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Cozumel History
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Mexico Facts & Information

 Location Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the US and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the US
 Climate Varies from tropical to desert
 Terrain High rugged mountains, low coastal plains, high plateaus, and desert
 Population 106,202,903
 Nationality Mexican
 Ethnic groups Mestizo 60%, Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
 Religions Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%
 Languages Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
 Government Type Federal Republic
 Capital Mexico City
 Currency Mexican Peso (MXN)
 Description of Flag Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; the coat of arms (an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak) is centered in the white band
 Mexico Flag Mexico Flag

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Cozumel Culture

The people of Cozumel blend the tradition of Mexico with the soul of the Caribbean. The people are friendly and aim to make visitors feel welcome. One major cultural factor is their relaxed nature. Not much importance is placed on time as most appointments tend to start a half-hour later than the agreed upon time. When visiting, be sure to observe siesta (a time to rest between 1 and 4pm daily) so that you can extend your bed time and enjoy a later supper and

dance well into the early morning.

Cozumel has always been a center for trade and navigation, but ancient Mayans regarded the island as a very sacred place. You will see many Mayan remains all over the island depicting Ixchel, the deity of the moon, pregnancy and childbirth. During 600 – 1200 A.D. female Mayans from the mainland would make the dangerous pilgrimage to Cozumel via canoes to worship Ixchel at least once in their life.

Cozumel natives are still tied to their past and partake in traditional ceremonial dance and festivities. One such festival, Baile de las Cabezas de Cochino (Dance of the Pig’s Head), is over a century old and takes place every year from April – May 3. Dressed in traditional, brightly colored, hand-embroidered clothing, natives provide a pig as a sacrificial offering to God. The Mayan’s believe that God helped them win the War of the Castes in the 19th century and have been thanking him ever since.

There are many other popular festivals throughout the year that really combine the rich character and traditions of the Cozumel people with Catholic rituals. Two good examples are Carnival, the religious rites of Easter week and San Miguel in September.

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Cozumel Shopping

Most of Cozumel’s souvenir shops are along the coastal Avenida Rafael E. Melgar in San Miguel. Be aware that the malls at the cruise ship piers will be over-run by cruise ship passengers letting loose for the day. You will also find a collection of shops at Plaza del Sol and Vista del Mar, also along Avenida Rafael E. Melgar.

Serious divers will find the largest range of shops

catering to their underwater needs just below San Miguel as the Southwestern coast offer the island’s best coral reefs.

Unique souvenirs to bring home include a Yucatecan hammock, regarded to be the finest in the world, and honey made by bees only found in this region. Mexico is also known for its vanilla and amber in this area. While you will find the best deals on hammocks from street vendors and municipal markets, be sure to purchase amber from actual shops—vendors have been known to try to pass off plastic versions of the gem.

Cozumel also has good prices on Mexican silver and turquoise jewelry. To ensure that you are buying sterling silver, look for a "925" stamp on the item.

And avoid bringing home any items made of black coral. Not only an endangered species, but you may be barred from bringing it back to the United States and other countries.


Cozumel Restaurants
Read reviews for some of the best restaurants in Cozumel. You'll find the perfect restaurant for your vacation here. Choose a restaurant by cuisine type or visitor rating.


Cozumel Travel Guides
 Frommer's Cozumel
 Lonely Planet Cozumel
 Let's Go Cozumel
 Fodors Cozumel