Cozumel

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Cozumel
Grand Cayman

 

The island of Cozumel lies off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, about 80 kilometers south of Cancun.

  

We used this port of call to access a water taxi to get to the Mayan Riviera mainland, and accessed a local tour bus to take us to the Mayan ruins at Tulum.
 

Tourism, diving and charter fishing comprise the bulk of Cozumel's economy. There are over 300 restaurants.

 

Olmec and Maya settled on the island, and architecture pays tribute to that heritage.

 

Playa del Carmen is a popular beach destination for Canadians, Americans, Europeans and Argentinians.

 

Tourist infrastructure is developing rapidly, but zoning laws require new buildings to be less than 5 stories tall and to retain a fishing village ambience.

Tulum is the site of a pre-Columbian walled city built by the Mayas, at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries.
 

The ruins of the Great Palace display typical Mayan structures with a sub-base, narrow doors, an altar space and a beam and thatch or rubble ceiling.

The God of Winds temple guards Tulum's sea entrance bay.
 

The ruins are situated on 12 meter high cliffs above the Caribbean Sea.

Local restaurants serve typical Mexican food and cerbeza.
 

Colourful hammocks, textiles, hats and sandals are available at numerous kiosks and shops.

The Mayan heritage is reflected in the work of local artisans, such as this obsidian mask, woven Mayan calendar and ceramic Christmas decorations.