Welcome to where the streets are literally paved with sand... Isla Holbox - our winter getaway destination!
This is a real beach getaway... a world away from high-rise hotels and package tours. There is one ATM (but usually doesn't work), no cars (only golf carts & bikes & feet) and no one uses streets names. THIS is where you go to get away from it all! We'll enjoy a scenic ferry ride there and our own exclusive private charter plane back.
Come the end up February when you're fed up with the cold wintery weather, we'll be off for a long weekend getaway (4 nights/5 days) from Jan 31-Feb 4, 2018! Destination: Isla Holbox, a little-known, amazing beautiful and serene island in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. This little-visited, laid back island is accessible only by ferry after a 2.5 hour drive from Cancun. You can also get there by 25 minute private charter plane ride. We'll do both! :)
Highlights include: 4 nights & 5 days on a beautiful, off-the-beaten track island with beaches showcasing azure waters & a sandy coastline that seem to stretch forever; a relaxing stress-free getaway location where you can walk everywhere; small, highly rated beachfront accommodations FOR ADULTS ONLY; on arrival, a private van and driver to take us from the Cancun airport to Chiqualla (town with ferry dock), ferry ride to Isla Holbox (great view approaching the island) & golf cart taxi pickup to the hotel; and private charter flight just for us on the return to the Cancun airport (a truly unique experience with amazing aerial views).
Isla Holbox is pronounced Isla Hole-Boash. It’s a small fishing village with a population of about 2,000 people. Isla Holbox offers miles of virtually deserted white sand beaches, a low-key, relaxing environment and year round warm temperatures. The island’s sense of remoteness and pristine scenery will make you feel like you are on location with the Nature Channel or National Geographic.
When your feet hit the ground on the island, you'll think you've gone back in time to a place before the overdevelopment, crowds, and hustle bustle of modern life became the norm. A laid-back beach environment greets you with few tourists, no high rise buildings, no pavement and no cars. That’s right - there are no paved roads on Isla Holbox, just compressed sand streets. The only modes of transportation on Isla Holbox are your own two feet, bicycle, scooter and golf cart, which are all you need to get around.
Isla Holbox has a small, Caribbean style town center with mostly one-story concrete buildings painted in bright colors. Around the town square, discover shops selling clothing, art, jewelry and other trinkets, a few convenience/grocery stores, a couple internet cafes, a juice bar, tourist related businesses like golf cart rental and tour/activity providers, and a number of bars/restaurants offering cocktails and different cuisines from local, fresh seafood to pizza.
The main beach area and pier are located just on the edge of town. From here, you can see the beach and its shoreline extending for miles in both directions. The locals are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet so definitely chat it up with the characters you come across.
The entire island is 26 miles long but the vast majority of the island is uninhabited. A river cuts through the island effectively dividing it into “Big Holbox,” which is uninhabited and accessible only by boat, and Small Holbox, which is where the island’s population lives. The island is actually part of a nature reserve called Yum Balam that was established to protect the hundreds of different species of birds and other wildlife that make their home here.
The north part of the island faces the calm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and it is where the main beach and small hotels are located. The southern part is accessible only by boat and mainly consists of dense mangroves and the nature reserve.
One of the best things about the island’s remoteness comes out at night – stars! A gazillion bright stars filling the dark night. An awesome sight since the opportunities to see a night sky full of bright, white stars are very few and far between. Definitely bring your cameras… and tripods if you have them!
To relax, unwind, get away from the crowds and enjoy sunny, warm weather with beautiful beaches & waters. Most who have heard of Isla Holbox visit for its primary claims to fame: beaches, whale sharks, fishing, and the large variety of bird species including the notorious pink flamingos. The discovery that migrating whale sharks (the world’s largest fish) make a pit stop off the coast of the island May through September each year initially put Isla Holbox on the tourist map. And, word began to leak out about this little fishing village, its beautiful beaches and the laid-back lifestyle. In fact, Isla Holbox made National Geographic Traveler’s list of “Great Winter Escapes” and was Travel & Leisure's featured article recently called, "This Year's Paradise: Mexico's Isla Holbox." It's slowly but surely becoming known and will soon be discovered by the masses and tourism industry. Now is the time to visit before the island becomes the victim of its own success.
We did a trip to Isla Holbox last year but it sold out super quickly due to the limited space. Last time we went during Carnival, this time we'll go during a normal time to experience island life in its natural, laid-back & quiet state.
Besides relaxing on the beach (sunbathing, reading, sunset watching with awesome views from the pier, leisurely walks, beach combing), other island activities include bicycling, beach volleyball, golf cart exploring, kayaking along the beach and in the mangroves (highly recommended), snorkeling, kitesurfing and fishing (old school style – no fishing rods). Then there is exploring the town and its different shops and restaurants. There are great little stores to find something to take back with you as a souvenir such as a locally made hammock, clothing or artwork.
Hope you can join us on our winter getaway to Isla Holbox, a super scenic, relaxing island with amazing beaches. Visit before this off-the-beaten track island is discovered by the masses & makes it on the tourist track!
We'll be staying at a highly-rated beachfront hotel called The Beachfront Hotel La Palapa. It's ranked #4 on TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence. La Palapa is small hotel with just 25 rooms for adults only :) providing a relaxing, quiet environment. La Palapa is conveniently located with a short walk into the center of town, but also literally feet away from the white sandy beach and tourquoise water.
Rooms are ocean view rooms with private balcony, AC, safe, internet, two queen size beds or king bed with a beautiful ocean view. Every room has bath towels, beach towels, organic bath products, & bottles of water.
The Beach Bar & Restaurant, set under a cozy beachfront palapa overlooking the Caribbean Sea, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks (mango margarita - yes, please!).
The private beach area offers lounge chairs, sunbeds and hammocks surrounded by palm trees that make it easy to relax directly on the beach in front of the property.
The hotel has rooftop solarium to relax during the day and watch the real wonder of the starry nights of Holbox.
Enjoy a massage at the onsite spa if you want even more relaxation.
The internet room provides additional space to relax and read.
The hotel can also help with booking any tours and activities you'd like to do including boat rides, kayaking, bike rentals etc.
Below are pics of the rooms, hotel grounds including the beach.
What's not included:
The Isla Holbox winter getaway is a 4 night/5 day trip from January 31 to February 4, 2018.
Price: $889 (only $222/night)
A 30% deposit is required upon booking.
You'll be billed for the final balance on Nov 30th.
Deadline to book is October 31st or as soon as we have 12 folks signed up to go - whichever comes first.
It’s about 4 hour air travel time from the Washington DC area to Cancun - nonstop flight. (Estimated price: $450-$500) Then a 2-hour private transfer from Cancun to the port town of Chiquila where we catch the ferry for a quick 20 minute boat ride to lsla Holbox. A golf cart taxi takes us from the ferry pier to our beachfront hotel. On the return, we'll be taking a private charter flight just for us directly from Isla Holbox to the Cancun airport. We'll get to see the island coming by road, water and from the sky!
Below is the international flight to purchase. If you fly out of another airport, be sure to arrive in Cancun before this flight (or the day before) and return same time or later.
Depart - Wed, Jan 31
8:35 am - 12:25 pm
Washington (IAD) - Cancun (CUN) Economy 3h 50m
United 1154 (Narrow-body jet Boeing 737-900)
Return - Sun, Feb 4
4:51 pm - 8:06 pm
Cancun (CUN) - Washington (IAD) Economy 3h 15m
United 1133 (Narrow-body jet Boeing 737-900)
Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance: