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.