When we arrived to Isla Holbox, we didn’t have any expectations. Supposedly to be a beautiful paradise.
I’m happy to say we found Isla Holbox, little known Mexican paradise to be just what we needed. The island is north of Yucatan Peninsula, separated from the mainland by a lagoon full of pelicans and flamingos.
Since it’s not as easy to reach as its more famous neighbours Tulum or Playa del Carmen, it remained a quiet place still unspoiled by mass tourism. No hotel chains or malls.
Isla Holbox, little known Mexican paradise
We missed our connecting bus to Chiquila so we shared taxi with one lady heading our direction. Ride from the highway junctions just south of Chiquila took an hour. Not bad if the taxi wasn’t too small for our long legs, had no AC and sun was shining very strongly.
Waiting for our ferry, a little stand with “Coco Frio” sign (Cold coconut) was calling out to me. Michal found a cold beer in a nearby shop and our exhausting day got brighter. Cherry on top was taking the ferry during sunset.
After enjoyable ride we found ourselves on the Holbox Island. With no directions to our booked accommodation, we figured that asking locals during the walk was our best bet. Although the island is 42 km long, only a small western part is inhabited.
We walked the same direction as everybody else – to the beach. After 10 minutes we found ourselves on the main square, there it was. Our lovely little hotel with flamingos by the entrance.
Eating on Isla Holbox
If you’ve ever been to Yucatan Peninsula, you know they put chilli on everything. Literally. Even on a fresh coconut. After few days we were ready to eat something else.
Isla Holbox has one square where most restaurants are located, although the best ones we found are in alleys when walking towards the beach.
Craving the food we are used to, the smell from pizzeria across our hotel seemed to persuade us. Little advice – don’t eat on the main square on Isla Holbox. Pizza was tasty but very small and overpriced.
Thanks to the next door establishment with nutella crepes, our bellies were finally full and happy. Nice girl was welcoming us with a huge smile every time we came back. Meaning every evening.
For all other food we visited a little market near the south corner of the main square. They offer orange juice, fruits & vegetables, smoothies and awesome huevos americanos (spicy scrambled eggs with veggies) for breakfast.
Life on Isla Holbox
Since the population on island rarely reach 2000 people, it is an ideal place to unwind and relax.
As with all backpacking trips lasting only few weeks, you try to make the most of it. We were getting a little bit tired of having a full schedule for the day. But here, laid back vibes of the island made us slow down and enjoy the moment.
Morning run on the beach and having a fresh squeezed orange juice (2$ of 1 liter) from the market is my idea of starting a perfect day.
Beach was almost empty and water calm. The only thing we heard during the run were birds and occasional splash of our feet.
Chairs are for beach-front hotel guests only and the sand on the beach is too hard to lie on, so we occupied two hammocks on our private little island.
Everything you need is no more than 5 minutes walking distance. Roads are made of sand and there are no cars on the island!
That means walking barefoot all day long. In case you need a ride around the island, little golf carts aka taxis or bicycles for rent are always nearby.
Activities on Isla Holbox
There is only so much time one can spend lying on the beach and reading a book. For us, the best way to relax is staying active and having fun.
Stand up paddle boarding falls into that and we ended up renting boards for an hour. Sea was waveless which makes it perfect for paddle boarding. But we haven’t gone far. No mood for workout.
Instead, we were running back and forth on the board or trying to keep our balance while standing on one foot. We might ended up in the water way more then it’s usual for stand up paddle boarding.
Our days were ending with evening walks on the beach and watching sunsets.
Maybe one day, when we return, we’ll try kiteboarding which is a very popular activity on the island. During summer months, swimming with whale sharks calls for an adventurous spirit. We are in!
But for now, having a few pina coladas in the beach bar swinging in the hammock was our good bye.
We were glad for our visit to Isla Holbox. Experience a place so calm and peaceful is something we are very grateful for.
Would you like to visit Isla Holbox? Let me know in the comments if you found another paradise worth visiting.
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