2010 Legends Special - Cozumel
2010 International Legends Of Diving
Cozumel Fact Sheet - April 12-19, 2010
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the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, is situated near the
eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana
Roo. The island is approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide.
coast of Cozumel features long stretches powered white-sand beaches
overlooking calm, clear waters. Popular spots include Playa San
Francisco, Playa Mia, Palancar, Paradise, Carlos n’ Charlie’s and Mr.
Sancho´s. The shoreline on the east side of the island offers a mix of
white-powder beaches and rock-strewn shorelines. The seas often produce
strong waves and undertows. Popular spots such as Punta Morena, Punta
Chiquero, Playa Bonita and Chen Rio are generally less crowded than the
beaches on the west end of the island.
average daily air temperature in Cozumel is 80 degrees. In July and
August, the highs range from the upper 80’s to the low 90’s. In December
and January, the daytime temperatures average in the mid-70’s.
derives its name from the Maya Indians who settled the island
approximately 2,000 years ago. According to Maya legend, Cozumel was the
home of the goddess Ixchel, devoted to love and fertility. Religious
temples were dedicated to the goddess and in return she sent her
favorite bird – the swallow -- as a sign of gratitude. For this reason,
the Maya named the island “The Land of the Swallows.”
Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva first visited the island in 1518. A
year later, Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes, arrived and destroyed
many of the Maya temples. By the time Cortes departed, the Maya
civilization lay in ruins.
Between 1519 and 1570, an outbreak of small pox ravaged Cozumel, killing
thousands of people and leaving the island nearly desolate. The island
was resettled in 1848 by Indians of Maya descent fleeing the mainland
during the “War of the Castes,” a struggle to regain their original
lands. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 – 1917 triggered land reforms and
eventually led to freedom for the “islenos,” the native population of
Cozumel. By 1970, Cozumel’s population had grown to 10,000. Today, the
population is more than 75,000.
There are numerous daily domestic and international flights into
Cozumel. Direct flights from the United States are currently available
from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Miami.
Ferry –“Mexico Water Jets” and Ultramar ferries passengers back and
forth between Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan peninsula and Cozumel. The
ferry operates continuously every hour, and the crossing takes
approximately 35 minutes. A car ferry is also available and departs from
Calica, which is five minutes away from Playa Del Carmen. The trip takes
one hour and service is provided by Transcaribe, which operates four
times a day.
Automobile – In addition to car rentals (standard-transmission
Volkswagens and four-wheel-drive vehicles are the norm), taxis are
plentiful, but are unmetered, so passengers should inquire about fares
rich in history and natural wonders. Popular destinations include the
ancient Maya Archaeological site on the north side of the island, the
sanctuary of the fertility goddess Ixchel at San Gervasio and the Museum
of the Island of Cozumel, with its colorful displays of underwater reefs
and other island treasures. Located on the south side of the island is
El Cedral, the oldest Maya structure on Cozumel, built in A.D. 800.
Nearby is Punta Sur, a towering lighthouse that offers a 360-degree view
of the island.
Cozumel is home to many nature preserves: the Cozumel Reefs National
Park, Chankanaab Park and Lagoon and Punta Sur Ecological Reserve. The
botanical gardens at Chankanaab Park showcase 350 types of tropical
plants from more than 20 countries. Another attraction is Dolphin
Discovery, which treats visitors to a close-up encounter with playful
dolphins. Punta Sur is an ecological reserve for visitors interested in
learning about the island’s native flora and fauna. Encompassing a
region known as the Colombia lagoon, Punta Sur is a unique environment
of mangrove jungles, white sand beaches and reef formations.
The only town on the island, San Miguel, is the site of two popular
landmarks: Benito Juarez Park, the main square, and the downtown pier.
Sundays are favorite times for afternoon strolls, music and dancing.
more than 90 restaurants and cafes, offering a wide choice of cuisine,
including Mexican, International, Mediterranean, Italian, Caribbean and
seafood. There also are several U.S.-based fast-food outlets and chain
restaurants, including the Hard Rock Café, Carlos´n Charlies and Sr.
Frogs. In addition to its many beachfront, downtown and hotel bars, the
island provides evening entertainment.
known worldwide as a premier diving destination. The warm, clear,
turquoise waters and abundance of coral reefs and sea life attract
divers from around the world. The major dive sites in the surrounding
waters include: Barracuda, Cardona, Chankanaab, Chun Chancaab, Colombia,
La Francesa, Los Atolones, Maracaibo, Palancar, Paraiso, Paso del Cedral,
Punta Sur, San Francisco Wall, Santa Rosa Wall and Yucab. Besides
diving, Cozumel offers many other water sports for marine enthusiasts,
including snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing and parasailing.
For landlovers and avid golfers, Cozumel boasts a one-of-a-kind
championship 18-hole, Nicklaus-design, eco-friendly golf course. In
2006, the Cozumel Country Club achieved designation as a "Certified
Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
System (ACSS), making it the first golf course in Mexico to hold this
prestigious honor. While driving through the eco-friendly course players
can witness animals and plant life native to the area.
In addition, the island offers other popular recreational land
activities such as horseback riding, tennis, hiking and exciting ATV and
duty-free zone, Cozumel is recognized for its wide variety of jewelry,
including sterling silver, gold, precious and semi-precious stones, and
brand-name watches. Village shops and retail boutiques in the hotels
offer a wide selection of fashions, casual attire, perfumes, Mexican
crafts and souvenirs. Several downtown specialty shops feature
indigenous black coral in the form of jewelry and sculptures. (Note:
Cozumel adheres strictly to regulations governing the preservation of
from Cozumel to the Maya ruins located on the Yucatan peninsula are
available through local travel agencies. Transportation is generally
included in the tours.
Popular Maya sites include:
Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is located
in the interior of the Yucatan peninsula. The archaeological site
has Maya pyramids, temples, castles (including the famous El
Castillo) and carvings dating to the 7th and 8th centuries.
is situated on the Yucatan coast 36 miles south of Playa del Carmen
and 78 miles south of Cancun. The site features several Maya temples
and government buildings.
Ka’an Biosphere Reserve lies on a limestone flat on the Caribbean
coast of the Yucatan peninsula, just south of Tulum. The
1.3-million-acre reserve is home to endangered manatees, crocodiles,
jaguars and turtles, and features more than 1,000 varieties of
plants, 350 species of birds and 70 different mammals. More than
1,000 Maya live within the reserve.
is located on the eastern half of the Yucatan peninsula and is the
site of the area’s largest Maya pyramid, carved ceremonial columns
2010 Legends Information
Cozumel ILD 2010 Information
Cozumel - Registration and Deposit
Cozumel Dive Legends April
12-19, 2010 - Press Release
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