Claudia Da Rin

Eight things not to miss in Holbox Mexico

Remote and exclusive, Isla Holbox

Remote and exclusive, Isla Holbox is known as the pearl of Mexico.

Set on the north coast, along the Yucatan peninsula, a plane and a ferry will take you there: the journey will unravel a host of marvels that only belong to the world of magic. Part of the Yum-Balam nature reserve, this island is home to more than 150 bird species, its seabed bordering on the exceptional.

People come to Isla to enjoy its relaxed pace of living, to search for their inner self or simply to unwind from it all. You could spend the day looking at beaches that stretch over the horizon, dozing on a hammock and sipping a juicy cocktail; or observe the rich wildlife and vibrant colours that paint the Holbox scene. Draw up your own canvas and start painting an extraordinary experience where balance and harmony hold the keys to your dreams.

1. Swim with whale sharks

Mid May to mid September, an exciting new world will open in front of you on Holbox. Whale sharks, the world’s largest species of fish, comes to the shallow waters that surround the island, attracted by the plankton, and this is your chance to swim with them.

You will need to book an organised tour and fear not, you won’t need to feel like a daring explorer, as whale sharks are fearless. Just after the reef, take a dip and swim alongside these gentle giants. Immense and sublime

2. Observe bioluminescent water at night

Disco lights and the modern world may be far from Isla Holbox, and yet an incredible natural phenomenon will echo a superb bright glow. We are talking about bioluminescence, brought about by micro plankton that shines along with the lull of the water.

From June to September, this is an exceptional natural phenomenon that makes the Holbox shores unique. Try and avoid nights when the moon shines bright and you will enjoy fabulous moments: It’ll be like swimming with the fairies!


3. Beach paradise

There really is no shortage of wow-locations on Holbox, and long, sandy beaches surely come first. Azure, aquamarine and cobalt may, just may do justice to the riveting colours of the shimmering waters you will swim in.  And since this is a nature reserve, you will have the chance to spot some wildlife, too.  An excellent place to gaze at flamingos is Punta Mosquito, on the eastern side of the island: it stretches for miles and its pristine waters looks heavenly – bring some repellent though, as its name suggest.

Then head to Punta Coco, on the western part of Holbox: it’s here you ‘ll want to go for a majestic sundowner and a tropical cocktail that’ll make for groovy moments!

4. Find your inner artist

Radiating with vibrant colours and a joyful atmosphere, street artists dominate the scene on Holbox, with many alleys and roads displaying vividly painted murals and artistic creations of various sorts. This may be a good time for you to start sketching or drawing, inspired by the beautiful surroundings.  You may also take a street art walking tour, to learn about the history of the island and its art scene.

To make this experience extra special, take a piece of Holbox art back home with you: the balance of this lovely island will stay with you forever.

5. Lazy around

Located right on the beach and above shallow waters, the famous Holbox hammocks have come to symbolise a penchant for relaxation, balance and harmony that make this stress-free island so unique. Let go of all the tensions that dominate modern society and immerse yourself in the sweet life of being lazy.

You may read, listen to music or just let the world pass by while you fantasise about this heavenly place. Feel the vibe and aura of Holbox and enjoy going back to your roots

6.  … or get active!

A whole host of exciting adventures await on Holbox, one of them being kite surfing. With plenty of opportunities for beginners, this could be an excellent time to take on a new sport. Experienced folks should come between February and April, when gusts are more favourable. You may also hire a bike and go on a tour of the island: go at your pace and stop to admire the emerald colours.

Navigation is easy, but if you get lost, head to beach: you car ride along it – at low tide – and you will find your way home. Or go kayaking in the mangrove forests for a close look at the natural world.

7. Go on a three islands tour

Highly popular, this tour unravels the natural marvels of the area. Discover what makes this nature reserve so special and head to Isla Pajaros (Bird Island): home to hundreds of bird species, experience the splendid fauna of the island – from a distance as this is a protected area – and gaze at pelicans, herons or pink flamingos.

Isla Passion is the ideal location to live a day like Robinson Crusoe, courtesy of picturesque, isolated beach huts on the beachfront.

8. Take a swim a Yalahau Cenote

Take a swim a Yalahau Cenote, a large, fresh-water natural pool that is believed to rejuvenate those taking a dip there. It’s kind of magic, don’t you think?  For many years, Yalahao was a natural fresh water source for the Holbox community. In addition it was used as a refuge for the famous pirate Molas in the16th Century


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