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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Cozumel shoots for the stars with new astronomical tourism push

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Cozumel’s planetarium is hoping to attract international visitors to gaze at the stars. Photo: Courtesy

Cozumel has long been one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s most famous tourist attractions.

But this Caribbean island, best known for its beaches, diving, and cruise ships, is now promoting an “out of this world” attraction.

The island’s Cha’an Ka’an planetarium has begun offering stargazing experiences at its site as well as on the far less developed eastern end of the island. 

“Cozumel is the perfect place for observing the stars, be it through a telescope or just through the naked eye,” said Badith Sleme Flores, the municipality director of tourism. 

Aside from regularly scheduled stargazing tours, the observatory says it is planning events to coincide with special events such as the Day of the Dead and Carnaval.

Earlier: Cozumel’s cruise industry bounces back in a big way

Cozumel’s planetarium first opened in 2015 but has failed to attract international visitors.

But the facility has been popular with locals, especially school children on field trips.

The planetarium takes its name from the Yucatec-Maya language and roughly translates to “sky gazer.”

“The location of the planetarium is fantastic as it is far away enough from the hotel zone to avoid most light pollution but close enough to make it easily accessible,” said Alcérreca Sánchez, Quintana Roo’s state science and technology director. 
For more information, check out Cozumel’s planetarium’s Facebook page.

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