TRAVEL / MEXICO
HOLBOX ISLAND + DIARY
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Holbox is an island located in the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Mayans used to inhabit this place before the Spanish conquest, and gave it its name: Holbox (Hole-bosh) meaning "black hole" believed to be named after the black tint that surrounds the lagoon at the southern end of the island.
How to get there:
We took a flight to Cancun and stayed there for one night in order to relax and have a nice dinner. Then we drove the next morning for two hours to a town called Chiquila by taking the road to Merida.
Most hotels in Holbox will offer to pick you up at the airport and take you to Chiquila for a fee. You can also take a bus from the central station of Cancun to Chiquila if you are in a budget.
From Chiquila you must take a ferry to the island :average price $100 pesos per person. The ferry takes about 30 to 40 min and leaves every half an hour starting from 7:00 am and the last one leaves at 9:00 pm.
What to expect when you get to the island:
The taxis are yellow golf carts that will pick you up from the dock and take you to your hotel for $20 or 30 pesos. Most hotels and restaurants are in walking distance, so if you are not carrying a lot of lugagge you can probably walk to your accomodation.
There is only 1 ATM cash machine available for the whole island, that rarely works so we suggest you bring enough cash for your stay! (Most venues are cash only)
Do not forget to bring sunscreen and bug repellent, always protect your skin!
How to move around:
There are golf carts and bicycles available for rent per day or per week! We highly recommed both to explore the island and get to the remote beaches.
Where to stay:
There is accomodation available at every price range. But we checked out all the hotels and our favorites were:
This would be our first choice if you were traveling to Holbox for the first time. They have great service, the food is delicious and the rooms are spacious and only within a few steps from the beach. Even if you do not stay in Mawimbi, you can go during the day to the beach club and rent a hammock for $80 pesos, a bed for $400 pesos or a lounger for $150 pesos. Food and drinks are amazing!
This is the fun hotel that has the beautiful hammocks in the middle of the ocean.
It has a delicious breakfast buffet every morning by the terrace where you get to enjoy a lovely view. It also has a pool and a restaurant indoors if you prefer to stay away from the sun. It is a little more secluded, it is about a 10min ride to town on a golf cart, and it is perfect if you want to relax and stay away from the noise, but still close enough to the center that you can go out for a night out in the town.
Where to eat and drink:
La Isla del Colibri is the most fun local spot to have breakfast! The decor is quirky cool with Mexican art covering the ceiling and the walls. This place is for an authentic mexican meal and it has an amazing energy, since it is family owned and everyone greets you with a warm smile.
When we arrived to the island we were told that we had to try the lobster pizza, as it is the specialty in Holbox. Although there are many pizzerias all over town, the best one we tried was Pizzeria Edelyn in the main town square. The owner is Italian and there is always a line to get a table! So come here early to snag a seat and see what all the fuss is about.
This was our favorite place to have dinner. It has a mexican-bohemian feeling with a lovely terrace and revolutionary art decorating the walls. It has live music every night, great drinks and amazing seafood! You can't really ask for more. It is usually better to go during the weekends, as there is more people and a great party ambiance. This place is also great to grab drinks at the bar.
What to do:
Holbox has many attractions for being such a small island.
The most popular tour is swimming with the whale sharks. People come from all over the world to experience the exhilariting feeling of swimming next to a whale shark the size of a school bus. This tour costs around $100 dollars to $130 dollars if you want underwater pictures.
The second most sought-out tour is The Three Island tour.
A fisherman takes you to the Cenote of Yalahau, where can you can swim in the fresh water of the natural pit that exposes ground water. Cenotes were sometimes used by the Mayans for sacrificial offerings.
Then you head to visit Bird Island, where you can discover different exotic bird species and see the elegant pink flamingos.
And last but not least, to visit Isla Pasion. A small island nearby with beautiful vegetation and a view point where you can take pictures of the landscape.
We loved Holbox so much! It was almost like being in another world where no shoes were required and you were part of this big happy family. Every sunset was breathtaking and the people are so friendly and genuine. Hope you enjoyed our travel recommendations and pictures as much as we enjoyed our trip! It was such a magical island that we are definetely planning on coming back!
To book a flight to Holbox click here: FLIGHTS
Cynthia + Amanda