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Cozumel is a captivating tourist destination with a distinctive charm, a Mexican heart and a Caribbean soul. It is a paradise where traditions, flavors, happiness and friendliness all blend together. With its beautiful beaches and amazing sunsets, it is the ideal place for either romance, or for spending a wonderful time with family.
Cozumel receives a steady flow of tourists on a daily basis, due to the fact that it is one of the busiest ports for cruise ships in Mexico. It is also renowned as a fantastic place for diving, which is just one of a great number of activities to be enjoyed when you visit this island, since its calm turquoise waters are home to the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, is famous worldwide for its coral reefs, as well as for offering a large variety of water sports, such as diving, sport fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and many more. Most of the virgin territory in the middle of the island is covered by jungle and lagoons, which are the homes of little mammals and birds that have always inhabited the island. Cozumel's only town, San Miguel, stands on the western side of the island and is home to most of the hotels. Visitors can choose between full-service hotels and all-inclusive resorts or rustic oceanfront villas and beachside bungalows.
Cozumel is a haven for lovers of nature, romantics, water sports enthusiasts, families who like to interact with nature and avid golfers. Your vacation on Cozumel can include a combination of the best Mexico has to offer, such as friendly people, affordable prices, great dining and shopping, cultural sightseeing and prestigious jewelry and perfume shops, with the allure of vacationing on a tropical Caribbean island.
Cozumel was considered by ancient Mayans to be the home of Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. Each year between May 30th and June 1st, the Sacred Mayan Crossing is held here. The participants start out from Xcaret in wooden canoes and paddle across to the San Gervasio's archeological site, in order to worship Ixchel.
Cozumel's Beaches and Beyond
The island is covered by lush vegetation and surrounded by a rocky coastline, interrupted only by ivory colored beaches, stunningly beautiful lagoons, and dense mangroves. The warm turquoise waters of Cozumel are incredibly clear and they shelter the second largest reef system in the world. It is known as the Mayan Reef and it's full of chalky stone, tunnels and unusual black coral. The variety of marine biodiversity attracts scientists and the most famous divers in the world, including the likes of Jacques Cousteau. The Marine National Park of Reefs in Cozumel and the Chankanaab Park, are both places where diving and eco-touristic activities can be enjoyed simultaneously.
Snorkeling is the second most popular activity on the island. For novices, there is no need to swim far or take a boat trip to take advantage of the reef. Great snorkeling opportunities await just meters from the beach.
Whilst on your vacation you can enjoy swimming, fishing, windsurfing, and parasailing. The west coast of Cozumel boasts long stretches of white-sand beaches lapped by the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Popular spots include Playa San Francisco, Chankanaab and Colombia Lagoons, Palancar Reef, and Playa San Juan. Cozumel is not just about the beaches, there is also horseback riding, tennis, golf, and hiking available.
If you are looking for a more cultural experience, then you should consider visiting San Gervasio, which was one of the main sacred sites of the Mayan civilization. The Museum of the Island of Cozumel is another very interesting attraction, offering geographical information about the region. And finally a trip to ''Discover Mexico'' should not be missed. Here you can really get to know and understand Mexican culture and traditions by discovering the most representative lifestyles and handicrafts of Mexico's long illustrious history.
San Miguel de Cozumel, the capital of the island, is a peaceful old village with a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea and the picturesque style of a charming Mexican town, however, its provincial atmosphere doesn't make it any less modern or accommodating than any other beach destination. In the evenings, if you visit downtown you will have the opportunity to appreciate sites and monuments that really make the island unique, such as the Diver's Monument, the Mixed Races Monument, the Monument of Two Cultures, the Museum of the Island, San Miguel church, the Flag flying over the esplanade, and the Public Clock in Juarez Park, all of them framed by a spectacular array of fiery oranges and reds as the sun slowly sets into the Caribbean Sea.
In the Main Square, you can attend a whole host of daily cultural events, where local people and tourists have the chance to interact and celebrate the wonderful cultural history of the island.
In the area of the Main Square you can also buy that 'special' souvenir, made by the caring hands of a true Mexican artisan. Genuine silver and gold pieces adorned with precious and semi-precious stones, as well as watches and fine perfumes in the duty free zone, are all readily available. You can also try the delicious culinary delights on offer in the many downtown restaurants and cafes, ranging from authentic Mexican cuisine to the freshest seafood you've ever sampled.