Mayan Ruins San Gervasio – ‘Tulum Light’ of Cozumel

Cozumel is a little island at the eastern coast of Yucatán, Mexico. Here, you find a smaller, largely unknown version of the Tulum ruins: San Gervasio. It’s located inland and in the North of Cozumel. San Gervasio are remote ruins with very few visitor. After the two super-busy ruins on the main land Chichzen Itza and Tulum, this was a big change but a much-welcomed one for us.

Where is San Gervasio?

San Gervasio is in the north of the island, from east/west distance right in the center. It’s the most northern point you can reach on a regular street (the very north is undeveloped and cannot be reached). The street ‘Traversal de Cozumel’ (Quintana Roo C1) is the only cross-country road on the island and kind of its ‘northern border’. From here, you drive a bit further north to San Gervasio. As soon as you leave the main road, the street gets much worse, a bit uneven and sandy. We had a scooter and that worked just fine. After a 9-km-ride, you reach San Gervasio.

Taking a Walk in The Jungle

San Gervasio has seven bigger ruins: the best way to see these ruins is a walking tour. It comes out as a bit of a hike, the trails are uneven and rocky but still fine to walk. Between these ruins, you need to walk something like 1 to 2 km. We were mostly alone; only 2 more people were walking. Also the parking area was empty, no other cars around.

You can find some more information about the ruins on Wikipedia. The ruins are well-preserved, only the buildings’ roofs are missing. There are very few barriers and shutoffs, you can basically walk anywhere. All the lawns are accessible; you can just walk to all the ruins. Some of the buildings are locked and you cannot enter, others are open. I assume that is the case because San Gervasio only has very few visitors (Tulum was the complete opposite).

All the trails lead right through the jungle, heavy brush and trees. That means many mosquitoes are everywhere, definitely bring some mosquito spray. All the thick shrubbery creates a rather dark atmosphere that matches the ruins quite nicely.

It’s only five dollars but San Gervasio closes at 3.45 pm.

The ruins are visibly smaller and less spectacular than the larger, more popular ones like Chichzen Itza and Tulum.But that does not make them any less pretty or worth seeing. I found the jungle walk to the ruins quite comfortable. You only need to be aware of what is waiting for you: smaller ruins, less busy but with vast walking trails in the jungle. If you are in Cozumel, you should come here.

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