Privilege Aluxes resort accommodations on Isla Mujeres puts you in the midst of some gorgeous scenery and precious tropical ecosystems off the Yucatan coast. And while much of this natural beauty and spectacle can be found right here on Isla Mujeres itself, one of the most extraordinary destinations lies an easy boat ride to the north: Isla Contoy.
This smidgen of paradise—just a bit more than one square mile of palm groves, mangrove forest, dunes, and white-sand beaches—lies roughly 20 miles north of Isla Mujeres, at the northerly fringe of the mighty Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (one of the biggest coral complexes on the planet) and at the crossroads of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. In recognition of hosting some of the most significant seabird rookeries in the entire Mexican Caribbean, vital sea-turtle nesting beaches, and, more generally, a pristine swath of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the island has been protected since 1961 and was designated a national park some 20 years ago.
The Wonders of Isla Contoy National Park
Park managers tightly safeguard Isla Contoy to ensure it remains an ecological jewel, which means managing both ecotourism and the highly regulated commercial fishing that takes place in these waters. Only 200 visitors are allowed per day, reaching the isle on tours by select certified companies operating out of Isla Mujeres and Cancun.
Isla Contoy supports major nesting colonies of brown pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds, double-crested cormorants, and other seabirds; more than 150 avian species have been recorded here, both residents and migrants.
From April to October, meanwhile, four kinds of sea turtle—loggerheads, hawksbills, greens, and leatherbacks—nest on Isla Contoy’s strand. Manta rays swoop through the depths of Imaxpoit Bay, while Isla Contoy seagrass beds and coral reefs support multitudes of marine life.
On a guided trip to Isla Contoy, you’ll enjoy a biologist-led tour and bird watching, plus a delicious meal of a local specialty: BBQ fish tik-in-chik. En route to the island, meanwhile, you can go snorkeling at the fantastic Ixlache Reef.
Visit Isla Contoy National Park on Your Privilege Aluxes Vacation on Isla Mujeres
Experiencing the wildlife and paradisiacal scenery of Isla Contoy National Park drives home the special beauty and ecological significance of the Yucatan Peninsula and Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and it’s all yours to explore firsthand on a luxurious Privilege Aluxes getaway to nearby Isla Mujeres: its own jewel of a Caribbean island!