The name of the island derives from the Mayan word Cusamil (“Cusam” means swallow and “lumil” means “land”) "Land of Swallows". Its 30 miles from north to south and 10 miles from east to west make it the second biggest island in the country.
This island is covered by jungle vegetation, surrounded by rocky coasts interrupted by beaches, lagoons and mangroves. An important set of coral reefs belonging to the second largest reef barrier in the World is found in Cozumel, natural reserves of great ecological value have been established as Reef National Marine Park of Cozumel and Chankanaab Natural Park, areas that have attracted the attention of researchers and scientists such as Jacques Cousteau.
Cozumel is worldly known for being a prime scuba-diving destination, but for Mexico it means a lot more. Its historic, cultural, economic, ecological and recreational meanings are vast and very significant.
This land and its people have been through many issues since the Spaniards arrived here. They brought diseases, other religious ideas, other cultural practices, they destroyed many temples, and reduced the population drastically; leaving the island almost deserted which attracted smugglers and pirates.
After World War II the Island started its career in tourism, when Jacques Cousteau discovered the beautiful world that lives under the sea. Since then, Cozumel has gained more and more importance in all aspects. Economy derives directly from tourism, which makes the Island live day and night, and which impulses its growth in every way.
The people of Cozumel are warmhearted, with a rich cultural and historical baggage, and a Caribbean sparkle in their eyes.