"An Island to see and Shop" Isla Cozumel by BruceDunning
Isla Cozumel Travel Guide: 577 reviews and 1,468 photos
The island is the third largest in Mexico; off the Yucatan coast and near Cancun. The island is 30 miles long by 10 miles wide, and 12 miles off the mainland coast. They have preserved nature vegetation in the east section. It first was used as a mecca by Mayan Indians who came here to worship the fertility goddess; Ix Chel, nearly 2,000 years ago, and became a famed placed for worshippers to travel hundreds of miles from inland. The island was discovered by Don Grijalva in 1518. Over the years, Mayans were enslaved and Spanish searched for gold and silver. The real travesty is that of the 40,000 indigenous Indians living there, only 40 survived after smallpox plague. They did rebel against the tyranny in 1848, but the fight was suppressed.
Today those items plus diamonds are in the shops. Cruise ships drop off here and thousands converge in town to shop.
Scenery is the splendor of the island, but also scuba diving and snorkeling made it famous 50 years ago, with Jacques Cousteau declaring its beauty. The coral is one of the better around, and many species of fish. There are still over a dozen main reefs for scuba. Boating, fishing, air gliding, and other sport activities are available, besides tours inland to see the vegetation.
The island vegetation, coral reefs, and some buildings were destroyed in 2005 from two hurricanes. Rebuilding began immediately and tourism again became the top goal, ready in a few months with new shops. Carnival pier was not completed until November, 2008
This is the main street, and shopping runs about 2 miles end to end, filled with shops of all types. The major tourism shops are on this main street, while the locals have "secondary shops one/two blocks off this. In summer is surely would get crowded with people and taxis.
There are 2 million tourists coming here annually, and that is not chump change. Many dollars are passed on for purchases. For well over a century pirates ruled form here, and visitations by Indians and others died back, so to speak. A first hotel was built for tourists in 1920's, but that flagged due to economic depression, and did not revive until 1950's
- Pros:A nice place to walk and shop for goods
- Cons:Too commercialized, and the locals are agressive
- In a nutshell:It is a place to come once to say you have been there
You can take a carriage ride down the main street and probably around the town a bit. The embarkation point is on Avenue... more travel advice
They have been there longer than us, so the survival of all the tourism keeps them alive today. I last went to one in... more travel advice
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