Holbox (pronounced Hol-bosh) is a small island in the Yucatan region of Mexico. The best way to get here is to fly into Cancun and drive to Chiquila, which takes about 2 hours driving. From Chiquila you take a quick 20-minute ferry and then arrive in this adorable little laid back piece of paradise. After arriving, I hopped on my golf cart taxi (the main mode of transport) and made my way through the sandy streets lined with cute boutiques and cafes. The actual town is very small, then the rest of the island is full of beaches and the natural habitat of jungles and mangrove forests.
I’d been hearing great things about this place, and it had been described as the less touristy version of Tulum, so I was really curious to check it out. There were some things that reminded me of Tulum, but Holbox has its own unique vibe. With a population of about 2,000, the focus here is really on nature and the natural beauty that surrounds it, and the people here are very proud of this and are dedicated to its preservation. The island is home to a host of animals including flamingos, turtles, crocodiles and whale sharks which come here to feed on the plankton-rich waters from June-September. This was actually a big reason as to why I came – I’d been wanting to swim with whale sharks for a while!
Days in Holbox were spent relaxing on the beautiful beaches with their clear, calm, and warm turquoise water. Exploring the island by bike is a great way to see it, and most hotels rent them out. There are also a few tours you could take including a trip to Bird Island to see the flamingos and the whale shark tour which I highly recommend! I went with Holbox Whale Shark Tours and had the most fantastic experience swimming with the whale sharks, turtles, fish and ending the day with fresh ceviche in a beautiful secluded lagoon.
For dining, I loved Luuma, Milpa and Viva Zapata. All super fresh and very reasonably priced. I stayed at CasaSandra – a beautiful boutique hotel owned by an artist from Cuba. Shopping in the town is great and you will find some beautiful handmade pieces from the region. The streets are covered with these amazing murals made by artists from all over – the colors and designs are gorgeous.
This quaint little island is absolutely perfect the way it is, which is why I’m glad I went when I did because there is a lot of talk about future development here which will take away from this very unique island. There’s already quite a few luxury villas that are being built on one side of the island, so the change is coming. Either way, Holbox will remain a beautiful and charming place for a very long time to come.
Wearing: Bikini from Lisa Marie Fernandez/Top and skirt from 12th Tribe/Kimono from LF Store/Sunglasses from Wonderland Sun
Photography by: Claudia Del Rivero