Monday, 7 January 2013

Holbox island is one of Mayan Explore´s top places near Cancun

Holbox Island is definitely one of the best places if you are considering vacationing near Cancun. Holbox means “Black hole” in the Mayan language and the island is also known as “the whale shark island”. Isla Holbox is located north of the State of Quintana Roo, North West from Cancun.

Holbox is a sand dune island connected to the Yucatan Peninsula. This union is produced by a mix of vegetation such as mangroves, palm trees and endemic plants. This makes it a perfect refuge for birds and marine animals for breeding purposes, making it a true heaven for birdwatching during your holidays in Mexico. The island features an amazing variety of beaches too, which will take your breath away and offer another idea of vacations from Cancun. Its waters are so shallow at certain points that you can literally almost walk on water for hundreds of meters. What we love about this great small island is that you will not find any cars. People move around on foot or golf cart.

Something truly unique about Holbox is whale sharks. They come here from May to September due to the abundance of plancton in the water. You will find a few tours to swim with whale sharks and we recommend you do it. Whale sharks are incredible and docile animals and Holbox is one of the few places on earth where you can do this. Remarkably, they are extremely protected by the local community (for example, you are not allowed to touch and interfere with them. If you do, your whole group will be immediately returned  to the island). Believe us, it will be the cherry on top of the cake during your vacations in one of the best places near Cancun

Whale shark
To get to Holbox you have to arrive at the port of Chiquilá, which is a small village located just 15-20 minutes from Isla Holbox. At the port of Chiquilá, you will find a few hotels, a couple of restaurants, one gas station and public parking lots to keep private cars for several days. Getting to Holbox is pretty straightforward, however be prepared to travel for 3 or 4 hours.
Driving from Cancun/Riviera Maya/Tulum

Take Highway 180 towards Merida City. Look for the detour to Kantunilkin town and continue to the port of Chiquilá.

Driving from Merida/Valladolid

Take Highway 180 to Cancun, passing through Valladolid. Then head towards the town of El Ideal, look out for the turning to Kantunilkin and continue along the same path to Chiquilá.

By bus from Cancun

Cancun to Chiquilá: Everyday at 7:50am and 12:40 pm (The Bus Station is located on Tulum Avenue). This is the only ADO bus station in Cancun. The bus will drop you off in the town centre and you will be able to see the dock. Just head there and buy your tickets to Holbox.
Chiquilá to Cancún: Everyday at 7:45am and 1:45pm (the bus will pick you up at the same place where it dropped you off) TIP: if you miss the bus for some reason, you will find taxis. However, fares are quiet expensive, Chiquila – Playa del Carmen 100USD per taxi (4 people).

By bus from Playa del Carmen/Tulum

Take the ADO bus to Cancun, be sure to plan your day well as buses leave right on time.

Bus from Merida

Mérida to Chiquilá: Everyday at 11.30pm

Chiquilá to Mérida: Everyday at 5:30am

Once at Chiquila, you will need to take a boat to Isla Holbox. This cost 80 Mexican pesos per person (6usd approx. as of December 2012). This Nueve Hermanos ferry company scheduled times. There exist fairly new ferries and it takes roughly 20 minutes to get there. Keep your camera handy as the wildlife you may see is incredible.

Chiquilá–Holbox: 6am, 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9.30pm

Holbox-Chiquilá: 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm