Although Cozumel is the largest Caribbean island in Mexico (and its most populated), it was only in the 1960s that this fishing village, once asleep, became a tourist attraction in its own right, following a documentary in which Jacques Cousteau declared it one of the most beautiful diving areas in the world. These days, Cozumel is a major cruise port that welcomes more than a million cruise passengers every year and as many as eight ships a day. But even with all this progress, Cozumel has kept its nontourist side; only a third of the island has been developed, leaving wide stretches of pristine jungle and sandy beaches untouched; there is much more to Cozumel than duty-free shopping. (That said, Cozumel offers great deals on jewelry, Mexican crafts, t-shirts, and other souvenirs, especially in the main town of San Miguel.) This small island, only 28 miles long and 10 miles wide, is located off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula and offers incredible options for water sports lovers, partly because of its proximity to the spectacular coral reefs. Along with snorkeling, beach and boat trips, scuba diving is one of the greatest attractions of this sunny destination. In fact, the island takes its name from the Mayan civilization that settled there about 2,000 years ago. According to the Mayan legend, Cozumel was the home of Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. It is said that when the religious temples were dedicated to her, she sent her favorite bird - the swallow - as a sign of her gratitude. For this reason, people called the island "Cuzamil" - Maya for "Land of swallows". Several important Mayan sites, such as San Gervasio and El Cedral, populate the island. Even the best-preserved are located in the accessible mainland; Chichen Itza and Tulum are hot spots for day trips and shore excursions