Coming from the word Pontó in Mayan, which means pelican, with an extension of 9 kilometers long by about 500 meters wide, isla Contoy has been classified as a national park protected by the Mexican government since 1961 To the south of this island is the Ixlaché reef which is within the second largest barrier reef in the world.
There are some salty lagoons in its interior and due to its location between the waters of the Caribbean and those of the Gulf of Mexico, the currents that are formed there carry a large amount of nutrients for the diversity of marine fauna of the place.
Thanks to the remains found on the island, it is estimated that its occupation was around the 3rd century BC.
This island was part of the maritime routes of the ancient Mayans that carried merchandise between the Yucatan coast to the lower part of Tulum, during the Spanish conquest this area witnessed legendary battles between Spanish galleons and pirate corsairs that at that time plowed through the waters of the Caribbean Sea with the riches stolen from the peoples of pre-Columbian Mexico, this is the reason why in the area there are a large number of shipwrecks from those years.
Around 1900 the isla Contoy lighthouse was built on the island and it is recognized as a place of great importance for the preservation of seabirds.
The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources is responsible for supervising and caring for this sanctuary for birds, as of today only a controlled arrival of 200 visitors per day is possible due to the fragile balance of this ecosystem, this is not an impediment to being able to visit this natural paradise since different tourism services are offered to visit the island without any problem.
The vegetation of the island is basically made up of mangroves, which covers more than half of the island, there are also a hundred different plant species. The fauna is mainly made up of hawksbill turtles, green turtles and loggerhead turtles that nest and lay their eggs on the island’s beaches, we also have around 160 species of tropical seabirds, among which are frigates, brown pelicans, swallows of sea and cormorants, among others, these birds and others share this island with some 14 species of reptiles and due to the nutrients in the waters, lobsters, octopuses, shrimp and sardines can be found in the surroundings.