Skip to Content

Why This Tiny Island Near Cancun Is Trending With Winter Travelers 

Share The Article

Last Updated

There are several beautiful islands that you can visit when vacationing in the Mexican Caribbean, and most of them have gorgeous accommodations from which to enjoy the views of this tropical paradise.   

The island of Isla Contoy doesn’t have any accommodations, though, and is popular for different reasons.   

This island is so popular that it welcomed more than 70,000 visitors last year.   

We’ll take a look at what makes Isla Contoy so popular and why this tiny island near Cancun is now trending with winter travelers.   

The Island of Isla Contoy Near Cancun, Mexico

Why Isla Contoy Is So Special 

Isla Contoy is a tiny island just over one square mile in size, but huge in its importance for the wildlife that lives on it.   

The island is home to around 200 different species of birds and other animals, as well as several types of sea turtles in the waters surrounding the island.   

Other than the wildlife, the only other residents of the island are scientists and park personnel.   

@jsv912 Isla Contoy 🏝🛥🐢 INSTAGRAM : JSV91 @@#visitmexico #islacontoy #fypシ #fypage #travel #mexico #viral #cancun ♬ Talking To The Moon TikTok – Remix – Eduardo XD

Isla Contoy’s History And National Park Status 

Isla Contoy became a nature reserve in 1961 but wasn’t declared a national park until many years later, in 1998.   

Although protected since 1961, since gaining national park status, Isla Contoy is more protected than ever, with a limit on how many daily visitors can go to the island and on what kinds of activities can be conducted on the island.   

On February 2nd the island will celebrate 26 years of national park status.   

@irentalconnect Isla Contoy es una pequeña isla mexicana perteneciente al municipio de Isla Mujeres, en Quintana Roo, México; y fue declarada Parque Nacional en 1998. 🇲🇽 ¡No te pierdas de visitarla con tus amigos y familia estas vacaciones!🏖 ¿Quieres saber más de nuestros servicios vacacionales, de rentas, tour y transportes en el Caribe mexicano? ¡Nosotros te ayudamos! Síguenos y entérate de nuestras promociones, best seller y noticias 🤩 #islacontoy #Islamujeres #quintanaroo #México #visitamexico #fyp #crab #parquenacional #bienesraíces #vacaciones ♬ sonido original – iRental Connect

Where Isla Contoy Is Located 

Isla Contoy is located less than 20 miles from Isla Mujeres.   

Isla Mujeres is about a 15-20 minute ferry ride from Cancun, so if you’re visiting Cancun, you won’t have to travel long to get to Isla Contoy.   

The location lines up with the world’s second-largest coral reef system, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.   

@cancun__tours 📍Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo, Mexico. 🏝️ 🇲🇽 #islacontoy #quintanaroo #quintanaroomexico #mexico #islaenmexico ♬ Caramel Latte – Prod. By Rose

How To Get To Isla Contoy 

Due to the restrictions on daily visitors to the island, with a cap of 200 per day, the only way to visit Isla Contoy is by booking a tour.   

Tours range in price from around $130 – $200, plus the park entry and dock fees of around $20 altogether.   

Many of the tours include a stop in Isla Mujeres, lunch, and snorkeling, and some also will provide you with transportation to and from your hotel.   

@lordbanquetasoficial Isla Contoy 🏝💚🦎 Un paraíso en #quintanaroo #mexico protegido como Parque Nacional Mexicano, con acceso maximo a 200 personas x día. #snorkel 🤿 #tortugas 🐢 #museo 📸 #playa 🏝 #tour ⛵️ Tour exclusivo de #lordviajes con la agencia @conexion.viptravel a un precio especial mencionando al grupo 😜 #islacontoy #island #turismo #reels #videooftheday #paseo ♬ suono originale – Alessandro Lord Banquetas

Keeping The Island Beautiful 

When visiting the island, you’ll notice that there is a focus on preserving it and keeping it beautiful.   

That being said, there are a few things you can do to help.   

Most importantly, it is refraining from bringing insect repellent and sunscreen onto the island.   

You can use them before taking off on your tour, but even then, you should only use reef-safe products.   

It’s also important to follow any rules posted on the island that are meant to protect the island’s important ecosystem.   

@cancun__tours Llegando a Isla Contoy 🏝 #islacontoy #mexico #caribemexicano ♬ sonido original – Midnight Mood

Tips For Visiting Isla Contoy  

When you take a tour to Isla Contoy, you’ll be spending the day on the island, so you’ll want to be prepared.   

You should pack everything you might need for the day.   

Sunglasses, a dry change of clothes, good walking shoes, a towel, a camera, and a swimsuit are a good start.   

@greenwingsexcursions Isla Contoy 🏝️#contoy #CapCut #islacontoy #excursionplayadelcarmen #mexique🇲🇽 #mexico🇲🇽 #foryou #pourtoi #mexique #excursionmexico #playadelcarmen #rivieramaya #caraibes ♬ Del Mar – Solo Version – Ozuna

Top Three Places To Stay Near Isla Contoy 

The location of Isla Contoy makes it accessible from several Mexican Caribbean hotspots.   

The three closest places to the island to stay are Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres.   

Each of these destinations has fantastic all-inclusives and plenty to do and will make for a fabulous Mexican Caribbean vacation. 

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.