Escape to Isla Holbox

Dec 8, 2008
Outside Magazine
Isla Holbox, Mexico

Isla Holbox, Mexico    Photo: courtesy, Quintana Roo Bureau of Tourism

A 26-mile-long spit of sand 40 miles northwest of Cancún, Isla Holbox has evaded the vagaries of mass tourism: There are no roads here, only sand. No cars, only golf carts. And no day-trippers—just 1,500 residents and a few smart vacationers. Take a shuttle from Cancún to the mainland gateway of Chiquilá ($175 each way; From there it's a 15-minute ferry to Holbox ($4 each way; Your base is Casa Sandra, a resort with a series of ocean-facing villas (doubles from $155; May through September is whale shark season in the Yum Balam Biosphere, a 600-square-mile protectorate of coastal waters and forests. Explore the menagerie with a snorkeling guide from Mextreme Travel—the outfitter donates a portion of proceeds to whale shark conservation ($50 per trip; Tip: Bring cash. Holbox has no ATMs, and credit cards are rarely accepted.

Filed To: Snorkeling

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