Museum of the Island of Cozumel: A Succinct History of this Mexican Island
Cozumel is one place that we’ve visited time and time again. It seems as though every cruise makes a stop there if you’re cruising any part of the Caribbean. And why not? The island is gorgeous, the food is delicious, and the shopping is fabulous. One way to really appreciate Cozumel is to learn its history at the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel, or Museum of the Island of Cozumel.
If you’ve got a spare hour or so, you can experience the Museum of the Island of Cozumel. This place gets to the point. Located in what once was the first hotel on the island, the museum is made up of four galleries: The Island, The Sea, The History of Cozumel, and Contemporary Cozumel.
The overview of the island is a great way to get your bearings, especially if you plan on venturing out on your own. A map of the island lights up with the location of Cozumel’s main attractions. Learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the island (iguanas much?) and just how the island is formed. Did you know that the word Cozumel means “Land of the Swallows”?
You don’t have to be a diver to appreciate the beautiful specimens of coral, antique diving gear, and relics brought up from shipwrecks. The replica coral reef is just gorgeous.
(I gotta mention that the pieces of actual coral are displayed in such a gorgeous way, but white coral is definitely not what we are aspiring to in this world. That’s bleaching and means it’s under severe stress or dead.)
It is believed that Mayan women made pilgrimages to Cozumel to ask the goddess Ixchel to bless them with children or bless their pregnancies. See Mayan artifacts as well as a replica Mayan house.
See Related: 6 Unforgettable Experiences in Cozumel
From Spaniards exploring to pirates using the island as a hideout, Cozumel definitely has an interesting history. See models of ships, cannons and other weapons, and sailing instruments.
Eventually, Cozumel began to grow into the tourist paradise that we know today. I love that archaeological sites like San Gervasio still exist on this island that is also home to resorts and bars.
One side of the island is developed for tourism while the other side is uninhabited. It’s like you can actually see the history and the changes the island has been through once you know what to look for.
The museum also houses temporary exhibits, so we were able to see an exhibit on the legendary Frida Kahlo during our visit.
The Museo de la Isla de Cozumel isn’t a big museum, but it will definitely educate you on the island itself. The museum probably won’t be a hit with children as it’s mostly displays and reading information cards (which are in both Spanish and English).
Again, this is a quick way to get an overview about Cozumel and it’s history, and with entry at less than $5 US per person at this time of writing, it’s definitely worth a stop.
Have you ever visited Cozumel? Do you enjoy learning history of the places you visit? Have you visited this particular museum before? We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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