Cozumel History

Cozumel IslandCozumel is the Maya name for the land of the swallows. Cozumel is the third biggest island in Mexico. It is located in the Caribbean sea, in front of Playa del Carmen, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) south of Cancun.

The first inhabitants of Cozumel were the Maya. San Gervasio is the most important ruins which remain on the island from that period. The temples were dedicated to Ix Chel, the goddess of fertility. For this reason, Cozumel was a high pilgrimage destination for women.

In 1518, the first Spaniard named Juan de Grijalva, arrived on the island, followed by Hernan Cortes the following year. At this time there were about 40,000 Mayans living on the island. In 1570, most of them had been disseminated by the smallpox. Cozumel remained almost deserted until the War of the Castes in 1848. At that time, refugees running away from the war settled in Cozumel.

In 1960, Jacques Cousteau discovered the Palancar reef, the second largest coral reef in the world. Scuba divers started to come to Cozumel, especially after a bigger airport was built at the end of the 70’s.

Scuba divers come from all over the world to discover the beauty of the Cozumel coral reef.

You can check this Wikipedia page regarding the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park