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Today, the Mexican island of Cozumel, located in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a wildly popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from around the world. The island has been publicized as an ideal tropical getaway since the mid-twentieth century but it has drawn visitors for many centuries. When Spanish explorers first arrived at Cozumel in 1518, the island had long been established as the sacred domain of the Maya goddess Ix Chel and its inhabitants were accustomed to welcoming pilgrims from the mainland.[1] It also served as a first stop for many of the early Spanish expeditions launched from Cuba.


  1. Inga Clendinnen (2003). Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 17.