Two hours by highway from Cancun and a half-hour ferry ride will take you to a little piece of paradise ignored by mass tourism. The minute you step off the boat, a golf buggy collects you and your cases and drops you off at your colorful casita. With breathtaking turquoise waters all around, it's a dream-like start to your Mexican vacation. Slip into swimsuits with sandals and sway to the rhythm of the playa. The fortunate few in their low-key wooden huts have over 35 kilometres of talcum-powder white sand to enjoy. There are no all-inclusives here with their free-flowing cervezas and margaritas. Instead, you'll relax in the all-pervading air of tranquility as trade winds waft in the palm trees.
From kayak rides to whale-shark encounters
With idyllic natural wonders and peaceful atmosphere, Holbox (pronounced ‘Holbosh' in the local Mayan language) is perfect for families in search of shared activities and relaxation. The island knows just how to keep the most energetic kids and teenagers entertained. Start off with a bit of sport. Explore the island by kayak as you effortlessly drift through the mangroves. Below the surface, the blue-green waters are teeming with life. Swap your paddle for a mask and snorkel, then seek out tropical fish playing hide-and-seek among the coral reefs.
If your kids are after even bigger thrills, what about an introduction to kiteboarding to give them a real rush of adrenalin? Share this experience, be brave and join them in an unforgettable underwater experience. Take an organized dive where you'll swim alongside the biggest fish in the world, the whale-shark. These fabulous creatures frequent the waters of Holbox from mid-May through mid-September.
After ocean thrills, head off to the jungle and the Yum Balam nature reserve extending over 60,000 hectares. This green oasis is home to some 320 species of rare birds, jostling for position on the branches of tropical trees.
Laze away the days on the Gulf of Mexico
To get over all the excitement, spend some time lounging around on the island's achingly beautiful beaches. Welcoming hammocks beckon you to disconnect a while as the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap at your feet. When you tire of basking in the sun, pick up a bike and enjoy a gentle cycle to the village. The unmistakably sweet scent of a Mexican vacation wafts down its sandy streets. Lose yourself among the riotous colors of its frescos – pieces of street art carrying on the ancient tradition of Mexican mural painting.
From the terrace of a café, quench your thirst with an agua de mango (the freshest of mango mixed with water, sugar and ice) and watch the world go by. Amid the hustle and bustle, fishermen and tourists cross paths in their buggies cosseted in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
When it's time for dinner, take a ride to Mandarina Restaurant. In a chic and cozy setting on a beach with the softest sand, bathed in the last rays of the sun, you'll savor local produce, such as seafood, quails' eggs and charred corn truffle or huitlacoche as it is called, passionately prepared by your hosts.
It's a wrench to tear yourself away from this tranquil island. But the Yucatan has such a rich cultural heritage, it'd be a shame not to visit the colonial city of Mérida with its vibrant, festive feel. And you simply must visit its evocative Mayan ruins; they'll keep your kids amazed for ages. The perfect excuse to make your stay in Mexico last that little bit longer…
Av Damero 310,
Holbox, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 87 52129