The city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto was founded in 1850 by independent Maya during the Caste War of Yucatán under the name Chan Santa Cruz (see that article for the town's earlier history). After it was conquered by Mexican troops in 1901 it was renamed "Santa Cruz del Bravo" before acquiring its present name. The Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve lies just east of the city.
The municipality's population was 75,026 inhabitants, living on an area of 13,806 km² (5,330.5 sq mi). According to the 2010 census, the city had a population that is mostly of Maya descent. The city's population was 25,744 in 2010.