Holbox is a small island without cars or roads located in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. It is still fairly untraveled in comparison to places like Isla Mujeres or Cozumel, but it’s surprisingly easy to get to. From Cancun you can take a bus an hour north to the town of Chiquila then a quick 15 minute ferry ride to Holbox. All of the hotels and bungalows are within walking distance unless you have a heavy backpack or a rolling suitcase, otherwise you can take a taxi ride via golf cart which is the only form of transportation other than bicycles on the island.
The high season here runs May through September due to the popularity of the whale shark season but you can definitely go year round. Almost all of the bungalows and hotels are eco friendly and the fish is fresh. The blue waters will blow your mind as you walk 2 kilometers out and it doesn’t get deeper than your knees. The island is incredibly clean and the beaches are fabulous no matter where on the island you are. There isn’t a reef around Holbox because it’s a combination of mangroves and white sand which is the only downfall for me or I may not have ever left. Both ends of the island have protected marine areas that are obviously undeveloped, if you want to visit I would recommend renting a bike or a golf cart to get towards the opposite ends. From there you’ll have to park your golf cart or bicycle and walk in the remaining distance. You can find lots of juvenile marine life taking sanctuary in the mangroves until they are big enough to venture into deeper waters, so keep your eyes peeled for baby manta rays, sting rays, and an assortment of other fish.
For cheaper accommodation we stayed at Casa Blatha which came to about 60 USD a night. It was a quick 12 minute walk into the downtown area but it gets dark at night so make sure you have a flash light for the journey home. Our room was clean with a shared balcony with hammocks and a mosquito net over the bed and the bathroom was an amazing mosaic of tiles. Basic breakfast was included but they also had a menu you could order from. We ended up ordering proper meals every morning because the chef was absolutely amazing and all of the vegetables were fresh and local with many vegetarian options for me to choose from. On the last night we treated ourselves to a nicer hotel called Casa Takywara which only has about 12 different rooms which means the guests get lots of attention. Each room has a kitchenette so you can make your own tea, coffee or meals and the rooms are beautifully decorated with an island touch. It is located right on the beach with shaded areas and hammocks, private cabanas and loungers, meditation rooms with mosquito covers, and a zen garden to walk through. The men that worked the counter by day and night couldn’t be more helpful. They make the best margaritas and although it may take 20 minutes for it to arrive, it may be the best one you’ve ever had. Breakfast is also served at 9am picnic style on your balcony, and it’s pre-wrapped and packaged so you can come eat it whenever you crawl out of bed. Fresh local fruit, yogurt and granola. I couldn’t rave enough about this place! What a treat, we didn’t want to leave.
I would definitely recommend cruising the island in a golf cart and checking out all the little nicks and crannies Holbox has to offer. You won’t regret it. For budget travelers there are many cheap hostels that are located right in the town center for 12-15 USD a night. You can find yoga everywhere as well as fresh smoothies. It will definitely satisfy your foodie cravings. Make sure you don’t miss a sunset or a sunrise as the viewing is prime no matter your location on the island. We were absolutely blown away at the colors over the water and it wasn’t too bad to be standing knee deep, 1 Km out, with a margarita in hand as the sun went down. So, DO go to Isla Holbox before this tiny quiet island becomes much more than that. We spoke with some locals about how quickly things were already changing and noticed ourselves the imminent spread of more construction projects looming all over the main area and the outskirts. I would gladly go back to Holbox time and time again. It was probably one of the most unique islands I’ve ever been to, and that’s saying something! I kinda have a thing for island life so trust me when I say, explore Holbox! You’ll be glad you did.
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