Mexico/Campeche: Campeche City
The historic fortified city of Campeche on the western coast of the Yucatán peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it very much deserves this designation. The city, full name of which is San Francisco de Campeche, was founded in 1540 by the Spanish conquistadors atop the pre-existing Mayan city of Can Pech. For the first 160 years of Campeche, the city was the target of near constant attacks by the British of Dutch pirates, looting the gold and treasures that had been looted by the Spanish. To protect against the attacks, the Spanish brought the French architects to built a complete fortification around the city. The entire city was surrounded with a massive wall, over 2.5km in length with 8 equally massive bastions incorporated in it and four separate gates. Two additional forts protected the city from the north and south. Most of the fortifications remain today – the walls and gates surround a compact grid of colonial streets with colorful buildings and old churches, including the spectacular Cathedral. An absolutely spectacular, safe, and pleasant city to explore.