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Yucatan's Hidden Gem: Isla Columpios - A Paradise Among the Mangroves

Yucatan, a land adorned with the lush Mayan jungle, charming magical towns, henequen haciendas transformed into immersive glampings like Belilula and boutique hotels without losing their old-world charm, truly paradisiacal beaches, cenotes, and gastronomic delights, has a secret waiting to be discovered: Isla Columpios.

Photo: Tours Isla Columpios

What is Isla Columpios?

Isla Columpios is a captivating tourist destination on Yucatan's northern coast. Its landscape is nothing short of mesmerizing: a collection of small islands, islets, sandy banks, and mangroves surrounded by water that ranges from transparent to turquoise to mint green. The seawater here flows through winding natural channels, creating scenes like the one on the island, where sand mounds emerge, and the crystalline waters are knee-deep.

In the past, this area was home to the Chuburná saltworks, but it gradually faded into obscurity, particularly after Hurricane Gilberto ravaged the region in the late '80s. Its uniqueness caught the attention of locals, primarily fishermen, who transformed it into an ecotourism hub, capitalizing on its natural beauty.

The name "Isla Columpios" comes from a spot on a sandbank adorned with swings, flamingo figures, and colorful letters spelling out the island's name. Around this point, you'll find more swings, hammocks made from fishing nets, and decorative animal figures like crocodiles. Rustic, welcoming, paradisiacal, and colorful – that's Isla Columpios in a nutshell.

Photo: Tours Isla Columpios

What to Do on Isla Columpios?

To reach Isla Columpios, start from the Puerto de Abrigo in Chuburná, Progreso municipality. You have two options for getting there: by boat (200 pesos per person) or by kayak (250 pesos). Take in the surroundings and revel in its natural beauty.

Once there, you can bring your own food and relax under the palapas, in chairs and little tables, right in the midst of this massive natural pool with its very shallow, soft, white sand. Don't miss the chance to swing on one of its picturesque swings for some fun photos or unwind in the hammocks.

You can also try paddleboarding ($500 pesos per person for two hours) or continue your kayak adventure through the surrounding mangroves. Don't forget to take a dip in the Dzul-Haa ('eye of water'), a beautiful spring surrounded by mangroves just a short distance from the island.

Nearby on Isla Pájaros, you can observe birds, including some migratory and endemic species of the region.

If you prefer not to bring your own food, you can opt for a package for up to five people, including ceviche, fruits, beverages, and tours of Isla Columpios, Isla Pájaros, and the Ojo de Agua. It costs $3,500 pesos.

Photo: Tours Isla Columpios

Where is Isla Columpios?

Isla Columpios is located in the small port of Chuburná, approximately 16 kilometers from Progreso in Yucatan. It's about a 40-minute drive from Mérida. In Chuburná, you'll need to take a boat to reach Isla Columpios.


The island is open every day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., offering you ample time to explore this hidden gem.

Please note that, when visiting Isla Columpios, the stay duration is limited to two to three hours to minimize human impact on the area. If you choose the package that includes the Ojo de Agua, the maximum time is five hours.

Links and Info:

Location: 65R5+MG, 97336 Chuburná Puerto, Yuc.

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