There´s probably people that think that it is wrong of me to be travelling now. But that is my choice and decision. Thankfully we still have the freedom to travel so we should also be grateful for that.
There´s not many countries at the moment that you can travel to, and that does not have specific restrictions like quarantine and PCR tests. I looked up all the possible options and ended up choosing Mexico as our next holiday destination. I always wanted to visit Mexico and they did not require quarantine neither PCR tests, so I booked the flights, and I was ready to take off to Mexico for 3 weeks! The only thing that is different than travelling before, is that you must have the facemask on during the whole flight. But I mean…. who did NOT miss this view???
I had made a great plan of how to spend the 3 weeks, including a lot of sightseeing and travelling around in southeast Mexico. But…. Holbox changed all that. I will explain why, later in the blogpost. I will start explaining the whole trip from the beginning.
We had a direct flight from Madrid to Cancun, but first we had to drive down from Andorra to Barcelona and take a flight from Barcelona to Madrid.
Arriving in Cancun, we took a taxi to a ferry that goes directly to Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is an island very close to Cancun and including the taxi and ferry altogether from the airport it probably took us just around 1-2 hours.
I had seen online this hotel called Mia Reef Hotel on Isla Mujeres that is built on its own private island. And I really wanted to stay there for few nights, so I had booked it for the first 3 nights in Mexico. It was a perfect start for the trip. There´s not much to visit in Isla Mujeres so most of the time we just enjoyed the sun and views.
It´s a very big hotel with plenty of different rooms, I had booked one of the most exclusive ones, kind of bungalow typed rooms right on the beach. Was it worth the money? Hell yes.
The room as such was nothing special, but it had a terrace with direct access to the private beach of the hotel. And we arrived late in the night, so we could not appreciate how cool the place actually was.
I mean imagine waking up to this view from your terrace……
Here are some other photos from Isla Mujeres, it´s an Island where most of the people move by golf charts, bicycles or by foot. There are basically no normal cars on the island. In addition to just enjoying the place, we did a bicycle tour around the island and spend some time snorkeling in the bay of the hotel.
Here you can see the hotel, literally on a separate island.
The hotel is actually “All inclusive” which I am not a super fan of – BUT it had a really nice ceviche & taco restaurant right on the beach. And since ceviche is one of my favourite food plates, I could definitely not complain.
Although many might think that we are just on holidays. We do though, spend a lot of time working as well while being on holidays or travelling. Mostly in the mornings or in the nights. And I could definitely not complain about the office views in Isla Mujeres. This was our terrace wherefrom we could also enjoy the beautiful sunsets every day.
Isla Mujeres was the only thing that I had booked in addition to the flights, just in case, I did not want to book anything else although I had everything planned.
Next up in my planning was 1 week in Holbox, which I booked when we arrived at Isla Mujeres. Holbox is another island, around 2-3 hours from Cancun. From Isla Mujeres you must take the ferry back and then book either a taxi or take the bus to the port of Chiquilá where you can take the ferry to Holbox. Holbox is the place that changed all my planning…..
Heaven on earth, maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me.
Holbox is a small paradise island, that has no real asphalted roads, just sandroads. It has something very special that I just fell in love with. It is a super animal friendly island; in fact, the whole island is filled with dogs. People living on the island says that if they could be re-born, they would like to be born as a dog in Holbox. I can completely agree with that.
Holbox has something that reminds a bit of Isla Mujeres as well since people move by foot, bicycle, or golf cars…. but Isla Mujeres is way more turistic and does not have the same authentic feeling as Holbox.
The center of the island is not big, there is few streets with shops, bars, and restaurants. Just walking around there is very nice since they also have a lot of graffiti paintings on the old buildings.
The quality of the next photo is shit, but this is one of my best memories from Holbox. It had been raining like crazy for 2 hours one day, and since the island does not have any proper roads, its just better to go out on the streets with flipflops. And after we had our dinner and few drinks, we found this bar in a corner, where people where dancing salsa in the puddles… I mean that´s just so awesome….
In Holbox you can rent a golf car easily, either for few hours or for a full day. We rented this beauty for a full day to be able to access some of the more remote parts of the island.
These photos are from the entrance of our hotel, which I will explain about next. The hotel is called Aldea Kuká. The hotel might also be one of the reasons why I liked the Island so much.
Aldea Kuká is one of the newest and most exclusive options if you want to stay in Holbox. Most of the hotels on the island are so called “Palapas” which are rooms / houses with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. In Aldea Kuká we stayed in a two-floored room, and it was just stunning, our room is the one just behind me in this photo:
On the first floor there was our bed, bathroom and this cool bathub where I spend many nice hours during the stay.
On the second floor there was a balcony, with the most stunning views of the turquoise water.
I just have to be honest here. The photo of me in the bed is not actually 100% real. I stole the idea from an instagrammer that was in the same hotel hahahaha. Before entering the balcony there are 2 beds / matresses since the room is for 4 people not 2. So this smart and innovative instagrammer came up with the idea to take out the bed and take a photo while “sleeping”….. So I just had to force my dear boyfriend to help me get a similar photo. I don´t know if that is just ridiculous or not, but I love the photo.
Here are few more photos from the hotel.
In the entrance of the hotel there is a sanctuary for Iguanas, if you are a fan of reptiles you might just like this hotel for that.
Although the pool area of the hotel was very nice, we spend most of our time on the beach, since it was literally paradise.
One of Jammus childhood friend happened to be in Mexico at the same time as us so we met up together in Holbox for a couple of days.
The dogs on the Island have owners, but they just spend their day freely strolling around in the Island, like this little fella. He spend one full day with us.
Or like this friendly dog that layed down with us to watch the sunset.
And this Mayan beauty here is Malix, he´s the dog of the owner of the hotel where we stayed.
There is a dog shelter as well in Holbox, with dogs that unfortunately still do not have owners. We went there one morning to walk two of the dogs.
The food in Mexico is soooooo good! I love ceviche, seafood and to try new food experiences. Maybe it is not for everyone, but I was literally in heaven everyday checking the lunch menus…. In general, all the restaurants are very good in Holbox, if you want to eat on the beach, it is obviously a bit more expensive. Tip: Have a lobster pizza at Roots, it´s the typical plate from the island. 2nd tip: Try a taco with grasshoppers, it was surprisingly tasty! 3rd tip: Have a nice seafood lunch at some of the beach bars.
One morning we woke up very early and did a kayak tour through the mangroves of Holbox.
There was plenty of birds like this funny one, our guide explained that he is drying his wings. He just literally sat there with all the wind, trying to dry his wings.
There are also crocodiles, although in this specific tour we did not see them, but we did see one in another tour that we did (tour of 3 islands next to Holbox).
If you love to watch sunsets, Holbox is highly recommended. Each evening was different, but still so beautiful.
The original plan was to stay in Holbox for 1 week and after that continue to Yucatan to see Chichén Itzá. Followed by a visit to Tulum and Cancun. But I just did not want to leave Holbox. So, we decided to stay 1 week more, and I do not regret that decision at all. After spending a total of 2 weeks in Holbox, we rented a car and drove to Tulum where we stayed the last week. So, the answer to all my friends asking how was Chichén Itzá, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico: “sorry, I did not go”.
There´s a reason to that though so don´t start blaming me yet! In November we will be back in Mexico if the situation has not changed, and then we will do a proper roadtrip, visiting all important places.
The reason behind why I wanted to visit Tulum is definitely Instagram. I had so many people posting such a cool party videos from Tulum so I just had to see it by myself. And it was actually true, parties with thousands of people, it´s like Tulum have never even seen covid.
We had booked a hotel for 1 week, and to be honest I would have preferred to stay in Holbox for few days extra instead of staying so many in Tulum. I mean the place is nice and a little bit of party never killed nobody, but not for a week… Not only that. If you want to go to Tulum, prepare your wallet. Me as a true wine lover, had as a welcome present the bill of my first wineglass in Tulum telling me that a GLASS of shitty Mexican white wine is 30€…. The beach clubs, music, and the vibe in general in Tulum is very cool and hip, but in my opinion wayyyyy too expensive.
We stayed in a hotel called Roc Luxe Tulum which was right on the beach. Our room was a bungalow on the beach with partial sea views.
After 1 day we got a room upgrade, due to various reasons. They gave us the most exclusive bungalow with direct access to the beach. Although Tulum was expensive, I could really not complain about our stay there.
The picture does not show how epic this bungalow really was, but just imagine waking up to a view like that during 1 week.
Could not complain much about the office views in Tulum neither. This is from our own private balcony / terrace.
Another awesome part was that you actually have both the toilet and the shower in the middle of the jungle, with people passing by right next to you hahaha. Just had to add this picture of Jammu as well, there´s so much Tulum vibe in it.
Here´s some other photos from the hotel surroundings. In the first pictures you can see a lot of seaweed, and that´s how all Tulum´s beaches looked like. In Holbox there were as well, but in the end you get used to it. Of course it would be more beautiful without them, but it did not really affect or annoy me in any way.
Although I could literally, and easily, spend 1 week just chilling on the beach. We did some touristing as well and thanks to the car that we had rented it was very easy.
A Cenote refers to an underground chamber or cave which contains permanent water, there´s plenty of them nearby Tulum. In some of them you can do snorkeling and the one we went to: Gran Cenote was so cool! We went early in the morning and there was barely no one, just us and a lot of turtles, birds, and fishes!
After swimming with the turtles, we went to check out the archeological site in Tulum. It was so freaking hot that we just basically runned through the whole site so we could get back to the beach.
I have to say though, it might look very cool from above, like all the pictures that you can find on google:
Did it look like that from the ground, while walking and sweating like a pig in 40 degrees? Definitely not.
Basically, if you are on the beach part and want to have a nice dinner the price will be high wherever you go. If you fancy a nice dinner with some entertainment, I can highly recommend the restaurants from a chain called Rosa Negra. We went to 3 different ones: Taboo, Rosa Negra and Chambao. The pictures from there are not very good (maybe due to few wine glasses or maybe just because it was too dark). Alhtough we visited as well plenty other restaurants, the ones from this chain was my absolute favourites because of the vibe and the shows (not to mention the food was delicious).
In most of the restaurants from this chain they give out flares to the whole restaurant and everyone gets up on the chairs and tables dancing, it was so much fun!
I had a lot of my friends asking about the PCR tests in Mexico and if they are reliable etc. Since we had to have a negative PCR test to be able to travel back to Spain.
To be honest, I have no idea if it was reliable or not, I am not a doctor neither have I investigated that further. Our hotel worked together with a lab literally next to the road. We went there 2 days before leaving, with a massive hangover and sweating like fatty pigs in the middle of the day… It was fast and efficient and costed us 150 US dollars for 2 PCR tests.
Yup that is my beloved partner – in crime – literally paying a police officer.
The day that it was time to drive to the airport and take a plane back to Spain, our car did not start….
After waiting for over 3 hours the car rental company (Hertz arghhh) finally came to help us get our car started, and at this point we were obviously a bit late. So, what started with our car not wanting to start ended up in Jammu driving against red lights literally next to a police car…. Now afterwards it´s a bit funny but I can tell you that I was not laughing at that point. Anyways a bit of money sorted the problem quite quickly and we got to the airport in time.
Now after checking all the photos and writing the blogpost…. what a trip. I think that Holbox is one of my favorite places that I have ever visited. So, we will be back! Hopefully in November!
This is all from me this time (after 2 months of silence…). Next up is Dubai! We are attending a conference there in 2 weeks, and obviously taking some extra days off to be able to explore and enjoy the city. So, keep tuned for some Dubai vibes!
Have a great week everyone,