Isla Holbox

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Isla Holbox
Island community
Isla Holbox in June, 2008
Isla Holbox in June, 2008
Isla Holbox is located in Mexico
Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox
Location of Isla Holbox
Coordinates: 21°32′16″N 87°13′12″W / 21.53778°N 87.22000°W / 21.53778; -87.22000Coordinates: 21°32′16″N 87°13′12″W / 21.53778°N 87.22000°W / 21.53778; -87.22000
Country  Mexico
State Quintana Roo
Municipality Lázaro Cárdenas
Town Founded[1] 1854
 • Land 55.948 km2 (21.602 sq mi)
Population (2005)[3]
 • Total 1,198
Demonym(s) Holboxeños[1]
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)

Holbox ("black hole" in Yucatec Maya) is an island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is approximately 41.84 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, and it is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon that is home to flamingos, pelicans and other rich birdlife. Holbox Island is part of the Municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas and also part of the Yum-Balam Biosphere Reserve.

Not yet heavily touristed, the island's main industry is fishing. However, the island is developing a growing tourist industry in the form of whale shark viewing.

Aerial view of Holbox

The island is accessed by ferry from the mainland town of Chiquila, and has virtually no cars, with transport by most residents and tourists by golf cart or moped. A small airline, Aerosaab, flies tours to Holbox from Cancún and Playa del Carmen; there is even a small airstrip to accommodate Aerosaab's five-seater Cessna aircraft.

The entrance of vehicles is not allowed at Holbox in order to protect the environment and to prevent the streets from getting sand.

Holbox has several alternatives to enjoy nature, but the one that attracts most visitors is the experience of swimming with the impressive whale shark from June to September, an opportunity you can experience in very few parts of the world.

Another alternative is “Isla Pájaros” (Bird Island), a small island covered in mangrove swamps and cacti, located on the Yalahau lagoon, where there is a large diversity of birds. As some of them are endangered species, two observation points and walkways are provided to minimize the direct contact with the birds. Flamingos, cormorants, herons, frigate birds, pelicans, wild ducks and seagulls among other species can be observed here in their natural environment.

Kiteboarding in Holbox[edit]

Holbox has one of the safest beaches for learning how to kiteboard. Conditions are ideal for beginners, as the beach has shallow waters, no big obstacles on the wide and long beach, many days of wind during the winter months, and a nearby school with professional instructors. Advanced riders can find also very good conditions when the north or south winds reach 25 knots or more.


Mexico’s first International Public Art Festival "IPAF" is the reason the island is covered with art: Created by the CRAD association (Cancun & Riviera Maya Arts Destination), IPAF aims to foster artistic activities that reflect the identity of local society. It brought national and international artists to the island for the first time in February 2014, mostly from Mexico and Canada. [4]


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