A mere two-hour drive from Cancun to the tiny village of Chiquila and a 20-minute ferry ride gets you to Isla Holbox. You can stroll, as the local’s do sans shoes, swim in teal waters and commune with local fauna. You’ll come upon only a handful of thatched-roof hotels sprinkled across an 11-mile stretch of coastal cream-colored sand. Two favorite places to stay while visiting: Hotel Las Nubes, with a wonderful beachfront proximity to native flamingos; and Casa Sandra, a boutique shabby-chic hotel owned and run by a Cuban painter. Golf carts take the place of cars here, and swaying hammocks at dusk hitched on palm trees replace happy hours at cramped and congested bars. The tiny rural town is embellished by murals orchestrated by local artists, and the underwater sandbars have water-baby wanderers appearing to walk on water. It’s the kind of destination that people discuss in discreet corners with hushed voices. Those who have traveled here are protective of it — it should remain the evanescent fantasy island that it is. So, read this, book your trip, and don’t tell anybody; HolboxIsland.com.
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