Our first port of call on our Caribbean cruise was Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is an island off the eastern coast of Mexico. It looks as though the entire economy of Cozumel is based on tourism, most of it coming from cruise ships.
Our first stop was the Maya ruins at San Gervasio, located somewhere near the centre of the island.
Miguel was our guide. He was very proud of the history of this place and he was very proud of the Maya civilization, art, architecture, mathematics, calendar and astronomy. He described the Maya calendrical system noting that the Maya solar year was more accurate than the Julian year.
Miguel was also prepared for the heat and humidity. You can see a white towel hanging from his belt. I could have used a white towel as well. So hot. So humid.
We did not have much time at the ruins. The areas we did see were beautifully landscaped and the ruins showed well.
Our next stop was the Mayan Cacao Company. This stop was created just for the tourists. More of a pseudo factory tour as no production chocolate comes off the island. It is described as a place to discover the origins of chocolate.
Adrian took us through the process of how the Mayans made chocolate. The Mayans were the first to discover cocoa, perhaps as early as 900 AD. The beans inside the cocoa pods could be harvested and made into a liquid. I sampled the pure chocolate right there. A bit bitter for my taste as I have been conditioned to enjoy chocolate with a lot of added sugar. Interesting, though, to learn about the history of chocolate and to see how it was made back then.
These two birds guarded the entrance to the Mayan Cacao Company.
Our final stop was the Discover Mexico pavilion. The area contains a small museum, air conditioned. And an area of miniature buildings that highlight the main architectural features of Mexico.
Our time in Cozumel was ending and we made our way back to our ship. Although the crew tracked us going out and coming back on the ship, there was no passport control in Cozumel.