Eight years ago, my husband and I discovered Isla Holbox, a small wisp of an island just north of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. We both prefer off-the-beaten-path destinations to the luxurious, all-inclusives in Cancun. Holbox proved to be just what we were looking for and much, much more. We spent 3 days in paradise, wading in jade waters rimmed with coral sand, discovering empty beaches accessible only by foot or bicycle, and watching flamingos teeter in shallow lagoons. With only a few eco-hotels on the island and mostly European vacationers, we felt we had discovered something unique.
Fast forward eight years…. our little private island paradise has been awarded “best barefoot beach” from CNN Travel, touted as Mexico’s last secret beach from Conde Nast and “this year’s paradise” by Travel + Leisure in 2016. That being said, we were concerned our discovery had been, well….discovered.
Two weeks ago, we returned to Holbox. I was hopeful that the three-hour van ride from Cancun airport to the small fishing village of Chiquila over seemingly endless topes (speed bumps) and ferry ride to the island on the 9 Hermanos would be enough of an inconvenience to keep the crowds at bay. Fortunately, I am happy to report that, although the news of Isla Holbox has gotten out, it has not lost its laid-back charm. There may be more hotels, more businesses and more people on the beaches, but in the tiny Mexican village, the ease of living and unmatched beauty of the island still remains.
Been to Isla Holbox? What did you love about it? Would love to hear in the comment below.