The Location: Isla Holbox (“black hole”) is a non-touristy Mexican island located on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, separated from the mainland by a lagoon.
The Activity: Swimming
In the summer, the teal-blue waters of Isla Holbox’s main beach are as smooth as a swimming pool. Head for the stretch in front of Casa Las Tortugas for glassy serenity. The island is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks, the largest known extant fish species at more than 40 feet in length, and weighing up to 21.5 metric tons. Whale sharks eat plankton, making them harmless to humans. Plus they’re playful enough that they don’t mind the company. Travelers who dream of sharing a swim with dolphins, flamingos, and sea turtles are also in luck — one-third of Holbox is protected, and its waters are typically teeming with life.
What Else to Do: Holbox is a great place to learn to fish using traditional methods to catch sea trout, grouper, and yellowtail snapper (all of which can later become ceviche). Thanks to nature preservation efforts, the island is also a good place for birding.
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