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Cozumel Travel Guide

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The beautiful island of Cozumel, the largest inhabited island in Mexico, is a paradise for divers from all over the world. The island is surrounded by more than 25 reef formations where divers of all ages and skills can enter into a completely fascinating and different world: endless coral inhabited by immense shoals of colorful fish. The possibilities are interminable for both beginners and experts. Cozumel Hotels

East of the Yucatan Peninsula, on top of the age-old structures of the Mayan coral reef, the second largest in the world, stands the Island of Cozumel. Its name, derived from the word Cuzamil, meaning “island of swallows” in Maya, conjures up memories of its pre-Hispanic origin, the conquest of America and the pirates and buccaneers that thronged its seas.

The Island of Cozumel measures 48 km from north to south but only 16 from east to west. On either side of the island, beaches form a long, white sandy coast. Gentle waves and transparent waters wash the western side of the island, while huge waves crash against the eastern side. Its flora and fauna have a number of unusual features and include certain endemic species, such as the dwarf raccoon and the Cozumel wren. Cozumel’s greatest wealth, however, lies underwater.

How to get to Cozumel Island?
There is a small international airport on Cozumel and there several airlines that provide direct flights to the island, you can fly directly into Cozumel, or take the ferry from Playa del Carmen. If you are in Cancun you could take a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and get the ferry to the island.
The Ferry ride time from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel is 25 minutes, with continuous departures from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

A bit of History
Before the arrival of the conquerors, the island was a major commercial and ceremonial center. During the colonial era, it was largely uninhabited, except for sporadic stays by pirates and turtle hunters. In the mid-19th century, groups of settlers arrived from the Yucatan Peninsula, fleeing the War of the Castes. The following years saw the development of the chicle extraction business on the mainland and Cozumel became a center for collecting and subsequently exporting this gum. Jacques Cousteau’s declarations in 1960 about the richness of the coral reef surrounding the island made underwater enthusiasts aware of Cozumel’s existence.

San Miguel de Cozumel, the capital of the island, is a peaceful old village, with all the charm of the Mexican Caribbean. The quality of its gastronomy, based on its excellent seafood, is legendary throughout the region. Its provincial air does not make it any less comfortable or modern. Its days are sunny and full of unforgettable experiences, while its nights are ideal for those who enjoy discotheques and bars. A wide range of accommodation is available, from deluxe hotels, to small, inexpensive hostels. Cozumel Attractions, Info and Reservations

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