Just twelve miles off the Yucatan coast lies the island paradise of Cozumel. Its waters so clear, its coral reefs so spectacular, famed marine biologist Jacques Cousteau called it the "best diving area in the world". Boasting the second largest barrier reef in the world (Palancar Reef), Cozumel draws divers, swimmers and snorkelers from around the globe. Add poured-sugar beaches to the crystalline water, mix in beautiful, serene resorts and you have the makings of a perfect vacation!
Cozumel has been a tourism hub for over a millennium. The ancient Mayans were required, at least once in their lifetime, to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Ixchel, the ancient goddess of fertility and the moon.
The temple ruins still stand at the archeological site of San Gervasio. Ecotourism at its best can be found here. Jungle and swampy lagoons, which are home to animals and birds that have never left the island, cover Cozumel's mostly undeveloped territory at the center of the island. Noteworthy is the Chankanaab National Park, a Cozumel icon, and the Punta Sur Ecological Reserve.
The huge protected area at the southern tip of the island includes Punta Celarain and its historical lighthouse, as well as the Colombia Lagoon, a shelter for many of the island's endemic species.
Travel to Cozumel in the early spring and experience Carnaval! Grandparents, adults, teenagers and children alike come together to participate in the harmonically colorful and musical explosion. Within the Mexican-Caribbean, here is the most popular and authentic Carnaval celebration, providing a more traditional and family-oriented event.
Together locals and visitors enjoy five days of fun that include parades, floats, traditional regional foods, music and dancing. The highlight of the festivities is the Comparsas Ball that features an incredible dance competition, not to be missed! There is only a four or five degree variance between winter and summer temperatures here, with winter highs in the mid 80's °F and summer highs around 90°F.