Whale Sharks, Street Art, and Lobster Pizza: The 4-day Weekend on Isla Holbox


To name Isla Holbox the brand new Tulum isn’t fairly proper. This 26-mile-long, one-mile-wide sandbar off the Yucatán peninsula’s north coast, the place the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico meet, has a allure all its personal.



Whereas Tulum has grow to be a bit overrun with individuals who wish to be “seen” on the appropriate white-sand seashore, Isla Holbox (that’s Hol-BOSH, by the best way) has retained the sleepy vibes of the fisherman’s port it’s all the time been.

Whereas Isla Holbox isn’t precisely distant—it’s solely a 15-minute boat highway from Chiquila, which is a two-hour drive from Cancun—it feels such as you’re stepping off the grid. Solely three or so miles are inhabited; a nature protect, pristine seashores, and a colourful city make up the remaining. Wi-Fi right here is spotty at greatest, vehicles are few and far between, and there’s just one ATM on the island.

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For those who’re considering there’s not a ton to do, you’re proper—and that’s a very good factor. If there was ever a spot to succumb to island time, that is it. Observe this Thursday evening via Sunday evening itinerary, and you’ll see why Isla Holbox is the chillest spot on the Mexican coast. Right here’s our final four-day weekend information.

The right way to Get There

Morning: Hop on an early flight to Cancun; from the east coast, nonstop routes take lower than six hours. When you land, take a bus or hire a automobile to make the two-hour drive as much as the port of Chiquila. From there, it’s only a 20-minute experience over to Isla Holbox. (When you have sufficient folks to make the value price it, e book a non-public air taxi for the 20-minute direct flight.)

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The place to Keep

Whereas a lot of Isla Holbox is brilliant and bohemian, Punta Caliza—the island’s latest resort—has a distinctly minimalist look. Comprised of concrete and pink cedar, the eco-friendly property has 12 rooms, beginning at $240 per evening. The vibe is earthy and clear, with white accents, pure wooden decor, and thatched roofs. Each is related by way of personal plunge pool to a spacious, triangular, sea-green pool hidden on the heart. Run by a Mexican architect and his household, the boutique resort leans extra towards glamping (with an emphasis on glam) than high-end resort, however given its location throughout the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, that’s a serious promoting level.


Afternoon: The onerous work is over—now that you simply’re on the island, all you really want to do is chill out. For those who’re motivated, hire a motorcycle for the weekend (it’s sometimes lower than $10 for a 24-hour rental); there’s no higher solution to begin exploring the island. There isn’t a lot floor to cowl, however you’ll wish to take your time scoping the native road artwork. Graffiti covers all the things from enterprise partitions to seashore palapas, and the brilliant colours actually pop in opposition to the sandy streets and blue skies.

Non-public air taxi to Isla Holbox Courtesy of Flights Holbox


Night: On a Caribbean-esque island like this, seafood is a no brainer. After catching the sundown, head to El Sushi for seafood that was swimming mere hours in the past. All of the dishes—from lobster to shrimp sashimi—have a Mexican twist. Then seize drinks at The Scorching Nook, an open-air bar recognized for its stay music, or Carioca’s, a quiet seashore bar that turns right into a disco on Wednesday via Sunday nights.


Morning: From mid-Might and mid-September, large whale sharks migrate in big numbers to the Yucatan Value proper off Isla Holbox—which makes this a chief location for shark diving. Don’t be scared off by the phrase “shark;” these light creatures (regardless of rising to be 45 ft lengthy and weighing as much as 15 tons) are completely innocent and feed solely on plankton. E book a tour with Holbox Whale Shark Excursions to rise up shut and private with them. The day-long journey additionally features a snorkel cease at Cabo Catoche and a break at Santa Paula for ceviche.

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Afternoon: For those who’re ravenous in any case that point within the water, seize tacos at TacoQueto, the place the Mexican meals is as genuine as it’s low cost. For those who’re principally thirsting for a beachfront cocktail, head to Coquitos Seashore Bar, positioned simply in entrance of Holbox Dream Resort (there’s additionally a full menu), or Raices Seashore Membership & Marina (the place seafood is served with a facet of reggae music).

Holbox Dream HotelHolbox Dream Resort Courtesy Picture


Night: Catch the sundown on the roofdeck of the Mandarina Restaurant & Seashore Membership on the Casa Las Tortugas resort. Then, head downstairs to dine on the beachfront restaurant. Whereas the costs are greater than different eating places, the placement—romantically lit by fairy lights—is well worth the ultimate bar tab. Cease by LUuma, subsequent door, for post-dinner cocktails.


Morning: Begin your morning with breakfast on the brilliant pink La Isla Del Colibri within the heart of city. Subsequent, be a part of a tour out to Yalahau Cenote, a sinkhole that’s 30 minutes from Isla Holbox by boat (you may get tickets on the town). The Yucatan Peninsula has over 6,000 cenotes, and you’ll be able to’t go to Mexico with out stopping at one. Yalahau was as soon as a haven for pirates, and it’s typically referred to as “the fountain of youth.” There’s no science on whether or not a dip will really make you look youthful, however the views are well worth the trek. Most excursions additionally cease at Isla Pasion and Cabo Catoche, too.

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Afternoon: Cease by the meals truck Et Voila on the town for a late lunch. There are a couple of tables out entrance the place you’ll be able to nosh on tacos. Then, lounge within the hammocks in entrance of Villas Flamingos resort or the Resort Villas Tiburon. They’re an iconic photograph spot, and though they’re technically for resort visitors solely. You can too hunt down the water swings in entrance of Ensueño Holbox or La Carolinda Seashore Membership.

Hotel Villas TiburonResort Villas Tiburon Courtesy Picture


Night: After sundowners on the seashore, stroll into city for 2 native delicacies. First: lobster pizza. Weirdly sufficient, it’s a factor right here, and you may get it at eating places like Roots, Edelyn, Carioca’s, and El Hornito Argento. For dessert, seize a marquesita—a rolled-up crepe stuffed with components like dulce de leche, nutella, or cheese—from one of many distributors making them proper in the primary sq..


Morning: Earlier than you permit, get yet another dose of solar and sand by searching for out Isla Holbox’s well-known flamingos. As soon as of the very best locations to see them is on the jap finish of the island at Punta Mosquito. It’s an hour stroll from Las Nubes de Holbox resort. You can too stroll out to Isla de Pasion to the west (if you happen to didn’t already go to by boat). It’s not essentially a simple stroll—you’re wading via water the whole time—however you’ll be strolling parallel to the island itself, which makes for excellent views.

Afternoon: Begin the trek residence. There are two ferries that function from Isla Holbox. Examine the departure instances and ensure you go away loads of time for the bus or drive again to Cancun.

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