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Escape To This Hidden Island Just Outside Of Cancun, Mexico

Posted by Emily Cummings on 4/15/17 6:33 PM

ILP Mexico

Skip out on the crowds and vacation on this absolutely dreamy island after visiting Cancun.
Cancun is worth a visit — I mean, there’s a reason why everyone vacations there, right? It’s beautiful and there’s lots to do, like the underwater museum (aka a rad snorkeling tour that lets you see hundreds of underwater statues) or this awesome water theme park. But because everyone goes to Cancun you’ll have to put up with things being more expensive....and a lotta crowds. Get a break from on all that and get a slice of the local life by vacationing  in a little place called Isla Holbox.


Pst: Want an even more authentic Mexico experience? How about living there for a semester? Come fill out an application and spend a few months sipping Horchata and visiting beaches like this! 

A quick Google search is going to have you dreaming about this island allllll day long. It’s a real hidden gem that isn’t built up with huge resorts and crowds of tourists, so all you get is pure Mexican island life. You are going to want to start planning your trip here right now, so here are some details to help you out:
  • Where Is It?
  • How Do I Get There? 
  • What Can’t I Miss? 

Where Is It? 

This little island sits just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, which basically means you get the amazing sea green ocean of the Caribbean plus the moody blues of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s quiet, sleepy and has an almost endless stretch of beach.

ILP Mexico

How Do I Get There? 

Get to Isla Holbox by taking a 25 minute ferry ($7) from the tiny little port called Chiquilá. There’s also a teeny airpot here, so you can start your trip with Isla Holbox, or you can start in Cancun then take about a 2-2.5 hour taxi ride to the port. (It’ll probably be way more expensive to fly into Chiquillà but it could be worth looking into). 

ILP Mexico

What Can't I Miss? 

Come here to relax! There are hardly any cars so you get around by wandering around the very walkable and sandy island, or you can hail a golf cart “taxi” to take you around (but seriously, you can pretty much walk anywhere you want to go here). Laze on the beach, get some sun and take a dip in the water. After all, some serious beach time is just one of the things you have to do while living in Mexico.

There’s a shallow sandbar where you can see the pinky blur of the flamingoes that live there, or try kite surfing — the calm waters are perfect for beginners. 

Our Summer and Fall volunteers could also spend a day hanging out with whale sharks; from June to September these 40-foot giants migrate right past this sleepy island and you can defnitely book diving tours to get a closer look. 

Oh, and don’t forget to wander around the Caribbean inspired city square while you sip on Horchata or Pina Coladas....and ice cream. Sounds pretty much perfect, right?

ILP Mexico

So yeah, pretty much Mexico has it all. You can get the hubbub of Cancun’s tourists then hop over for some peace and quiet on Isla Holbox — it really is just perfect. You could do a day trip here from Cancun, but I have a feeling you are going to want to spend much longer here, just soaking it all in.

ILP Mexico

And if you need a little more Mexico in your life, come check out our blog. We have tips and updates on where else you should explore while teaching English in this country. You could come live here for a semester, teach English part time to a classroom of cuties (no experience necessary) and still get vacation time while volunteering to see Isla Holbox, all with International Language Programs (ILP)!

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Topics: Mexico, Travel Destinations, Hidden Gems

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Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

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