As Mexicans we are very proud to have an endless list of natural attractions to visit. One of the greatest ideas for day trips is visiting an island. We are sure you probably know Cozumel and Holbox by now, even Isla Mujeres. But there is an island far from the crowded places that is not as common as the rest. Contoy is almost unknown by many of the visitors that come to Riviera Maya. This incredible island is part of Isla Mujeres municipality and it was declared National Park on 1998. It is not accessible by land and even if you take a boat there are some specific things you need to know if you ever want to visit. Over all, the trip is definitely worth it.
Very few people know about Contoy island, its location and even less people have visit the place. This island is protected by SEMARNAT who is the Mexican organization in charge of protecting natural areas. Therefore Mexican authorities have implemented certain rules for Tour operators and visitors. You will not find a single hotel at the island, it remains uninhabited. No stores, no restaurants and no transportation in order to preserve its natural beauty. There you can only find a small dock, a gazer, a small flora and fauna museum, and a large palapa that is used as a restaurant for the visitors. By 5:00pm all visitors including boat captains and local workers have to leave the island.
In order to continue enjoying of the magnificent views that Contoy island provides, the place has to remain private. Only certain boats are allowed to offer daily tours and for certain amount of time. In total there must be only 200 visitors per day, no more than that. Authorities are very strict when it comes to protected areas like Contoy island. It is also requested to visitors that they respect the area by keeping the trash with themselves on in the boats to avoid pollution. Puerto Viejo is a small lagoon at Contoy island and is where most pelicans have their nests. During the tour you can take a walk in the jungle and explore around, once lunch is over.
Joining one of the tours might be easy once you are in Cancun or Isla Mujeres, but if you are staying anywhere in the Riviera Maya there are things to be considered. Transportation is important and can be affordable if you know where to request it. If you are planning on going by yourself, we suggest that you take a ADO bus or a collective (public van) to Cancun first. You can also go to Isla Mujeres and catch a Contoy island tour from there. You can also request with us your round transportation to Cancun port, where boats depart to Contoy island. Call or text to: (984) 196 1049 or e-mail: [email protected] Tours start around 9:00am but we recommend you to arrive earlier than that to avoid crowds. The tour itself lasts around 4 hours and with most of tour operators lunch is included. Rate depends on the company you choose but you will be looking at around $80.00usd per person from Cancun.