Quintana Roo and Isla Contoy for a Few Perfect Days

Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo
Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo

I’m just back from a quick visit to one of my favorite countries, Mexico.

We took this boat out to Isla Mujeres and then to Isla Contoy, with plenty of tequila, scuba masks and fins aboard.
We took this boat out to Isla Mujeres and then to Isla Contoy, with plenty of tequila, scuba masks and fins aboard.

This trip we flew to Cancun and visited Quintana Roo, one of the three states of the large Yucatan Peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean Sea.  Isla Mujeres is right off the coast and a smaller uninhabited island, Isla Contoy was our second stop.

Trips to the Mexican Caribbean in Quintana Roo usually involve a stay at an all-inclusive. And that makes everything a lot more relaxing since you’re not going to be leaving the resort except for the well-organized excursions and opportunities for water sports.

Lunch of fresh amberjack on Isla Contoy, Mexico.
Lunch of fresh amberjack on Isla Contoy, Mexico.
Street scene in Isla Mujeres, in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Street scene in Isla Mujeres, in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

I love it down here because I have a great memory when I first came here in 2010 and wrote about Ecotourism in Cancun.

Indeed, it took me by surprise, to visit a Mayan village and have a meal with the family, and then get hoisted down into a cenote and do a cave walk/swim.

The story won first prize in their journalism contest and I was given another trip down to Cancun to pick up my award among a glittering array of TV cameras and newspaper reporters.

Isla Contoy is at the top of this map, north of Cancun and near Isla Mujeres.
Isla Contoy is at the top of this map, north of Cancun and near Isla Mujeres.

On this trip last week, I returned to Rio Secreto where guests get suited up with wetsuits, helmets with lights, and water shoes and they are taken on a guided 4.5-mile excursion swimming and walking through the giant cave.

It’s quite an experience, and no one regrets choosing to don the wetsuit, as it can be cold down in the cave.

The best part was when we sat in a circle and held hands, and turned off our headlamps. We released each other’s hands and floated for a while in the complete and utter silence and the darkest darkness one can imagine.

Once again I can only sing praises to our favorite neighbor, Mexico. I never feel afraid when I come. And in Cancun, it’s hard not to find Americans everywhere not just a few, but the majority.

We spent a little time walking around Isla Mujeres, and the highlight of this small island is the Norte Beach. It’s a perfect little slice of white powdery sand, and it looked marvelous.

Dockman at Isla Cancun where we departed from the mainland.
Dockman at Isla Cancun where we departed from the mainland.

I stayed long enough to buy an ashtray made out of fish bones and clay, and to see that beach. Then it was off to Isla Contoy for exploring and especially–to just relax in the water after a first-class lunch.

Norte Beach on Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo Mexico.
Norte Beach on Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo Mexico.
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