Cozumel, an Island in the Caribbean Sea just off Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, translates from the traditional Mayan language as the Island of Swallows, after Goddess Ixchel, who sent her favourite bird as a gesture of gratitude to the locals who built temples in her honour. Today Mayan ruins are scattered over the island but the reason to visit this tropical paradise are the white-sandy beaches and the crystal clear waters. The main town on the island is San Miguel where most of the population reside.
There are three different pier locations. Punta Langosta is located downtown. The International Pier is about a 10-minute taxi ride south of town and the third pier, Puerto Maya is just beyond the International Pier. On occasions, some ships will drop anchor and tender into the Punta Langosta pier.
Sights to See
With dive shops galore in San Miguel, it's easy to arrange a scuba diving trip to admire the incredible array of underwater life, including 200 species of tropical fish just waiting for a chat. Alternatively, you might like to swim with dolphins in the Chankanaab National Park, a conservation area created to protect unique flora and fauna. For a 360 degree view of the island, head to Punta Sur and climb the Celarain lighthouse.
What's for Lunch
With more than 90 restaurants to choose from in San Miguel you're sure to find something that suits your taste and budget.
If you see only one thing...
A glass bottom boat tour is the perfect way to gaze at sea creatures playing in the reefs without getting wet.
Considering the main pastime on the island, you might find this phrase helpful, Vamos a ir a bucear.
There's a lot of hype about buying silver on Cozumel. You need to be ultra cautious that you're buying the real deal though.