We kicked the trip off on an island called Isla Holbox. It couldn't have gone better - a super chilled, very small Caribbean island with unreal views and a relaxed atmosphere.
The bus from Cancún takes you straight to Chiquila from where you can catch a small motor boat straight across to the island. They charged the same as the large ferry so this was well worth doing. We chose Tribu hostel from Hostelworld as it was rated highly. It was a beautiful hostel but upon arrival we realised that September is low season so it was a little quieter than we had hoped. Though it did offer sunset yoga every day on the roof, and themed nights to get everyone together.
A must do on Holbox is the boat tour which offers fishing, snorkelling with manta rays and turtles, and you even get to see flamingos en route back. We literally caught fish and the driver then took us into a little beach shack where he made it into ceviche. It tasted unreal - we couldn't quite believe we were eating what we had caught just 30 minutes before hand. The snorkelling was great fun although water wasn't super clear.
Day 2 involved an afternoon at Carolinda's beach club. Margarita's on tap and one of the most incredible sunsets we have ever seen all from the comfort of hammocks and swings in the middle of the ocean.
The downside of the island is that as a first stop it's pretty expensive. However here's a few tips that we found helped:
- Supermarket beers on the beach are always a good idea. Bars on the beach are nice but you'll pay double for what you can buy in a shop two seconds away
- For the tours (there are others we didn't manage to do like plankton or whale sharks) - always barter. The price they first offer is not what you actually should end up paying
- Street food is legit and delicious. There's a little market in the centre where you can have empañadas, quesadillas and tacos for next to nothing. In the restaurants you'll pay around 3 times the price. That said, there are some incredible restaurants which are well worth trying
- Lobster pizza from Roots is an island special and it's AMAZING.
- Fish ceviche from any beach restaurant is always a good shout - (it's cheap and about the freshest food you can get)
- Hot corner is great in the evening for beers and good tunes
- Pura Vida sushi is good - surprisingly a great burger place for a burger the size of your head and some guaranteed free tequila shots thrown in
- For breakfast hit up Colibri or grab a frappuccino from El Cafecito for next to nothing