Zentraveler treks to Isla Holbox, Mexico!

So you want off the beaten path, yet would like to be a part of a new discovery destination— then head to Isla Holbox, Mexico. What interested me about Isla Holbox is: It is directly across from Cuba and has the same fishing waters Ernest Hemmingway fished from the Cuban side. Now the next trick is to find the place. I love maps anyway— but following them sometimes can be quite difficult.

You simply take the directo bus from Cancun towards Merida ——- then change buses in a small mexican town —— then take another bus to another small town, where you take the ferry or hire a local to transport you across the open waters to Isla Holbox. ( you can also hire a local transport from the Cancun Airport to take you there directly) As you approach the Isla you will see hundreds of pink flamingoes lift off— giving you a pink imagery against the dramatic blue sky. It’s as if the chamber of commerce hired these flamingoes to welcome you to their island. It’s definitely a nice touch.

As you walk through Isla Holbox you will see the local fisherman, hundreds of dried fish hanging on tables, and folks going about their business at their own pace. A large stack of homemade tortillas will set you back 10 cents, beer is cheap and the people are friendly. I met an Italian couple who had retired there and a Swiss couple who built their little bungalow from scratch. The whisper number is don’t tell a living soul about this little oasis in Mexico.

Isla Holbox is a naturalist paradise. They have excellent birding tours in the back-country, fly-fishing opportunities to catch tarpon, and a good place– just to hang away from the tourist traps. If you are looking to turn the clock backward— Isla Holobox reeks of the ultimate laid back community. If Jimmy Buffet ever makes it here— it’s all over but the shouting.

“Isla Holbox is pronounced i-la holebosh – “x” in Mayan is pronounced “sh”.

A well kept secret not known to many Mexicans outside of the Yucatan – Isla Holbox was settled by pirates who intermarried with local Mayans living in the area. The descendants of the original 8 families still reside there today. Sort of like Pitcairn Island.

Isla Holbox has 1600 +/- residents. It is a true island 7 miles north of the top tip of the Yucatan Peninsula about 40 miles NW of Cancun. It’s approximately 7 miles long and 1 mile wide.

Its northern shore [facing the placid waters of the warm Gulf of Mexico] has become a secret hideout for Europeans, Canadians and Americans alike. Its like stepping back in time to the 50’s or 60’s.” Source——-travelyucatan.com

So there you have it— if you like to explore, get off the beaten path and do some serious relaxation— why not head to Isla Holobox. Lobsters are cheaper than hamburgers, you can find excellent accommodations to fit your travel budget, and you are situated in a scenic fisherman’s village on the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your binoculars and of course wear your finest birding gear. The wildlife appreciates folks dressed in their finery. They do!

QUOTE: Birds of a feather flock together.

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: What do flamingos look like? Nearly everyone knows what flamingos look like —pink birds with long legs. You can see them at just about every zoo. You can find them in storybooks. Alice uses flamingos as croquet mallets in Through the Looking Glass (by Lewis Carroll). Images of flamingos, standing under palm trees, appear in paperweights and snow globes. Plastic flamingos make colorful lawn ornaments But did you know that some flamingos live high up in the Andes Mountains of South America? Flamingos can swim, and flamingos can fly. Ornithologists (scientists who sturdy birds) spent many years arguing whether flamingos are more like ducks, or more like storks, until they decided that flamingos belong in a group by themselves. There are 5 species of flamingos that occur throughout the world. The greater flamingo is as tall as a grown-up person is. The lesser flamingo is as tall as a first-grader. source—– thewildones.org


ZENTRAVELER SAYS: If I am a flamingo and I eat bight red shrimp all-day will I turn Pink? Wait until you are a Pink Flamingo and the answer will appear.

Follow the Zentraveler blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.


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