Isla Holbox is a slender, 42‑kilometre‑long island just off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. Like Tulum, it’s just a two‑hour drive from the bustling resort town of Cancún. But unlike Tulum, this tiny fishing village has yet to be overtaken by the hip crowd. There are no paved roads. No big hotels. No throbbing disco music. Which is exactly the point. Because getting away from it all in Holbox – which in Yucatec Maya means “black hole” – is the reason you come.
Here, days revolve around the position of the sun. Mornings are spent lingering over café con léche in the colourful main plaza, while afternoons are made for lazing on the powdery white‑sand beach. The water is shallow and calm; it stretches out into the distance like an endless, tranquil swimming pool. Take a paddleboard and cruise the sandbar‑dotted shores, or hire a boat to see the whale sharks that migrate off the coast in spring and summer. Just be sure to make it back to the pier to see the sunset, the only thing that anyone on the island rushes for.