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Contoy Island national park

Contoy Island National Park is located 30 miles north of Isla Mujeres, where the Caribbean Sea to join the Gulf of Mexico. The reef south of Contoy Ixlaché marks the beginning of the second longest barrier reef in the world, the Great Mesoamerican Reef.

Contoy is a protected natural area since 1961 and was declared a National Park in 1998. An island is uninhabited and administered by the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) dependent on the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

Contoy is a small island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, about 30 miles north of Isla Mujeres. The island is only 8.5 km long and covers an area of 3.17 square kilometers.

Since 1961, Contoy Island is protected by the Mexican government and declared a National Park in February 1998. The island is jointly run by the Isla Mujeres based NGO, Friends of Isla Contoy BC and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

Eco-tourism supervised and regulated commercial fishing is allowed in and around the island. Only a few tour companies are allowed to bring only a maximum of 200 visitors daily to the Isla Contoy. Visitors need to apply for permission to visit the island at the offices of the Park in Isla Mujeres or Cancun.

Four species of turtles find a safe haven to nest on the beaches of the island, namely, the loggerhead, green turtle, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. The reserve is a sanctuary for about 152 tropical marine birds, including frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants and the double peak.

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