One of the most emblematic, history-filled places in the Mexican Caribbean is the island of Cozumel. The name is derived from the Maya word Kuzumil, which means “Land of Swallows”, since swallows are a common sight in the region. Cozumel is thought to have been inhabited for some 2000 years, when the ancient Maya first settled there;
subsequently, in 1518, Juan de Grijalva became the first Spaniard to reach the island.
Apart from being Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, Cozumel is also known the world over as a cruise ship destination and as one of the leading scuba diving locations on the planet due to its numerous coral reefs.
Cozumel includes a number of interesting places to visit, along with a variety of fun-filled activities. These are some of the places and activities we recommend on your next visit to the island:
A majestic theme park where you can practice snorkeling and scuba diving, swim with dolphins, and get to know the island’s fascinating flora.
Tickets: $21 USD adults / $12 USD children ages 4 to 12.
San Gervasio Archaeological Site:
Well worth a visit, San Gervasio features Cozumel’s largest and best-preserved Mayan ruins against a jungle backdrop.
Tickets: $184 MX pesos.
In addition to boasting one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, El Mirador also features some of the most spectacular views in Cozumel and is an ideal place for taking iconic photos of your visit.
Tickets: $12 MX.
Known the world over for its spectacular reef and marine life, Palancar is synonymous with Cozumel and one of the finest places in the Mexican Caribbean for snorkeling, scuba diving and admiring starfish, among other marine species, in their habitat.
Cost: Access to the beach is free, and a snorkeling tour costs about $50 USD per person.
A 2,500-acre ecological park and natural reserve that also features two lighthouses, one dating back to pre-Hispanic times and known as “Templo del Caracol”; the other, Celarain Lighthouse, was built more recently.
Tickets: $10 USD adults / children under 8 free.
Pueblo del Maiz
An interactive pre-Hispanic village where you can delve into the lives and traditions of the Maya people and discover the importance of corn, cocoa, feather art and henequén or sisal fiber in the local economy.
Tickets: $15 USD per person.