San Gervasio

Visiting San Gervasio is a delightful way to mix relaxing and Mayan history; for instance, travelers can combine a beach vacation with exploring some Mayan ruins at San Gervasio. Located at the center of the island Cozumel, just off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula, the San Gervasio ruins are an attraction for both their archaeological significance and their wildlife; visitors commonly see iguanas more than four feet in length during a trip to these Mayan ruins.

This site was once a place of pilgrimage for Mayan people to make offerings to the Mayan fertility goddess, and unlike other Mayan lands, scholars think that San Gervasio was most likely abandoned before the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. Reasons for this are debatable, but it is possible that disease drove inhabitants away from the island. Another theory is that with the arrival of Christianity, a place with religious significance became less important. Visiting these Mayan ruins at San Gervasio, which are open daily from 7 am until 4 pm, will let you make your own conclusions.

One interesting fact about San Gervasio is that it has an unusually long history. Historians estimate that the island has roots as far back as 100 BC and continued through the early sixteenth century. Visitors today love the bright colored flowers and Iguanas who don’t seem to fear humans one bit. The beauty of the island makes it easy to believe that the San Gervasio ruins were once a place of religious importance.

One of the most popular features of the Mayan ruins in Cozumel is the Temple of the Hands. Inside, colorful red handprints are painted on the wall. The significance of this is debatable, but it reminds many visitors of an ancient day-care center, as they say. While the island of Cozumel is known for its bustle, the ruins have more of a retreat feel. Take a step back in time and see the ancient temples, arches, and altars that make this archaeological site so popular.

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