My life has been filled with numerous vacations spent on some of the prettiest beaches in this world. As many of you know, my permanent residence is on Fire Island, that infamous sand bar floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island. Well, I think I found the Mexican equivalent…a beautiful island paradise called Isla Holbox.
Holbox …pronounced “Holbosh”… is also a sand bar , but much wider and longer than Fire Island and located in the Gulf of Mexico in the Yucatán. It is a 2 hour drive from Cancún and than a 20 minute ferry ride, so it is not as popular as other more built up resort areas. Bicycles and golf carts are the mode of transportation…no cars allowed except for essential services. The roads are still unpaved.
But the tourists are definitely there, although not so much from the States. We rented a classic Mexican house located smack dab on the beach, which was perfect. “Palapa Style” reigns here, so most roofs are covered with palm fronds, which definitely adds to the ‘romantic get-away paradise feeling’ one wants.
Design details inside were lovely…everything is made of cement, including the bed platforms and the bottom of the huge built in sofa platform in the living room. Wood trim and shuttered windows & doors complete the detailing. Fans galore…no AC here being we were so close to the beach. Simple…and I mean simple kitchen…nothing like our great American kitchens that are so immense and appliance loaded and we hardly ever cook in them!
The beach is glorious! Beautiful white sand, pelicans zooming over head while you swim in the temperate blue green water. There is even what I would call formal “Beach Art”, old cement structures painted artistically and wooden wharfs to nowhere adorned with beautiful shell lights.
Hotels and dwellings don’t exceed two stories and lovely beach chaise lounges and covered rest areas can be found in front of every hotel or home. AND you might just unexpectedly encounter the perfect beach bar to sit down and have a tequila or a cold Mexican beer late in afternoon.
The town has an wide assortment of lovely small modern shops which offer a huge variety of products ranging from simple beach wear to homemade ice cream. Everything is within walking distance. The restaurants range from chic nouvelle Mexican cooking…there is only one of these…to the classic, plastic seats and table cloths serving the ‘best local fried fish & guacamole you can find’ types. You do not go to Holbox for gourmet dining…just simple, delicious, well thought out Mexican food.
BTW I spent this vacation with my husband, Andy and BFF Ariane Dutzi, designer of the fabulous Dutzi Designs & Lorenzo Dutzi, my most favorite Jack Russell in the world! Ariane lives in Valladolid, MX, so she is invaluable on our annual Mexican adventures!
Please try and not spread the word about Isla Holbox and keep the information about this little secret paradise to yourself. This way those of us in the know can enjoy it’s pristine nature with a smattering of sophisticated touches for a long time to come. Besides, I’d love to buy a home on this little piece of paraiso in Mexico! I’ve definitly decided that the slow pace and simple quality of living has got to be the perfect way to spend the next so many years of my life. That is, of course, until I move on to my next adventure… a girl’s gotta keep moving, no?
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!