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Isla Contoy Day Trip: Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef and Eco-Paradise Tour

Cancun, Mexico
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

From US$104.99

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8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English and 1 more


Travel to Isla Contoy and Ixlache Reef aboard a comfortable boat on this full-day trip from Cancun. Snorkel on the reef amongst tropical fish, vibrant coral and sea turtles. Stop at Isla Contoy, a wildlife refuge and national park that protects 150 species of birds and several types of sea turtles. Take a tour of the island with a certified guide, then visit a nesting site and lounge on the pristine island's beach. Enjoy breakfast and an open bar aboard the boat, as well as a lunch buffet on the island.
  • 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
Arrive at the Scuba Cancun Marina on Kukulcan Avenue at 8:30am to catch your 9am boat. Enjoy breakfast onboard while being transported to Ixlache Reef. During this 90-minute ride, munch a pastry or sip some coffee while the tropical breeze and sun warm your skin. 

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world, is blessed with clear, shallow water (about 9 feet or 3 meters deep) and abundant wildlife. After a safety briefing from your guide, don the provided snorkel equipment and jump in. Be sure to apply your biodegradable sunscreen, which protects the reefs and your skin. Most hotels in the area sell this type of sunscreen. Look for sea turtles, schools of tropical fish, vibrant living coral and conchs scuttling along the ocean floor. 

After an hour of snorkeling time, climb back on the boat and head for Isla Contoy (Contoy Island.) Only 5 miles (8 kilometers) long, this tiny island is boasts 150 species of birds like the majestic frigate, the double-crested cormorant and the brown pelican. Green turtles, hawksbill turtles and loggerhead turtles use the beaches on the island as nesting grounds to hatch their young. Because the island is protected, it only allows a certain number of visitors per day, and only from specific tour companies. 

Take a 45-minute tour of the island with a certified guide, learning about conservation efforts and the island's unique biodiversity. After the tour, visit the island's lighthouse, the nature museum or the nesting lagoon. Relax on the beach before a buffet lunch is served, including beer and soft drinks. 

Finish your full-day island adventure when you arrive back at Scuba Cancun Marina around 5pm.

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Reviews by Viator travellers
The trip to Isla Contoy was great...
Kevin S
, Mar 2018
The trip to Isla Contoy was great. The crew gave very informative presentations on the geographic, historic and ecological features on Isla Contoy and on the trip to and from the island. Isla Contoy was amazingly clean and beautiful, and the crew cooked a wonderful lunch on the boat and carted away all the waste there is no littering or fresh sweet water on the island. The snorkeling stop was quite brief, but the hour or so on Isla Mujeres was just enough for two tasty mojitos at an ocean side bar. Overall an amazing way to spend the day.
it was 5 star loved all the crew...
john m
, Mar 2018
it was 5 star loved all the crew they were amazing I unfortunately got sea sick I forgot that I got sea sick 2 years ago. The lunch was great fresh fish again could not eat sea sick the birds were in their glory no humans to bother them because everyone has to leave the island by 4 pm this island is a sanctuary for the birds .. loved loved it
Disappointing. Up early to sit at...
Lavon B
, Mar 2018
Disappointing. Up early to sit at dock 1.5 hr. Isla Contoy beautiful, lots of birds. I specifically chose and paid more for this tour as said bar had rum tequila and beer. Only Corona Light, bleah. Isla Mujeres waste of time. 1 hr in crowded mega tourist area. Can't comment on reef, too windy to snorkel
The trip was good, the crew awesome...
, Mar 2018
The trip was good, the crew awesome. What I did not like is that I was told last minute- as I was going to splash in the ocean- that I could not go snorkel because I was pregnant. I am 20 weeks and active but they would not let me snorkel. Also the whole reason why we went on this excursion was to snorkel on the 2nd world's largest reef in the world and because of the water, we were taken to some off the shore small reef. Felt like a waste since it was my husband's birthday gift, he didn't get to snorkel where I told him and this was also not mentioned to us on the boat as well, we found when we were heading back to Cancun.
The trip and the visit to Contoy was...
Robert C
, Feb 2018
The trip and the visit to Contoy was good/fun. However, the snorkeling was poor as we actually snorkeled for only 25 minutes and not in the Ixlache Reef as promised in the promotional material. Following the snorkeling, we motored for almost one hour to the island of Women which was an absolute waste of time given that this island has now been overtaken by small scale sellers. These sellers are everywhere and the commercialization of this island is not a model to follow. To echo one person who was with us, this is one of the worst beaches he has ever been to in the world because it has become so commercialized. It would have been best to spend more time at Contoy and/or snorkel rather then rush to the Island of Women which is clearly designed to fill time, an hour motoring there and one hour on the beach or shopping takes two hour out of the day. On the bright side, the crew on board was great. Might be a good idea to have a microphone when providing briefings so everyone can hear properly when the briefings are conducted on the boat. Motors are roaring, music is blaring so it can be hard to hear the guide if he or she is standing in the front of the boat and one is sitting at the back. Also, when walking on Contoy, with the guide, one has to make sure he or she is close by the guide so to hear comments and explanations. Finally, the food for lunch was good but, the continental breakfast was not great. Best is to have breakfast before leaving where ever one is staying.
Snorkeling was great - lots of fish...
Teresa F
, Feb 2018
Snorkeling was great - lots of fish to see! Lunch on the island was really good too. The only part I didn't enjoy was the tour to the other side of the island - flies/mosquitoes were TERRIBLE!! Biting us constantly - I was itching for 4 days!! Definitely bring bug repellent.
Great day! Super friendly staff and...
, Feb 2018
Great day! Super friendly staff and the most exotic and private little island getaway. We saw turtles from the boat, we say rays, a flamingo flying over and a tiny reef shark. Just a tip - no sunscreen allowed on the island so bring a hat and cover up as much as possible.
The trip is about from 9 AM to 5 PM...
Sebastian R
, Jan 2018
The trip is about from 9 AM to 5 PM. First we have been taken to a wonderful place for snorkeling, then we stayed half an hour at Isla Mujeres and finally 3 hours in Isla Contoy, which is wonderful. Take into account that snorkeling is from the boat. In isla Contoy there is a magnificent natural beach and also a guided small tour of the island, where you can see frigates from really close. Breakfast was normal fruit and a brioche, lunch was great buffet with roasted fish, rice, vegetables, nachos, pico de gallo, chicken and other options, free bar all the time, with water, juices, beer, tequila and pina colada.
The tour we booked was cancelled...
Eric T
, Dec 2017
The tour we booked was cancelled twice because of rough water, totally understandable and it was rescheduled for Monday, the last day of our trip to Mexico. We were picked up, taken to the pier, and set up up. Once on the boat... told the itinerary... which also included a stop off at Isla Mujeres. We did not book this tour and it seems we were just thrown onto another tour. We had no desire to go to mujeres, and it took more time away from our family on our last day. We were a little taken aback that we were not given an option or told beforehand that we were getting out on this tour. Other than that , we enjoyed our time at Contoy, but the tour couldve been a little more extensive. Feels like it was rushed rather quickly, and feel like we missed out on other parts of the island that the other tour guides were taking their groups to.
Great crew! At one point we got a...
Lenore H
, Nov 2017
Great crew! At one point we got a huge net caught in our ship's propeller and the crew spent 45 minutes with snorkels, masks and knives cutting us free. That was different! But I think the time it took rushed the rest of our trip. Aside from this anomaly, Isla Contoy was the most beautiful part of my visit to Cancun noisy, dirty, commercial - sorry. We had the beach to ourselves for a little while. We saw thousands of magnificent frigate birds, hermit crabs and even flamingos! The crew fixed us a delicious meal and on the way home kept the cervezas, pina coladas, and sunset drinks flowing nonstop. We made a stop at Isla de Mujeres, which was like a mini Cancun I wouldn't go there again either. The snorkeling was gorgeous but too short and we had to swim fast, nonstop to keep up with our group guides. No time to stop and enjoy the many fish and beautiful coral. Overall, I'd recommend the trip and the company.

Product code: 3206CONTOY

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