10 Best Islands of Mexico

By Swathi Ramaswamy on May 31, 2018
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Islands in Mexico are known for their clear turquoise waters and clean sandy beaches that would not require any filter photography. Many of the hidden islands here have a charm of their own that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Their variety ranges from romantic getaways to party islands. So, if you want to eat some guacamole and down some tequila shots in tropical weather, scroll below and take your pick. 

1. Cozumel

Beginning with the most popular one., Cozumel is the Caribbean island of Cozumel of Mexico. This place has always been the top choice for tourists because it is a complete package in itself.  To complete the island experience, it offers white sandy beaches, warm weather and sumptuous food. This island is an ideal destination for water sports that involves diving since it has the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is world`s second-largest coral reef system.

How to reach: Flight, ferry or cruise.

Cozumel Island, MexicoImage Source: wikimedia.org

2. Isla Holbox

This one is the exact opposite of Cozumel where there is not much hustle of regular tourist crowd.  Isla Holbox must be your choice of island if you are looking to escape from the humdrum of city life since it offers tranquility and peace. This island still remains untouched and undeveloped with zero human intervention. Hence, it will be a more laid-back holiday out here. The wildlife sightings here is exotic including crocodiles, sea turtles, flamingos and pelicans, among other animals. However, be prepared to get disconnected with the world quite literally when traveling to this island. With limited cell-phone coverage and zero private cars, the “Do Not Disturb” sign would automatically get activated for your holiday out here. You can swim with the whales and manta rays by taking boat-trips to the sea. You can also explore the mangroves on this island on a kayak. Otherwise, just lay-back on a hammock and watch the sunset!

How to reach: Private flights and ferry

Isla Holbox Island, MexicoImage Source: pixabay.com

3. Isla Contoy

Quite a tiny island, it would be perfect to cover it in just a day-trip. This place is a sanctuary for turtles and variety of tropical birds. The clear and blue waters of this island can be taken advantage of by snorkeling and diving activities to spot the marine life. From tropical fish, stingray to the sea turtle the waters of Isla Contoy are full of life!

How to reach: By boat.

Isla Contoy Island, MexicoImage Source: wikimedia.org

4. Isla Mujeres

This island is more of a lively and party island that offers a good nightlife scene. There are a bunch of resorts here that can be booked-in. Playa Norte or the North Beach is the most popular spot of the island that is rich in coral reefs. This give ample snorkeling and diving opportunities to tourists. Also present on this island is a secluded lighthouse and a Mayan temple. You can do the usual island things on this island like get a massage, shop or just go biking around the island, apart from indulging in fresh sea food. 

How to reach: Ferry

5. Marietas Islands, Jalisco 

This is a volcanic archipelago that stands protected by a marine park. This island is also a thriving bird sanctuary that is home for numerous bird species. Some of the unique bird species of this island include the blue-footed booby, the pájaro bobo café and the white-capped marine swallow. Apart from bird watching, diving and snorkeling are other popular activities of this island. There is also a hidden beach on this island that is present inside an isolated cove that is also a popular spot here that can be discovered. However, be prepared to witness a lot of crowd on that tiny cave beach, reaching which can be task too (swim and go below the cave). 

How to reach: By boat.

Marietas Islands, JaliscoImage Source: wikimedia.org

6. Isla Agaltepec

This island is located on Lake Catemaco of eastern Mexico. Mexican howler monkeys inhabit this island.  Even though visitors are not allowed to set foot on this island, there are conducted boat tours to take you near this island to catch a glimpse of the monkeys and other wildlife species that inhabit this island. Shaped as a crocodile, it is also known as the “crocodile island” locally.

How to reach: By boat.

Isla Agaltepec Island, MexicoImage Source: wikimedia.org

7. Isla Espíritu Santo

Also known as the Holy Spirit Island, this is one of the star islands of Mexico that is also a designated World Heritage Bioreserve by UNESCO.  The island has adventurous hiking trails that can be explored by visitors. Black-tailed jackrabbits are the big-eared hare that can be spotted when looking out for wildlife in this island. Diving and snorkeling are also popular in here. You can take a tour to swim with the sea lions out here which will be an experience that you relish throughout your life. 

How to reach: By boat.

8. Islas Socorro

Socorro island is a part of the volcanic islands of Revillagigedo archipelago. This island is known for its beautiful marine life. A large population of Pacific Giant Manta Rays inhabit the waters on this island. They circle the island since it is rich in planktons. Also easily spotted are, bottle nose dolphins that are present in large numbers here. Other animals of the area include Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, jacks, barracudas, wahoo, oceanic white tips sharks and whale sharks. Thus, diving here would give you ample opportunity to spot these marine animals.

How to reach: By boat.

9. Isla María Madre

This place is yet another designated biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The wildlife and marine life on this island is no match to any of the other islands since this island was uninhabited for a long time.  Thus, it is still home to a variety of endangered species of animals. Isla María Madre is the largest of the four archipelago islands of Isla Marias.  and is located around 65 miles (104 kilometers) off the coast of Nayarit state. Presently the island hosts a small population of humans and also has the Islas Marias Federal Prison.

How to reach: By boat.

10. Isla Tiburón

The largest island of Mexico, Isla Tiburon has two Mexican military encampments out here.  it is currently uninhabited. Since it is controlled by the Seri tribal government and the Mexican federal government, visitors would need a special permit to visit this unexplored island. Both day-time permits and over-night stay ones can be applied for. The island has sandy shores, gravel beaches as well as cliffs from the traveler`s point of view. Also, there a bunch of interesting coves that can be explored here. There are many secluded coves on the island. Fishing is another activity that campers resort to.

How to reach: By boat

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