For a moment of peace and quiet, to be in touch with yourself, with nature or your loved ones…
DISCOVER: COZUMEL ISLAND
Cozumel is the largest island of the Mexican Caribbean and the destination with the most historical attributes in the region: A deep Mayan heritage prevails as it was home of Ixchel Goddess of fertility, the moon, and the weaving.
Cozumel means Land of Swallows in Mayan Language (Cuzam: swallow, Luumil: place), It was an important spot during the Spanish conquest and the place of the 1st Catholic Mass hosted in Mexican Territory on May 6th, 1618.
Also the first geographical location in Mexico to receive the sun rays each day; it has been a strategic site for its privileged location in America and one of the top sites to visit in the Caribbean.
There is something for every taste: be in contact with nature, swim with all types of colored fish, and witness the representation of the Ixchel ritual, bike ride along the coast, make an Ironman and more.
“It is a place to explore in days that will conquer you for life
Cozumel is part of the second largest Barrier Coral Reef in the world, formed by 26 reef-protected areas within The Mesoamerican Reef.
In 1996 it was decreed a Natural Protected area called Cozumel’s Reefs National Park.
Cozumel ´s reef is comprised of 1,192 species: algae, corals fish, echinoderms, sponges and others that are unique to this area of the Mexican Caribbean.
The transparency of the water makes snorkeling and diving experience a dream with water visibility of more than 200 feet year round.
The transparency of the water makes the diving experience a dream: at the bottom you´ll run into pure white sand that wonderfully reflects the sun´s light, a great variety of corals to explore: from shallow reefs perfect for beginners training (Palancar garden), medium ones (Santa Rosa, Paso del Cedral, La Francesa, Punta Dalila, Cañones, Yucab, Punta Tunich, San Francisco), and deep ones for experienced divers ( Playa Bosh, El Mirador, Punta Chiqueros, Chen Rio, Punta Morena, Los Atolones, Punta Molas).
From any part of the island that you decide to head into the ocean, in less than half an hour of traveling by boat, you´ll reach brilliant reefs. For swimming and snorkeling we recommend Chankanaab, Dzul Ha and La Pasion.
Cozumel is an area with incomparable biodiversity. Its protected areas add up to 185,000 hectares; it is the place with more protected area in relation to its territory in the whole country. About 40% of Quintana Roo´s flora is in Cozumel, having 542 species. It is completely surrounded by mangrove, of which there are 4 kinds, the endangered palm Nacax is also inside its limits.
Cozumel Island has unique environmental characteristics that make it a sanctuary for many species. Cozumel has 70% of its territory is protected. Punta Sur Ecotoursitic Park: one thousand hectares rich in mangroves, reefs, lagoons, and a museum dedicated to navigation. Snorkeling also available.
Molas Point Light House is located on the northern part of the island, built on 1900, a magic and secluded spot rarely seen in Cozumel.
Cozumel is a sanctuary for sea turtles and you can enjoy their life circle on the east side of the island.
An unforgettable experience is to watch the turtles arrive in the summer to lay eggs. The turtle-nesting season goes from April through July and the turtle hatchling goes from August through October.
Among its endemic land species, you can find the pigmy raccoon and the coati. A variety of reptiles also exists on the island, such as the iguana and the crocodile, as well as a great variety of amphibians such as the colorful tree toads.
Migratory birds such as the magnificent frigate, the dun pelican and cormorants also visit the island.
Cozumel receives more than 80 different species of migratory birds: American redstart, flamboyant ovenbird, little zebra, yellow throat ovenbird, pink spatula, Candian ducks, Ibis, among many others. It is best to observe them between October and March.
The rest of the year you can observe other species like the Cuitlacoche Cozumeleño, emerald hummingbird and hocopheasant; trees are covered by them as well as brown pelicans and frigate birds.
The best way for a bird-watching trip is to go to Montecristo Lagoon early in the morning with a small boat or kayak and wait for an amazing show. Ask for bird watching trips at your hotel.
There is always a million reasons to return to Cozumel.
Cozumel is famous for its diving and snorkeling, but there is much more, great variety of activities such as: paddle stand up, kiteboarding, flyboarding, yoga, kayaking, fishing, biking, trailing, parasailing, horse riding and more.
One important aspect converted in an excellent triathlon center, Cozumel has hosted Ironman events since 2009: Race routes that go through unforgettable turquoise landscapes, a great local community and world-class events, make the perfect match.
One of the largest bike trails by the ocean is locates in Cozumel, perfect for a scenic journey or for an inspiring training session. The good weather, security and the good quality of life have turned the Island a favorite spot for athletes’ training. Cozumel host important sports competitions and some hotels organize training camps for participants who want to prepare for those one.
Many reasons have contributed in naming Cozumel “Sports Island of Mexico”, among them the clearness of the water, the security of the island, the variety of species, the privileged weather and location, and the interest in athletes from all over the world to train on its territory
Cozumel is a place with fascinating history and Mayan influence which is still alive. Throughout history, Cozumel has been a strategic and iconic place dating back to the Mayan culture. It was also an important commercial entry site for Spaniards, they carried out several expeditions during the Conquer period, encountering a place that in many aspects had higher knowledge than the European: Mayans back then had their own writing system, astronomical, mathematical, medical, and architectural, among much more knowledge On the second half on the past century, traditional economical activities underwent a crisis due to natural factors and the mostly because depression after World War II, with this problem behind the option was tourism, and the true pioneer of this activity was Ilya Chamberlain, promoter of the first tourist hotel in 1960, Maya Luum, several followed.
The tradition of hospitality in Cozumel did not originate in our time with modern tourism. It began hundreds of years ago; Cozumel was the sanctuary of “Ix-chel”, the Mayan goddess of fertility, the moon and the weaving, among other attributes. In addition to this, she determined men and women´s fate, their vital and reproductive cycle, plus having the power of destruction through storms and hurricanes.
Ix-chel made the Island a sacred place by sending her favorite birds: the swallows. The union of two words in Mayan language, Cuzam (swallow) and luumil (place) gave the name to Cozumel: the Island of the swallows
For over a thousand years, Cozumel was one of the most important sanctuaries on the Yucatan Peninsula, and women born within the Mayan tradition must visit at least once in their lifetime the Ix-chel’s temple in order to purify their bodies and spirit and later on, become mothers.
Cozumel was a major destination for religious pilgrimages and important point where merchants and travelers arrived to tribute Ix-chel.
Nowadays at the end of May, the Sacred Mayan Journey takes place in which the ancient traditions are recreated and where participants cross by canoes the Caribbean Sea towards Cozumel to adore goddess Ix Chel
Also, Cozumel Island was place of the 1st Catholic Mass in Mexican territory hosted on May 6th, 1518.
In 1847 after the Caste War, were founded El Cedral town and now is part of oldest traditions in Cozumel that include religious rites called Cedral Celebrations and Santa Cruz Festival, where can enjoy dancing, music, regional food and more.
The carnival of Cozumel is another huge tradition passed from generation to generation worth experiencing; for a whole week local and visitors come together flashing colors and costumes in an amazing fiesta