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Holbox May 07

Holbox is a small and beautiful island located in the north of the state of Quintana Roo, its name come from the Mayan and means “black hole”. It has 43 km long, 2 km wide and about 34 km of white sandy beaches with countless shells in the coast. It is attached to the Yucatan Peninsula by a sand bar and several canals that join it to the sea and to the lagoon Yalahau. Holbox belongs to the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas and is part also part of the biosphere reserve and protected area of Yum Balam which means Lord Jaguar, a reserve of 154,000 km2.

Since ancient times, the island of Holbox is has been considered a place of extreme beauty and it was used as a place of solace and relaxation by the ancient Mayans. When the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century, they found the island deserted but they were amazed at its unique beauty. Holbox Island has just one village with less than 2200 inhabitants, it is a typical village in the coast, where local people are mostly engaged in fishing living a quiet and peaceful life. Holbox is accessible by sea from the Port of Chiquilá, where tourists can take the ferry or a private boat to cross the Laguna Yalahau, which takes around 20 minutes, on the island, there are no banks or ATM’s, there is no pavement and the streets are from white sand so there are just a few cars and the traditional ways of transportation are the electric golf carts, bicycles and by foot.


Holbox has become an ideal destination for adventure and relaxation, there are several tours, one of the most famous is the “Swim with whale sharks”, a boat ride in which visitors can see, and sometimes swim or snorkel with whale sharks, the largest fish on the planet, also known as domino-fish due to their contrasting colors, these visit the island every year, since late May as they prefer warm surface waters rich in nutrients, since these condition stimulate the growth of plankton on which they feed, in September they come back to South-Africa.

Tourists can also visit the lagoon Yalahau, which is surrounded by mangroves. On the banks of the lake there is an ancient Mayan site whose waters are said to be medicinal. In this lagoon is also where pink flamingos, characteristic of the area, feed themselves and it is usual to find dolphins and numerous fish. The great diversity of marine species is due to the fact that the island lies where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. The Bird Island is a small shrine which is visited by about 140 species of birds from Yucatan, and its possible to find many other species that are permanent residents; a perfect place for bird lovers!


Tourist can choose between a lot of cheap but good restaurants and because one of the main activities is fishing lobster it is very common to find in every local restaurant various dishes based on this, including the famous lobster pizza, although also it is possible to taste dishes prepared with totally fresh seafood.

Holbox Island is small but with quiet and beautiful white sand beaches that border a jade green sea and it is almost unexplored. A walk around the island is always comforting; tourists enjoy the Caribbean environment full of colorful wooden houses, Mayan traditions and the warmth of the local people gathering in the main square. The natural attractions, the excellent weather and the great variety of activities make it a fantastic choice for spend a relax holiday.


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