Isla Aguada, Campeche from pirate refuge to Pueblo Mágico


It has a population of just over 6 thousand inhabitants.

Founded mainly of fishing families, the Villa de Isla Aguada, located east of the municipality of El Carmen, in the state of Campeche, has natural beauties, architectural jewels, and an ancestral culture, which led it to reach this December 1 the name of Pueblo Mágico.

With a population of little more than 6 thousand inhabitants, Isla Aguada beaches are part of the lagoon system of the Laguna de Terminos, Its shores have been declared as Dolphin Sanctuary, whose sightings are one of its attractions; as well as the veneration of the Christ of the Fishermen; in addition to being the cradle of Rudensindo Cantarell, discoverer of the Cantarell field and the oil wealth in the Sonda de Campeche, a pillar of the country’s economy.

isla aguada

Mayan roots

The city’s chronicler, Daniel Cantarell Alejandro, explains that this Villa was known by the Mayans as “Hol tun”, in which vestiges of this culture have been found.

“At the time of the conquest, the Spanish knew this island as Steam Island, in which sometimes groups of pirates were sheltered and supplied with water from the lagoons.”


In 1792 a group of pirates attacked a ship coming from the Usumacinta River, stealing everything they carried. Don Bernardo Sáenz Montero, governor of the El Carmen prison, sent a detachment that located them, falling by surprise and managing to defeat them.

After this event, a small fort and a watchtower were built, providing the place with a group of people for its care, which is considered to be the first inhabitants of what is now Isla Aguada.


“For many years Isla Aguada has been constituted by a group of fishing families, who are mainly dedicated to catching shrimp, but also some species of scales,” says Elizabeth Velueta, a local permit holder.

She reveals that a drop in catches happened as a result of the presence of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), in the Sonda de Campeche, many locals saw an alternative to generate income for their families in tourist activity, through rides on riverside boats.

Today, at least 40 boats and 80 seafarers are engaged in this activity, the ride lasts approximately 40 minutes, visiting Isla Pájaros, a refuge site for various birds species such as the Jabirú stork, Pink Spatula, Pelicans, Jacana, White Egret, Herring Gull, Caracara, Brown Pelican, Common Gull, among others.

Later, the tour visits the bottlenose dolphin watching area and finally Cayo Arena, where visitors can enjoy the refreshing waters of Laguna de Terminos.


isla aguada

“The town has a rich colonial architecture, starting with the Lighthouse, houses with French tiles and the church in honor of the Fisherman Christ, which is a charming place for visitors, in addition to the beautiful beaches and its natural wealth,” Said the municipal commissioner of the village, Juan Carlos Franco Naal.

He explained that in the same way, there are a variety of services such as hotels up to three stars and restaurants with varied gastronomy, mainly seafood products that are the delight of diners.

Faro de Isla Aguada – API CAMPECHE

She explained that for people who wish to visit Isla Aguada, they have the collective transportation service called “combis” as well as bus units on the El Sur line, which make the journey from Ciudad del Carmen to Isla Aguada and vice versa.

For more than four years the village has been managing to achieve that Isla Aguada reached the declaration as a Magic Town, through which they complied with all the studies and requirements by the federal authorities.

Isla Aguada Campeche Campeche - Información de Miradores en Campeche

“Since my political electoral campaign, in 2018, I committed with the inhabitants of this town to promote tourist activity, as an alternative to detonate their economy in the face of the low catches that fishermen presented today, almost three years after that, We have fulfilled by achieving this distinction”, indicated the mayor, Óscar Román Rosas González.

He highlighted the support they received from the state governor, Carlos Miguel Aysa González, and the secretary of Tourism, Jorge Manos Esparragoza, to achieve this designation, which opens the doors to the promotion of the Villa de Isla Aguada, nationally and internationally, which “Surely, it will cause the arrival of thousands of visitors.”

Playas de Isla Aguada en Campeche: 8 opiniones y 49 fotos

He argued that the important thing about this appointment is not to achieve it, but to maintain it, so that from now on, the Carmen City Council will have to work on improving urban infrastructure, providing the town, for the first time, with a collection truck garbage, in addition to other works.

He stressed that in the same way, they will work in the areas as training so that the providers of tourist services of the place have the necessary knowledge to treat the visitors right and of the safety and hygiene measures that they must have.

isla aguada


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