Bay of Campeche

The Gulf of Mexico you will find an area known as the Bay of Campeche.

Obviously, one of the surrounding Mexican states is Campeche which is how it got its name.

There is also Veracruz and Tabasco on the other two sides.

This bay was named in 1517 by Anton de Alamos and Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba during their adventure to this location and exploration.

Bay of Campeche for Kids

  • This bay is estimated as 15539,93 square km (6000 square miles) in total size.
  • The deepest area within this bay is 54m (180 feet).
  • There are quite a few rivers that also flow into this bay. These rivers are the Usumacinta, Coatzacoalcos, Candelaria, and the Paploapan.
  • This area is considered on high alert for Hurricanes that happen in the Atlantic Ocean? The peak time for this is during the months of June and July. It also sometimes has the opposite effect and this is where hurricanes stop because of the weak currents it helps installing the speed of the hurricane.
  • This location is rich in resources – most specifically oil. It is the world’s second-most productive oil field and has five oil fields in the area. These are owned by the Cantarell Complex and are located in the Bay of Campeche.
  • The oil production in the area has declined but before it did, it was able to supply about 2/3rds of the crude oil needed in Mexico.
  • Sadly, this oil production leads to oil spills. In 1979 there was the third-largest oil spill in history in the Bay of Campeche. It happened because of an explosion of an oil well. 300 000 barrels of crude oil were poured out into this bay which would have had a negative effect on marine life in the area.
  • You can spot some incredible birdlife in the area as the bay is along with one of the major bird migration routes that take the wildlife to America.
  • Back in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, this area of sea was a popular area for pirates! Many of the pirates targeted boats in the area and even sank them sometimes!
  • The port city, Campeche, is the capital of Campeche and has thousands of beautiful historical buildings that have been maintained and preserved over the years.


1. Who were the two men that originally named the Bay of Campeche?

2. What resource is this bay rich in?

3. Who targeted the bay during the 16th century?

4. Why is this bay known as a graveyard for hurricanes?

5. Name the three Mexican states that border the bay.