Situated just offshore from Playa del Carmen in the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean Sea,the island of Cozumel continues to emerge as one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations. Recently,tourism to the island and interest in Cozumel real estate has been on the rise,prompting USA Today to run a special feature on this Caribbean jewel.
“With a history of tourism stretching back more than a millennium,Cozumel is an old pro at entertaining,” writes USA Today. “The island offers outstanding snorkeling and diving,wide sandy beaches,adventurous attractions and even some genuine – if diminutive – Maya temples.”
In addition,Cozumel’s main town,San Miguel,boasts an impressive array of restaurants,bars and souvenir shops,along with three massive cruise ship piers that are situated within easy walking distance of downtown. The island’s ancient temples are dedicated to the Mayan goddess Ix Chel and were erected to serve as sacred sites for rituals that were performed when natives made their annual pilgrimage here to ask for her blessing.
Separated from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by just a narrow channel of water,Cozumel offers visitors some of the best diving in the entire world,thanks to its location near the world’s second largest barrier reef. In addition,taxis are abundant here,making it easy to explore on land as well. Be sure to check out the San Gervasio Maya site and also make time to hit up the eastern side’s many beer and taco stands. Of course,Cozumel also has fabulous beaches,where visitors can swim,kayak,sunbathe,play volleyball or relax poolside.
The Mercado in San Miguel offers a variety of handmade crafts from Mexico’s culturally diverse interior,including black Oaxacan pottery,glassware,folk art,leather goods and handmade silver jewelry. In addition,there are a variety of high-end international stores around the waterfront’s Plaza del Sol and plenty of stalls where the delectable aroma of authentic Mexican food is sure to tempt your taste buds.
In other news,Royal Caribbean International and the city of Cozumel are enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship,contributing to make the island one of the most popular destinations among cruise ship travelers. And finally,the Cozumel Tourism Department has announced a new smartphone app and a variety of progressive summer initiatives that are designed to make getting around the island easier than ever. This includes stocking kiosks throughout nearby Playa del Carmen with more than 20,000 maps and brochures,as well as sponsoring the new app,which features maps,business directories and a virtual tour of the island that is available for download by both iPhone and Android users.