Playa del Carmen’s history goes as far back as the post-Classical period, the height of the Mayan civilization. It later became a major a fishing area before developing into the cosmopolitan city and holiday destination we know today. In the early 1900’s, the city became a Mexican territory, a part of the Quintana Roo state.
The 1960’s witnessed the growth of Playa del Carmen and other surrounding areas, gaining attention as the Great Mayan Reef, the world’s second largest reef system, became popular. Around this time, the tourism started to flourish, with the influx of huge development projects in the city.
In the 1970’s, the area became more accessible to Mexican and foreign tourists. A boat duck was built, allowing ferry service to the Cancun International Airport and Cozumel. But the city was still largely an undeveloped fishing village around this time. Eventually, however, more and more travelers started to flock to the area. This resulted in the establishment of high-class hotels, fine restaurants, as well as all-inclusive resorts. In addition, the boat dock opened up to cruise lines, which brought in a lot more travelers.
The 1990’s is a turning point in Playa del Carmen history. The city witnessed a substantial increase in population, earning it the title of the fastest growing Mexican city. With the ongoing development projects, Playa del Carmen has already attracted the international community. The city’s major avenue, La Quinta Avenida, is now full of restaurants and shops that international tourists truly enjoy. For the more affluent visitors, Playacar is the place to be.
In 2006, the Riviera Maya was a top international destination. Despite commercialization and modernization, the local government has tried to keep Playa del Carmen’s reputation as a tight charming fishing area, allowing travelers to have comfort and a fun-filled vacation.