The morning before day we took the Isla Contoy trip, we signed up for this trip with the fisherman's co-op. They are located just down the dock from the ferry on Isla Mujeres. Tickets are $40/person. Lunch, drinks, beer (until they run out), lunch, and snorkel gear are included. We were told to show up at 8:30am and we left around 9:30. They fill fit you for the snorkel gear before you leave. You should probably bring some water and have your breakfast before you leave.
Our tour had about 15 people including the captain and crew. The boat is not big, but was covered. About 40 minutes into the ride, we stopped at a reef and snorkeled. There were tons of beautiful fish and brain coral. Life jackets are offered for those who aren't comfortable swimming in the ocean or just want to snorkel comfortably. While we were out of the boat, the fisherman caught our lunch, a 15 lb red snapper.
The ride to Contoy took a little over an hour. It's a beautiful trip. The water is just incredible. Once we got the island, there were only five other people there from another fisherman's co-op tour. There is a little museum and tower to visit (clean bathrooms too). A little hike inland, there is a huge water area with tons of birds. We were there for about two hours with the island basically to ourselves, then this huge tour boat shows up. I bet 100 people got off. Luckily, they stayed on the other side of the beach and we never heard them.
The fisherman grilled our lunch under some trees and benches were provided for their tour groups. All the fisherman's co-op tour groups share the food. It's a nice time to meet some other people. They grilled the fish, made guacamole, rice, ceviche, cabbage salad, and served it with corn and flour tortillas. It was the best meal I ate on our entire trip. Around 3pm, the big tour boat left and we had the island all to ourselves again.
There is a friendly local manta ray that comes to the shore trying to get handouts. There was also some kind of tall fish that was swimming around with the ray. It looked funny because his fins were too high for him to be swimming in such shallow water, but he knew that he'd get some food! There are harmless hermit crabs and iguanas everywhere, so watch where you step. Bring your mosquito repellent. In the shade they are really bad.
On the way home, the fishermen caught their own dinners. It was a wonderful day. I think this is a must-do trip. Definitely do the trip with the fisherman's co-op and not one of those huge tour boats. Make sure to tip the fisherman when the trip is over!
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