Template: Infobox Island / Maintenance / height missing
Cozumel is one of the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula barrier island. It is part of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
The flat and dense vegetation comprising island has a maximum north - south distance of 45.3 km and a maximum east - west distance of 16.6 km, with an area of 477.85 km ² is the third largest island of Mexico to Isla Tiburón and Isla Ángel de la Guarda. Population default, it is second only to the Isla del Carmen. It is located 15.8 kilometers from the mainland and is located approximately 60 km south of Cancun. Island's capital is San Miguel de Cozumel (about 90,000 inhabitants in 2003), where almost the entire population of Cozumel lives.
Who were the first settlers on Cozumel, today can not say exactly. The Maya left behind traces demonstrable long before the Spanish conquest. Thus, the island was already about 1000 AD, an economic and religious center of the region. She was sacred to the Maya and dedicated to the Moon goddess of fertility, Ixchel. The temples were attractions for pilgrims, especially for women who wanted children. According to the legends of the Maya built the islanders temple to the goddess Ixchel - this was as earth and moon goddess, patroness of water, the rainbow and the pregnant women. Then sent the goddess as a gesture of gratitude, the swallow, her favorite bird on the island. Therefore, the island now bears the name "Island of Swallows " ("The Iceland of the Swallows ").
The first Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva was the conquistador. He landed on Cozumel 1518 and named the island " Isla de Santa Cruz ". For Hernán Cortés, it was the first stop on his campaign of conquest against the Aztec Empire in 1519. On this island he met his later interpreters Gerónimo de Aguilar. He was stranded by a shipwreck on Yucatán, had learned the Mayan language and joined the expedition of Hernán Cortés.
At that time there were about 40,000 Maya on the island. They were almost completely wiped out later by the new arrivals of the Spaniards smallpox.
There are several ruins on the island. The largest Maya ruins on the island were blown up and leveled to build during the Second World War, a takeoff and landing strip for aircraft. The ruins of San Gervasio in the center of the island are the largest remaining ruins of the Maya.
In 2005, Cozumel was hit twice directly from hurricanes. On July 18, here met the Hurricane Emily as well as on 21 October, Hurricane Wilma on land.
Cozumel is a popular tourist destination and is particularly known for its excellent diving opportunities. Jacques Cousteau made the island known for diving with reports of highly suitable, extensive coral reefs in the 1960s. Since the construction of an airport end of the 1970s, and several piers in the 1990s, tourism has increased greatly. The sharp increase in cruise tourism from the United States today is one of the main pillars of the tourism industry.
Sport and Leisure
Since 2009 will be held annually in November in Cozumel Ironman Mexico. In this triathlon over the Ironman distance is 3.86 km swim, 180.2 km cycling to cope 42.195 km running for the athletes.