Isla Holbox is a small, car-free Caribbean island just two hours north, where you’ll be able to skip the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing white sand beach and swaying palms.
Pre-Mayan cultures inhabited the Yucatán Peninsula as early as 3000 B.C. During the 10th century, a Mayan group known as the Itzáes migrated into the area and built the cities of Coba, Xcaret, Xel Ha and Tulum. They also founded Chichén-Itzá and Champotón nearby in what would become the state of Yucatán.
In 1502, members of Christopher Columbus’ final expedition became the first Spaniards to make contact with the inhabitants of Quintana Roo when they happened upon several native fishing boats off the coast. Nine years later, another Spanish ship came to the area and became stranded. Natives captured the survivors and killed all but two, Gonzalo and Jerónimo de Aguilar, who were spared and assimilated into Mayan society.