Starfish, pink flamingos, whale sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, shall I go on? These are all the things that come to mind when I think of the island of Isla HOLBOX. This laid back, beautiful, car-free island which can be found where the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico meet in the northern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula, are home to an abundance of marine life, and over 140 species of exotic birds. Holbox is unique as it’s part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. The ocean is flawless, with long stretches of sandbars and shallow waters clear enough to discover sting rays and starfish. At the end of the day, vibrant colors of orange, pink, and baby blues fill the sky at sunset. It's a picture perfect scene for a relaxing beach get away. This island is peaceful, quiet, and a perfect place to detox from the hustle and bustle of city life.
GETTING THERE: A little under two hours from Cancun airport or Playa del Carmen, you’ll come to a small town called Chiquila where a 30 minute ferry or small taxi boat will bring you to the special island called Holbox (pronounced Oh-bosh), which costs 140 pesos (about $7). When you arrive to the small island, an abundance of taxi golf carts take you to your final destination for about 40 pesos (about $2). It’s a very simple and easy journey.
EATS & SHOPS: Fresh seafoods consisting of ceviche and whole fish, lobster pizza, homemade pasta, and delectable gelato can all be found at restaurants that line down the beach. Some are literally beach shacks that serve the most amazing ceviche you'll ever taste. A majority of the restaurants can be found in the “town square”, which is in the center of Holbox. Additionally, there are numerous boutique shops where trendy apparel can be found, places to rent golf carts to explore the island, and leather goods at very low prices.
HOTELS & HOUSES: There are many charming and quaint hotels on the island, all providing beach vibes and relaxing sceneries in front of gorgeous colors of blue and gold from the beaches of Holbox. A majority of them are located on the beach, and some in town as well which sit over shops and restaurants. Additionally, there are beautiful, private, beachfront homes that serve as vacation rentals. The Beach Planner has visited Isla Holbox numerous times in order to locate the best locations for you and your loved ones, in order to assure a breathtaking experience.
ACTIVITIES: There are many fun activities on Isla Holbox, besides relaxing on a hammock over the ocean, include snorkeling with a large variety of marine life, fishing, bird watching, horseback riding down the beach, and swimming with whale sharks (whale shark tours are available from May to September). Another interesting and unique activity is a night tour of bioluminescent plankton, or phytoplankton. A tour guide provides wet suits and masks, and walks you into the water where you see colors of gold light up in the dark ocean water. This is caused by ripples in the water, causing protons to pass through the bodies of the plankton and creates electrical pulses that trigger chemical reactions, which creates the gold shimmers of light in the ocean's water. The combination of looking down at the golden glimmers of phytoplankton, and looking up at the abundance of stars in the sky made this tour one of my personal favorites.
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