A LITTLE HISTORY OF HOLBOX
Holbox Island, in the Mayan language, means ‘black hole.’ It carries this name because the water of the south side lagoon has a black tint. The first permanent establishment on the island was in 1856. The people had fallen in love with its exotic beauty and formed Villa de Holbox.
Holbox Island, was founded and made official in 1873. The townspeople dedicated themselves to fishing and farming (although unfortunately agriculture has all but disappeared from the island).
Originally, Holbox was inhabited by Mayan tribes who constructed watch towers to maintain vigilance over the sea. These watchtowers still stand and have been silent witnesses to the changes throughout the centuries all along the coast of Quintana Roo. In the surrounding area there are places such as Conil and Ekab, that were pre-hispanic commercial ports; it is also known that in 1528, Francisco de Montejo organized a horserace in Conil.
The town of Ekab, abandoned for the continuous pirate incursions, still carries colonial traces and has conserved a great part of its age-old convent. When, in 1517, Francisco Hernández of Córdaba and his crew arrived near to Holbox, the local Mayans invited them to come visit their home, traveling by canoe. It was a trap, and the legend has passed on through time in the name of a nearby coast. The Spanish, when invited, had only understood “cones cotoche.” Hence the name Cabo Catoche. Years later, in 1660, Holbox was inhabited by a group of loggers. However, considering that they were English, they had to disband due to official agreements with Spain. After they left, groups of mestizos tried to settle Holbox, but due to the dangerous period, had to relocate to more protected areas.
Now Holbox island, sustains about 4000 inhabitants. They lead a simple life, changing little from generation to generation. The tight relationship between the townsfolk brings about an atmosphere of respect and integration.
Despite the fact that it is a small island, Holbox offers all that is necessary to grant its visitors a relaxing vacation. Small restaurants offer the fish of the day, shell fish, lobster, octopus, stingray pot pies and other Mexican dishes.
As for transportation, there are very few cars on the island; therefore the predominant forms to move around are scooters, bicycles and golf carts: all ready to be rented for you to explore the island.
Holbox island features a modest population comprised mainly of fishermen, incomparable white beaches, and exotic wildlife.This remote place, away from massive tourism, belongs to the natural reserve and protected area of Yum Balam.Sample the pleasures of this unequalled island.Its simple tourist infrastructure and relaxed lifestyle offer you an unforgettable Holbox vacation.