Isla Holbox (pronunced “Hol-bosh”) is a small island situated near the north-eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
The island is around 26 miles long, with a white-sand beach fronting the Caribbean Sea. Most inhabitants make their living from fishing and tourism.
The island is a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife. The shallow lagoon that separates Isla Holbox from the Mexican mainland is home to flamingos, pelicans and turtles, while the deeper waters provide rich seasonal feeding grounds for whale sharks and manta rays, with boat tours departing from May-October.
While Holbox’s beautiful beaches and amazing wildlife draw visitors from all over the world, the island remains resolutely low-key: there are no high-rise buildings, the streets are sandy rather than paved and most accommodation is in breezy, thatched-roof hotels on the beach.
Most visitors arrive in the small town of Chiquila via bus from the Cancun bus station, around a four-hour journey. From there, a ferry takes passengers across to Isla Holbox, a journey of around 20 minutes. Holbox also has a small airport servicing various points on the Riviera Maya, although flights can be pricey.