If you’re looking for untouched beauty then this is this is the place for you. This small fishing village is surrounded by a shallow lagoon with thousands of different types of birds such as flamingos and pelicans. With its sandy streets, lack of vehicles and wildlife in abundance, it truly is an escape from the real world and off the beaten tourist track.
Located northwest of Cancun, the island is 40km long and 2km wide and most of it is still virgin territory. You can visit the island on a day trip by plane from Playa del Carmen but if you see this exquisite place you’re going to want to stay. You can catch a bus from Cancun to Port Chiquila (three hours away), then a 15 minute ferry ride to Holbox Island. Accommodation is easy to book online and there’s a variety of different options from hotels in the main town to private houses on the beach.
The most amazing experience here is the snorkelling trip with the whale sharks. From June until August just off the island, the world’s largest population of these gigantic fish congregate to feed on the plankton in the rich waters. Half of the fishermen become tour guides for the season so you’ll have no trouble booking a trip.
There are a few small islands in the surrounding area. Isla Pajaros (Bird Island) is 30 minutes from Holbox and a natural sanctuary for so many species. Of the 520 species in Yucatan, about 155 of them visit this small island at some time during the year. It’s a bird watching paradise but the most spectacular site is the 40,000 flamingos that visit from April to October. At sunset there is the amazing site of the resident birds flocking back to roost for the evening.
Yalahau Lagoon is a freshwater spring also 30 minutes from Holbox and great for a refreshing dip. Only 15 minutes from the island is Isla Pasion for another lovely bird watching experience or relaxing beach day. You can do a day tour that combines all of these sites or explore one by one to savour the experience.
There isn’t any diving off Holbox Island. It’s best to book diving from the mainland. If you come here for the wildlife, whale sharks and pristine beaches you won’t be disappointed.
(by Kelly Luckman)