Holbox: the Magic Island
by Casandra Luna
Monday, August 15, 2016
HOLBOX: THE MAGIC ISLAND
Join me on this magical personal experience to Holbox.
So whenever people feel sad, they either go for comfort high caloric food ( #nomnom), or seeking for a hug or the most comfortable spot at the bed, or watching chick flicks in the search of answers and tears. I personally prefer, embracing sadness or emotional feelings surrounded by nature, and I became aware of such need after my first visit to, now, one of my favorites spots in the world: #Holbox .
- Getting There
Holbox , or as in Mayan – black hole, is everything but black, this sacred island, is magical, and no, I’m not exaggerating, it posses it´s own healing vibes. In order to reach this dreaming island, you will first need to fly to Mexico, specifically to Cancun (CUN), once there either you spend the night at Cancun or Playa del Carmen and catch up the earliest bus to Chiquilá. (For tickets visit: ADO) If you are lucky enough you may rent a car and drive directly after flying to Cancun a 2-hour drive will lead you to Chiquilá. Once in Chiquilá, you`ll need to catch the ferry (40 min boat ride) until you reach the island.
The cost of this trip by bus and ferry is about 20 USD round trip per person. Each penny and minute to reach the island worth’s it.
Holbox has an extension of 40 km, but is only 2km wide, and there are no cement streets everything is sand, and people can only ride bikes or golf cars. You can rent a golf car for a day to explore the island for about 15 USD.
One side is called Punta Mosquito, which as it`s name in Spanish means there a lot of mosquitos, and not only that but a local insect called chaquistes, which are itsy bitsy tiny insects, that bite you like mosquitos. A little bit annoying but with some repellent mixed with baby oil you`ll survive (Locals´ Tip :))
- Where to stay
For accommodation I can recommend for low budget trips Tribu Hostel (http://tribuhostel.com), which has dorms and private rooms starting at 15 USD a night.
If you have a little bit more budget I could recommend La Palapa, Mawimbi or Holbox Dream, each of them with clean beach front rooms that start from 65 USD a night depending the season and availability. My tip will be to search prior the trip to compare rates.
So my trip was for 2 months to Holbox, I had gotten a temporarily job as a front desk clerk in order to pay for a small room a month and was planning on swimming with the whale shark, and just get some space from loud and big cities.
First week was awesome, I got to know some local and we went to great restaurants such as Pura Vida which serve an breathtaking Chicken chipotle fried rice, Casa Nostra Restaurant, which is managed by my friend Beppe and serves incredible seafood pasta with local ingredients and an authentic Mediterranean/Sicilian touch, or trying some local roasted chicken which normally sold by the main pier by locals.
But the best food in the island is seafood, fishermen bring every day, there is an delicious restaurant called Edelyn which served the island special Lobster Pizza! Yes , Lobster and Pizza together in a mouthwatering experience. Must try. #foodie
So by the month had end, I had already known basically all the streets and like 70% of the locals. Things where going pretty well. Sunsets, where awesome, flamingos and crocodiles where part of the locals I met every day at my evening beach walks, and I was starting to become a true holboxeña, partying at the Cariocas and being able to survive rainy days with out shoes in order to walk through the muddy roads. Yoga by the morning, work by midday and evening beach walk watching the sunsets change every day, perfect days.
It was an October evening and I was returning from my beach walk, when my phone rang.
It was my mom; since she started talking I knew something was wrong. In few words, my beloved grandma Paquita, had passed away. My body went cold. My heart stopped for a moment. She was like my mom for me. I went silent. “Casi, ¿estas bien?”, she mumble… I was not ok.
I told her I will fly back to Mexico City that night, she told me are you sure, your grandma will understand. And she did, she always made us look for adventure and have a big laugh on small things, she had taught me how to love life and live the present. I gave it a second thought. I will return in two weeks as planned. Tell the family I love them. I love you mom, I`m truly sorry for you losing your mom. She started crying and mumble, “ I love you see you in 2 weeks”.
As soon as I hung the phone I cried for 3 hours until I fall asleep, the sound of the waves made it easier for me to sleep the whole night.
Next morning, I woke up around 5 am, before the sun came out and decided to go for a long beach walk.
I walked for about 20 minutes, the algae were still shinning (it has this fluorescent effect which makes it glow), and the sun was starting to bring the first ray of light. I sat down in an abandoned small dock, sun started to rise and the colors of the sea started to turn in the turquoise palette I knew.
I was sitting their, just embracing the breeze, the sunrise and a flock of seagull started to join me in this nature spectacle. I took several deep breaths and started to enter in a meditation stage, with my eyes wide open I could feel inner peace. It was like if everything was just there happening and I was the lucky one to share this beauty.
I`m not sure if I can explain with words the feeling but it was the perfect day, the perfect sunrise, the perfect weather and the perfect company. The ocean sends you this vibes, its depth and huge size makes you feel so humble, so tiny, and your problems and issues are tiny beside the sea.
That was the moment I felt Holbox magic, I felt God, I think God is nature; its divinity makes you connect with your true you. If you ever have been surrounded by nature all by yourself, you may know what I`m trying to explain.
I truly think my Grandma`s soul help me realize how nature works, it heals.
By that time I had cried my tears had run out and I turn back to the beach and saw like 40 seagulls by my back all sitting quietly by the dock. It was magic. They where all staring at the sea, hypnotized by its beauty, just like me.
I stay there for like an hour until the sun was starting to really show it majesty and its warmth.
I felt drain, but in a good way.
The days went by and I spent most of my time by the small dock, walking by the beach and it felt like truly therapy, I felt so alive, so happy to be alive and living the present. I was thankful for so many things in my life, for being able to share awesome moments with my grandma. I barely spoke to some one in those two weeks, must of my communication was with my grandma, the sea and the seagulls. (It sounds crazy but it was like that).
By the time I had to fly to Mexico City I was felling better. I didn’t want to leave the island, I didn’t want to leave my favorite pear, but I had to.
On the ferry from Holbox to Chiquilá the last nature gift showed up, a dolphin family was swimming beside the boat. Like saying goodbye, it warmed my heart.
If it weren’t for Holbox and it healing powers, the loss of my grandma would have been less real. I though so many things, and had so many plans it was like having this clarity to act.
My grandma past 4 years ago and since then, I visit Holbox at least 3 times a year, just to spend some time in my favorite spot in the world.
Thanks Holbox, all my Love.
by Casandra Luna
CAS is how my friends call me. I love to travel and explore new planks, meet new people and eat new food :) Each place has a story that needs to be told, join me in this journey.Read more at casandraluna.com