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 kilometres (26.00 miles) long and 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) wide, and it is separated from the mainland by 10 km of 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. Lobster is the main product of this fishing, and many of the dishes made on the island center around lobster or other seafood.
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, Flights Holbox , Aerosaab, flies tours to Holbox from Cancún and Playa del Carmen; there is even a small airstrip to accommodate five-seater, 13 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. During hurricane season, the island is often evacuated as it can get directly damaged by hurricane winds.
An 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.