Short History Lesson of Isla Holbox

Once a strategic port for the Maya and part of the Ekab Chiefdom that extended around Cancun and the islands offshore, Holbox was rediscovered 150 years ago, by pirates, who sought out the fresh water Yalahua spring in which to cool off after long voyages.

Arriving at such a paradise, many pirates decided to stay on Holbox and they married some of the local women. The resulting seven families still live on the island to this day but have now been joined by people from around Mexico who have chosen to make the island home.

For many years Holbox was a sleepy fishing village, with generation after generation of the men fishing and taking their catch to sell on the mainland. However, the rise in tourism and the decline in fish in the area has seen islanders turn away from fishing and toward the tourist trade in order to make a living.

Holbox Visitor Information

There are a couple of ATMs on the island and many hotels and larger restaurants take card but it is worth arriving to Holbox with enough cash for your stay just in case the ATMs run out or the electricity should go down.

Both Mexican pesos and US dollars are accepted on the island, but smaller establishments may prefer pesos.

The island residents are prepared for tropical storms and all precautions have been taken to ensure total safety for all island residents and visitors. In the event of a natural weather occurrence, you would be evacuated or well taken care of if you stayed on the island.

Cell phones work on the island and most hotels have wifi although if the weather is bad the wifi can be patchy.

Isla Holbox is the jump-off point for tours to see the Whale Shark, the world’s biggest fish.