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5 mistakes people make when visiting Isla Contoy

5 mistakes people make when visiting Isla Contoy

Make your visit to Isla Contoy unique and hassle-free by following this guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes people make during their tour.

Traveling to Isla Contoy is an experience that few can enjoy. Either because it only admits 200 people per day, because of its multiple rules, or because very few companies are authorized to sell this tour, as it requires several permits to dock at the pier. 


So, when you visit Contoy, the best thing you can do to make the most of your trip is to be well-informed to have a complete adventure. Read on and find out how to avoid the 5 mistakes people make when visiting Isla Contoy so you can have a worry-free experience.

Mistake #1: Wearing non-biodegradable sunscreen

niña usando bloqueador solar

Isla Contoy is not only a Natural Protected Area, but it is also a site declared as a Ramsar Wetland and is recognized as one of the 18 Natural Sanctuaries of Mexico, this means that it is a guarded area with many rules to follow to ensure its preservation. 

The most important rule in Isla Contoy is not to use sunscreen, as the chemicals they contain are extremely polluting for the marine fauna.


✔️ ️ Wear biodegradable sunscreen.

There are sunscreen brands that seek to minimize the negative impact on the planet. To identify them, check that they do not contain oxybenzone, octinoxate, and/or octocrylene.


✔️ You can also wear rashguard.

A rashguard is a polyester or lycra garment that adapts to the body. One of its great benefits is that the long sleeve rashguard protects you against the sun's rays and thus avoids the use of sunscreen.


Mistake #2: Forgetting that there are mosquitoes in the jungle

hombre usando repelente contra mosquitos

When you visit Isla Contoy, you will arrive at an unspoiled island where plant and animal species thrive in their natural environment, including mosquitoes. They may seem like annoying creatures to us, but they serve as food for larger animals.

Since repellents are also prohibited, one of the most frequent complaints about Isla Contoy is that many mosquitoes feed on visitors, so we recommend the following.


✔️ ️Wear pants.

You'll think it's crazy to wear pants on an island, especially in the Caribbean heat, but trust us, you will need them. Opt for wearing pants made with breathable fabrics, ideal for the beach. They will help you survive the bites.


✔️ ️Wear biodegradable repellent.

Like sunscreen, repellents contain chemicals that harm mosquitoes and other protected species. We recommend you buy biodegradable sunscreen and repellents from the beginning of your trip to the Caribbean because other eco-parks will surely ask for them.


Mistake #3: Believing that there will be sunbeds and other luxurious amenities

foto panorámica de isla contoy

Actual photo of Isla Contoy

Yeah, maybe you will read that Contoy is an exclusive island. What they actually mean is that only a few visitors are allowed to enter daily.

Remember that Isla Contoy is an untouched island and is not presicely used as a luxurious and comfort destination. While you can sunbathe and relax on the beach, this is an ecotour where you can explore the island, learn about flora and fauna, and swim in the pristine beach.


✔️ In Isla Contoy, you won't find lounge chairs, hotels, restaurants, or vendors. The (man-made) facilities that you can enter as a visitor are:

  • Dock
  • Lagoon Viewpoint
  • Ecological restrooms
  • Museum
  • Dining room Palapa
  • Umbrella-type palapas on the seashore


✔️ And the natural areas to which you have access are:

  • The beach
  • Interpretive trails
  • Dune area viewpoint

Learn more about the island in our complete guide to Isla Contoy National Park.


Mistake #4: Carrying too much stuff

Bolsas y equipaje en la playa de isla contoy

Following the previous point, remember that Isla Contoy does not have facilities to store your luggage. Just as the animals are under protection, the plants are also well cared for, therefore, it is not allowed to hang bags, towels or any type of clothing on the palm trees or bushes found there.


✔️ ️ Leave your belongnings on board your boat.

If your bag is too big, you can leave your belongings on board your boat to avoid carrying them around the island. Keep in mind that, on your tour, you will share the boat with other passengers, so we recommend you keep your things to avoid misplacing them.


✔️ ️ Take only the essentials.

When visiting Isla Contoy, you won't need too many things. To travel light and comfortably, we suggest you bring the following:

  • Swimsuit already on
  • Hat or cap (tight fitting so they don't blow off)
  • Sunglasses
  • Biodegradable sunscreen
  • Biodegradable repellent
  • Water shoes or flip flops
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Phone or camera with waterproof protection
  • Cash for tips

Since the boat will be close by, you can leave your backpack on it and go down to the island with a small bag with your most valuable items.


Mistake #5: Thinking you'll get a phone signal

señal telefónica en isla contoy

We already know Contoy is a pristine island where only scientists and park rangers live to preserve this amazing ecosystem. The main objective is to maintain its natural state and avoid the human footprint on it. For that reason is that in Isla Contoy, there is no telephone signal, in fact, there is not even electricity. That is why we recommend you:


✔️ ️ Enjoy the island.

One of the strengths of Isla Contoy is that you will experience a disconnection from the rest of the world. Possibly the only encounter you will have with technology is with your camera. Take this opportunity to relax, swim at the beach, photograph nature or learn about the island.


✔️ ️ Charge your phone well.

Just as there is no phone signal on the island, there is also no electricity. If you want to take pictures with your smartphone during the tour, be sure to charge it or bring an external battery.



If you avoid the most common mistakes and prepare before your trip, we are sure you will live an incredible experience in one of the most exclusive and beautiful destinations in the Mexican Caribbean. Reserve your spot now!

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