Isla Holbox

01.05.20 10:01 PM By Putri

Four weeks into this Covid-19 confinement, or is it six weeks? I am not sure anymore. In fact I am not sure about anything anymore apart from the fact that the world is on hold for an unforeseeable date, stepping outside your home needs a thorough risk assessment, and Carole Baskin killed her husband. I finally started to accept that this is life, for now. I can hear your disbelief from here. ‘’WHAAAT’’, you screech with your jaw dropped and eyes popped. ‘’Are you telling me you’ve made peace with the ugly facts that you lost your job and you’re confined against your will for an absurd amount of time and uncertainty?”. 

Yes, my friends, I did. I have everything under control. To your surprise, this is not the only time I did not royally mess things up (okay, let say in the last 5 months). The other time was when I arranged a trip to Isla Holbox during our last trip in Mexico in January. “You did whaaaat?” you said losing your tits.  

Well, we had a few days of relaxing on Isla Holbox when we were in Mexico, and it went better than expected. Isla Holbox is located up across to the Northern part of the Yucatan peninsula and it was hela detour from Tulum where we were. We weren’t even sure how to make it on time to catch the ferry to the island, but somehow everything panned out just right!

Getting to the island was easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Chiquila port

Isla Holbox is located about 10Km away from most of the northern coast of the Yucatan. Although it is across the water, the island is still considered as part of the Quintana Roo state, the same state where Cancun is located. To go to this island, we had to take a ferry from a tiny fisherman village called Chiquila. 

Although it is boasted as Mexico’s best-kept secret paradise island, the fact that this island is on every bus route proves otherwise. Those buses will take you to Chiquila port to take the ferry to go to the island. We had rented a car for our entire trip in Mexico so we drove up to Chiquila and parked our car in one of the garages dedicated for lodging cars while the owners are away to the island. 

Parking our rented car for days while we’re away sounded like a risky business and expensive, but apparently Chiquila town’s main income is from having tourists parking their cars in their garages so they take the business very seriously. It was surprising how easy and convenient to park the car safely. Each garage has their own entrance and shaded parking lot and asks only a tiny fee for each day the car is parked in their garage.

Another proof that this sweet little island ain’t a secret no more? It has its own (tiny) airport right in the middle of the island! Fancy pants can charter a plane to fly into the island for about 500$ per trip. 

The ferry

Taking the ferry from Chiquila port was straightforward and uncomplicated. There are two ferry lines that cater the transport to and from the island. The Holbox Xpress (red boat) and the 9 Hermanos (blue boat). Both ferries run non stop from 6 AM to 9 PM every 30 minutes. The trip between Chiquila to Holbox is around 30 minutes, depending on the weather, and costs 200 Pesos per trip per person (adult). If you're lucky, you may also get a singing performance while crossing !

We bought the ticket on the spot and waited for the ferry to come and pick us up. Meanwhile, I took the liberty of judging checking the surroundings. Apparently, you can also chart a private speed boat (lancha) to go to the island if you are willing to spend a few thousand pesos for one trip.

The island is effortlessly enjoyable 

Getting around the island

   The island forbids (well, kind of) any motorized vehicles apart from golf carts. The island itself is pretty small. We went around from one end to the other on foot. The roads are mostly dirt packed down and it can get muddy when it’s rained, but apart from that, we enjoyed walking around everywhere in the island. 

Unlimited accomodation options 

There are lots of choices for accomodation in Holbox to chose from; fancy resorts, boutique hotels, camping ground, and airbnb rooms. We had a reservation at Casa Margo, a boutique hotel in the northern side of the island. I loved our rustic room so much I am stealing it’s design for our next house (updates to follow!)

Divers food choices

Holbox is definitely a heaven for seafood and snack lovers like me. You can find all the kind of foods you can imagine; Mexican, Italian, pizzas, burgers,.. The island is full of instagramable restaurants and cafes. It caters all budget categories too. 

Miles and miles of white sand beach

The main attraction of the island is its pristine beaches, but that's not all. It has a nature reserve called Yum Balam on the east of the island where you can see bunch of pretty birds including flahaaaameeengoooosssss (normal people call it flamingos). Flamingo is my inner bird of the year because  it stay balanced, stands by its flock,  is always fabulous in pink, and it's all I am inspired to be; to be flamingo amazing, or shall we call it Flamazing! It's like amazing but in a whole other level and in pink. OMG peeps, I think I just found my new fav word; flamazing! 

Nico: did you just go on a rant again? and please stop inventing words!

Me: don't blame me for being creative, I am flamazing!

Nico: -sigh exasperatedly-

Well, with all that to say, perhaps it wasn't because of me getting better at organising trips that we had such an easy time in Isla Holbox, but mostly because the island itself is so relaxed and easy to enjoy, even if you don't speak a word of spanish like us.  It has all the necessity we needed to have a good time on and island; great accomodation, awesome food, white beach, wifi, and flamingos. What I loved the most of Isla Holbox is its very laid-back vibe. It’s definitely not an island where there’s  nonstop Spring Break parties, its humble atmosphere and friendly locals just made me want to take an early retirement, and spend the rest of my life in this island counting flamingos and sipping mojitos. 

That is all for now, I will be posting our adventure on the island on the next post. Stay safe and keep flamazing!!