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CULTURE & HISTORY OF COZUMEL
Cozumel can mesmerize you with its turquoise waters and sandy beaches.
Soon you realize you are standing on sacred land, full of history, legends and traditions that go beyond its breath taking sunrises and sunsets. There is a reason why Cozumel was such an important place to the Mayan civilization and to began to understand this you cannot miss the museum, archeological ruins and all of the important sites that make the island such an incredible experience. Here is our list to get you started!
1. San Gervasio
San Gervasio is a unique archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the northern third of Cozumel. Its history, nature and strong energy will grab your attention once you take a step on this sacred land. We highly recommend you hire a guide, even if you usually don’t consider this option in any other occasion. This is a good time to make an exception.
Put on some comfortable shoes and be ready for an amazing 1.5-2 hours journey that will take you to the roots of Mayan civilization.
The ruins were once a hub of worship of the goddess Ixchel, a deity of childbirth, fertility, medicine, and weaving. Pre-Columbian Maya women would try to travel to San Gervasio and make offerings at least once in their lives. This tradition is still alive and supported by not only locals but also foreigners, coming to goddess Ixchel asking for help. Some of the stories that we’ve heard are pretty incredible.
The site is made up of various architectural ensembles linked by a network of white paths. Its main groups are called Manitas, Chichán Nah (“Small House”), El Álamo, Nohoch Nah (“Great House”), Murciélagos, Ka'na Nah (“High House”) and El Ramonal.
Archaeological works show that the pre-Hispanic settlement was founded around 300 AD, when it was a small settlement, although it was already the largest on the island.
From the year 1000, with the emergence of Chichén Itzá as the great political and economic center of the peninsula, the site was integrated into an increasingly intense economic network, which was to lead it to become the great city that was from 1200 AD During the late Postclassic (1200 - 1450 AD), most of the buildings that can be seen today were built, establishing a network of minor communities, dependent on San Gervasio and located throughout the island.
Make sure to schedule your visit for early morning to enjoy your experience the most. No reservation is needed.
Monday – Sunday 8AM – 3:45PM
Carretera Costera Sur Km. 9, zona Hotelera sur, 77600 San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R.