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COZUMEL

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On the ground or under the water. The magic and charm of Cozumel is everywhere: on the narrow streets of San Jose, at its centre populated by a traditional spirit, in its buildings and on the Mayan roads impregnated with history, at its numerous and implacable coral reefs, and in its fabulous marine reserves where life manifests itself in the most diverse forms.

The main attractions are:

- San Miguel: It is the urban heart of Cozumel and it keeps the traditional spirit of the coastal towns. Amongst its attractions, the Plaza of the Sun or Zocalo and its crowded seaside promenade, which extends parallel to the Rafael Melgar Road, the Main Street in town, stand out.

The town is located on the western part of the island. Here are most of the hotels, restaurants, jewellery stores, craftsmanship and other commercial establishments of Cozumel.

- The Cedral: Word says it is the most ancient architectonic structure in Cozumel. It is dated in the year 800 D.C. and, according to some investigators, it was the first Mayan temple known by the Spaniards when they arrived at the island in 1518.

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    It is in the middle of the farming area, between the 17 and 18 kilometre signposts of the Sur Highway.

    -San Gervasio: It is the largest and most important Mayan complex of the island. It has 6 architectonic units that might have been temples and public palaces, which were interconnected by the sacbeob or the Mayan roads.

    It has a three kilometre extension and 508 structures for domestic use, where Las Manitas (The Little Hands, baptized after the numerous handprints stamped on its interior walls), The Alamo, The Murals, The Palace, The Ossuary and The Pillars, main buildings and temples of this Mayan city, stand out.
    It is believed that during the Classical Period (300 to 900 D.C.), when the priests had much influence in the Mayan world, Cozumel was one of the most important religious centres of the region, perhaps for being the home of the goddess of fertility, a condition that remained until 1518, the year in which the Spaniards led by Juan de Grijalva disembarked on the island.

    The original name of the complex has not been determined so far. But the name of San Gervasio was imposed in the XX century for it was located on the lands of a rancher named Gervasio.
    It is located seven kilometres east of San Miguel de Cozumel.

    - Museum of the Island of Cozumel: Its four halls are a must for visitors, showing through dioramas, sculptures, maps and other elements of great cultural value, the historic evolution of the island from the beginnings of the Mayan civilization up to our days, besides the multiple varieties of its flora and fauna.

    Its room of photographs, its windows showing samples of corals, as well as the replica of a traditional Mayan house, are of great interest. The site of the museum is a XIX century building, located at the Rafael Melgar Avenue, between the 4 and 6 North streets.

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