San Gervasio Ruins, Cozumel, Mexico

 

San Gervasio

Getting there: take the transversal road (Juarez) east heading out-of-town for approximately 10km. There will be lots of signs posted for San Gervasio.

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San Gervasio is the first tourist attraction you will come to as you are driving to the eastern side of the island. The central office is about 6 km off the main road into the jungle. We pulled into SG and stopped at the guard gate. The security guard was fast asleep, but he finally heard us and woke up after hearing our laughs. Awe, Mexico! I bet we all wish we could sleep on the job. The road to the ruins is more of a one-way street so when you see approaching traffic slow down to pass safely.

You’re in the Jungle Baby!!!! I’m gonna make you scream..da da…..oh, that’s a great song.

Anyways, back to our trip. As you drive through the jungle, you will notice some poles off to the right-hand side of the road. These are cenotes, which is an underground stream of fresh water. The ones we stopped at were all dry, but maybe there is water in them at different times of the year.

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There is an excellent area approximately 150 yards from the stop sign at the entrance to the park. There are no markings here, but it ’s either the second to last little pole along the side of the road or the second one on your way back out. I’m not sure if this area has been like this or if it’s a start to something. But, it shows the erosion of the ground or the decaying of it. There’s a pretty big decaying area that has a shelf like formation, and it sits over a cave. Inside the cave is about 100 or so bats. Just to see the beautiful Papaya tree that lies at the entrance edge, the bats and how mother-nature plays a part on how the earth forms are worth a quick stop.

 

Entrance

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Open Daily from 8 am -4 pm

Parking is free, and there is some shade.

Entrance Fee is $9.50us per person and $70 pesos.

There are two areas you pay an entrance fee. The main entrance you pay the $9.50, and after you walk through a corridor, there is another ticket booth where you pay 70 pesos. I’m guessing one fee is Govt. and one is State fees.

At the second ticket booth, there is also a stand to hire a guide. I would recommend hiring  one, so you can understand more about what you are seeing.
1-8 people 400 pesos or $20 us
9-12 people 600 pesos or $ 30 us
13 + 800 pesos or $40 us

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Before you start your journey, I would advise going to the restroom and making sure you have some water with you. There are no facilities of any kind once you leave the ticket booth area. I would also recommend that you have good walking shoes; flip-flops are okay but not recommended. The paths are dirt and in some places very rocky. If it is raining or has previously rained, please keep in mind that the trails will be muddy and slippery. Please keep your eyes on the paths as there are lots of iguanas around.

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Things to bring:
Water, hat, good walking shoes, sunscreen, bug repellant, chapstick, camera, and a good sense of the imagination.

San Gervasio, they say started about 100 bc and lasted until the 16th century. This site was a dedication to a Mayan Goddess named Ixchel. She is a goddess for women. Women from the mainland would travel here at least once in their lifetime. She is the goddess of midwifery, fertility, and medicine.

There are 19 places of interest once inside the complex. The good news is most of them are located in 3 separate larger scale ruin areas while only about 5 of them you have to walk a little bit of a distance to get to them. The ones that are further away are still worth seeing, but if I were to skip any, it would be G, H, I.

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The first set of ruins you come to are A-E. This one is interesting because if you look closely beyond the right pillar on the wall you can see little hand prints still. I found this fascinating and beautiful all at the same time.

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Little Hand Print

 

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Iguanas everywhere

There are iguanas everywhere. Please keep your eye on the trail not only to not hit one while walking but to see them in advance because they didn’t scurry away the way I would have thought. I got the bejesus scared out of me a few times. These guys came in all sizes.

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Arco sobre el Sacbè (Archway over Sachè)

 

The dirt path to G, H, I was maybe 1 km or so. It was a nice walk in the jungle. The path isn’t as smooth as the others so keep your eyes on the ground for rocks, sticks, and iguanas. This path kind of made a triangle. There were just two ruins here with a little walking in between them. Templo Nohoc Nah was the nicer of the two. It was still pretty intact for how old it is. The ruin of the Temple was nestled back into the jungle. On our walk to it I was picturing what it may have been like to live here decades ago. Just to sit on your porch and listen to the birds chirp and watch the iguanas scurry around would have been so peaceful.

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Templo Nohoc Nah (Big House)

We are now heading towards J-Q. These ruins are all nestled together in a circle. This area seems to have been the central plaza of the town. If you take the path prior to hitting these ruins, it will take you down another dirt path about 1km or so to two more ruins R-S.

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Ka ‘ na Nah Templo de Ixchel (Temple of Ixchel)
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Found this fish placed inside the walls of the temple

The park took us approximately 1. 15 minutes. We had a very nice, enjoyable time here.  Thank goodness it was a little overcast, so the temperature was perfect.  I would say this would be a wonderful stop on a stay in Cozumel and a quick history of the Mayan Lands.

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