Find Paradise on Mexico’s Holbox Island

Situated at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Holbox island lies separate from mainland Mexico. The island is partitioned by a shallow lagoon that is home to a large diversity of birds such pelicans, frigate birds, ducks, herons and many others. It is no surprise that this little island has become beloved by birders for its many bird watching opportunities.

Lazy hammock lifestyle and frosted margarita living has juxtapositioned Holbox as an easy step away from busy city life. This is evidenced by the people of Holbox Island who mostly make their living by fishing, and it is common to see fishermen walking through the village with their catch of the day. The streets are sandy, as is customary in Caribbean islands, and this has lead to vehicles being prohibited on the island in order to protect the environment. The common mode of transport here is either a languid stroll or golf carts and mopeds.

Wildlife tourism is a major pull to the area, as it peaks during the months of May through September, when whale sharks appear and flamingos invade. The Holbox Yum Balam ecological reserve seeks to protect all the species of the island, including four rare types of nesting turtles and an endangered sea swallow that nests in the sand. Kiteboarding is easy to master for the adventurers at heart, as Holbox Island has one of the safest shorelines with shallow waters and long, wide beaches. Snorkeling is arguably the most popular activity on the island with glass-like waters that create impactful undersea experiences.

On the cultural side of the spectrum lies the Holbox art scene which is sustained by the international public arts festival, where artists are invited to come experience this seaside fishing town and create inspired street art for everybody to see.

For all those who enjoy culinary experiences some of the best spots to eat include El Jardin, which specialises in French cuisine. This little eatery will have you returning regularly for breakfast and lunch as a result of its impressive menu. Take note of the pastries and perfect black coffee that have made this a favorite amongst travelers.

Mandarina, serves food which is excellently prepared and beautifully presented, and the atmosphere here will engrave an impression that is quintessential to the Holbox Island experience. Casa Nostra, a cozy Italian restaurant, serves fresh ingredients, bang on the beach in front of Las Palapas hotel. Here portions are large and the reviews even better.

The real magic of Holbox Island lies in the few people that inhabit it. Development has been slow and steady, catering only to a stream of newlyweds, young families and backpackers brought on by travel blogs or word of mouth. The new motorway, however, that runs through the Yucatán has shortened journey times from Playa del Carmen and Cancun, and has attracted more and more day trippers. Be sure to visit while tourist traffic remains low and the magic of Holbox Island stays intact.

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