Holbox Island is a small paradise, 42km in length and located to the northwest of Cancun. It is separated from the mainland by a lagoon of shallow warm waters, which gives sanctuary to thousands of flamingos, pelicans and other exotic birds. Holbox Island’s streets are made from the same soft white sand as its spectacular beaches, the village is vibrant in colour, the people friendly and the absence of cars creates a relaxed atmosphere which compliments the slow pace of this paradisiacal gem.
Not only is the almost unreal turquoise green sea home to a great variety of fish, but Holbox Island is also well known for being one of the few places in the world where you can snorkel with the great whale shark. From the moment you step foot on Holbox Island, it is impossible not to lose yourself in its magic and tranquillity. Yet in spite of all its natural beauty and unique charm, Holbox Island is one of the few destinations left on the peninsula which has not been exploited by mass tourism.
On the tip of the Mayan Rivera on the Yucatan Peninsula belonging to the state of Quintana Roo, Holbox Island is part of the Yum-Balam, Biosphere Nature Reserve, protected due to its abundance of wildlife, fauna and flora. Holbox in Yucatec Maya translates directly as ‘Hoya Negra’ in Spanish, meaning ‘Black Hole’. It is thought that the Island was referred to as such due to its number of natural springs and its shallow lagoon which, in the past, was considered by the Mayans to be a fountain of youth.
Holbox Island is said to have first been inhabited by eight Maya families, while now it is home to a small population of 1600 people, making it a safe and exotic place to visit.