No matter how long you are staying in the Riviera Maya, a trip to Isla Contoy must be part of your itinerary! The tiny island (only 8.5 km long) is a national park. Therefore, the only way to reach it is by joining an organized tour, which will take you to the island on an authorized boat. The island is home to rare plant and animal species. It is also a bird sanctuary populated by pelicans, cormorants, herons and frigates. Moreover, it has an observatory to study the frigate, a rare bird race with a 2 m wingspan.
The classic trip suggested by local agencies consists in:
- Early morning pick-up at your hotel: a mini van will bring you to Cancun’s port. Here you will board and reach Isla Contoy after about 1 hour of sailing;
- A short guided tour of the island;
- Lunch (some iguanas will join you for sure!);
- Snorkeling (it depends on sea conditions);
- A short stop on Isla Mujieres on the way back;
- Transfer back to your hotel.
In addition to this, you will have enough time to relax on one of the Caribbean beaches and to swim along them! It is a full-day trip, which must be part of your stay, even if your are spending just a week or so in Mexico (as I did).
The landscape is amazing and it perfectly meets the idea we all have of the Caribbean Sea. On the other hand, walking over the island, you will have the chance to admire a peculiarity of Isla Contoy: it is located where the waters of the Caribbean Sea, blue and crystal clear, meet those of the Gulf of Mexico, dark and impetuous. The chromatic gap between them, visible from any hill of the island, is worth taking a picture.
WHERE DID I BOOK MY TRIP? At Caribe Viaggi Agency – 5Th. Avenue between street #32 and #34 (under Hotel Banana) in Playa del Carmen. The owners are Italian.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? About 100$/person. (Is it worth it? Yes, it is!)
MY ADVICE Wait al least a couple of days after your arrival before joining this trip: the sun exposure is high, so it is better to let your skin adapt to it.