The unique geology and fascinating history of this Caribbean island are presented in this excellent museum.
Located in the centre of Cozumel’s main town, San Miguel, is the Museum of the Island of Cozumel which is a great place to come learn about the human and natural history of the Riviera Maya. While the museum is quite small, its informative exhibits offer a comprehensive introduction to the history and culture of the largest of Mexico’s Caribbean islands.
But it isn’t just history buffs that are catered for: the geology, geography and flora and fauna of the island are also examined with the huge surrounding coral reefs and abundant marine life given particular attention, making this museum a treat for nature lovers as well.
The first Mayan settlement on Cozumel is thought to have been around 300 A.D. and plenty of archaeological evidence of this ancient civilisation remains. Many of the pre-classical artefacts found during excavations at the archaeological sites are on display here and there is also an interactive tour that takes in the culture, art and history of the Mayan people.
You’ll learn of the devastation that the Spanish invasion caused among the local population in the 1500s and how the Spanish settlements were subsequently attacked by Dutch and British pirates who were after the amazing wealth that they had amassed. The museum will take you about an hour to explore and the exhibits have explanatory text in both Spanish and English.
The Café El Museo is on the second floor and serves food and drinks in an elegant venue with fantastic views of the Caribbean. Take a ferry from Playa del Carmen to get to Cozumel and the museum is just a stone’s throw from the pier and the shopping district in San Miguel. It is open daily and there is a small admission charge.