Welcome to Isla Contoy
Isla Contoy is one of the most enchanting day trips you can take when you visit the Mexican Caribbean. This untouched natural wonder is just a few miles off the coast of Cancun and Isla Mujeres and is one of the best of Yucatan’s Northern Islands.
The island is home to over 150 tropical bird species and four types of endangered sea turtle species. These animals and a handful of scientists are the only full time inhabitants on this heavily protected island.
Since the island has strict regulations, there are a few logistical things you need to plan ahead of time.
Here is everything you should know before visiting Isla Contoy!
Where is Isla Contoy?
Isla Contoy is a small island just off the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Located on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second-longest coral reef system in the world), Isla Contoy is in a perfect spot for turquoise Caribbean waters, white sand beaches, and world-class diving and snorkeling. This is DEFINITELY the island life!
Northern Islands Map - click to enlarge
How to Get to Isla Contoy
You can only visit Isla Contoy through a boat tour company as there is no way of reaching the island on your own. To preserve the island’s lush natural habitat, it has a limit of 200 guests per day.
Most tours offer roughly the same package, so you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.
Generally, a tour to Isla Contoy will:
- Cost between $95-100 USD, up to $120 if you add Isla Mujeres.
- Include a light breakfast, drinks and snacks on the boat, and a buffet lunch.
- Pick you up at your hotel in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Riviera Maya.
- Take you to Ixlache Reef to snorkel for 45 minutes.
- Last from 9 am – 5 pm (not including pickup time).
- Not include a $13 national park fee (payable in cash at the island).
You should try to book at least one month in advance if possible because spots fill up very quickly.
What You Need to Know
Before going on the trip, you should review your tour’s information and guidelines.
Some important general information that you should know includes:
- Sunscreen and bug repellent are not allowed on the island to protect the fragile reefs. You need to apply both (reef safe biodegradable) before going on the boat.
- There is no smoking on the island or the boat.
- You should bring a swimsuit, change of clothes, comfy shoes, sunglasses, a towel, a hat, binoculars, and $13 for the park entrance fee with you.
- If you get seasick, bring some Dramamine in case.
What You'll Experience on Isla Contoy
If you visit Isla Contoy, your exciting adventure will generally follow this itinerary.
- You’ll start your day around 7am with hotel pickups and a continental breakfast. At 9am, the tour departs, and you’ll head over to Ixlache Reef. Complimentary sanitized snorkeling equipment and life vests are available.
- After snorkeling, you will arrive at the tropical island paradise. You’re open to wander the island and participate in its many exciting activities.
- Guided tours of the ecosystems are available. On these tours, you can see birds, crabs, plants, and other natural wonders.
- You can continue to swim in the crystal clear blue water or visit the museum.
- At lunch, there’s a delicious buffet included. Usually, you can try tasty local seafood!
- After eating, you can relax on the beach, explore the pristine island, and wander until it is time to return at around 5 pm.
Visiting Isla Contoy is an experience that you won’t want to miss!
Yucatan Highlights Map
This map shows many of our Mexican Caribbean highlights. To open the table of contents, click on the icon in the top left corner of the map. This will allow you to sort through the different types of highlights! Click on the points of interest or the icons on the map itself to access additional info. You can open the map in its own window to make it larger if you’d like.