Tiny Holbox is a laid-back paradise island that comes with shimmering white sand beaches and a refreshing Mexican flare. Roads are made of sand, and golf-carts are the most common way of transport. The island is separated from Yucatán peninsula by a shallow lagoon, a home to loads of exotic creatures and birds from pink flamingos and pelicans to ibis.

Although Holbox [holbosh] means “black hole” in Yucatec Mayan, this colorful Caribbean island is quite the opposite. Bright-colored, wooden houses and friendly locals invite you to spend time walking the sandy streets of a rustic fishing village (named Holbox as well), sampling fresh seafood with Caribbean flavors, watching kids playing and dogs lazing around. Distant humming of reggae might force you to one of the beach bars for a sundowner, where we happily enjoyed one of the best mojitos of our lives. Oddly enough Holbox offers also authentic Italian wood fired pizzas. Order yours with a decadent taste of tropic – fresh lobster!

Holbox is the only Caribbean island still having more than 40 kilometers of unspoiled beaches. The whole island belongs to the Yum-Balam Biosphere Reserve. Ocean reflects limitless shades of blue and green, although water is not as turquoise as in Quintana Roo in general. This is where the Caribbean meets the darker waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which also brings friendly giants nearby. Holbox is one of the best places on earth to swim with whale sharks – an experience that’s hard to beat. We swam with tens of them along with huge manta rays, and spotted also a bunch of playful dolphins.

The island of Holbox is mere 40 kilometers long and from 500 meters to 2 kilometers wide. Although walking takes you around quite easily, renting a golf cart offers a fun way to explore more remote parts of the island. We enjoyed pretty reckless driving along empty sand roads and long stretches of virgin beaches. We also stopped by to visit in a local animal refuge, Refugio Holbox. At the northern tip of the island we dumped our cart aside and hiked a few kilometers along the beach to see the famous pink flamingos. Somehow we also managed to get lost while searching for Punta Coco, a lovely beach at the eastern shore. But what a fun day it was!

Life follows the rhythm of Mother Nature, and remains simple, yet joyful. Tourism is still not dominating the scene, as fishing is the main source of income. That balance might change soon, so it is advisable to visit Holbox before the herds of Cancún will find this unspoiled paradise.