In between sleeping and watching sunsets in Isla Holbox, we also managed to get our nature on and explore the outer surrounds of the island during the five days we were there.
For all the bike ride lovers out there, cycling is a great way to check out the hidden beaches and get you from one end of the island to the other when dragging your feet on sandy roads in the middle of the hot sun gets too tiring. Plus, riding a bike in your bikini/boardshorts with the wind in your hair and sun shining on your back – and songs playing from your bike basket just like the girls in the movie ‘Now and Then’ – is a pretty good feeling. #summerdayz
We recommend venturing to the south-western end of the island to a stretch of white sandy beach near Punta Cocos. The water is warm, shallow and very clear… good for wading and dipping your feet in when you need to cool down a bit. Just keep in mind if you’re after a proper swim in the sea, you’ll have to wade right out about 30 metres from shore.
Another thing we did was a day trip on the water called the ‘Clásico Tour’. Three hours long and US $30 per person, this included three different sights: Isla Pajaros (bird paradise), Yalahau Lagoon (a freshwater swimming hole on the mainland) and Isla Pasión (a beautiful white-sand island surrounded by crystal clear water). We ended up doing this tour with a French/German couple that we met at the sunset bar the night before, which made it extra fun: Aymeric and Louise – a big hello to you guys! :)
First stop was Isla Pajaros, which featured a creaky wooden structure with views out to sea doubling as a snack bar for seagulls thanks to all us tourists handing out free crackers. Put it down to the inner child in all of us, but we had a blast climbing up the treehouse-like watchtower and having the birds take the crackers straight out of our outstretched hands! At other times of the year there are also flamingos hanging about, if you happen to be visiting in late Spring (April/May).
Next, we ventured towards Yalahau Lagoon and saw the most amazing dolphins swimming and jumping into the air alongside our boat. It was the closest we had ever come to swimming with dolphins… they were literally only 2 metres from the side of the boat at one stage. The first three photos were taken without a zoom, they were really that close to us!
Upon arriving at Yalahau Lagoon, we were greeted with a freshwater swimming hole situated in the middle of a mangrove jungle and surrounded by a wooden deck, which was perfect for lounging in the sun. Considered a cenote of sorts (there was a spring pumping fresh water into the lagoon from an underground river), the water was super cool and refreshing.
There was also a viewing platform off to the side, with panoramic views at the very top out across the mainland. It seems every spot around this island has a wooden platform for climbing up…
And on the way out we had our first encounter with island bandicoots! Cute…
Last but not least, we got a chance to hop off the boat and walk around tiny Isla Pasión. A picturesque island surrounded by the whitest sand and clearest water we saw in Mexico. In between wading through the water and ducking under wild plants and trees, we also saw a bunch of iguanas keeping watch over their land and flaring their tonsils at us whilst making reptilian noises to mark their territory. Such funny little creatures.