From the Ponto word in Mayan meaning pelican, Isla Contoy is located north of Isla Mujeres, with an extension of 9 kilometers long by about
500 meters wide, this island has been cataloged as a national park protected by the Mexican government since 1961. To the south of this island is the Ixlaché reef, which is within the second largest barrier reef in the world. There are some salty lagoons in its interior and due to its location between the waters of the Caribbean and those of the Gulf of Mexico, the currents that form there carry a great amount of nutrients for the diversity of marine fauna of the place.
Pirates against conquerors.
Thanks to the remains found on the island it is estimated that its occupation was around the third century BC. This island was part of the maritime routes of the ancient Mayans who carried goods between the Yucatan coast and the lower part of Tulum. During the Spanish conquest, this area witnessed legendary battles between Spanish galleons and pirate corsairs, at that time waters of the Caribbean Sea with the riches stolen from the peoples of pre-Columbian Mexico, this is the reason why in the area there are a lot of shipwrecks of those years. Around 1900 the Contoy lighthouse was built on the island and it is recognized as a place of great importance for the preservation of seabirds.
The island escapes through my mouth, it’s a sigh, a scratch on the stone.
When I want to grab it, it escapes with an angel’s wing, when I want to leave it I sink in the sand.
The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources is responsible for supervising and caring for this sanctuary for birds, today it is only possible a controlled arrival of 200 visitors per day due to the fragile balance of this ecosystem, this is not an impediment to be able to Visit this natural paradise as different tourism services are offered to visit the island without any problem.
These are your hosts.
The vegetation of the island is basically made up of mangroves, which covers more than half of the island. There are also a hundred different plant species. The fauna mainly consists of hawksbill turtles, green turtles and loggerhead turtles that nest and lay their eggs on the beaches of the island, we also have around 160 species of tropical marine birds, among which are distinguished frigates, brown pelicans, swallows of sea and cormorants, among others, these birds and others share this island with about 14 species of reptiles and due to the nutrients of the waters, you can find lobsters, octopus, shrimp and sardines in the surroundings.
The Whale Shark comes to visit.
Every year, the visit of the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, approximately 12 meters long and an impressive 14 tons of weight, will honor us with your visit since from May to September this fabulous animal comes to feed in these warm waters and it is possible to swim by your side following the indications of the specialized staff that offers the guided tours, in spite of its gigantic dimensions this shark does not present any danger to the human being, since its main food is the plankton that at this time and due to Sea currents are found in abundant quantities in this area. This is another experience that nobody should miss if they visit the Mexican Caribbean.
To respect the environment in Isla Contoy visitors are asked not to use any chemical product, including sunscreen or insect repellent, since these chemicals can damage the ecosystem of the region. It is recommended to wear long sleeve cotton shirt. If the sunscreen or repellent is necessary for medical reasons, it is recommended to buy brands that use strictly biodegradable ingredients.