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Isla Contoy Visitors Guide

How to Get There, Things to Do & More

Updated October 2021

Isla Contoy, Mexico. Things to do in isla contoy
Isla Contoy, Mexico. Things to do in isla contoy

Welcome to Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy is one of the most enchanting day trips you can take when you visit the Mexican Caribbean. The island is home to over 150 tropical bird species and four types of endangered sea turtles. 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 for ahead of time. Here is everything you should know before visiting Isla Contoy!

Isla Contoy is one of the most enchanting day trips you can take when you visit the Mexican Caribbean. The island is home to over 150 tropical bird species and four types of endangered sea turtles. 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 for ahead of time. Here is everything you should know before visiting Isla Contoy!

Isla Contoy

Where Is Isla Contoy?

Island Life Mexico Islands Map

Isla Contoy is a small island in the northeast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This untouched natural wonder is just a few miles off the coast of Cancun and near to Isla Mujeres. Isla Contoy is widely considered one of the best and most unique of the Yucatan islands.

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!

A Sea Turtle Near Isla Contoy
A Sea Turtle Near Isla Contoy

When To Visit Isla Contoy

The tropical climate in Isla Contoy is quite predictable and easy to make plans around. Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year, (the average temperature lingers around 83 degrees F) it’s the rainy hurricane season that most travelers need to pay attention to.

January – April

Perfect weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this.

May – October

The hottest and most rainy months of the year but still plenty of sunshine and fantastic warm water for snorkeling & diving. Also, the hurricane season peaks in September and October so keep an eye on the forecasts and definitely get travel insurance just in case. Fewer tourists mean you can typically expect lower rates at hotels, resorts and tour companies during this time.

November – December

The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Isla Contoy. The hurricane season has passed by this time and the humidity is low. Can be a little “chilly” in the evenings.

A Sunny Day In Isla Contoy
A Sunny Day At Isla Contoy

Visiting 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:

  • Costs between $100-150 USD and often includes Isla Mujeres as well.
  • Includes a light breakfast, drinks and snacks on the boat, and a buffet lunch.
  • Picks you up at your hotel in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Riviera Maya.
  • Takes you to Ixlache Reef to snorkel.
  • Lasts from 9 am – 5 pm (not including pickup time).
  • Does not include a $10 national park fee (payable in cash at the island).
Snorkeling at Isla Contoy
Snorkeling at Isla Contoy

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 $10 for the park entrance fee with you. Check out our What To Pack Guide for great tips and recommendations.
  • If you tend to get seasick, consider bringing some Dramamine.

  ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

When going on vacation in the time of Covid, Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Most of the current policies cover Covid medical issues as well as vacation delays due to Covid. They typically even cover your hotel if you test positive in Mexico and have to extend your trip a few days until you get a negative test. Our visitors almost unanimously choose a Trawick International Safe Travels plan which was a Forbes top-rated travel insurance plan of 2021. Easily compare the different Trawick, Generali and other top travel insurance plans here.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. This post is great! Thank you for putting this together, I will definitely be visiting Isla Contoy now. It just sounds magical.

  2. Isla Contoy looks like such a change of pace from Cancun and Playa. We appreciate your helpful information and will visit next time we are in the area. I love sea turtles!

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