/koh'zeuh mel"/; Sp. /kaw'sooh mel"/, n.
an island off NE Quintana Roo state, on the Yucatán Peninsula, in SE Mexico: tourist resort.

* * *

 island in the Caribbean Sea, about 10 miles (16 km) off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Quintana Roo estado (state), southeastern Mexico.

      Measuring about 29 miles (46 km) from northeast to southwest and averaging 9 miles (14 km) in width, it is the largest of Mexico's inhabited islands. Geologically similar to the Yucatán, the interior of Cozumel consists of a plain broken by low hills that are only about 50 feet (15 metres) above sea level. Much of the island is covered by scrubby tropical jungle. Poor soils have discouraged agriculture on the island, but traditional crops include tropical fruits, henequen (a fibre crop), corn (maize), and cassava (manioc).

 Clear, warm water, spectacular coral reefs, and abundant marine life make Cozumel one of the world's best scuba-diving destinations as well as a major resort. Indeed, the economy of Cozumel has been based on tourism since the 1970s. In addition to the diving opportunities, other water sports, and fishing, tourists are attracted by Cozumel's tropical climate, sand beaches, and duty-free port shopping, along with its atmosphere, which is more relaxed than that of nearby Cancún. Substantial resort development on the island's protected western coast extends both north and south from the island's main town and commercial centre, San Miguel de Cozumel. Chankanaab National Park, just south of San Miguel, has a museum, botanic garden, and archaeological park. Cruise ships dock regularly at a pier south of San Miguel. Cozumel has regular ferry service from Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos. An international airport is located 2 miles (3 km) south of San Miguel.

      Cozumel was a commercial and ceremonial centre during the Mayan (Maya) period (about 250 to 950 CE), and the island has several small archaeological sites. In 1518 Juan de Grijalva led the first Spanish expedition to Cozumel. In 1519 Hernán Cortés (Cortés, Hernán, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca) used the island as a base for Spanish efforts to conquer the Maya. During most of the Spanish colonial era, Cozumel was only sparsely populated, but trading ships and pirates occasionally sought shelter and replenished supplies on the island, which was protected behind offshore reefs. Area 189 square miles (489 square km). Pop. (2005) 71,401.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cozumel — Native name: Cuzamil Nickname: Cuzamil Satellite image of Cozumel Island in 2001 …   Wikipedia

  • Cozumel — Image satellite de Cozumel en 2001 Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cozumel — (en maya: Isla de las Golondrinas) es la isla mexicana más grande y poblada. Se ubica al sureste del país, a unos cincuenta kilómetros de Cancún y es uno de los ocho municipios del estado de Quintana Roo. De acuerdo con cifras del último censo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cozumel — Para otros usos de este término, véase Cozumel (desambiguación). Municipio de Cozumel Municipio de México …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cozumel — Vorlage:Infobox Insel/Wartung/Höhe fehlt Cozumel Die Insel aus dem Weltraum gesehen Gewässer Yucatanstraße …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cozumel — Admin ASC 2 Code Orig. name Cozumel Country and Admin Code MX.23.001 MX …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Cozumel — geographical name island SE Mexico off Quintana Roo …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Cozumel — Cozumẹl   [ z ], Insel im Karibischen Meer, Bundesstaat Quintana Roo, Mexiko, 16 km vor der Ostküste von Yucatán, rd. 490 km2, 58 000 Einwohner. Die 1518 von Spaniern entdeckte, zum Teil von Korallenriffen umgebene Insel ist zu einem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cozumel — Co•zu•mel [[t]ˌkoʊ zəˈmɛl[/t]] n. geg an island off NE Quintana Roo state on the Yucatán Peninsula in SE Mexico: resort …   From formal English to slang

  • Cozumel — /koh zeuh mel /; Sp. /kaw sooh mel /, n. an island off NE Quintana Roo state, on the Yucatán Peninsula, in SE Mexico: tourist resort …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.