Isla Contoy is a small island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo just 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres. Isla Contoy is ideal when you want to escape Cancun for just a day. The island of Isla Contoy measures approximately 8.5 km in length, and in February of 1998, it was designated as a national park. There is plenty of natural beauty and wildlife, which makes it a perfect escape to Isla Contoy in Cancun.
Getting to Isla Contoy
To get to Isla Contoy, you can go by ferry from Cancun or from Isla Mujeres, it really depends on where you are staying. You will want to make your plans in advance because there are just a few tour operators that are able to bring tourists to Isla Contoy Island. Also, there is a maximum of 200 visitors each day, which means the space is very limited. It can take approximately one to two hours for the trip from Cancun and Isla Mujeres to the Isla Contoy Island. If you happen to have your own boat and you want to take yourself to Isla Contoy, you will need to get permission beforehand at the park offices in either Isla Mujeres or Cancun, depending on where you are located. When you and your party are on your way to the Isla Contoy Island, you can take a break and go snorkeling in the beautiful lxlache Reef. You can go swimming and snorkeling and enjoy all the vibrant and colorful marine life.
Beautiful Nature and Wildlife To See
You may have not heard this, but Isla Contoy is one of the most important nesting sites for all of the seabirds in the Mexican Caribbean. The Amigos de Isla Contoy A.C. and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas CONANP run the Isla Contoy island. The Secretary of Environment and the Natural Resources and Fishing (SEMARNAT) also works with these organizations. The sandy white beaches are pristine and private in Isla Contoy, and there are over 150 different species of birds that nest in the area. Some of the bird species live at the island year-round, and some of the bird species only pass through during their annual migrations. Some of the most commonly seen birds on Isla Contoy are the brown pelicans, the frigate, and the double-crested cormorant. You can have a resident biologist go with you during your tour so you can learn more about the bird species and the other wildlife that call Isla Contoy their home.
Three Sea Turtle Species and 98 Plant Species
Along with a large number of bird species, sea turtles make the Isla Contoy their nesting place, too. Every summer there are three different species of sea turtles that come to Isla Contoy to nest, and these three sea turtle species include the loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles. Also, there are 98 different plant species on the Isla Contoy Island, and it includes the mangrove colonies that provide much-needed shade and shelter for reptiles, birds, fish, and crustaceans that live on the island. Isla Contoy has government-sponsored biologists who monitor and study the wildlife and ecosystem on the island. The biologists regulate all commercial fishing as well to help support eco-tourism.
Nobody lives on Isla Contoy except for the workers. There is a visitor center that features a souvenir shop, a museum, a pier, and ecological restrooms. You can take a break at the resting area where palapas and benches are provided. Visitors can also take advantage of the BBQ grills for grilling out, and there is also a watchtower that is twenty-meters high. The views are breathtaking from the top of the watchtower. If you and your family enjoy hiking, then you can choose from two different walking paths that will let you get even closer to the island’s flora and fauna. Recently, an archeological underwater museum was constructed, which is a great way to get out of the sun for a bit. There isn’t much shade on the island, so you will want to make sure you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, hats, binoculars, and cameras. Everything that you are planning to bring to Isla Contoy must be biodegradable so the environment is protected.
The next time you are vacationing in Cancun, you will want to make sure you visit Isla Contoy. You and your family can escape to Isla Contoy in Cancun, where you can enjoy a majestic oasis of natural beauty and abundant wildlife.