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- 20 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Get a taste of island life on Isla Holbox. North of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea, this car-free island is famous for its nature and beaches: you can spot dolphins, see flamingos or simply walk barefoot in the sand. Keep the pace slow by swaying in a hammock as you sample fresh ceviche (a traditional seafood dish) or the local mezcal spirit. You'll be able to see why the Mayans named the island "black hole" – you might well be tempted to never leave.
There are lots of Isla Holbox hostels to choose from. Cool off at a place with its own pool, or get acquainted with the eco-atmosphere and stay at a hostel that uses traditional building methods. A stay in a cabana will give you the true island experience. Fill up at an Isla Holbox hostel that provides a free breakfast, or party at one with DJ sets. Some have free Wi-Fi for posting your beach pictures too.
It might be small (41.84km long to be exact) but Isla Holbox packs in plenty of areas to see. Downtown, you have the sands of Playa Holbox as well as colourful taco joints and lively bars. On the western side of the island is Punta Coco. A little quieter, this beach is a serene spot for watching the sun sink into the ocean. If you can bring yourself to leave Isla Holbox, Isla Pasión is a short 15-minute boat trip away and a great place to chill out under the palm trees.
Take island life at your own pace on the beach at Punta Mosquito (you might spot a flamingo), or rent a golf buggy and tour through the sights. If you're there between June and September, watch the bioluminescence phenomenon as magical, natural blue lights illuminate the water along the shoreline at night. Isla Holbox also has hammocks for relaxing in the shallow waters. For something a bit more active, spend an afternoon spotting the island's colourful street art or book a boat trip.
To get to Isla Holbox, you first need to make your way to the ferry port at Chiquilá. The ADO bus company runs regular services to the port from Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, taking around 2 hours. From Chiquilá, the ferry to the island takes around half an hour and leaves every 30 minutes. As the island is car-free, the best way to get around is on foot or by bicycle.