Playa del Carmen is a Mexican city located on the coast of the Caribbean, in the northeast of the Quintana Roo state. It is the state’s third largest city, next to Cancun and Chetumal. According to the 2005 census, Playa del Carmen had a population of approximately 100,400 people.
Named after Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the first recorded visitors of Playa del Carmen came during AD 300-600, or the Early Classic Period of the Mayan civilization. The city was originally called Xaman-Ha (waters of the north).
The lowlands and coastal areas of the peninsula remained heavily populated by Mayan descendents when the Spanish colonizers arrived. The colonizers focused much of their attention around Mérida, where conditions were great for growing henequén, a fiber used in making rope. During the 1600s and 1700s, the Caribbean coast was considered a savage place with not much to offer for potential settlers.
This little beach town has developed greatly in popularity during the past years. There is a very good reason for that – Playa del Carmen has become a beautiful place to live or spend vacation. It has developed along the beach, so you will feel the closeness and familiarity to the sea wherever you go.