Cozumel Island is situated in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Yucatán Peninsula.
Cozumel is one of the ten municipalities of Quintana Roo state. Cozumel Island is a tourist destination for its resorts, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The main town on the island is San Miguel de Cozumel. The land area is covered with an impenetrable jungle which has many endemic animal species.
The Maya are believed to have first settled Cozumel by the early part of the 1st millennium AD. There are a number of ruins on the island, most from the Post-Classic period. The first Spanish expedition to visit Cozumel was led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518; in the following year Hernán Cortés stopped by the island on his way to Veracruz. The Grijalva and Cortés expeditions were both received peacefully by the Maya of Cozumel Island, unlike the expeditions’ experiences on other parts of the mainland. Even after Cortés destroyed some of the Maya idols on Cozumel and replaced them with an image of the Virgin Mary, the native inhabitants of the island continued to help the Spanish re-supply their ships with food and water so they could continue their voyages.