things to do in campeche city mexico

Merida to Campeche Mexico: Best Ways to Visit in 2022


Planning your Merida to Campeche trip?

At only less than 2.5 hours away from Merida, Campeche City is an easy trip on a Campeche tour, by tour, rental car and bus. With only about 110 miles distance from Merida to Campeche City, you’ll get there quickly, and then have the whole day to explore this relatively quaint town.

Though Downtown Campeche City — AKA the Walled City of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is the main draw in the state, there’s more to do on your Merida to Campeche City trip! Campeche Mexico also has beautiful beaches and fascinating Mayan Ruins to explore.

This off the beaten path Yucatan Peninsula city is one of the most popular and best Merida day trips. For those who want to make it an overnight trip, you’ll also find the best Campeche hotels in this article.

In short, think of this article as your Ultimate Guide to Campeche Travel — with everything you need to know for a Merida to Campeche trip. Ready to get to it?! Let’s dive in.

merida to campeche mexico

Campeche, Mexico Travel FAQs

Where is Campeche Mexico?

Campeche City, Mexico, is the capital of Campeche state — one of three states making up the Yucatan Peninsula. As you can see on the Campeche map below ⤵, It is located in the southeast part of the country, right on the Gulf of Mexico.

campeche mexico map

Campeche is an off the beaten path Mexico destination, and the least-visited of the three Yucatan states. However, thanks to Instagram, YouTube and social media, more and more people are adding colorful Campeche City to their Mexico bucket list.

At about 110 miles from Merida, and 205 miles from Valladolid, travelers in Yucatan state will often visit Campeche. As it’s quite far from the popular Quintana Roo state destinations of Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen — many stay overnight in a Campeche hotel.

merida to campeche City, Mexico

Is Campeche worth visiting?

Travelers who love venturing off the beaten path will also love Campeche state. You’ll get a much more authentic Mayan and Mexican cultural experience in Campeche, without the large tourist crowds, and without the high tourist-town price tags!

Is campeche city worth visiting?

Campeche City is a smaller town, so for a day or overnight trip, it is absolutely worth visiting. Beyond that, you’ll want to head to other parts of Campeche, or the pueblo magico (magic town) of Valladolid, or even back to Merida.

For photographers and history buffs, the colorful streets and historic forts once used to fend off pirates, make the short trip from Merida worthwhile. Those doing a Yucatan road trip will love a stopover in Campeche City, before heading to all the other must see Yucatan destinations.

Best Things to do in Campeche Mexico

Campeche City

The walled city of Campeche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within its walls, there are so many fascinating, beautiful and historic things to see and do. For a complete guide, visit 10 Best Things to Do in Campeche City Mexico.

Campeche Ruins

For those who rent a car, you can explore the other UNESCO site in Campeche state, the Calakmul Mayan Ruins. There are other Campeche Ruins to explore, like Becan, Chicanna and Edzna, one of the most beautiful of all Mayan Ruins in Mexico.

Campeche beaches

There’s also the pueblo magico (magic town) of Isla Aguada, Campeche, as well as Sabancuy and Ciudad del Carmen — three of the best beaches in Campeche Mexico. Since these are some of the lesser-visited beaches in Mexico, you have have them all to yourself!

woman sitting on top of Calakmul mayan ruins in Yucatan jungle | things to do in campeche mexico
Calakmul Mayan Ruins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site about five hours from Campeche City.
merida to campeche mexico

Best Merida to Campeche Tours

By far, the easiest way to get from Merida to Campeche is one a group tour! With tour, all you do is show up, sit back, and enjoy! Below, you will find the best Merida to Campeche tours, which include Campeche City and the best Mayan Ruins in Campeche.

For places further from Merida, like Calakmul Mayan Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, you’ll need to go by rental car. Most beaches in Campeche are also a bit far from Merida, so the tours don’t go to those either.

Tours from Merida to Campeche

merida to campeche mexico

Merida to Campeche Drive

Renting a car in Merida is a fun way to explore all the amazing beaches, Mayan Ruins and Merida cenotes, as well as neighboring Campeche state. Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know about the drive from Merida to Campeche.

  • Merida to Campeche Distance: 110 miles (175 km) to Campeche City
  • Merida to Campeche Drive Time: About 2 hours and 15 minutes in normal traffic to Campeche City

Driving from Merida to Campeche City

Merida to Campeche Map

Planning for this mini-Yucatan Peninsula road trip is super easy. The total trip time is less than 2.5 hours, with a distance of about 110 miles (175km). This is a pretty straightforward drive, as you just take Highway 180 (Costera del Golfo) the whole way down.

However, you should make sure to download an offline map from Google Maps or Maps.Me, as there’s a good chance you’ll lose cell phone signal at some point in the drive. While you’re at it, go ahead and download some podcasts!

🚗💨 One of the best reasons to drive versus taking the bus to Campeche? The freedom to stop wherever and whenever you’d like along the way, of course.

Located near Campeche City, consider a stop at Ecoturismo Ich Ha Lol Xaan (also called Hampolol), located right off Highway 180. Even if you don’t want to swim, this is such a beautiful park, and makes a nice respite in nature before arriving to Campeche City.

Merida Car Rental

The easiest, most convenient way to travel from Merida to Campeche? A rental car, of course. For a complete guide to the whole process, check out Merida Car Rental: Everything You Need to Know + 10 Driving Tips.

Discover Cars has competitive rates and several Merida locations, including at Merida International Airport, and in the areas most people stay in while visiting Merida — Centro Historico (historic downtown) and Paseo Montejo. On a personal note: I recommend, and use, Discover Cars.

Is it safe to drive in Yucatan?

Short answer: Yes — For the vast majority of travelers, it’s safe to drive anywhere in Mexico.

Longer answer: As a general rule, the Yucatan Peninsula is considered safe for both locals and visitors, and the drive from Merida to Campeche is also safe. However, there’s the obvious caveat to that… you’re in a foreign country!

Since you’ll be driving in another country, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with Mexico driving laws, or ask the agent at your car rental for advice. For your convenience, there are 10 Useful Mexico Driving Tips in this article to help you with how to drive in Mexico.

Merida to Campeche Bus

The bus is a great option for your Merida to Campeche day trip — especially for budget travelers, as it’s the cheapest way to get from Merida to Campeche.

🚕💨 Campeche Travel Tip: There’s no Uber in Campeche state, so be sure to have pesos to pay for a taxi from the ADO Campeche station to Downtown Campeche.

For those unsure about taking the bus, Mexico bus travel is quite popular, especially to the best Mexico off the beaten path destinations, like Campeche. It is also quite economical at only about $20-35USD for roundtrip Campeche to Merida bus tickets.

There are two options for which Merida bus station you can use: the Terminal de Autobuses de Merida and Terminal Alterna at Paseo 60 (see below for info ⤵). As far as what company to use, ADO is Mexico’s largest bus company and will offer the most trip times.

The ADO bus is a popular, comfy and inexpensive way to travel Mexico. (Photo: Ted McGrath via Flickr)

TAME Or CAME — TERMINAL DE AUTOBUSES DE MERIDA

CAME is the main Merida bus station, and will have the most options for Merida to Campeche bus trip times. You can check the ADO website for time, but I always book my Merida to Campeche bus tickets on BusBud, as the ADO site doesn’t take U.S. or non-Mexican credit cards.

TAME/CAME Address: Calle 70, #555, Centro de Merida, Merida, 97000. It is located on 70th Street, between 69th and 71st Streets, in Downtown Merida | 🗺 Google Maps

Note: The Terminal de Autobuses de Merida (TAME) had a name change in 2019; it used to be called Central de Autobuses de Merida (CAME). For this reason, you’ll sometimes see it as either TAME and CAME, though it’s the same place.

Paseo 60Terminal Alterna

The second option is the Paseo 60 bus station, a smaller station, but more convenient for those staying around Paseo de Montejo, the most popular street in Merida. There are rarely Merida to Campeche City buses that leave from Paseo 60, but you may get lucky.

Paseo 60 Address: Calle 60, #346, Zona Paseo Montejo, Merida, 97000 — on 30th Street, between 35th Street and Avenida Colon. | 🗺 Google Maps

Paseo 60 is a Merida shopping and dining complex, located below the NH Collection Merida Hotel. The Paseo 60 Merida bus station is located at this hotel. (Photo: Expedia)
merida to campeche City

Best Campeche Hotels

The Hacienda Puerta Campeche Resort is the best hotel in Campeche City, Mexico! (Photo: Expedia)

Planning to spend the night in Campeche City? You have plenty of really great Campeche hotel options all located in or right around downtown.

As there’s not much outside of downtown, and Campeche is relatively inexpensive, don’t expand your hotel search too far from the City Center — or select one of the best hotels in Campeche from the list below — all located right in walkable Downtown Campeche.

colorful colonial city at dusk | things to do in campeche mexico
Rent a hotel in Campeche to enjoy the nighttime activities.

Things to do in Campeche City at Night

Campeche is also very pretty by night, when many buildings in downtown are lit up with colorful lights.

campeche VIDEO MAPPING SHOW

Don’t miss the Celebremos Campeche (Celebrate Campeche) video mapping light and music show on the side of Palacio Centro Cultural (seen in the video below ⤵). The show takes place Tuesdays to Sundays, from 8pm to 8:30pm, and is one of the best free things to do in Campeche.

sunset dinner in campeche

If you’re staying overnight in a Campeche hotel, enjoy a sunset dinner on the Gulf of Mexico at one of the best restaurants in Campeche. La Palapa del Tio Fito and Restaurante Malecon Campeche both offer beautiful Gulf views, and yummy Yucatan food and fresh seafood options.

Campeche Travel Tip: Bring something to sit on, as there’s only ground seating for the video mapping show.

merida to campeche Mexico

Final Thoughts: Merida to Campeche Trip

At less than 2.5 hours from Merida, Campeche City is the perfect day trip. From further places in Yucatan Peninsula, like Tulum, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Valladolid, you’ll want to rent a hotel in Campeche — or even this cool Campeche Hacienda!

Though downtown is quaint at just 25-30 (or so) blocks, there are still many fun things to do in Campeche City. Not far from Downtown, you also have the ruins of Becan, Chicanna and Edzna — some of the best Mayan Ruins near Merida.

After 1-2 days, however, you may want to head to other parts of Campeche state, like the Calakmul Mayan Ruins. There are also some great Campeche beaches, like the Isla Aguada pueblo magico (magic town), Ciudad Carmen, and Sabancuy, which many say is the best Campeche beach.

As more and more people discover Campeche’s colorful streets and adorable sidewalk cafes via social media and YouTube, this is fast becoming a part of many a Yucatan Mexico bucket list.

Merida Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance? 100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Merida? No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Merida? Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Merida? Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Merida accommodation? For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico? Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

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