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Lack Of Water And Electricity Affecting Holbox Tourists

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Holbox, one of the trendiest and most beautiful island destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, is experiencing significant water and electrical supply issues

A view of a beach in Holbox with palm trees

Reports have emerged this week from both Holbox as well as Chiquilá, a nearby port on the mainland, highlighting the struggles faced by local tourism businesses, including hotels and restaurants.

With Holbox set to attract thousands of tourists this summer, here’s the latest on the island’s supply issues and how they might affect travelers.

Travelers and vendors on a popular beach in Holbox

Trouble In Paradise

A few years ago, Holbox was a relatively unexplored corner of the Mexican Caribbean, attracting only a handful of intrepid travelers. In 2023, the small island has become a hotspot thanks to its quaint boutique hotels, sargassum-free beaches, and untouched nature. 

However, for a few weeks already, the paradisiacal island has experienced significant blackouts, which may last for hours at a time. Simultaneously, a lack of clean drinking water means restaurants and smaller hotels can’t operate normally, causing economic losses and damaging the island’s reputation.

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Holbox sign

Despite having a population of just 2,000 people, Holbox regularly sees thousands of travelers flock to the island at any time, putting significant pressure on the destination’s fragile infrastructure. 

As a result, nearly 50% of all restaurants and businesses have had to close down temporarily, and some parts of the island, such as Punta Cocos, have experienced prolonged blackouts.

Boat by the beach in Holbox, on top of the clear water

With municipal leaders failing to provide an immediate solution, hoteliers and restaurant owners have taken matters into their own hands. In a written demand sent to the Lárazo Cardenas town hall, – the municipality to which Holbox belongs – local tourism businesses expressed their discontent over the situation.

The industry is concerned that if left unattended, Holbox could see a massive drop in the number of travelers flocking to the island over the summer. Despite summer being one of the quietest times for the Mexican Caribbean, Holbox is only home to a handful of small and medium size hotels, which run at nearly full capacity to meet demand

view of two bedroom villa and outdoor pool at Villa Morena Hotel Boutique Ecoliving in Akumal, Mexico.

Although larger properties have their own generators and water sanitation systems, smaller establishments rely on publicly-run services, which are in a state of disarray.

According to local hospitality industry representatives, the situation is already severely affecting Holbox’s popularity, with only 25% of all hotel rooms being occupied in June on average.

There’s no saying how long the issue may persist, although residents and business owners are expected to ramp up pressure on the authorities to address the situation. 

Is It Safe To Visit Holbox This Summer?

Holbox is widely regarded as one of the best island destinations in North America, having won multiple travel awards for its pristine nature and authentic atmosphere.

@leonamarlene Replying to @Edilia how to get to Isla Holbox 🏝️ #holbox #mexico #travel #holboxisland ♬ Speak Now – Taylor Swift

Although the island is home to dozens of small hotels and Airbnbs, the ongoing water and electricity supply issues mean travelers are better off staying in other island destinations like Cozumel.

The hurricane season, extremely high temperatures, and shuttered businesses are just a few of the factors travelers should take into account when planning a trip to Holbox.

One hassle-free alternative to experience Holbox’s magical nature is to take a day trip from Cancun. This all-inclusive $130 per person day trip from Cancun is an excellent way to spend the afternoon enjoying Holbox’s untouched beaches and exotic nature. 

A small boat floating on the water in the Mexican Caribbean

Travelers can also take a ferry from Chiquilá, a northern fishing town, to Holbox. With departures every half an hour, visitors can easily travel to Holbox on their own, although they should always check the forecast prior to organizing a day trip.

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