Bird lovers will find great delight in visiting the island of Isla Contoy. Isla Contoy is located at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is approximately 30 kilometers north of Isla Mujeres and is only 8.5 KM in length. Isla Contoy is the most important nesting place for sea birds in all of the Mexican Caribbean.
The island has been protected by the Mexican government since 1961 and was declared a National Park in February 1998. Isla Mujeres based Non-governmental organization, Amigos de Isla Contoy A.C, and the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas CONANP jointly run the island.
Its secluded sandy beaches, and lush palm trees enhance the island’s beauty. Isla Contoy is home to over one hundred and fifty migrating and resident bird species. The most numerous and easy to observe are the frigate, the brown pelican and the double crested cormorant. The island is also an important nesting place for Sea Turtles.
A host of government-sponsored biologists frequently monitor and study the ecosystem of the island. It also supports supervised eco-tourism and regulated commercial fishing.
Visitors to the island will enjoy the facilities of a visitor center with a pier, a museum, souvenir store and a resting area with benches and grills for barbecuing.
Very few tour companies have permission to bring guests to the island. Only 200 visitors are allowed daily. Tours generally sail from Isla Mujeres or Cancun. Based on the weather and the type of boat transporting, the trip typically takes around two hours. If you wish to visit in your own vessel, arrangements can be made at the Park offices at Isla Mujeres or Cancun.
Visitors can enjoy a tour led by biologists, as well as bird watch.
If you do plan to visit, remember to take along your sunglasses, caps, biodegradable sunscreen, mosquito repellent, photographic equipment and binoculars. Enjoy this breathtaking island in its entirety!