TRAVEL: HOLBOX ISLAND

 

 

There is no better way to get inspired than to travel.

Isla Holbox is an island in Mexico, located on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is part of the Yum-Balam Reserve.

No big resorts, no cars, no franchises

The island's authenticity and natural wildlife is preserved by the locals, who have fought to keep their roads unpaved to help maintain it's refreshingly untouched feel.

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GETTING THERE

BUS
You can take an ADO or Mayab bus from Cancun International Airport to Cancun Centro Bus Terminal.  From there take a bus into Chiquila. The buses to Chiquila are limited. The last bus is at 2:15PM. Its about a 2.5 hour ride. The buses are very comfortable and safe. I recommend it if you are traveling on a budget. A one way ticket can run for $13 USD.

SHUTTLE: PRIVATE + SHARED
It is possible to book a shuttle to pick you up from the airport to Chiquila.  Shared one-way shuttles could cost $40 USD - $50 USD. Private one-way shuttles fit a max of 10 and cost about $125  USD.

CAR
If you rent a car you can leave it at several secure parking lots that charge $6 USD a day.

AIR
Small airlines, Flights Holbox and Aerosaab, have direct flights to Holbox from Cancún and Playa del Carmen. A Cessna 206 fits about 6 people and can cost $470 USD for a one way trip. A Caravan can fit 9 and costs $1,120 USD for a one way.  Prices reflect per plane, not per person.

FERRY
The island is accessed by ferry from the mainland town of Chiquila. The ferry runs every 30 mins and is run by 9 Hermanos and Holbox Express. A ferry ticket is $140 Pesos.

TRANSPORT TO HOTEL
The island has virtually no cars, with transport by most residents and tourists by golf cart or moped. Most of the island is walk-able. I didn't rent a cart or take a taxi the whole trip, I enjoyed walking all around town. It's about a 15 minute walk into town from the port.

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SLEEP

CASA LAS TORTUGAS
Is the most well known hotel. It books quickly so I recommend to book with plenty of time in advance.

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VILLAS MARGARITAS HOLBOX
I stayed at this place. Everyone was super friendly and helpful. Breakfast was included and it was a 5 minute walk to the beach.

To be completely honest, every hotel I passed on my walks was lovely. 

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FOOD

LOBSTER PIZZA, LOBSTER PIZZA AND LOBSTER PIZZA

MARQUESITAS
A crispy crepe that is rolled up and traditionally filled with melted shredded cheese and sweet filling of your choice. There are several carts scattered throughout the town. 

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RAICES
This was our first stop and WOW. There really is no better way to eat fresh seafood than sitting on the beach barefoot, drinking a few cold ones. 

VIVA ZAPATA
Very casual spot located in the middle of town. They serve fantastic ceviche and fish tacos.

Holbox has a good variety of food if you aren't keen on seafood. 

DRINKS

LUUMA
Very cool + chic, delicious cocktails

THE HOT CORNER
Fun, laid-back, and open air

TIERRA MIA CAFE
This adorable little micro shop has refreshing fruit smoothies and coffees

WHAT TO DO

RENTALS
Golf cart rentals didn't really interest me so much. The majority of hotels have bike rentals. It's a great way to get around the island. Kayak rentals are also available. 

SWIMMING W/ WHALE SHARKS
This should be the first activity to book. Boats leave early at around 7:00AM and return after 3:00PM. 

YALAHAU LAGOON
I highly recommend going on this tour. A boat takes you to Isla Pajaros, swimming in Yalahau Lagoon and a stop at Isla de la Pasion (Passion Island) where you can see flocks of Flamingos. The tour costs $30 per person.

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BIO-LUMINESCENT BEACHES
At the right time of year, between June and September, you can see beautiful bio luminescence. After dark, go down to the beach with a flashlight and shine it on the water to see if it glows blue.

WALK THE TOWN
Holbox is full of color and life. Just walking around and taking in all of the street art was a treat.

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WATCH THE SUNSET

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TIPS

CASH
Bring enough and then add a few more. Majority of shops and restaurants are cash only. There are very few ATMs and the exchange rate is not great on the island.

MOSQUITOS
Bring plenty of mosquito repellent and remember to apply and reapply. There is a bug called No See Ums and they're everywhere!!

FLASHLIGHT
There are little to no streetlights. If you aren't traveling with your phone this will come in handy. The roads tend to flood with water after a little rain.

I fell in love with Holbox. The trip to get there is definitely worth it. Enjoy!

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