- Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef, followed by a guided tour and free time on Contoy Island, from Cancun
- Begin your day with a continental breakfast on the boat ride to Ixlache Reef
- Witness marine life wonders at Ixlache Reef, including coral, a variety of fish, spiny lobster and queen conch
- Enjoy a domestic open bar on the boat, which includes rum, tequila, vodka, beer, juice and water
- Learn from a certified expert guide about Isla Contoy, a wildlife refuge for birds, sea turtles and other species
- Choose one of several walking trails or lounge on the white-sand beaches of Isla Contoy
- Feast on a buffet lunch with beer and soft drinks on the island
- Snorkeling gear and safety briefing included
What You Can Expect
Grab a pastry or whatever strikes your fancy from the continental breakfast offered between 9am and 10am. Savor your morning coffee as you take in stunning blue waters and bask in the warm air. After about a 90-minute ride, you’ll arrive at Ixlache Reef on the northern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest reef system in the world. Your guides will provide a safety briefing on snorkeling. Pull on your provided gear and jump in!
Pick a color, any color, and you’ll likely spot a fish sporting that hue flash by you. The clear and shallow water — typically no more than nine feet (three meters) deep — makes it easy to spot swirling schools as they dance around the coral and queen conchs attached to the sea floor. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, too!
After about an hour of snorkeling, get back on the boat and cruise to Isla Contoy, where you’ll arrive around noon. Stretching five miles (eight kilometers) long, tiny Isla Contoy is home to more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds, such as the frigate, brown pelican and double-crested cormorant. Leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill and green turtles use the beaches as their nesting grounds.
Because of the island’s protected status as a national park, there’s a limit to how many people can visit per day, and only a few tour companies are allowed to bring visitors here. You are one of the privileged few! A certified expert guide takes you on a 45-minute tour of the park, pointing out the wildlife and noting the importance of its preservation.
After the tour, enjoy the island on your own at the nesting lagoon, nature museum or lighthouse. Watch your step, an iguana could be sharing the trail with you. To unwind, meander to the beach and spread out your towel, and marvel at how the soft white sand doesn’t stick to your skin.
In the early afternoon, a buffet lunch is served, with beer and soft drinks. Try the regional specialty tikin-xic — Mayan for “dry-wing" — fish. The whole fish is prepared butterfly-style and cooked over a wood or charcoal fire.
After lunch, hop back on your vessel to arrive back at the Scuba Cancun Marina around 5pm. Time flies on the ride, as you’re probably busy scrolling through the dozens of pictures you took of this unique day.