San Gervasio a Maya site that is located on the island of Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean. San Gervasio is in a lush jungle setting in the middle of the island. The area is populated with bright colored iguanas, flowers and lush foliage. This is a real paradise even today, one can see why the Maya did not wanted to abandon this beautiful place. San Gervasio is located 11 miles south of San Miguel de Cozumel and the downtown ferry pier. San Gervasio was first occupied prior to 400 BC and monumental construction began prior to 100 BC. Occupation continued into the late 1500's well after the arrival of the Spanish. San Gervasio was a ceremonial center dedicated to Maya goddess Ixchel ("She of the Rainbows"), deity of midwifery, fertility, medicine and weaving.
Many Mayan women from mainland Mayan settlements made the pilgrimage here to leave offerings and make sacrifices to Ixchel´s shrine at some point in their lifetime. At the entrance to San Gervasio, along the sacbe is a delicate arch spanning an altar. This sacbe leads to the ceremonial center. The archaeological site at San Gervasio has not received much reconstruction of consolidation. however, there are numerous structures to photograph and explore. The beautiful natural setting is enough to visit San Gervasio. It is a welcomed retreat from the busy tourist trade of the main village and resorts. A must see is the Temple of the Hands. Inside the structure are numerous small red hand prints painted on the walls. The significance of the red hands has not been determined.
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