Campeche, on the Gulf of Mexico, has an abundance of colonial pastel-colored houses with arched doorways and intricate balconies. Following heavy pirate attacks in the 17th-century, the city built itself an elaborate defense system, including thick ramparts with bastions. This mixture of urban and military history has made it a Unesco World Heritage site, spurring comprehensive renovation around the town. Today, it is one of Mexico’s best-preserved colonial towns but visitors are relatively few and you can expect a warm welcome from locals. Nearby, you can visit less-known Mayan sites including Hochob and Dzibilnocac.