Beauties of Yucatan: natural appeal of the enchanting island of Holbox

phortun @phortunApril 2019 · 4 min read

Hi there my Steemian friends and followers!

I am here with another episode of my Beauties of Yucatan series. This time around, I will take you to the astonishing island of Holbox, one of Mexico´s hidden gems and a true heaven for all nature lovers.


Meaning "the black hole" in the old Mayan language (because of one of its lagoons with a dark bottom), Holbox is an elongated island found off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The island is connected with the mainland by ferries that go from/to the small coastal town of Chiquila (the ride takes between 20-30 minutes and it costs 150 Mexican pesos / approximately 6 USD one way).

The island´s land area occupies some 56 sq km (22 sq mi) a vast majority of which is still uninhabited, covered with pristine nature consisting of lush tropical vegetation, spotless white powdery beaches and incredibly clear and warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Home to abundant and diverse wildlife, Holbox is particularly known for 3 things - as a hotspot for whale shark watching, as a place where you can observe bio-luminescence and as a birdlife haven with flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, frigatebirds and other bird species inhabiting the island´s shores and sand banks.

A significant part of Holbox is currently protected as it belongs to the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve but I am afraid that the spectacular nature might soon start to be repressed at the expense of the growing tourism industry. In fact, I have heard and read way too many times that it is just a matter of time before Holbox involuntarily follows the destiny of places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen or - most recently - Tulum where the rapid urbanization combined with the boom of mass tourism have destroyed the original natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere of these former sleepy fishing villages on what is now the bustling Mayan Riviera, arguably the most touristy part of Mexico.

Let me now show you some of the photos that I took on the Holbox Island two weeks ago so that you can have a better idea of what this wonderful place looks like these days.



The dead trees sticking out of the water are very popular with local birds who love to sit on them.



Sign at the entrance to the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve. The admission is free. There are actually no gates to the reserve, just these signs.




Pair of the double-crested cormorants lurking for fish



These cool water hammocks are very typical of Holbox. That´s what I call the ultimate Caribbean chill out :)


I just love these moments when it feels like I have the whole beach just for me :) Something you can hardly enjoy on the Mayan Riviera these days.


Holbox is also known for astonishing sunset sceneries. I took these sunset shots near the Punta Coco beach in the western part of the island.




Little harbor in the town, right next to Playa del Holbox.


Tourists walking on the sandbar towards Punta Mosquito. Hopefully, tourism will be controlled here so that the island´s unique ecosystems and beauty will remain untouched.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around the picturesque Holbox Island. If you want to see it the way it is now, you better hurry up because as I have already mentioned, the situation might change soon. Although the number of tourists coming to the island is already slowly increasing, as of now the place still keeps the original, laid-back atmosphere, enhanced by the fact that cars are still not allowed there (the Holbox "traffic" consists mostly of just golf carts and bikes) and local streets and roads are still sandy (unpaved). However, a lot of construction works have been going in the town and along the beaches so in a few years, the island might look very differently.


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you like posts about #nature, #animals, #traveling and discovering secrets and beauties of the #world, feel free to follow me as these are the topics I mostly write about. Have a wonderful day and keep on Steeming!

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Holbox! A good friend went there last winter. Thanks for reminding me to put this on my list.


You are welcome @armentor :) Whenever you have a chance to visit Holbox, go for it. It is a truly amazing place.


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How cool is that?! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it guys :)


Incredible post! OMG the photos are out of this world mate!
I'm just catching up with people's posts now that I have a couple of hours before sleep and heading out tomorrow to some "celebration" (I have no idea what haha)

The closest I've been to this is a Cuban island with similar sand and water colour / vibes. I hope to see this place one day.


Thanks Ade, I really appreciate these words, coming from such a great photographer :) Yeah, there are quite a lot of places and islands in the Caribbean with landscape and seascape like this so I guess it may actually be just the absence of the masses what makes this particular place look so unique and peaceful.

Dobrou noc a užij si zítřejší oslavu! ;)


Holbox Island? Oh, say it isn't soooo! How can they take such a stunning piece of loveliness and build it up? The charm in it is that it is peaceful and little known.

One of the things I loved about it was the car-free zone of it and the location between the Caribbean and the Gulf. How can you spell perfection? The ferry ride isn't bad and at least it was air-conditioned. :)

The kayaking was awesome there! And the unspoiled parts of nature were amazing. Too bad and how can we call this progress? :(

Wonderful shots and the sunset were golden and leave one speechless. Just crawl up on that hammock and relax. You deserve it.



Thank you so much for this nice feedback Denise. I didn´t know you have visited this little heaven on Earth too. I believe the kayaking must have been exciting experience! We saw some people kayaking along the coast and we loved the idea of trying it ourselves but we didn´t have much time. At least we managed to bike around a bit :)

Thanks for your nice comments and support again. Much appreciated.




Děkuju za krásný výlet :-* :)


Další vklad do cestovatelského deníku na dálku ;-)


Opět jsem rád posloužil :)




Kokso pekne! Ta prva foto je hrozne super...vlastne vsetky su :D aj tie pred zapadom..ja som si nikdy ani neuvedomil ze tie hammocky su som ich videl na takychto podobnych fotos a som vzdy myslel, ze sa to len na hammocky podoba :D to su public? sa tam mozes len tak vyvalit?


Jo můžeš se tam libovolně a zadarmo vyvalit. Třeba takhle :D



Ty si láska😍💙




Pozeram na tu foto a musim si opakovat: "som stastny, nic mi nechyba, som stastny nic mi nechyba" :D


:DDD ...dal ses na afirmace, jo?


Do you know how happy I feel when I look at these images? Because I love nature, I am an environmental lover, I am very happy to see such natural images. Thank you very much for these photos.


I am happy to hear that this post made you happy ;) My pleasure.


Absolutely beautiful, it is sad that the human settlement is spoiling this paradise. Great photos and post!! Enjoy any of your travel!!!


Thank you so much! Same to you! :)


A very beautiful place good photos. Thank you for introducing a very nice place.


My pleasure, glad you liked that :)