El Cedral
Cozumel Maya Ruins

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El Cedral Mayan Ruins
Cozumel Attractions

There is little today to show that the tiny village of El Cedral long ago was the largest Mayan settlement on Cozumel.

El Cedral temple itself is considered the oldest Mayan structure, with some patches of original Mayan paint and stucco still apparent.

The building is unimpressive because Spanish explorers tore down much of it. Many small ruins are in the surrounding foliage but you will need a tour guide to find some of them.

A rustic, modern-era stucco church is located to the right of the old Mayan ruin. It contains a number of crosses shrouded in embroidered lace.

The Maya are believed to have held major ceremonies at El Cedral, and that tradition continues with the annual Festival of El Cedral held annually at the end of April or early May.

Originally begun in the 1800’s to honor the religious power of this crucifix, the festival has expanded to include a fair, dancing, bullfights and rodeo and other competitions. The festival lasts for about 5 days.

To find El Cedral, take the main highway south to Km 17.5, to a large arched entrance on the left. Turn left and drive 3 km (2 miles) inland to the site of the old village.

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