I always enjoy touring the small Cozumel Island Museum, housed in a pink building that served as the island’s first hotel. A replica of a Maya dugout canoe carved from a single tree sits by the front steps. On the first floor, my favorite exhibit covers the topography and plant and animal life of the island along with an explanation of coral formation and displays of various types of coral. A large map shows how much of the island remains undeveloped—less than 10 percent is inhabited. The second-floor galleries feature the history of the town, photographs of leading families, artifacts from the island’s pre-Hispanic sites, and Colonial-era cannons, swords, and ship paraphernalia. There's usually a temporary exhibit as well, featuring local artists, traditions, or history. 

There’s also a gift shop and a rooftop cafe; you don’t need to pay admission to eat here unless you plan to visit the museum, too.