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The Ultimate Yucatan Guide Part I: Cancun and Holbox for beach lovers (9-10 days trip)

Are you planning your next holidays in Yucatan, Mexico? Then you need to read this guide that I have created based on my experience of 4 times in this area of the country.

Travelling to Mexico could be a totally different experience depending on which are you decide to explore, either something more typical or the super famous big all inclusive hotel beach front. As I like having a bit of both here I will point out my last Yucatan beach experience. If you want to read more about other nice and typical areas to explore in the Peninsula go to “The Ultimate Yucatan Guide Part II: Mérida, Valladolid, Cobá and Cancún”.

If you are a beach person or you have been in Mexico before and you have done the touristic parts, then this could be a very good option to go for if the idea of an all inclusive sounds to packed for a full week.


During my last trip to Yucatan I decided to split my visit into 2 different destinations. We started our stay with my husband at a Resort all inclusive in Cancun to relax and chill by the beach. To be honest, I have been in Cancun and Playa del Carmen before (where all these massive hotels are) and I cannot recommend enough the one we decided to go for this time. If you are looking for good service, high quality food and drinks and a honeymoon experience adults only, Atelier Playa Mujeres should be your choice. This 5+ Hotel is located in Playa Mujeres, a close area 30 minutes away from the typical Cancun Hotel Zone and it is more private and special. You just need to put a foot at the Hotel to become a king.

Also, the price is very affordable for the quality you get compared to other hotels in the area quite pricy. We payed for 5 days in high season £1999, which makes sense considering that everything is included in the price. Since my arrived we haven’t spent a single pounds more.

- Food: We have no words to describe how exceptional the food was. Not only a lot of variety on the 7 restaurants they have but also incredible quality. All the restaurant are A la Carte with lots of options and beautiful designed ambience.

- Rooms: We booked the Junior room (the most basic one) and it was exceptional, 50m2, super king size bed, big balcony with sea view and a beautiful bath.

Note: We didn’t do the category “Inspira” and we didn’t feel that it was necessary at all. We were scared and we almost cancel last minute but it is all properly all inclusive. Even the restaurant María Dolores is included one night if you stay for a full week. The only “big” difference I would say is that as an Inspira guests you don’t queue for the restaurants. But they have SO many that we waited only once. That night they gave us a beeper and we went 30 mins to enjoy a nice cocktail at the rooftop bar open to everyone from 6pm.

Holbox Island

After our amazing stay at the Resort we moved to Holbox Island for 4 more days. The beach there is BEAUTIFUL! Everything you ever dreamt of

To get there we hired a private transfer from the Resort for 100usd (lots of companies out there for this service) that took us to the port of Chiquilá in 2.30hs and from there we bought our ferry tickets to Hotbox for 5usd (From there you arrive to Holbox in 20 minutes). I recommend you to hire the transfer in advanced to get a good price but do not worry about the ferry because they have a couple of companies doing the trip and all of them have boats departing every 30 minutes. So it is better to wait until you are there in case you are delayed with the car.

Once in the island you will immediately notice that there are no cars, but they do have golf taxi cars all over the place that you can take to go to your hotel. Do not even try to walk with your language because the streets are a bit “rustic” and eventually difficult to walk by. The price for the transfer should be not more than 5usd as everything in Holbox is very close.

We stayed at Casa Sandra Hotel, a beautiful beach front complex very modern and boho style. After your stay at the the first Resort you will feel the difference. You will be going from a super modern hotel to a bohemian one (also veryyy beautiful! Just a different concept). Their private beach club for guests is next level! Do not worry if you cannot spent that much, because you also have plently of hostels at more affordable prices.

Where to eat? You need to know that compared to other destinations in Latam, México (and Holbox) is expensive. Expect to spend 10usd for a cocktail at the beach and about to 24/50usd per person for a dinner depending on the place. For a romantic dinner head directly to Ser Esencia (The Restaurant at Casa Sandra). For a chill dinner with live music and great mojitos 2x1 Las Letras Holbox is the place to go (try the Ceviche and let me know)!

Beach spot? The vibe is right in the centre! I highly recommend La playa de nana! The place is wonderful and the cocktails I cannot even describe how good they are! Also if you spend 30usd per person you can get a sunbed to spend the day like a king!

Best place to see the sunset? Punta Coco (there is a beach bar to grab something to drink). And if you are lazy to walk 25 mins from the centre, a golf car taxi will take you there for 5usd.

A personal opinion after this trip

As the first hotel was very luxurious and the quality of the food was supreme, I would recommend to go to Holbox first to experience the chill and boho part for a maximum of 2-3 days and then move to Cancun to do the chill part. There you can combine your stay with a nice day trip to Playa Mujeres (the Island just in front of the Hotel and very easy and fast to reach) or even hire a tour at the Hotel one day to visit Chichen Itzá. But, do not worry, you wont get bored at the Hotel with all the activities they organise.

Is Yucatan Mexico expensive?

The answer is a big YES. Do not think that Mexico is cheap, quite the opposite. Do not forget that you are going to a very touristic full of Americans that come with money. They accept dollars pretty much everywhere… Just be careful with the exchange rate not to loose too much.

When is the best time of the year to go to Yucatan?

Something very important you need to know: The high season in Mexico goes from December to April.

Avoid visiting Yucatan during the rainy season because it could be a total fail (It happened to me and trust me, you do not want to be there even if the prices sound tempting. It is the Caribbean but still you need to be careful).

If you find this article helpful, please leave a comment and feel free to share it with someone who can use this information. And do not hesitate on sending me an email with questions or suggestions! I am here to help other travellers like you to discover the world!


Melanie Kalfaian

Instagram @melaniexelmundo


Melanie Kalfaian

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