Isla Contoy Snorkeling

The 24th most popular snorkel dive spot in Mexico.

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North of Cancun, the snorkeling at Isla Contoy is known for turtle encounters. Within the Contoy Island National Park, the island of Contoy does not have any tourist services or lodging. It is located about 30km north of Isla Mujeres. Isla Contoy is accessible by private boat tours from Puerto Juarez or Isla Mujeres, and the tours are limited to a total 200 visitors per day to the island. There is a main pier that accesses the national park visitor center and museum. During Isla Contoy snorkeling, you may encounter loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles and leatherback turtles along with whale sharks off-shore.

Offshore, there are several popular snorkeling dive destinations. Off the north end, the Las Calderas snorkeling dive site is a strip reef along with an old wreck to check out. The reef consists of elkhorn coral and large brain coral formations among the sand flats with turtle grass. The dive site is known for some surge and currents. For this boat-accessed snorkeling site, the water depth is about 20 feet deep.

Off the southeast end, the Ixlache Reef is the most popular snorkeling dive site. For this boat-accessed snorkeling site, the water depth ranges from 10 to 20 feet deep. The currents and surges are pretty consistent at Ixlache Reef, and therefore the visibility is usually not as good as other places ranging around 20 to 30 feet. Keep in mind that Hurricane Roxanne in 1995 had smothered the reef with sand and it has been recovering since with new coral growth.

To reach the snorkeling at Isla Contoy, you will need to contact one of dive tour charter boat companies to arrange a trip out here.

Overall, Isla Contoy is the 24th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 37 snorkeling dives in Mexico. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Isla Contoy including Cancun, Cozumel, Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, Yal Ku Lagoon, Riviera Maya and Isla Mujeres.


Local Contact(s):  Contoy Island National Park +52 (988) 234-9905; Squalo Adventures, Isla Mujeres (+52) 998 274 1644; Delfin Diving, Isla Mujeres (+52) 998 578 7097.

Recommended Book:  "Snorkeling Cozumel" from Lonely Planet

Recommended Map:  "Isla Mujeres Dive Map" from Franko Maps

Best Season:  Jan. - May

Base Camp:  Ixchel Beach Hotel

Luxury Loding:  Isla Mujeres Palace Wyndham Grand Resort

Article Source:   Best Isla Contoy Snorkeling Review

GPS:  21.460286, -86.786391

Date Published:  12/28/2011

Date Updated:  7/9/2016

ID:  24787

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