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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Isla Holbox

(Pronounced EES-lah HOLE-bosh)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We are finally here on the Paradise Island of Holbox.

We flew into Cancun from Guadalajara, spent one night in the ancient Mayan seaport of Chiquila and then we ferried to the island.

Holbox is located on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and is about 26 miles long and almost a mile wide.

It's a wonderland to be sure, but this Eden is vulnerable to hurricanes and has been destroyed by several over the decades.

Map showing the location of Isla Holbox, Mexico

Map showing the location of Isla Holbox

This map shows you the location of Cancun, a famous beach resort. One can hire a private plane to land on the island (about a 25 minute flight), or take a bus or taxi from Cancun to Chiquila (about a 2 hour ride) and then a ferry across Laguna Conil (another 25 minutes).

Over the years, Holbox has developed quite an international tourist trade, with kiteboarding, tours to nearby islands, bioluminescent and swimming with the whale shark outings. Flamingos, pelicans and other rich birdlife live on Isla Pajaros, another tour that is offered.

A good part of the island is protected by the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve.

See map below.

Yum Balam protection area of Isla Hobox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The protected part of Isla Hobox

A closer look at Isla Holbox shows you the areas that are biosphere protected. You can also view the parts of the island where hotels and restaurants have been built. That construction continues rapidly.

Boat tours are offered around the island to watch the bioluminescence in the evenings, or for birders, to view the plentiful birdlife on Bird Island.

Beer colder than your ex's heart, Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Sign on Holbox advertising cold beer

Signage on the island is irreverent and shows a youthful sense of humor.

This bar is advertising beer that's colder than your ex-lover's heart.

I guess that's pretty cold.

Maybe with chips of ice on the outside of the bottle.

Maybe the beer is slushy.

Maybe when you pour it, you get that little fog cloud rising up from your glass.

Maybe when you drink it, you get that little headache between your eyes.

Maybe your fingertips freeze to the beer bottle.

Maybe... well you get the idea!

Guaranteed COLD!

Fish spa massage, Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

One of the options on Isla Holbox

I don't know where one gets these little fish that are content to nibble at your toes and give you a nibble-massage.

But this style of massage is also popular in Thailand.

Coffee shop on main street, Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Coffee shop on Main Street

We had cappuccinos and mango smoothies here at A Mar Cafe several times. We would have had breakfast here as well, but our hotel offered a fabulous breakfast included in the price of the room.

However, we befriended Diana, a woman from Mexico City, who is living the dream of living and working on the island.

Lines for morning meals were often a dozen people from the front door to out in the street.

 A popular place!

Map showing roads of Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Map of the roads on Holbox

Here is a closer view of the town of Holbox, marking where the ferry dropped us off and where our hotel, La Diosa Kali was located.

At the top right is an arrow directing you to the Mosquito Point sandbars, a must-see on your trip to the island.

The "sunset wharf" is in the center top of this map. "Everyone" came to this wharf to watch the sunset and then applaud when it was over.

Sign advertising food and beer, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Sign advertising food and beer

Here's another irreverent sign advertising it's food, craft beer, and reliable WiFi.

What more could you want?





Most photographed sign on the island, Holbox,  Quintana Roo, Mexico

The most photographed sign on the island

Every day we saw international tourists lined up to become the "L" of Holbox in this sign.

Families, groups of beautiful bodies, swimsuit models - this was THE most photographed sign on the island.

Boat with birds lined up, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

There's always one that won't get in line!

Birds were everywhere and many would congregate on the side of moored boats like this one.

Or sometimes they would fill the sky and swirl around in such a mesmerizing manner.

short wharf and remains of lighthouse, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Short wharf and the remains of the light house

This was another short wharf with conch shells on the posts for decoration.

Models would often be photographed here, and one evening there was a dinner party being served with white tablecloths and romantic lighting.

Really lovely.

The tall structure to the left is the remains of the Lighthouse that was destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. It was carried by the wind and deposited here years ago.

The "Sunset Wharf" on Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The "Sunset Wharf"

This is the other end of the Sunset Wharf during the day.

It makes for an attractive photo with all its simplicity.

Girl lying down on rocks, reading her book, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

What a way to spend the morning!

We found this young woman lying on this manmade reef reading her device while the surf splashed behind her.

What a way to spend her morning.

Windswept trees on the beach,  Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Windswept trees on one Holbox beach

Billy and I walked a good deal around the island, and there were many different beaches each with their own flavor.

This one had a windswept look and a bit of desolation - a whole different style of beauty.

Woman drinking a beer,  Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Beach bars were everywhere

Here we are on a different beach, actually not far from the one in the above photo with the windswept look.

This one was more populated, and of course had the requisite beach bar.

Often we found that beer was much cheaper than sodas or fruit juice.

Oh darn! So I had to sacrifice myself and have a brew.

Sea grass on white sand, Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Sea grass on white sands

Some beaches were groomed and some were natural.

We didn't find an annoying amount of sea grass out in the sea like we did in Belize, but somehow this amount washes up to shore.

In this photo you are looking east to the Mosquito Point Sand Dunes.

Kiosk on wharf, Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Kiosk on wharf

Isla Holbox  has a Mayan history and influence.

This colorful Mayan decorated kiosk is at the Sunset Wharf and near the Holbox letters you saw earlier.

There were many kiosks on the beach where you could purchase tours of your interest.

Beach vendor, Holbox island, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Beach vendor

Beach vendors were common and they sold fresh coconut water and mangos on a stick.

Very tropical options.

Fresh coconut water is nutritious and provides Vitamin C, potassium and electrolytes. Perfect for hot days on the beach or in the water.

Palapas on Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Palapas on the beach





One will find a variety of palapas up and down the beach.

Generally speaking the palapas aren't "rented" but there is a minimum of food and drink purchase in order to stay under their shade or on their lounges.

Just out of curiosity, we asked one establishment and their rate was 300Pesos per person, about $15USD.

Mosquito Point sandbars, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Mosquito Point Sandbars

We hired a taxi to get out to Mosquito Point.

From our location it was about 3 kilometers, an easy walk, but we wanted to be sure we'd get to the right place.

We took a taxi there, and walked home.

These sandbars are extraordinary.

They are vast and just go on and on.

One must go at lower tide otherwise wading out to them would be too deep. We came in from the left and waddled in water about up to our thighs. This was such an expansive experience.

WHITE sand, BLUE skies and TURQUOISE waters.

It is very memorable and we certainly recommend doing it!

Tinder meet up location, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Tinder meet up location

This island was filled with young, beautiful, active, partying people.

Here you see a Tinder meet up location. I have never used Tinder and don't really know anything about it. But I imagine that it would feel safer to have a public meeting place to begin with.

What a paradise!

Beach bar, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Another beach bar

Pacifico is a beer first made by German brewers in Mazatlan, Mexico.

These skilled brewers changed the beer industry completely and took it commercial.

The sign with the fish on it reads: "King of the Pacific - From the sea to your table"

Beach Club menu, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Beach Club and menu

The Amaite Restaurant is inside this Beach Club which has a beautiful seaside view.

We ate here one of our first days in Isla Holbox and were pleasantly surprised.

I had scallops with truffle butter - cooked perfectly and the taste was amazing. Billy had Arrabbiatta Pasta and he was pleased too.

We ate here several times more and each meal was delicious.

Egret on rocks, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Egret on some rocks

As I mentioned, bird life was plentiful on the island.

This stately egret stands on a small series of rocks that jut out into the sea, probably looking for his next meal.

Kite surfing school, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Kite surfing school

Kite surfing is a feature of this island and there are schools to teach one how to do it.

Since the sea is calm, and the shore isn't rocky, it's considered a safe place to learn this sport.

Beautiful blonde at the beach, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Beautiful blonde posing for photo shoot

Here is an example of what we are talking about.

Models would often pose for photos and you can expect to find these beauties (and others!) when you visit the island.

Una Morena on the wharf, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Una Morena bonita

Not everyone is blonde, and dark-haired beauties have a mystique about them.

In Latin America, dark-haired or dark-skinned lovelies are called Morenas.

Whether these beautiful women are advertising beach wear or the island itself in a travel brochure, I'm positive the company they work for will be pleased with the photo shoot.

Storm coming into the wharf and beach, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Storm in the distance

Not every day was sunny on Holbox.

We enjoyed a variety of weather - sun, quick tropical storms, a bit of breeze and warm days.

We loved the variety.

This is the Sunset Wharf once again with a storm in the distance.

Rainbow in the sky, Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Rainbow in the sky

As I said, we had a bit of everything.

This rainbow was a gift from sun and rain after the short storm photographed above.

Tourists ran to take photos, even stopping in the street.

It was very enchanting.


For more stories and photos about Holbox CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos about the Yucatan, CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos about Mexico CLICK HERE

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on


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