Frequented by celebrities and a regular in glossy magazine shoots, the beach resort of Tulum on Mexico’s east coast has become a victim of its own success. Price rises, a recently opened Starbucks and long restaurant queues make it a very different place from the hippy enclave that first attracted travellers in the late 60s. Trendsetters are now heading instead for the hippy-chic island of Holbox, 40 miles north-west of Cancun. A 20-minute ferry ride from the port of Chiquila (or a flight from Playa del Carmen or Cancun), the 26-mile long isle, where fishing is the primary industry, is a world away from high-rise hotels and package tours.
Lying at the tip of the Yucatán peninsula (but in the state of Quintana Roo), where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean, the island is surrounded by azure waters, and the shallow lagoon separating it from the mainland attracts migrating flamingos. A network of sandy streets connects the port, the coast and the buzzy town square. There is one ATM and no cars – yellow golf buggies taxi people around.