Upon arriving in the seaside town of Chiquila, we instantly felt the relaxed, island breeze and chilled vibes beckoning from nearby Isla Holbox. The late afternoon sun was out to play as we walked out along the wooden pier to catch one of two ferries to one of Mexico’s best kept secrets. After a 4-hour bus journey from Valladolid, we were ready to check out of the mainland and check into #islandlife.
The 15 minute ferry from Chiquila turned out to be a relaxing sunset sail with wind in our hair and legs hanging over the side for only $80 pesos one-way (AUD $7). Most transport options into Chiquila (from Cancun, Merida, Valladolid) will get you here either early morning or late afternoon, so your first impressions of Isla Holbox are guaranteed to be sunrise or sunset-inspired.
Stepping off the ferry was like walking onto a sleepy island that hadn’t quite woken up from its afternoon nap yet. The sandy streets and quiet shopfronts blended in with the wall murals and sleepy dogs sprawled across the warm ground. We realised later on that afternoon siestas are a real thing here… something we were happy to get used to! Thus followed five days of summer bliss, sunsets, street art and mid-afternoon chill sessions… #islandlifeforlife
Our favourite sunset bar on the island is the only one we went to the whole time we were there, but also the only one you need to know about! Beautiful views, super nice people and hanging swing chairs make for the best afternoon to evening transition each and every day in this place.
Head to the western end of the main beach (literally follow the sunset) and you will find this little gem of a beach shack sitting there so chilled and happy about life. You can’t help but smile, take a sip of your fresh mango and chilli margarita / ice-cold Mexican beer of choice, and be thankful for another day in this world. If you can’t find it, just keep an eye out for the husky-looking wolf-dog playing around on the sand outside the bar!
And of course, remember to throw in a floaty dress for that extra touch of sunset magic…
Best way to pass the time on Isla Holbox? Pack some fresh fruit, snacks and a big bottle of water in your backpack, rent a bike for $50 pesos an hour (under AUD $5) and ride to one of the hidden beaches on the western side of the island. Find some shade under a little tree, lay down your sarong and read, relax, nap. Repeat and enjoy. Ahh, island bliss.
What was your favourite time of day on this island? Sunset. Even if there are people around you, the whole world seems to go whisper-quiet for those last few precious minutes when the sun disappears over the horizon, celebrating the end of yet another day on this earth.
If you decided to pack up your life and move to Isla Holbox for a year, what would you do on the island? Dream life! Definitely open up a cute little organic cafe by the beach serving fresh fruit juices, smoothies, awesome iced coffee and fresh sandwiches full of delicious local produce. The decor would be cottage-chic-meets-beach-shack, with a wooden verandah looking out to the sunset. Add a few hanging wind chimes and fairy lights with some chilled island tunes playing in the background, and we’re set :)
Best way to pass the time on Isla Holbox? Beach. Beer. Best.
What was your favourite time of day on this island? No brainer, sunset. Hard to beat sipping on a chilli mango margarita or a Sol at the sunset bar watching the purple/orange/pink sunset. Something about #islandlife that makes you feel good about doing nothing.
If you decided to pack up your life and move to Isla Holbox for a year, what would you do on the island? A good cafe seemed to be missing, so probably a takeaway on the beach that would have a focus on good Australian style coffee, sandwiches (I’m thinking one slow-cooked meat filling of the day and grilled vegetables alongside your usual sandwich fillings) and last but not least, some good fresh fruit juices. We would only be open for breakfast and lunch so that we would still get to take in sunset at the sunset bar. Oh yeah, also, all sunset bar employees would have their meals for free ;) …Alternatively weed seems to be in high demand here, but it’s probably a flooded market…