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 Ciudad del Carmen City Guide and Directory

Ciudad del Carmen is an island-city located on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Campeche which is part of the Yucatan Peninsula .

The city is often affectionately called "The Pearl of the Gulf". The city has an interesting history having served as a trading location for the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the city was occupied by pirates who launched their attacks against Spanish galleons from this location. The pirates were finally defeated in the year 1717 and the city received its namesake at this time. Named in honor of the Virgin of Carmen, the city's inhabitants celebrate each July toward the end of the month with cultural and religious festivals in honor of their patron saint.

The city remained a small fishing village until oil was discovered off its coast in the 1970's. Since that time the city has grown enormously. The economic boom brought about by the oil discovery has attracted many workers to this city from all parts of Mexico as well as the world. As a result, there is a large international community that resides here. The fishing industry remains prosperous and many inhabitants work in this industry as well.

Highlights: Ciudad del Carmen bears the distinction of having some of the best seafood in all of Mexico. There is a small archaeological museum showcasing Mayan ceramics that can be visited in the Liceo Carmelita. Another stop to consider is to visit the cathedral of La Virgen del Carmen which houses beautiful stained glass windows. The Plaza Principal is located near the waterfront and offers a nice bit of greenery to relax and enjoy free band concerts on Thursday and Sunday evenings.

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