|Villas Flamingos is one of several boutique hotels on the 26-mile-long island of Holbox.|
At the end of this month, Mexico will host what is expected to be a widely attended Gastronomic Festival, celebrating the region’s top-notch chefs and fine dining options. Whereas a lot of the classic Mexican dishes will be familiar to most foodies attending, the destination the festival will be hosted in may not be. Allow us to introduce you to the island of Holbox.
Meet the Island of Holbox
Holbox is an island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, situated on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Just 26 miles long and separated from the mainland of Mexico by a shallow lagoon, Holbox is considered to have some of the finest restaurants along the coast with diversified culinary options from Mexican to international fare.
In fact, this tiny tropical island has more than 25 restaurants. Holbox chefs are distinguished for their unique specialty dishes, which include lobster pizza, crust pastor mushroom casserole and stuffed squid.
Part of what makes seafood on Holbox such a specialty is its freshness. Most of the people of Holbox Island make their living from fishing, and you’ll often see fishermen walking through the village carrying nets with their catch of the day. Holbox is also perfectly situated near three islands: Yalahau, Passion Island, and Bird Island (Isla Morena).
Getting and Staying There
A small airline, Aerosaab, flies tours to Holbox from Cancun and Playa del Carmen; there is even a small airstrip to accommodate Aerosaab’s five-seater Cessna aircraft.
Places to Eat on Holbox
Since the island’s restaurants are off the beaten path, a lot of them do not have official websites. But Travel Agent found some related links that give you a little extra information on each restaurant.
This is perhaps Holbox’s most popular and most vibrant dining spot. Viva Zapata serves up very traditional Mexican cuisine and it has beautiful decor. But this is where you come not just to eat, but also to dance the calories off. It has a lively ambiance with music that will remind your clients that they are on an authentic Mexican island. Visit www.holboxisland.com/restaurants/viva-zapata.
Another option for clients who want to eat and party at the same venue is Edelin. Like most restaurants on Holbox, its lobster pizza is one of the more popular dishes. There is also a really cool, second-floor terrace where clients do some digesting while taking in beautiful views of the village. For additional information, check out www.tripadvisor.com, search “Holbox Edelin.”
La Isla del Colibri
La Isla del Colibri, which means Hummingbird Island, is a smaller, quieter dining option for clients looking for a cozy setting. To further its ambiance, it is adorned with some reproductions of Frida Kahlo’s paintings and a series of antique photos. Open from early morning to late night, La Isla del Colibri serves up a variety of options like seafood cocktails, steaks, fresh fruit juice, coffee and tea. For some more information, visit www.lonelyplanet.com, search “Holbox Colibri.”
La Parrilla de Juan
The setting of La Parrilla de Juan as well as its cuisine separates it from the rest of Holbox’s dining options. Under a shady thatched-roof ceiling, La Parrilla de Juan is one of the best places to eat on Holbox. This is the place clients should go when they perhaps need a little break from Mexican cuisine as its menu is dominated with many Italian and Mediterranean specialties. It also serves seafood, steaks, salads and wine. For some additional information, visit www.tripadvisor.com, search “Holbox Parrilla.”
Situated near Holbox’s main square, this charming restaurant is an excellent choice for a romantic dinner or a family gathering. It has a very relaxing ambiance topped with a selection of contemporary jazz music as well as a small bar serving not only delicious cocktails but also the best caffe espresso in all of Holbox. Check out www.lonelyplanet.com, search “Holbox Pelicanos.”
This is one of the traditional places to eat on Holbox. It has a rustic decor and serves perhaps the best shrimp cocktail your clients will get their hands on on the island. Visit www.holboxisland.com/restaurants/zarabanda.