lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel
Before and after the recovery
Before and after the recovery.
  On October 20, 2005, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history arrived and pounded Cozumel relentlessly for 3 days.

Wilma destroyed the face of Cozumel but not her heart. Islanders stood up, cleaned up and opened up.

Just 3 weeks later the first cruise ships returned.

Mexican President, Vicente Fox Quesada, described the comeback as "a triumph of collective determination over adversity".

Apart from the odd memory of Wilma's wrath here or there, today, one year on, the island has completely recovered.

Two cruise ship piers have re-opened and work is under way on the third - Cozumel is still able to receive many cruise ships with ease. Downtown is 100 per cent recovered and better in many ways - new stores, new gardens and new entertainment (but the same old smiles).

All bar a couple of hotels are open and some major improvements have been made. Despite sand shifting around, the beaches are looking as great as ever and the water is crystal clear for snorkeling or diving too.

Lastly, most importantly, tourists have returned and are enjoying their time on the island. Yes, business is getting back to normal. As islanders said when they waved goodbye to Wilma, "I'm Cozumel and I'm still standing!"

See the full Before and After Photo Gallery.

Latest Hurricane Dean news.