Cozumel Mayan ruins are some of the most important and historically significant in all of Mexico, in spite of the fact that they are not located on the mainland. Many of the ruins in Cozumel date back more than 2,000 years. Although this island destination in the Caribbean is known almost exclusively for sandy beaches, coral reefs, and scuba diving, if you are traveling to Cozumel, you will not regret exploring these most compelling ruins for an afternoon. After visiting places like San Gervasio and El Cedral, you may discover that you want to return for more than just an afternoon. The guided tours whose guides explicate the history of the ruins and the historical significance of the Mayan people tend to engage a lot of people and excite them enough to return to do some exploring on their own.
San Gervasio ranks, in terms of significance to the Mayan people, high on the list of sacred sights along with places such as Tulum and Chichen Itza. San Gervasio is the sight of the temple built in honor of the deity X’cel, the Mayan goddess of fertility and rain. It was an honored custom in the Mayan culture for every woman to make the pilgrimage to Cozumel (no matter where they were from on the mainland) to implore X’cel to give her fertility and provide sustained fertility for her family’s land. Many of the engravings at San Gervasio provide insight into just how important a cultural, spiritual, and political center this place in fact was.
El Cedral is another one of the most popular Cozumel Mayan ruins sites. It was at one time the center of Mexican culture on the island of Cozumel but not much evidence remains of its daily happenings. History does tell us that after the Spanish Conquest the first mass was held at the church for which these ruins in Cozumel are named. El Cedral was first discovered in 1518 by Spanish explorers. It had not been inhabited or maintained since the time of the Mayans.
Castillo Real is a Mayan watchtower located on the northeastern part of Cozumel. Tulum was an important site where the Mayans used watchtowers to spot approaching enemies attacking by sea. So too was Castillo Real used as a defensive, and strategic stronghold by the Mayans on the island. The Cozumel Mayan ruins here tell the story of battles on the sea and a long history of warriors defending their people.
The ruins in Cozumel are the some of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico. If you are traveling to Cozumel you should definitely consider spending some time learning about what makes the enigmatic Mayan people so special. Exploring the ruins and listening to the stories also gives you a unique insight into the fact that Mayan culture is alive and well in Cozumel and other parts of Mexico to this very day. Scuba diving, snorkeling, sterling silver, and luxury resorts are all awesome parts of any vacation to Cozumel. Taking a tour of the Cozumel Mayan ruins is a nice diversion and one that may engage your curiosity more than you think. The Mayans were after all using techniques and accomplishing feats in mathematics, astronomy, and physics that could not be replicated today given the tools and resources they had at the time.