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San Gervasio Mayan Ruins



San Gervasio is the largest of the 30 Mayan Ruins sites on Cozumel.  It is located seven miles east of San Miguel, and was a religious center for the Mayas until the 16th Century.  It is small compared to Chichen Itza and Tulum, but it is worth a visit if you're nearby, or if you're a ruins buff.

For the Maya, Cozumel was considered a sacred island. Pilgrimages from all over the Mesoamerica came to honor Ix Chel, goddess of fertility, childbirth, medicine, and moon. Every Maya woman was expected once in her lifetime to make the perilous journey from the mainland to the island by large dugout canoes to visit the site. Situated in the cool dense forest surrounding, these remarkable ruins are the largest existing Maya and Toltec site in Cozumel. San Gervasio was once the island's capital and probably the ceremonial center, dedicated to the goddess Ix Chel, wife of Itzamma. He was the Maya god above all, who invented corn, cacao, writing, and reading. It was believed that priests hid behind a large pottery statue and became the voice of the goddess speaking to pilgrims and answering their petitions.

Three building groups are visible at San Gervasio and are connected by trails built along the old Maya causeways. The structures are mainly small temples and shrines built on platforms. In the middle of one causeway is the temple of Ix Chel, "She of the Rainbow".

Each of the ruins is clearly identified and explained with plagues written in English, Spanish and Maya. They are also placed in context with individual maps. Be sure to see the "hands" temple which has red hand imprints all over its alter. Located at the entrance is a snack bar and a few gift shops.

How to Get to San Gervasio:

Take the cross-island road (Avenue Juarez) to the San Gervasio access road; follow this road north for 7 km (4 1/2 miles).

San Gervasio Tours:

At this time, we are not aware of any tours that exist to San Gervasio Mayan Ruins.  However, we do offer a Cozumel Horseback Riding tour that rides into the jungle to visit the El Cedral Mayan Ruins - the oldest Mayan site in Cozumel.

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