Cozumel is a islamexicana, the third largest and second most populous country. It is located southeast of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, about fifty miles from Cancun and is (together with inland enclaves Calica and Xel-Ha) one of the ten municipalities of the state of Quintana Roo.

The island is about 48 km from north to south and 14.8 km from east to west, making it the third largest island in Mexico after Shark Island in the state of Sonora and Isla Angel de la Guarda in Baja California. Located 20 km east of the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula, and 60 miles south of Cancun, has an area of ​​647.33 km ² compared with 1,208 km ² of Shark Island and 895 km ² of Isla Angel de la Guarda

Cozumel is also the easternmost point of Mexico, called.

Punta Molas.

Cozumel has a humid climate with abundant rainfall in summer and low in winter, with an average annual temperature greater than 18oC. Being surrounded by warm waters of the Caribbean or Caribbean Sea and the Yucatan channel current prevalence originate high pressures affecting the northern and northwestern peninsular, so in the summer gets enough cloudiness for the deposit of considerable rainfall. Likewise, Cozumel is constantly traversed by tropical waves that generate wind belts causing torrential rains mainly in the summer.


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   In the Classic Maya period, which lasted from 300 to 1200 AD, Cozumel was a thriving commercial and religious center. Cozumel was home to Ix Chel, the Maya Moon Goddess, leading many Mayan women who wanted to make the pilgrimage fertility of Tulum and Playa del Carmen to Cozumel in large canoes to worship in temples.

Within 70 years of the arrival of the Spanish in 1518, the native population had been virtually annihilated Cozumel, mainly because of smallpox. During the next 250 years, Cozumel was a way station or hideout for pirates like Henry Morgan and Jean Lafitte.

The Caste War of Yucatán led to the repopulation of Cozumel mid 19h century. But in the last 50 years has been tourism that has put Cozumel on the map.

Today, Cozumel's economy is based on tourism. Over 2.5 million visitors come each year to explore the beaches of Cozumel, reefs, Mayan ruins, and experience his Mexican atmosphere and pleasant.


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Maya Civilization in Cozumel


   The Maya believed that first settled 2,000 years ago in Cozumel. The island was named Cozumel - a Mayan word meaning "Land of the Swallow" - a cause of the riviera native birds that can be seen on the beaches of Cozumel and the coast.

From 300 to 900 AD, Cozumel was an important trading port and religious center. During this period, the priests were at the top of the social hierarchy, and life revolved around religious ceremonies.

The island was sacred to Ix Chel, the Maya Moon Goddess, and many women who want fertility Maya made the pilgrimage of Tulum and Playa del Carmen to Cozumel in large canoes to worship in temples. The remains of the altar and the ceremonial center of Ix Chel can be seen in the ruins of San Gervasio, located near the center of the island.

In 1200 AD, Cozumel had become an important port for entrepot trade throughout Central America. The goods were brought to the island, and then transfer to other regions.


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Discovery Spanish and Pirate Days


    In Santa Cruz de la Jornada, May 3, 1518, the Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva arrived on the coast of the island, after being blown off course during a trip to Cuba. He named the island "Isla de la Santa Cruz", or Santa Cruz Island, and claimed the land as the property of the king and queen of Spain.

Grijalva ordered his chaplin John Day to celebrate Mass in a temple on the island, which was held on May 6. This was the first Catholic ceremony held in Mexico. Upon his release, Grijalva left a golden statue as a gift to Mayan authorities of the island, this statue is now in the Cathedral of San Miguel in downtown San Miguel.Un year later, the famous conquistador Hernan Cortes landed in Cozumel, beginning a period of Spanish occupation of the island. While the Maya accepted Spanish rule more or less peacefully, this was the beginning of the end of their cultural heritage in Cozumel. Cortez not only order the destruction of many of the Mayan temples of the island, but intercoastal trade came to an end, and the cult of Ix Chel was prolonged suprimida.Un smallpox outbreak, which lasted from 1519 to 1570, decimated the population local, which was reduced from 40,000 to less than 30 during this period. In 1600, Cozumel was deshabitada.En the 17th century, pirates began using Cozumel as a safe haven. It is said that the English pirate Henry Morgan frequent Cozumel as a way station for his three decades of plunder. In the 19th century, French pirate Jean Lafitte Cozumel used as a hideout. But it was not until 1847 that permanent residents Cozumel recovered.


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Caste of War


   The year 1847 witnessed the beginning of the "Caste War", a major civil uprising in the Yucatan Peninsula. The war saw the Yucatec Mayan village south-east rebels against people of European origin, called the "Yucatan", who lived in the north-east.

The cause of the Caste War is traditionally believed to have been the execution of three Maya in Valladolid, Yucatan, for planning an uprising that may have been originally intended to be political and not a racial war. War seemed rooted in the defense of communal lands against the expansion of private property, and as a reaction to economic and political power and cultural intolerance of European Yucatan. The turmoil caused by the uprising led to the emigration of 51 families of the urban middle class and its 86 officers Yucatan Valladolid mestizos to Cozumel. They were joined later by 350 Mayan poor, coming from the outskirts of Valladolid, but he felt ideologically connected to the first group urbano.En wave Cozumel agricultural land is divided and distributed to new immigrants Yucateca , and the town of San Miguel was divided into lots for houses. In the second wave, the Maya were allotted agricultural land in and around the area of ​​The Cedral.En an interesting note, a plaque at the Museo Cozumel states that Abraham Lincoln came to purchasing the island of Cozumel as a place to send freed slaves from the United States. However, the caste war lasted for over 50 years, and this plan.Cozumel slipped Lincoln enjoyed a long period of prosperity, from this migration and continuing into the 20th century.

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Cozumel century XX


    The growing popularity of gum in the United States in the 20th century had an impact in Cozumel, as chicle, the main ingredient was harvested on the island by the Wrigley Company. However, when synthetic gum was developed, exports fell, and the island fell into economic depression.

Depression of the 1930s was felt in Cozumel, but events related to World War II helped to revive the economy of the island. The U.S. military established an airbase in Cozumel, which was used to hunt submarines in the Caribbean. The largest Maya ruins on the island were demolished to make way for the track.

Following a 1961 documentary by Jacques Cousteau, Cozumel won many fans around the world of divers who ranked one of the top five diving and snorkeling sites in the world. The diving is still one of the main attractions of Cozumel, mainly because communities healthy marine reef corals. These reefs are protected from the open sea by the island's natural geography.

In 1996, the Mexican government established the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, forbidding anyone from touching or removing any marine life within the park boundaries.

The development of a new international airport in the 1970s led to a boom in the tourism industry. During 1980 and 1990, new resorts and hotels were built, and a new deep water dock was built in the 1990s to accommodate a growing number of cruise ships heading to Cozumel. Cozumel has become the first destination in the western Caribbean cruises.

Hurricanes have wreaked havoc in Cozumel in recent years. In July 2005, Hurricane Emily hit Cozumel as a Category 4 storm, although surface winds were much less. There was sporadic damage to buildings around the island. In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma passed over the island, causing extensive damage. Wilma had winds of 140 mph and was moving very slowly - less than 5 mph. Hurricane winds hit the island for more than 24 hours.

The island has recovered and rebuilt, and new cruise facilities are brought online.


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Cozumel as of today


    Cozumel has flourished in its economy based on tourism and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Tourists are attracted by the mild climate of Cozumel, cool ocean breezes, crystal clear reefs and friendly people of the island.

In 1970, Cozumel had a population of 10,000. Today, the population has grown to more than 80,000 residents. Over 2.5 million visitors come each year to explore the beaches of Cozumel, reefs, Mayan ruins, and experience his Mexican atmosphere and pleasant.


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