San Gervasio Mayan Ruins on Cozumel Island #TravelTuesday

San Gervasio Mayan Ruins on Cozumel Island #TravelTuesday

San Gervasio ruins are a mayan archaeological site, located at the approximate center of the island of Cozumel, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Compared to Tulum and Chichen Itza, 

San Gervasio is a small ruin site, however this 742 acres territory has an unusually long history. In here you’ll see the temple of the mayan god Ixchel.

San Gervasio is not the site’s original name. It was named in the 1800s after rancherGervasio Novelo and his ranch San Gervasio. While the original name is not known for sure, there is some reference at another ruin site that the actual name might have been “Tan Tun” which means “over rock”.

Occupied from 100 B.C. through when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, San Gervasio was the island’s ancient Maya capital and ceremonial center dedicated to the mayan god, Ixchel, “She of the Rainbow”. She was the mother of all gods, along with being the goddess of fertility, childbirth, the moon and rainbows. Women from all over mainland Mesoamerica were expected, sometime during their lifetime, to make the dangerous 12-mile pilgrimage by sea in a dug-out canoe from mainland Mexico to Cozumel to honor her.

San Gervasio was not only a religious center, but a center of trade with salt and honey being its main exports — at the time, each worth more than gold.

Because San Gervasio is largely unrestored, its original architecture and lush surroundings are still intact, which makes a visit there worthwhile. In this area there are the most important aquifers of the Caribbean island and an abundance of cenotesin cozumel

The structures are mainly the excavated limestone plazas, small temples, shrines and stele, built on stepped platforms. A graceful arch protects an altar on a sacbe (ancient road) leading into the ceremonial center. A cluster of nine important buildings forms an enclosed patio in the central plaza.

One of the most interesting buildings is “Las Manitas” or The Temple of the Little Hands, with small red handprints all over the alter.
About Cozumel:

The area north of San Miguel is referred to as the Costera Norte (North Coast). Here you’ll find a number of hotels taking up most of the beachfront. At the top of the island is the pristine Laguna Ciega and the uninhabited Isla Pasion, or Passion Island.

The area south of San Miguel is known as the Costera Sur (South Coast), and extends from Playa Corona to Playa Palancar. The beautiful coral reef running parallel to this part of the coast is a protected zone called Parque Marino de Cozumel. The beaches you’ll find along the Costera Sur include Chankanaab Park, Playa San Francisco and Playa Mia.

The bottom of the island is known as Punta Sur; here you’ll find the Punta Sur park, the Celarain Lighthouse, the ancient Mayan lighthouse of El Caracol, a national wildlife refuge and a small beach.

The eastern, or windward, side of the island is known as the “wild side” of Cozumel.There are relatively few beaches on this side of the island. The paved road continues north up to the village of Mezcalito, where it turns to make the cross-island path back to San Miguel. A dirt road continues north from Mezcalito to the Mola Point Lighthouse, the island’s most northern point.

In terms of mayan culture, Cozumel’s San Gervasio Ruins are a more significant site than Tulum.

How to get to San Gervasio 

You can reach them by ferry to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen. In the island of Cozumel you will need to take a taxi that is the best bet to get around town or if you are going to a beach club. You won’t have a problem finding a taxi in Cozumel. Remember to negotiate the price before getting into the taxi. You can pay the taxi fare in US dollars or in Pesos, but always confirm the currency.

Schedule  Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where to stay on Cozumel? 

There are many all inclusive resorts, small hotels, villas and condos for rent.


– Cozumel Palace ( Travelers Choice Award 2012)

– Blue Angel Resort (Travelers Choice Award 2012)

– Villas Las Anclas ( Travelers Choice Award 2012)

– Casita de Maya ( Travelers Choice Award 2012)

– Presidente Inter – Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa ( Travelers Choice Award 2012)

– Casa Viento (  Travelers Choice Award 2012)


– Playa Azul Golf, Scuba and Spa 
– Casa Mexicana Cozumel
– Aura Cozumel Grand Resort
– Flamingo Hotel
– Hotel B Cozumel
– Scuba Club Cozumel
– Royal Club at Occidental Grand Cozumel
– El Cid La Ceiba Beach Hotel
– Cantamar Condo Cozumel
– Coral Princess Hotel & Resort Cozumel
– Iberostar Cozumel
– Park Royal Cozumel

If you’re looking for cheap hotels or hostels in Cozumel we recommend you the Beachouse Hostel Cozumel , Amigos Hostel Cozumel and hotel La casona Real Cozumel


Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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