23 de March de 2017 0

Isla Contoy, the national park of the Riviera Maya

Thirty kilometers to the north of Isla Mujeres, where the waters of the Caribbean Sea join the Gulf of Mexico, we’ll find a natural reserve home to millions of birds, and other animals: Isla Contoy National Park.

Isla Contoy is a natural area protected by government agencies, thus an uninhabited island. Contoy measures almost 9 kilometers in length, hosting 152 species of recorded birds: frigates, cormorants, booby birds, herons, brown pelicans, and swallows. In the Summer, three species of sea turtles: hawksbill turtle, the hickatee turtle, and the loggerhead sea turtle that arrive to spawn on these beautiful virgin beaches. Thanks to the nutrients found in the water surrounding the island, majestic animals, such asthe great whale shark and devil rays arrive in certain seasons, after traveling hundreds of kilometers to feed on the plankton. Isla Contoy, together with other nearby sites, has developed a program for visitors to enjoy swimming with whale sharks, without affecting their environment. The tour with this great shark consists of many hours in the sea, snorkeling alongside this beautiful and harmless animal.  Contoy is one of the few places in the world where you can swim next to whale sharks and devil rays.

whaleshark

devilrays

Visitors arrive at Isla Contoy in small boats, the park is limited to 200 persons per day, for preserving the reserve. During your visit at Isla Contoy, you’ll be offered a tour through the museum, with an explanation of the variety of fauna and flora inhabiting the island. After the tour of the museum, there is a tour through the island, walking through the jungle, surrounded by a beautiful beach. On the path, you can see the variety of animal species, including snakes, hermit crab, multiple birds, iguanas, and other reptiles.

islacontoy

During your visit to the island you can enjoy one of the traditional dishes of the Yucatan culture, a delicious Tikin Xic fish. This fish is enveloped in a banana leaf, seasoned with regional flavors, and cooked within a hole in the beach, grilled over charcoal.

Isla Contoy has the second largest reef in the world, known as Ixlaché, which can be toured on snorkel or submarine.

islacontoybeach

Isla Contoy was named National Park, for which its main mission is to promote the preservation of its flora and fauna species and develop sustainable tourism. This magical land invites you to connect with nature and enjoy its bountiful features in a sustainable and organic manner.

 

 

Raúl Herrera

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