Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen on the map of Mexico

Playa del Carmen is a city and a tourist center in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Playa del Carmen is located on Mexico's Caribbean coast, known as the Mayan Riviera, 70 km south of Cancun. It is east of Highway Carretera 307, halfway between Cancun and Tulum.

Playa del Carmen is considered the city with the highest population growth in Mexico. In 1970, lived only about 200 people, mostly fishermen, in the city. In 2005, a census showed a population of 100,383 people.

In Playa del Carmen you will find the Fährzubringer to the island of Cozumel.


In pre-Hispanic times was located on the site of today Playa del Carmen, the Mayan settlement Xaman Há, which belonged to the administrative region ECAC. During the 1527 started the first attempt of the Spaniards to conquer the Yucatán peninsula under the leadership of Francisco de Montejo his adjutant Alonso Dávila founded here the garrison Salamanca de Xaman Há, which had to be given up again the following year. Subsequent attempts to conquest of the peninsula have been made of the North coast. During the subsequent Spanish Colonial Era, the region remained virtually uninhabited to Playa del Carmen.

The history of modern Playa del Carmen began with the beginning of the 20th century, when the first families settled at this point. It is believed that the first inhabitants of Playas wanted to go the conflicts War of the box out of the way, or that it was renegade workers of the thriving at that time in the region chicle extraction. Playa remained until the 1960s, a small fishing village whose national significance is exhausted is to be the starting point for the ferry to Cozumel Island.

The establishment of Playa del Carmen by a colonization company chiclera the east coast of Yucatan, taken in 1908, the government of Porfirio Díaz grant to the forest resources was to explore

In the period following the development of tourism, which was accompanied with an exceptionally strong growth began. The official population in 1992 was still 10,594, in 2005 already 100,383. Unofficial projection for 2009 from a population of 162 425 from.

By 1993, Playa del Carmen belonged to the administrative district of Cozumel, which included extensive areas at that time in addition to the eponymous island on the mainland, which accounted for 91 % of the area. After the mainland territories acquired have their own importance due to their rapid development, the geographical distance of the administrative headquarters in San Miguel de Cozumel was perceived as problematic. Therefore, the mainland territory was declared an independent Municipio Solidaridad with the name with effect from 28 July 1993. Playa del Carmen as its largest city is the administrative center of the new district.


The economy of Playa del Carmen is based entirely on tourism. Playa is now part of the Riviera Maya concept, under which name the stretch of coast between Cancun and Tulum is marketed in the north to the south since 1999 as a tourist region. In addition to its own sandy beach Playas, the city also serves as a convenient base for excursions to nearby cenotes, archaeological sites such as Tulum and Coba and leisure facilities such as the Xcaret Eco Park.

Center of tourist life is parallel to the beach running Quinta Avenida, in which there are restaurants and souvenir shops line up. The hotels are concentrated adjacent to downtown to the south adjacent area Playacar, a privately-held territory in which many all -inclusive resorts have settled. According to the municipality of Solidaridad there in 2009 in the actual Playa 161 hotels with 5,785 rooms, while Playacar has 6,183 rooms in 23 hotels.

In October 2005, the development of tourism in Playa del Carmen suffered a temporary setback when Hurricane Wilma lingered two days in the area and severe damage left behind. In 2009, already under pressure due to the financial crisis tourism industry experienced as a result of outgoing of Mexico influenza pandemic of significant drops. In the summer of the year the number of visitors in the Riviera Maya were lower by more than 30 % over the previous year.


Playa del Carmen is one of the venues of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup in 2010.