Isn’t life great when it’s low-fi and low-rise? That’s the attitude on friendly Isla Holbox (hol-bosh), with its sand streets, colorful Caribbean buildings and lazing, sun-drunk dogs. The water is not the translucent turquoise common to Quintana Roo beach sites, because here the Caribbean mingles with the darker Gulf of Mexico. The island is about 30km long and from 500m to 2km wide, with seemingly endless beaches, tranquil waters and a galaxy of shells in various shapes and colors. Lying within the 1541 sq km Yum Balam reserve, Holbox is home to more than 150 species of bird, including roseate spoonbills, pelicans, herons, ibis and flamingos. In summer, whale sharks congregate relatively nearby in unheard-of quantities.
Most of the people of Holbox Island make their living fishing. It is common to see fishermen walking through Holbox Village with their catch of the day or carrying their nets. The streets of Holbox Island are made of white sand, common of Caribbean islands, and there are very few cars. Holbox is considered a virgin tourist destination because very few outsiders visit the island. In spite of Holbox’ natural beauty, inaccessibility has left it unspoiled by mass tourism.