Isla Holbox Culture

Dec 01 2011

Holbox is a tiny island residing in the Caribbean sea located on the north coast of the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. The island is partially made of sand banks and so its size always varies but it is typically about 36 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide. Home to less than 2,000 people, 85% of the island is uninhabited and consists mainly of sandy beaches and jungle.

 Holbox culture is a vibrant mix of Mexican and Caribbean influence. The town center is brightly colored and consists of a church, boutiques, restaurants and a park. Ancient Maya civilization once reached the tiny island and remnants of maya history still remain. The name Holbox is the Yucatec Maya word for “black hole”!    

Life on Holbox is very simple: There are no cars and most people travel on foot or rely on golf carts, bicycles, and bike carts for transportation. The streets are unpaved and are made of soft sand, so no one ever has to wear shoes! Seafood cuisine is prepared fresh with the day’s catch!

Fishing is the number one industry on the island, but tourism is growing. Known as the home of the whale shark, tourists flock to Holbox every year during the whale shark’s migrating season. Tourists can choose from a variety of recreational opportunities to come close to the enormous creature such as “snorkeling with whale sharks”.

Holbox is also home to a wide array of birdlife such as flamingos and pelicans which reside in the shallow lagoon between the island and the mainland. The Yum-Balam Biosphere Reserve was established on the island to protect its rich biodiversity.

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