Rich in history and natural wonders
Popular destinations include ancient Mayan temples on the north side of the Island; the sanctuary to Ix- Chel -the fertility goddess- in San Gervasio and the Museum of the Island of Cozumel, with its colorful displays of underwater reefs and other Island treasures. At El Cedral, on the south side of the Island, the oldest Maya structure on Cozumel built in A.D. 800 can be found. Nearby a towering lighthouse at Punta Sur offers a 360-degree view of the Island.
Cozumel’s nature reserves and parks
Cozumel is habitat to many nature reserves: the Cozumel Marine Reef National Park, Chankanaab Park and Lagoon, and Punta Sur. Botanical gardens at Chankanaab Park display 350 different types of tropical plants from more than 20 countries.
Another attraction is the dolphin aquarium, treating visitors to a close-encounter with playful dolphins. Punta Sur is a new eco-tourist park for visitors interested in learning about the Island’s native flora and fauna. Encircling a region known as Colombia Lagoon, Punta Sur is a unique setting of mangrove jungles, white sandy beaches and reef formations.
The Park’s information center allows visitors to watch a 20-minute video and learn about different eco-systems, environment and native birds, turtles, alligators, fish and coral in the Park. At the information center, visitors can rent electric bikes to explore Punta Sur on their own. The only town on the Island is San Miguel, where two popular landmarks stand: the Plaza del Sol or zocalo (town square) and the downtown pier. Sundays are times for afternoon strolls, music and dancing.
Cozumel’s history at a glance
Downtown San Miguel the Museum displays Cozumel’s historical past and present in four exhibit halls through dioramas, sculptures, charts and more. Subtle lighting brings all to life.
Once a revered religious destination for the ancient Maya, Cozumel’s modern history began as a center for Prehispanic navigation and trade. With the arrival of Juan de Grijalva and Hernan Cortes in the 16th century, Cozumel was later used as shelter for pirates and a settlement for refugees fleeing from the War of Castes. Anecdotes and scenes of these periods are all on view.
Services: bilingual guides, shopping center, library, ocean view snack bar, Internet service and restrooms are available
Opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Av. Rafael E. Melgar by Streets 4 and 6 North.
Punta Sur, Cozumel’s ecological reserve
The Ecological Reserve, Punta Sur Park is located on southern tip of the island. The most important Ecotourist Project of the Cozumel Foundation of Parks and Museums. Punta Sur promotes rational and responsible administration of natural resources.
The Ecological Reserve Punta Sur Park encompasses an outstanding variety of natural landscapes. Extending for more than one hundred hectares, lagoon environment prevails with its coastal humid soil and mangrove jungles that are the setting of a mosaic of environments And coastal ecosystems.
The lagoon shelter is a very rich and wide variety of wild flora and fauna.
The marine part of the reserve includes areas where white sand beaches can be found as well as extraordinarily transparent waters. Along many reef formations an abundant and diverse fish swim at very close proximity to the beach.
The reserve site of the Colombia lagoon is in excellent ecological condition, thanks to the dedication of the Foundation. Our distinguished visitors will certainly enjoy the extraordinary diversity of this ecosystem. We wish you a very pleasant visit to the Ecological Reserve Punta Sur Park.
The reserve offers transportation through the park, kayacs, catamaran tour, museum and lighthouse, bilingual guides, snorkel rental, snack bar, handcrafts & souvenir stores, and restrooms.
Transportation: arrive by car, motorcycle or taxi.
Chankanaab Park a refuge for wildlife
Chankanaab Park is one of natures’ greatest treasures in Cozumel. Chankanaab was designated in 1980 as a National Park as well as a refuge area for protecting marine flora and fauna of the western coast of the Island of Cozumel.
Chankanaab lagoon whose meaning in Mayan language is “small sea” is a world-renowned ecosystem and natural aquarium. Ocean streams foster the growth of coral as well as the development of large communities of fish, mollusks and crustaceans. Its survival depends mostly on the constant flow of water through amazing under water caves.
The Botanical Garden entices you to listen to the song of the wind through the largest bamboo curtain on the Island, identify 60 different palm trees, admire water lilies and walk through a passage of orchids.
These are the perfect place for bird watching and enjoy the dinosaur like “iguana” lizards basking in the sun. Through small road within the tropical jungle you will see among other things 60 exact replicas of famous sculptures of the Mayan , Toltec and Aztec culture.