Port of call
No more than two miles from Playa Damas, the small town of Nombre de Dios, founded in 1510, is the first and oldest continuously inhabited European established settlement in the entire mainland continent of the Americas. Nombre de Dios was once a major port of call for the Spanish treasure fleet, and the most important shipping port of the New World between 1540 and 1580, from which shipments of South American gold and silver would regularly depart for Spain.
Christopher Columbus himself sailed along this coast in November of 1502, during his fourth voyage, and may have lost a small 50 ton caravel, the Vizcaína, near the bay of Nombre de Dios. It is this vessel which is thought to have been discovered in 1997, just a few feet from the Playa Damas shore, though it's size seems to indicate a larger vessel from around the same period. This discovery is not surprising, since Playa Damas' tranquil waters were well-known among European explorers, and provided a natural harbor right in the heart of the Spanish Main.