are searching or accommodation options, you might also enjoy this post on the best Campeche hotels.

Safe travels! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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