Sunday, March 23, 2014

Isla Contoy Mexico

We have been using the Belize & Mexico’s Caribbean Coast Cruising Guide, by Captain Freya Rauscher, 3rd edition 2007. It has been a great source of information and the most current that we could locate on the market but, as we are finding out, it is out of date for such a fast changing cruising area. In the guide it described Isla Contoy as National Bird Sanctuary located 14NM from Isla Mujeres. The Island is home to the nesting grounds of flamingo, roseate, spoonbills, brown pelicans, frigates, cormorants, brown boobies, turns & red egrets. There is a 70 foot viewing tower, a biology station, where presently 5 biologists live and work, and a small information centre.  To be able to visit and anchor you must acquire a pass. 
When we received our 24 hour pass to visit, I was more than excited. I had visions of hiking the length of this 4.5 mile long by .5 mile wide island, coming into pristine areas of wildlife and birds, exploring like Jacques Cousteau. I was going to snorkel the advertised pristine reefs.  We had a beautiful sail north with a perfect east wind. When we caught sight of the island’s north tip we saw a 105 foot white masonry lighthouse, the sky above the island was filled with birds. We motored slowly as close as possible along the West side to capture as much of the island from the sea as possible. As we traveled we spotted a pink flamingo! Oh heart be still I had never seen a live flamingo before. 
When we arrived at the biology station, it was crowded with people from neighbouring Cancun basking on the small but beautiful beaches. Where did these people come from? What are they doing in my nirvana? Why are they lying on the beach and not exploring this pristine environment?  Well, it seems that 200 people a day are shuffled here from Cancun as an excursion, they are wined (tequilaed) and dined.  All, and that all includes us, can only use the beaches in a buoyed area, no snorkelling, visit the information centre which is very old and outdated, a two minute walk thru just about covered it all, hike a 550 meters cordoned area then up to the lookout where you can see where you really want to be. Out there exploring. I do get it, really I do. But it was me and this is not how it was presented. Now on the upside, as with everything, something just make the day perfect. The tourist leave at three, so we once again walked the area, it was like someone had told little creatures that the door was closed because hermit crabs came out of everywhere, iguanas scurried non stop and the concept of being anchored at a secluded island alone was pretty exciting. 



  1. Your own paradise!! must have been a great experience. Keep up the great pics . xoxoox

    1. Aunt Ruth we so thankful for the experiences we are having. Knowing you are watching makes me smile XOXO

  2. Jennifer from TorontoApril 15, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    It was wonderful meeting you both in Puerto Aventuras and hearing about your sailing adventure. I have enjoyed your blog so far and will check it out again. Happy travelling!