By Ted Alan Stedman
Day one, I lazed beneath coconut palms while sipping potent Prozac mojitos and counting the occasional six-inch waves on an otherwise listless emerald sea. Next morning I snorkeled alongside benign whale sharks possessing the mojo of 35-foot school buses with fins. Indeed, on Isla Holbox – a obscure 26-mile-long spit of white sand that’s miraculously escaped the vagaries of mass tourism – there’s an authentic castaway a’ la carte approach to languid island life that most resorts envy.
About 40 direct miles from Cancun along the northeast tip of the Yucatan, Isla Holbox (“i-la-holbosh”) is the beach bum antithesis of party-hardy Caribbean resorts thanks to its isolation that weeds out day-trippers, and the mañana vibe embraced by the island’s scant 1,600 souls.
Most visitors get there by way of private overland shuttles from Cancun (about a three-hour ride) to Chiquila, from which it's a 20-minute ferry hop to the island. Explore the fun-loving village life, chow on chef Miguel’s lobster pizza at Edelyn Restaurant – and remember to bring cash, because there are no ATMs. For digs, Casa Sandra (www.casasandra.com) provides a gorgeous collection of AC’d villas along the island’s sprawling wide seven-mile beach.
May through September is the season for swimming with the whale sharks in the nearby Yum Balam Biosphere. Book with MexTreme Travel (www.mextreme-travel.com) and a percentage of proceeds goes toward conservation efforts.
More info: Visit www.holboxisland.com
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