The Yellow Guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio



Guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio
A guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio

The archaeological site of San Gervasio is situated near the center of Cozumel and can be accessed by a paved road that turns north off the Carretera Transversal (the east-west road that leads to the eastern side of the island).   The ruins are jointly administered by the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Foundation for Parks and Museums of Cozumel (FPMC), both of which charge a $4 USD entrance fee at two different ticket booths.  The fee collected by INAH covers the maintenance of the ruins and the fee collected by FPMC takes care of the parking, tourist facilities, and road maintenance.  The “tour guides” that are available for hire ($20 USD plus tip) at the site are not employees of either INAH or FPMC, but rather independent contractors who may (or may not) have a good grasp of the history of the site, depending on which one you get.   If you go with an organized tour group, remember the tour guides prepared talk is geared to the lowest common denominator.  Many people leave these tours asking themselves “what did I just see?”

If you are really interested in knowing about the background of San Gervasio, understanding the remains of the buildings and structures there, and seeing how the Mayan civilization was structured, you definitely need to get a copy of The Yellow Guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio.  It is the only guide book available of San Gervasio and was written by a former INAH project co-director who has lived on the island for many years.

The guide book:

  • Shows the development of the Mayan political scene on the mainland from the Early period through the Postclassic (including maps)
  • Tells about the introduction of the Cult of Ixchel to the island by the Itzá
  • Tells the stories of the first European voyages to Cozumel and the conquest of Yucatan
  • Explains the Mayan religion, including their gods and sacrificial rites
  • Describes the Mayan dress and appearance
  • Tells about Mayan food
  • Describes how Mayan glyphs were written and read
  • Explains Mayan mathematics
  • Details Mayan construction techniques and building materials
  • Shows a map of the entire site, not just the part open to the public
  • Tells about the excavations and surveys of San Gervasio
Guide to the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio
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  • Contains a self-guided, building-by-building tour of all the site open to the public, including floor plans, reconstructed views of the fronts, and descriptions of the use of each structure you will see, as well as what the archaeologists found in them when they were excavated.
  • Explains the importance of the goddess Ixchel to the island
  • Tells all about the significance of the year 2012 and how the Mayans calculated time
  • Gives a list of other books about the Mayas for further reading
  • Tells about the other Mayan sites on the island (including a map of them)