|Today we went on a tour to a nearby island called Isla Contoy, which is a national park and bird sanctuary 30km to the north of Isla Mujeres. We left in the morning with two other couples, our captain, two guides, and the son of one of the guides. Halfway to Isla Contoy, we anchored the boat by a reef for some snorkelling, which was amazing. The water was between 8 and 14 feet deep, and perfectly clear, and we saw TONS of brightly coloured fish. I thought I had gone snorkelling in Cuba, but that was nothing compared to this trip. At one point, Lauren and I found ourselves swimming in the middle of a huge school of fish -- there were thousands of them in every direction we looked.
When we got to Isla Contoy, we had a couple of hours to explore some of the trails on the island and then relax at the secluded beach. Lunch consisted of barbecued fish caught en route (chicken for Lauren and I) and all the beer and rum you could drink (Coke for Lauren and I). After lunch we had a chance to do some snorkelling off the beach and then we saw a big stingray. They are used to tourists, so we could wade in the water and feed it, as long as we were careful of its tail. I had a chance to pet it, and it felt weird... kind of like very soft suede.
At around 3:30, we headed back to Isla Mujeres on a very cold boat ride, due to all the spray from the waves. Also, it became clear that one of our guides was very drunk and going on about some joke that involved "Sancho"... he kept saying it and laughing his head off, and we laughed along with him, but we had no idea what was going on. Lauren and I were both happy to be back on solid ground at the end of the day.