Boulevard Juarez east to San Gervasio Access Road, Adolfo Lopez Mateos 77600
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Open Hours: Mo to Su from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
San Gervasio was once a Mayan ceremonial center for worshipping the fertility goddess, Ixchel. It was continually occupied ... More
San Gervasio was once a Mayan ceremonial center for worshipping the fertility goddess, Ixchel. It was continually occupied from 300 A.D. until the 16th century. Look for the "Temples of Hands," named for the small red handprints decorating its walls, and for the remains of an altar underneath a graceful Mayan arch where offerings to the "Rainbow Goddess" were placed. To get to the ruins, follow Avenida Benito Juarez east, seven kilometers out of town to the San Gervasio Access Road. Admission is USD4. There also is a USD1 road access fee.
To go to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio, you can take a taxi, take a bus tour (offered by cruise ships, Cozumel travel agencies, and small kiosks around town), take a private island tour by van which includes San Gervasio, or drive yourself in a rental vehicle or motor scooter. Take the Transversal Highway (the road that runs east-west across the island) 11 kilometers east of town, and on the left hand side (the north side of the highway) you will see a large reproduction of an ancient Mayan temple marking the entrance to the park road leading to the ruins. Pass through the gate and wave at the attendant as you go by; there is no need to stop here.
The Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio are in a Mexican National Monument that itself lies within a Quintana Roo State Park. When you turn north off of the Transversal Highway unto the 6 kilometer long park road that leads to the ruins, you are in the State Park. The upkeep of this road, the free (and very safe) parking lot at the end of it, the restrooms, snack bar, gift shop area (the Parador Turistica), and the free map you will receive with you ticket is paid for out of the $4.00 USD per-person entrance fee you pay at the entrance to the Parador. This fee can be paid in US cash or Mexican pesos, but no credit cards are accepted. Once you pass through the Parador area, there is another ticket stand that is run by the Mexican national Government through its agency INAH, or the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. The $4.00 USD fee this organization charges (which is in addition to the earlier $4.00 State Park fee) covers the upkeep of the ruins themselves, ongoing archaeological studies, night watchmen salaries, and groundskeepers salaries.
In the Parador area between these two ticket counters you can hire a guide from the official Guide Union who can take you on a private tour. The fee for this service is $18.00 USD, and they fully expect a handsome tip. The guide you get may, or may not, have a firm grasp of English. The stories they tell are sometimes quite fanciful, so if you are interested in the real history of the ruins, I would strongly suggest purchasing a copy of The Yellow Guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio, on sale at the State Park ticket stand (the first one you pay at) as well as the gift shops in the Parador, Cinco Soles in downtown Cozumel, and Amazon Books (as a kindle eBook or paperback) or EverythingCozumel dot com
Bring plenty of mosquito repellent, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of bottled water. Good shoes are a must, as the pathways are uneven stone and often muddy. During rainy season, a collapsible umbrella is a good idea. There is no charge for photography, but tripods are not allowed without a permit.
The park is open 8AM to 4PM, but you cannot enter the road to the park after 3PM.
I loved the history of San Gervasio. The mere idea of walking the path of these brilliant people was amazing for me. The tour guide was marvalous. Explained everything and answered the questions clearly. He even explained the Mayan calender. touching some of the stones were great. will be a cherished memory for life.
Watch out for the mosquitoes.
When you get off the boat got the taxi station, it's a few blocks away. The cabs line up and you get in a cab. Always ask how much to go where you are going. In this case it is posted. I think it was about 14 dollars. The Cab will take you there, about a 20 minute or less ride. The cab waits for you while you explore the ruins. Why does he wait? Because you have not paid him yet. Pay when you get back to the port.
The ruins are nice, and there are signs that explain the ruins, in english, you can also get a printed guide book. - I think, it's been awhile. We went in the summer of 2005. The ruins are great in my opinion. There is a larger temple out a trail that is about , I guess 1/4 mile long. The gift shop had great deals as well.
If you are feeble then you will not want to walk the longer trails. However for the few bucks it cost to get in, it would still be worth it because you can see the smaller ruins near the entrance.
If you are observant you will see all sorts of wild life. I saw lizards, big ones, aka iguanas, or however you spell it. There are also tortises.
If you want tourist type things- not so great. The place was hardly crowded at all
When My friend Shawn and I arrived, after getting lost in a rental Jeep for about an hour, we were met by a guide who was just finishing for the day..so we went it alone..what an amazing site to see! We were initially disappointed that we didn't have a guide, but experiencing the place on our own was more than we could hope for..Later on towards the end of the tour, we came across a maintainence worker, raking leaves, who gave us an imprompt tour of Nohoch Nah. He didn't speak a word of English, but he was terrific. He had my friend almost inside the building, when I realised that he kept saying BAT!!! BAT!!!!. She quickly got out..Great time and lots of great pics.. Keep your eye out for the huge Iguanas! If you blink you could miss them!
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