Chiquila (chee-kee-LAH) tiny fishermen town - Ferry to Holbox Mexico
Let me start by saying that Holbox (whole-BOHSH) is a precious little gem of an island located in the state of Quintana Roo (keen-tah-nah-ROH), where it seems that time has stopped.
There are no cars, no paved roads (the narrow streets are all covered with sand) the only way to get around the town is on electric golf carts or on your feet (everything is within walking distance).
It’s a quaint little town with houses painted in bright tropical colors. The population, barely 2,000 people. It is 41.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide. (25.7 miles long X 0.9 miles wide).
I remember backpacking to Holbox when I was a teenager - what I found back then was a beautiful, peaceful island with pristine beaches and no hotels or restaurants, you had to rent a room from the locals and they would also feed you if you wanted, and this was for only a few pesos.
It was the cheapest trip I have ever taken. I remember joining a group of teenage Swiss tourists and we had the time of our lives.
Some things have changed since then, there are now beautiful small hotels around the island, also small charming restaurants that serve delicious food
There are some expats living here now, tourists from all over the world visit the island as always (not too many)…. but through the years it has kept that peaceful quality and pristine beaches that you cannot experience in a resort like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, it’s like being a thousand miles and a thousand years away from these places.
The beaches of Holbox Island are officially located on the Gulf of Mexico, but the Caribbean Sea is right next door.
The main beach is about 2 kilometers long (1.3 miles), but you can walk and explore more beaches located further away from the town.
Things to Do in Holbox
Even though it’s a tiny island, there are many things you can do here, for starters how about taking a walk through the white sandy streets of the town to explore, see what it has to offer and interact with the natives.
Back in your hotel you can swing in a hammock and read a book or watch the pelicans dive into the beautiful, jade green waters of the Gulf of Mexico when they are hunting for fish.
If you are looking for some action, you can go swimming, beach-combing, kayaking and canoeing, windsurfing and kite-surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, scuba diving and snorkeling, dolphin and whale watching, the sky is the limit.
Holbox is one of the few places in the world where you can watch the flamingos in their own environment. (Other awesome places in Yucatan to watch flamingos are Celestun and Rio Lagartos) Watching them before sunset is a totally awesome experience. To do this you have to rent a golf cart and go around the island where you will be able to witness and admire the amazing scenery, you might not know where the flamingos are, so make sure you ask someone at the hotel for directions before you start your excursion.
When we go to Holbox, my wife and I make sure we have lobster pizza at one of our favorite restaurants “Pizzeria Edelyn”, we also like to go to Raices Beach Club to watch the awesome sight of the setting sun, enjoy a meal of fresh sea food with an ice cold beer and listen to live music.
Holbox Island is a place to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, unwind and relax from the hectic everyday life.
Most people come to Holbox for the peace and quiet they can experience here – but the highlight of this island takes place every year from 15 May to 15 September.
It gets pretty crowded during this time of year with all the adventure seekers that come to swim with the whale sharks, which are the largest fish on earth, reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) long or more. Even though they are huge, they are harmless.
These travelers get to see many other kinds of fish, including manta rays, dolphins and flamingos in their natural habitat.
Other attractions are Isla de la Pasion (Passion Island) and isla de los pajaros (Bird Island).
Isla de la Pasion / Passion Island
Passion island is a small tropical paradise located 15 minutes away from Holbox, there are no houses, golf carts, shops or restaurants. Although a buffet lunch is provided when you take the tour. Sand, birds and palm trees surround the island. It is an isolated, peaceful place where you can kick back and totally relax.
Beach at Passion Island
Buffet at Passion Island
Isla de los Pajaros / Bird Island
Another isolated peaceful place near Holbox (only 30 minutes away) is Bird Island. About 155 species of birds are found on this tiny island, for some this is their permanent home, for others it is seasonal. If you're a bird watcher or a wildlife enthusiast this is the perfect place for you, don't miss out.
How to Get to Holbox
Holbox is located on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, you can get here by renting a car and driving yourself, which is an adventure in itself. You will have a lot of fun discovering and exploring new Mayan towns and villages along the way. It is convenient because you can do it at your own pace.
You can also take the public bus which is cheaper of course but you have a schedule. Any way you choose to travel, you will have to go to the tiny port town of Chiquila (chee-kee-LAH), where you will take a small ferry to the island of Holbox. (travel time 30 minutes) ($ 205.00 pesos) ($ 12.50 USD)
You cannot take your car across to Isla Holbox, but you can leave it at a private protected parking lot (car hotel) for about $80 pesos per day ($5.00 USD per day)