Mexican Caribbean

The Pirates of Passion Island

Arrr...! Treasure in dem islands

The majestic Caribbean Sea off the coast of Cozumel contains an abundance of treasures. The best hidden is Isla de la Pasión, the lagoon that separates the island from Cozumel is called Laguna Ciega. Today, the three ecosystems that coexist in it are the mangrove, the jungle, and the coral reefs. They offer an amazing natural diversity, as well as the opportunity to practice extreme and aquatic sports.

This lagoon is enriched with legends of great pirates and buccaneers who sailed their ships between the mangroves. The island itself is barely one kilometer long, it definitely has you wondering if a scene from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here, with Jonny Depp swaying around the palm trees.

The ancient Mayan legend of love

The island is becoming one of the most surprising and exclusive places for social occasions and Weddings. Isla de la Pasión is accommodating couples to celebrate their unions before the deep turquoise blue of the sea. The ancient Mayan legends of love were world famous in the days of the glorious and colossal civilizations. The Mayans in 300 AD made Passion Island the home to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. Couples from the Mayan civilization would make the pilgrimage to San Gervasio, the Mayan ruins in the interior of the island to bless their marriages.

This destination also contains stories of adventure, blood thirst, gold, and treasures beyond your wildest dreams. It was an important territory for pirates, who hid their boats among casuarinas, pine trees native to the island and native to Australia.

The Pirates Welcome

Ahoy – was a pirate’s welcome, or a way to get someone’s attention. Arrr, arrgh or yarr was slang pirates used to emphasize a point. The piracy era began in the Caribbean in the 1500s and they would continue to raid and plunger into the most successful timeline of the 1660s to 1730s. Pirates and smugglers needed convenient hideaways, and the Caribbean with its many islands and thousands of bays provided the perfect terrain for raiders. Passion island was one such perfect place. Men were not the only ones living on the high seas, female pirates were just as lethal and vicious as their male counterparts.

Famous Female Pirate Anne Bonny’s love affair

Anne Bonny, famous for serving with the infamous John "Calico Jack" Rackham, sailed her Ship into Laguna Ciega late on the Sunday evening of September 13, 1725. The sun was setting along the coastline of the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula, pink and yellow sky warmed her smile. She knew there wasn’t much time to safely navigate into the lagoon before the tides turned and making hiding the ship impossible. Three days earlier Mary Read (another famous female pirate) had fallen in love with a carpenter on Rackham’s ship. The carpenter’s life appeared in danger after a pirate challenged him to a duel. The overly protective Mary Read intervened, forcing a duel with the other man and killed him in traditional pirate style. Fearing repercussions Mary convinced Anne Bonny to escape the ship, they loaded as much treasure as the rowboat could hold. With a twist of fate, Calico Jack busted in on Anne taking the map for the Aztec Golden city.

With Capitan Jacks heart broken, a blood bath fight ensued between the two lovers. After knocking Captain Jack out, Mary and Anne place the captain in the rowboat and set him a drift in the twilight on the Caribbean Sea. Tears dropped as Anne knew they had reached the point of no return. Killing off the few problem crew members left on board. They set sail for Cozumel, Anne remembering seeing Passion Island in pervious adventures near the mexican coast. For two weeks they remain hidden, watching for any signs of ships passing. They spent their time fishing, cooking, and trading with the local Mayans.

Port Royal or bust.

Knowing she had to keep the crew happy, they would have to sail to Port Royal, Jamaica to get supplies so they could go looking for the Aztec Golden City. On the second day at sea a ship carrying the famous Calico Jack spotted his ship and his woman Anne at the helm. So impressed by her wit and guts, he became even more in love with her. His respect had grown for her, over the weeks he had been searching for her and his Ship. He pulled alongside his ship ‘The Fiery Dragon’ and boarded it with a swing of a rope. With a treasure chest full of Spanish gold coins, he planned to win over his love.

No man had ever done a romantic gesture like this before in Annes life. She had been married before to a sailor from England. Her husband had become an informant for the governor of the Bahamas, the governors of Caribbean islands such as Jamaica and Bahamas paid buccaneers to attack Spanish treasure ships and ports. Some of the largest raids were led by the Welsh captain, Sir Henry Morgan, he was knighted later for his services. In those days, the raids began with official backing, buccaneers gradually became more and more ruthless, eventually attacking any ship they thought had valuable cargo, if didn’t matter to them if it belonged to an enemy country or not. The buccaneers had become the true pirates. Disillusioned by her marriage, she abandoned her husband and assisted Calico Jack in commandeering the sloop William from Nassau Harbor on New Providence. Anne looked into the eyes of her pirate Calico Jack, as he boarded the ship with a big treasure chest. She knew at that moment she would sail the seas with him till her end of days.

The end of a pirating life

Pirate legends could not exist without the myths, monsters and other imagined mayhem that has ravaged the seas since man first ventured upon it. Myths about the sea and pirates have been part of the human story for thousands of years. Around the 1830s it was the beginning of the end for pirates. Nations of Western Europe and north America with colonies in the Caribbean started combating pirates which saw the end of rousing tales of seafarers. In 1670, the Royal Navy had just two ships in the Caribbean, by 1718 the presence had swelled to 124 and piracy had become a shadow of its former self. A hundred years after that and the French had lost Haiti (their main Caribbean possession) to a slave revolt and Britain had double its number of ships there. The Navy was used to hunt down pirates. They dispatched quick and ruthlessly justice to anyone they caught.

You don’t need a pirate ship to reach Passion Island

Today you don’t need to have treasure to bury or have a peg leg or need to walk the plank to get to Passion Island.

Tours are available to give you a real sense of adventure while enjoying paradise. Our ‘All-inclusive Off-Road Jeep Escapades to Passion Island’ energize your vacation with an extreme Jeep tour. The roughness of the road is bumpy terrain, crawling though exhilarating water holes that take you on a natural roller coaster. Crossing the lagoon that Anne hid out in for two weeks, you will arrive at the beach of Isla de la Pasión.

The Islands magic starts enchanting the family with the white sand mixing within the sparkling turquoise blue ocean. Spend a spectacular, tranquil day sunbathing, laying in the hammock with a pina colada.

The All-inclusive Passion Island Beach Break is perfect for those who have 4x4 transport to the meeting point in Laguna Ciega. Here a boat will be waiting to ferry you across the lagoon to Passion Island. It’s unclear if Anne Bonny or Mary Read left any treasure buried in that two week stay, but should you hit your toe on something hard in the sand it may be worth, digging a little deeper into history.

If you fancy yourself more of a Capitan like Calico Jack sailing the high seas, a ‘Private 4-hour snorkeling at the marine park by boat’ would be the best option. You decide what reefs and Paradises to see on this 4-hour private boat trip. You decide how long you snorkel, and what breathtaking reefs you want to visit. There is in the north, on the way to Passion Island, two sunken boats to snorkel around looking for gold coins and treasure. Your crew will serve ice cold Beer and refreshments, to satisfy your thirst. Fresh fruits and snacks are available to compliment your spectacular day on the fabulous Caribbean Sea. No eye patch or parrot on your shoulder is required to combat the seas.

Whatever expedition appeals to you, creating a dream Vacation is not only possible but necessary.

By Santana Warner