Cozumel Mexico Vacation Guide
  • San GervacioSteeped in history
  • San GervasioHome to an ancient pilgrimage
  • San Gervasio2000 year old Mayan Ruins
  • San GervasioHome of the Goddess
  • San GervasioHome of the goddess Ixchel
San Gervacio San Gervasio San Gervasio San Gervasio San Gervasio

Cozumel Mexico: San Gervasio, Mayan Ruins.

Cozumel Mexico is known for many things but one of its hidden treasures has to be the San Gervasio ruins. They are not as wellArch which protects an altar on a sacbe (ancient road) known as their larger counterparts; Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba. But in terms of significance, San Gervasio Cozumel played an integral part of the Ancient Mayan Culture that was unique in all the Mayas.

Its history spans from 100 B.C. thru the 16th century A.D. (when the Spaniards came and concurred the Mayas).

San Gervasio was home to the goddess Ixchel (literally translated as "She of the Rainbows"). She was also the goddess of fertility, midwifery, weaving, and medicine.

Most young women at one point in their life would make the pilgrimage to Cozumel to pay their respects to the shrine of Ixchel.

The arch depicted on the left was believed to protect the road that led to the ceremonial center.

"The Tomb" structure.

The Tomb Structure Cozumel Island:

This building derives its name from a vaulted tomb which was discovered inside of the structure. It was made in the form of a platform and had no building on top of it. There were benches around it as well as an alter. It is believed that the structure was used for open air ceremonies where priests would address congregations in the plaza. The structure was build during two time periods; the Terminal Classic period (1000-1200 A.D.) and then later during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 A.D.).

The Murals Structure:

This building gets its name from the fragmented murals discovered within it, which were painted with vivid colors of red, blue, ochre, and black; and was covered with geometric motifs, stepped lines, Grecian frets, spirals, and many other patterns. The original structure had a vaulted roof and was used for ceremonial purposes. Within its interior, there were altars and benches used for placing offerings and holding ceremonies. "The Murals", as it is known has only one construction period which dates to the Post Classic Period. 

"The Murals" structure
The Palace Structure

The Palace Structure:

Colonnaded halls are very popular on the east coast of Cozumel Mexico. They have benches along the interior walls and in the middle there is a jutting part, either an altar or a throne, which evokes an important personage sitting on it and presiding over a meeting with members of the community. This structure has 19 columns, some of which are double. The roof was not vaulted but rather was flat, like modern day roof sturctures. It was constructed of wooden beams holding it all together. It was also built during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 A.D.).

The Big House Structure:

It is impossible not to see this temple coming in or out of San Gervasio, since it lies along Sacbe 1. It had an alter in the middle of the enclosure, in which offerings were placed. the entire structure was stuccoed and profusely decorated with red, ochre, and blue colors. It has two construction periods, the earliest was during the Terminal Classic period and consisted of a small platform that was completely covered by the building that is now seen and dates to the Post Classic period.

The Big House Structure
The Tall House Structure

The Tall House Structure:

This is one of the largest structures in San Gervasio. It can be said that it does not have any inner space, since benches and an alter occupy almost all of the area. The entire temple was stuccoed and painted red, ochre, blue, green and black. The base and stairway are decorated with small human faces sculpted in stone. Due to its special characteristics it could have been a sanctuary of the Goddess Exchel. It was constructed during the Post Classic period (1200-1650 A.D.).

There are other structures and more are being discovered and re-constructed even today; but the pictures and descriptions above give you a good idea of what you can expect to see when visiting Cozumel's San Gervasio ruins.

Make sure to bring sunscreen and insect repellent if you want to be prepared. There is also a concession at the entrance where you can buy beverages, souvenirs, and food. It can get hot in the open spaces so you may want to bring a good supply of water. Food is not allowed to be consumed on site.

We hope that you will have a chance to enjoy the flora, fauna, and live a part of one of the most fascinating and significant sites in all of the Mayas, during your next vacation on Cozumel., all rights reserved