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Cozumel

"Land of the Swallows"

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Cozumel is Mexico's original Caribbean playground. The Mayans, its first inhabitants, named it Cuzamil, meaning "Land of the Swallows." However, it was the goddess of fertility, Ixchel, that they worshiped here in what now remains of centuries old Mayan temples and ceremonial centers that still dot the island.

During World War II, the U.S. built an air base on Cozumel for planes hunting U-boats in the mid-Atlantic. Drawn by the clear waters, frogmen came to train and returned home with stories of magnificent underwater vistas. After a visit to the island in 1962, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau proclaimed Cozumel to be one of the finest diving sites in the world. Nature lovers also come to Cozumel to see giant sea turtles lay their eggs and to observe the large variety of migratory bird life. Cozumel lies 11 miles east of the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. A rapid ferry service is available from Playa del Carmen, located about 45 minutes south of Cancun.

Cozumel | Location: Cozumel

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