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Mar 18, 2008 04:29 PM

Anybody familiar with Holbox?

The husband and I have planned a get away trip to Isla Holbox in May. He may do some fly fishing for tarpon, but I am planning on vegging out and not leaving the beach or water except to eat. Which leads to my question: any recommendations? We don't need anything fancy (and from what I understand there isn't much fancy there), just swimmingly fresh seafood. Any must trys?

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  1. Wonderfully frozen in time and unhurried. Kids playing in el centro. Pastel clapboards, sand streets, golf carts. Leave your rental car at the ferry dock; a few bucks a day. (There are also busses from Cancun) You can walk the whole of it. Ladies crafting folk art. Seriously fresh and thrifty fish and lobster. ( Holbox is one of the principal suppliers to the Cancun market). In the evening you may count over 100 tethered fishing boats. Tranquil.
    Caveats: mosquitos can be oppressive while you are relaxing in your hammock in the PM. Bring repellent. Also, when driving from Cancun, you must take the "libre" road. The toll, or "cuota" road, does not have an exit where you need to turn north. May will be quite warm. There are high-dollar fancy places north of the center with AC, or you can dial it down and "glow" a bit.
    It's a vanishing slice of heaven.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Thanks for your post, you have me even more excited than I already was. It sounds like it is exactly what we are looking for. And I realize that May will be warm, but that's the time that worked with our work schedules, and I like places better when it's not "high season" (also the lure of the tarpon fishing, which really gets going in May, was a major factor in getting him to agree to a beach vacation to begin with).

      It sounds like pretty much anywhere we eat will be good from your post. Is there any place you particularly like, or does it really not matter?

      1. re: Megiac

        Zarabanda in el centro has great fresh lobster; I recall getting 3 small tails ( an ample meal) for about 12 bucks. Beer is cheap everywhere, and OK to walk around the sand streets with one in hand. It's a bit like Ambergris Cay in Belize; but more compact. If you want to do a fancy dinner, the CasaSandra Hotel a couple hundred meters northeast on the beach will fit the bill. There's another fun place on the water just to the left of where the main st. dead-ends at the beach, but it's name escapes me. In any case, you will find everything in a day.
        If you are spending your whole trip in Holbox, you may want to consider taking a bus fron Cancun to Chiquila and save the rental car cost. There is no reason to have a car on the island; it would just sit at the ferry dock in Chiquila the whole time. That's a time/budget/convenience equation for you to solve.
        Tarpon spawn in brackish water, and brackish means mangrove, and mangrove means mosquitos. Be alert to the wind direction and bring plenty of "Off" or a repellent with lots of Deet.
        Enjoy, and bring a camera! Also, bring cash. Don't count on ATM's.

        1. re: Veggo

          Thanks. Our hotel is arranging the transfer from the Cancun airport to Chiquila to Holbox for us, so we won't have a rental car.

          1. re: Megiac

            Splendid! A better budget for food and beverage! Have a blast, and tell us about it.

            1. re: Megiac

              We'll also be in holbox in May -the last week. This will be our 2nd time there. The food is good to very good but wouldn't go so far as to call it great. It doesn't matter tho -the island and the locals are amazing. However, highly recommend against using the hotel arranged taxi. It's so expensive! The bus will take a while but cost only about 5 dollars per/person. Bonus is that you get to travel thru many small towns and see an interesting side of mexican world -very different from the tourist zones of cancun and even holbox.

              1. re: edamommy

                Actually, I can highly recommend a food venue: if you can avoid the (norte)American tendency to eat dinner at 5:30 pm, the central plaza opens up at 8 or so. I had fantastic tacos, sopa de pollo and other great deals there. I think tacos were maybe a dime each?! It seemed the locals mostly frequented the plaza. This year, hopefully we'll be able to eat there a lot but since we're travelling with our 18 mo. old baby, who goes to bed at 7:30 pm, chances aren't so good. Please let us know what you think!

      2. Hi,
        I go to Isla Mujeres almost every year. I am not familiar w/Holbox, but I am incl. a link to an Island Forum. There just happens to be a recent post about I.H.

        1. Holbox, all I have to say, is Isla Holbox, is the "secret island" treasure. Not yet developed or very socialized, but totally TRANQUILO!!! The most relaxing beach I have ever seen, and you can literally walk in the sea for kilometers!! The pelicans will fly right up to you!!
          I have found the best and most affordable place to stay is at GOLDEN PARADISE HOTELS. Its really cool because they have 3 different kinds of places. Their BEACH hotel, I stayed at one night, and literally was like sleeping on the water, and saw the most amazing sunset of my life.
          I also stayed at their campground in a tent for like 10 bucks a night, and this was awesome!! The biggest surprise, (i am used to hostels), was the HOT WATER!!! Super clean bathrooms with these really cool lights wrapped around the palm trees.
          The service was awesome, and thank god they spoke english. The owners answered all my questions and even gave me a free tour around the island on their little golf cart!!!
          I highly recommend Isla Holbox, and i Highly recommend Golden Paradise Hotels.

          1. My husband and I just spent the last week in April there for our honeymoon. To echo the other posts, Holbox is simply an amazing place to escape and let time crawl. You're going to love it.

            We ate at some very good restaurants during our stay: Edelyn's, Buena Vista Grill, Zarabanda (our server Benito is great to talk to and the seafood was top notch) but our favorite overall was La Parilla de Juan. It's about a block or so up from Hotel Mawimbi and next door to the VIP Holbox Tours store. It's a rooftop restaurant that has the most spectacular views - go right before sunset so that you can sip a mango mojito or a glass of malbec on the roof. Some of the pasta dishes are a little rich/creamy but everything was delicious overall.

            Have fun!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Berritoi

              Nice update, and a nice place to start a marriage! I hope you will go back for some anniversaries, as well.