Cozumel Mexico Vacation Guide

Casa Colonial presents

Cozumel Mexico; History, from past to present.


Cozumel Mexico was first settled by the Maya some 2000 years ago during the classic period between 300 and 900 AC. The predominant settlements were located around religious centers San Gervasio and El Cedral. The Name Cozumel was given to it by the Spaniards; however its origin is derived from the words Cuzam (meaning Swallow) and Lumil (meaning land of). This is why the combination of the words “Cuzamil” is translated from the Mayan language as “Land of the Swallows”. It is no wonder that the Mayans gave Cozumel this name because every year around April and May during their migration period, Swallows can be seen in great numbers flying overhead.

Mayan Trade
It became an important seaport for Mayan trade because it was well positioned in the middle of routes to and from Honduras and Veracruz. In addition, Cozumel history began as a pilgrimage site; the shrines of Ixchel, goddess of fertility, drew worshippers from all over the Mayan empire. The site of this worshiping was what is now the San Gervasio ruins, located on the transversal road going east on the island. Another archeological site which defines Cozumel history, is El Cedral. El Cedral is located on the southeast interior of the island.

Although initial attempts by the Spanish to settle the Yucatan Peninsula failed due to the resistance of the Mayas, in 1518, JuanJuan de Grijalva attempted to change Cozumel Grijalva landed on Cozumel Island with four ships bound for Cuba. Grijalva didn't have much impact on Cozumel history but was followed by Hernán Cortéz one year later, marking the beginning of a bitter Hernan Cortezstruggle for control of the peninsula between the Spanish and the Mayas. Cortéz and his men destroyed many of the Mayan temples on Cozumel; after he departed the island to further explore the peninsula, a smallpox epidemic broke out and Cozumel's population fell to less than 300 people by 1570. By the year 1600, Cozumel was completely abandoned.

In the 17th century, pirates took advantage of Cozumel's isolation and used it as a base for operations. The most notable of Cozumel's pirates was American pirate Jean Lafitte. The island was not re-inhabited until 1848, when settlers from the mainland sought refuge there from the Caste War, a fierce war that broke out when the Mayas decided to avenge the wrongs inflicted on them and their lands by the Spanish. In the end, the white settlers prevailed. And so it still remains a part of Cozumel history.

Blackbeard, was also a part of Cozumel history.Cozumel remained a quiet little fishing community until 1961, when French explorer Jacques Cousteau proclaimed the area's waters one of the most spectacular scuba diving sites in the world. The island became a divers' haven and eventually, a cruise ship port-of-call. Today, Cozumel has evolved into a tourist destination popular even with people who don't scuba dive. It is overshadowed by nearby Cancun in terms of grandiose development, but that fact suits most of its visitors just fine.

Cozumel remained a quiet little fishing community until discovered by the tourism industry in the '60s.

Today Cozumel Island, Mexico is a destination vacation spot for millions of visitors annually. Come to our island and see why it has stood the test of time and is more then ever the gem of the "Mayan Riviera".

It is no small wonder that today's Cozumel has evolved into a world class tourist destination. The rich history of its native people and culture, combined with the natural beauty which is evident in the pristine beaches, crystal clear azure seas, a vast variety of shopping alternatives as well as night time activities make this island paradise truly amazing.Jacques Cousteau.

Today Cozumel history begins anew!If you have never been to the island before, you must as the ancient Mayans did; make it a must do during some point in your life. If you are a frequent visitor then you already know the magic and splendor which this magnificent work of mother nature has to offer.

I hope that you have enjoyed this brief overview of the history of our Island. Make sure to click on the pictures above to get more detailed information about the significant individuals who had the greatest impact on the islands history.

Here are a few links that will be on interest to anyone who wants to know what the best things to do around the island are as well as general information that you will need while planning your next vacation to Cozumel., all rights reserved