Lately, the local government of Cozumel has been busy, reviewing the zoning laws on the island. As a result of this, most of the island is now placed in conservancy. Cozumel Island Estates, as it now stands, is not just the only gated private community in its class on the island, but it is also the last and final approved inland subdivision for residential land use.
In light of these developments, the TCT sales team took a trip to the island last week to get a refresher course on just how special this area really is. This time around, we were enchanted even more than ever before.
From the moment we drove into the gates of Cozumel Island Estates, its tropical serenity took over. while inspecting the spacious quiet jungle lots only about a mile from the beach, we observed the living diversity of the heritage of the island.
While we were all admiring nature’s sophistication in its rich variety of native species of animals and plants, someone pointed out perhaps the oldest of the original inhabitants of Cozumel. Everyone stopped to stare at a huge orangee-colored 6-foot long dinasour looking iguana up on a branch over our heads.
As we found out, Cozumel is the home to some of the world’s largest and most unique iguanas.
These are not the usual green creatures that most of Southern Mexico is used to seeing—these docile Cozumel iguanas are orange in color. Although they are members of the same Iguana Iguana species, they are much larger and differ by their oversized dewlap—a flap of skin that hangs beneath their lower jaw.
Another interesting feature that makes this Cozumel dweller resemble its long-gone predecessors are the protruding horns on their snouts between their eyes and their nostrils.
The dinosaur survivor we saw was almost 6 feet from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail. It was as big as a football around its belly, and it must have weighed a good 25 pounds. We were all amazed to see that this exotic prehistoric-looking animal was completely calm and didn’t seem to mind our presence at all.
As we were told later, great numbers of these unusual creatures roam the island’s jungle. Actually, iguanas don’t really roam—they are gentle tree-dwelling vegetarians who like to bask in the warm Caribbean sun and enjoy an occasional refreshing dip in one of the many cenotes—fresh water sink holes—hidden on Cozumel Island Estates lots.
These extraordinary orange giants are often found in groups, and young males cover up the females with their bodies to protect them from danger of aerial attacks by large birds. Peculiarly, these are the only animals of this species that have this trait.
These benign Cozumel monsters are an important part of this jungle’s lifecycle; they maintain the canopy of the forest at a certain height, eating the fresh leaves off the top of the trees, and act as pollinators.
After our lot inspection, back in town, we were pleased to learn that they can be domesticated and make for a nice pet. By way of a lucky coincidence, we found a local with one of these impressive pets on the street, so we took some pictures with it.
Trees of Jurassic Park
Still on the lot, captivated by the native orange wonder, we overlooked the curious-looking tree, whose branch the iguana chose to sunbathe on. As it turned out, this was another one of the island’s native dwellers—the Kit an Che tree.
This ancient tropical one-if-a-kind tree actually grows from a clump of several small trees, which wind themselves together into a solid mass as the trunk grows. Because of this, the trunk of the tree takes on the appearance of having been woven together like a rope, with many spaces, holes and crevices on its surface.
This tree gets to be extremely old (over 400 years). Since it grows so slowly, its wood becomes very dense and does not float. The leaves of the Kitan Che are very small, about the size of a fingernail. For thousands of years, the Mayan people have used these leaves as an antiperspirant by crushing and rubbing them onto the skin or under the arms.
Today, as in “Jurassic Park”, the orange iguanas lazily slumber in the high crowns of the Kitan Ches on Cozumel Island Estates, listening to the Caribbean waves caress the nearby shore. The tranquility of these wonders reigns in this place. After refreshing ocean dips, this is the perfect place to enjoy worry-free summer afternoons in the shade of the giants.
As the gentle breeze off the Caribbean brings the soothing ocean sounds from the beach only a mile away, your home on these 10-acre lots will give you and your family the comfort and privacy that few other places could offer.
Cozumel Island Estates is definitely a magic jungle where the past and the present co-exist. The harmony of the past is preserved in its ancient species, while modern civilization is a short drive away. Come and experience island living at its best on these spacious private lots with historic unique natural wonders as neighbors.If you would like a chance to have and protect your own 10-acre natural time capsule—with echoes of the past—we still have 5 lots left.