Holbox, Mexico

We don’t pretend to be experts on Holbox (hole-bosch).  Well maybe we pretend just a little bit but at least we’re honest about it.  While we do have plans to go again, as this is written, we’ve only been there once. But since we have been there that one time and this is supposed to be a regional travel site that offers personal experiences and opinions, here is our take on the island.

  1. credit: malias on Flickr
  2. credit: malias on Flickr
  3. credit: rbrands on Flickr

Isla Holbox is a picturesque little island located in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico just off the northern tip of Quintana Roo. The only town on the island is also known as Holbox and has a population of about 1,500. It’s out-of-the-way location and the time it takes to get there are probably the biggest reasons that it doesn’t attract more tourist than it currently does.

While there are a few good local restaurants serving mostly very fresh seafood, there is not much of what you might consider a night-life in Holbox.  To really enjoy Holbox, you’re going to need to be the type of person that appreciates nature; whether it’s in the form of snorkeling with the amazing whale sharks that summer there, big game fishing, in visiting one of the bird islands or just exploring parts of this pristine island.  Or someone that finds pleasure in just relaxing and getting away from the hustle of your every-day life.

The island is roughly 26 miles long and less than ¼ mile wide in most parts. In reality, it is little more than a low lying sand dune with most areas less than 5 feet above sea level.

The green waters of the Gulf of Mexico on the north side are extremely calm and relatively shallow around the island.

As a general observation, the people of this island are very friendly and welcome visitors with open arms and a smile on their face. The streets are sand covered; the buildings are painted in bright colors and few of them rise over 2 floors.

In our experience, we’ve discovered that you can learn a lot about people by the way they treat their animals. On Holbox, dogs are treated like kings. We saw a surprising number and variety of pure bred dogs and almost without exception, they were healthy, well behaved and well treated. It was not unusual to see dogs riding along with their masters in golf carts.

Interestingly, there may be some hidden away but we never saw a cat during our visit to the island. We speculated that cats could some serious harm to the indigenous bird populations there.