If you’re looking for a tropical destination without the crowds, Isla Holbox might just be the next spot you want to add to your list. Just a short drive and ferry ride from Cancun is an island where you’ll find serenity.
On Isla Holbox there are no high-rise resorts, there aren’t even any cars. Instead, most people walk to get around and life moves much slower. The beaches are speckled with only a few people and you don’t have to worry about being bothered by an endless line of vendors trying to sell you items.
The beauty of Isla Holbox is that not much is going to change. The government has limited the number of hotels that are developed on the island, and there are several sustainability initiatives to help retain its natural beauty. While more people will certainly come to discover this still much hidden gem, there is hope that—unlike the other once hidden gems of Mexico—Isla Holbox will not lose its charm or suffer from overcrowding.
Things to Do
See the Bioluminescence
Despite being small, about 26 miles long and 1 mile wide, there’s quite a bit to do on the island. At night, you can hike to see where the water lights up like the scene from “Life of Pi,” from the bioluminescence in the water. The lack of light pollution makes this one of the best places to see this natural phenomenon.
Swim with Whale Sharks
Isla Holbox is known as one of the best places to swim with the largest fish in the world! You can reserve a tour to get up close to these massive, yet docile, creatures for a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Catch a Sunset
Everyone talks about the sunsets on the island, but the awe doesn’t quite sink in until you experience one for yourself. You can watch the sun fall right behind the waters with a remarkable color-filled display that changes each night. Sunsets are such a big deal in Isla Holbox that you’ll see most people stop what they’re doing and line up on the banks of the sand to catch the hues of purple, pink, orange and blue cross the sky.
Wander Through the Market
You can pretty much walk everywhere, although there is an option to hop on a golf cart as your taxi. Be prepared for a bumpy ride as most of the roads are not paved. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk through the downtown square, but most buildings are filled with vibrant colors, bold murals and swings to sip a margarita while watching people pass by. You won’t find any mass chain stores here, mostly local handmade goods, a couple of boutiques and plenty of bars. The island is known for its lobster pizza, so make sure to grab a slice while there.
Where to Stay
Discover the charm of the quaint Mystique Blue Holbox boutique hotel. You could easily spend all day lounging under a complimentary cabana while being served fresh cocktails with a guitarist playing peacefully in the background. Foodies can enjoy lobster aguachile or other seafood dishes in the open-air restaurant with views of the ocean. With only 38 rooms, there’s no fighting for the perfect view, and service is always top-notch. End your trip with a massage right on the beach or a romantic candle-lit dinner as the sun sets.
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Cover photo courtesy My Curly Adventures
Jessica Serna is a Texas-based travel blogger whose goal is to encourage readers to get out and explore. Inspired by her time in Spain, Serna fell in love with the travel lifestyle and wanted to have those same weekend adventures back home in Texas. She started My Curly Adventures to help others fund unique weekend getaway. Serna launched her Texas Travel series in summer 2018 to highlight all there is to do in this great state.