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From: mrfence3/21/2012 1:42:41 PM
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Industry Tourism, diving and charter fishing comprise nearly all sources of income[ citation needed]. There are more than 300 restaurants on the island [10] and many hotels, some of which run dive operations, have swimming pools, private docks, and multiple dining facilities.

Other water activities include para-sailing, kitesurfing, and a tourist submarine. There are also two dolphinariums.

At the cruise ship docks there are several square blocks of stores selling Cuban cigars, jewellery, t-shirts, tequila, and a large variety of inexpensive souvenirs. There are a very large number of restaurants in San Miguel that have a huge variety of different cuisines. In down town Cozumel are several discotheques, bars, cinemas, stages and restaurants. The main plaza includes a fixed stage where Cozumelenians and tourists celebrate the Sunday evening with a dance into the night.

All food and manufactured supplies are shipped to the island. Water is provided by three different desalinization facilities located on the island.

[ edit] Education There are two universities on the island: the University of Quintana Roo and Partenon. In addition to teaching English as a degree, they offer five other career options including natural resources research, tourism and commercial systems.

[ edit] Government Cozumel is part of the State of Quintana Roo (Q-Roo). The Municipality of Cozumel consists of the island of Cozumel (with its offshore islets) and two pieces of adjacent mainland surrounded by the Municipality of Solidaridad. They are Calica and the Xel-Há Water Park. During the 2010 census there were 122 populated localities and 86 unpopulated localities enumerated.

[ edit] Towns and villages The largest localities (cities, towns, and villages) are: [1]

Name2010 Census population
San Miguel de Cozumel 77,236
Las Fincas 746
Kilómetro Cuatro y Medio 211
La Estrella 154
San Lorenzo 134
La Esperanza 115
Huerto Familiar 104
Villa Cozumel 75
Las Palmeras 72
Iberostar 52
Dos Arbolitos 44
San Carlos 34
Total Municipality 79,535
[ edit] Culture [ edit] Festival of El Cedral in Cozumel To this day a historic festival is held in the small town of El Cedral, in the south of Cozumel Island at the end of April. This annual event is said to have been started over 150 years ago by Casimiro Cárdenas.

Cárdenas was one of a group that fled to the island from the village of Saban, on the mainland, after an attack during the War of the Castes. The attackers killed many other villagers, but Cárdenas survived whilst clutching a small wooden cross.

Legend has it that Cárdenas vowed to start an annual festival wherever he settled, to honor the religious power of this crucifix. Today, the original Holy Cross Festival forms part of the wider Festival of El Cedral, which includes fairs, traditional feasts, rodeos, bullfights, music and competitions. The celebrations last about 5 days in all and are held every year at the end of April or beginning of May. [11]

Looking north from the top of the Punta Sur lighthouse.

[ edit] Natural history Cozumel has a number of endemic species and subspecies of bird including:

Endemic dwarf mammals are found on the island:

The island also harbors three rodents that are larger than their mainland counterpart: Oryzomys couesi, Peromyscus leucopus, and critically endangered Reithrodontomys spectabilis, the latter of which is also endemic to the island.

Endemic marine life:

Other native wildlife includes:

[ edit] Photo gallery
Photo gallery

Panoramic view of a Cozumel sunrise.

Barracuda at Paradise Reef.

Windward shoreline at Coconuts Bar & Grill.

Swimmers at the beach.

Punta Sur lighthouse.

Sunrise over the windward shore.

Snorkelers swim with fish.

Tidal pool and reef.

Cruise ships docked at the port in San Miguel.

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