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Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Winnipeg, Canada
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745 posts
116 reviews
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Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Has anyone been to both? Sure enough, our trip decisions just got tougher once someone mentioned this Isla Holbox!!! WAY cheaper to get to - but not sure if it has enough to keep us "occupied" vs. Providencia. And if you look at Providencia, there's not much either but at least there are places to go around and about the island, or by boat, to see the 7 colors of the sea etc...

Kind of stuck here.

Would love opinions please, and thanks!

Have also posted this in Holbox forum, to be fair :)

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1. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

If you count San Andres, I have been to both (actually visited them back to back). I would definitely go back to Isla Holbox, but wasn't as big of a fan of San Andres. San Andres is slightly more chaotic and less relaxing, in my opinion, and you have to stay on the beach to really enjoy the beach vacation. For Hotbox, even if you're staying in town, it's a short walk to a stunning beach (nicer than the ones in San Andres and Johnny Cay, I thought). Prices were much higher in San Andres than Holbox for the arrangements I was looking for, and the amenities on San Andres were not as comfortable or appealing as they were at cheaper places on Holbox. If you want a relaxed beach vacation with a few days of activities, I would pick Holbox--you can do a kayak or paddleoboarding tour of a beautiful mangrove reserve (where you can see flamingos!), do a boat tour of 3 islands (also has a flamingo view point), and if you go between June and September, you can swim with whale sharks (biggest fish in the world).

Winnipeg, Canada
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745 posts
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2. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Hi! Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. But we are NOT going to San Andres. But on to Providencia - much more our style. On our return we will only stay a day in San Andres just to check it out... I guess you never made it that far huh?

PS unfortunately it would be Feb/Mar - so no whale sharks...

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3. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Do you know people you trust who can tell you about Providencia? That was where I had dreamed of going, but after talking to literally 30 Colombians (I am living in Bogotá), I was convinced that San Andres was much more do-able. It is very difficult to get to Providencia, and I've heard things are unpredictable there. It was chaotic enough in San Andres for me to have trouble really being in vacation mode, so I'd just caution you a bit about Providencia for that reason. But if you've spoken to people who did Providencia and can get tips from them, go for it

Minneapolis
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4. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Julia, my husband and I were there a couple years ago, and loved it. Please see my trip report of March, 2014. Unless, it's changed dramatically, which I somehow doubt, we felt completely safe, the people were friendly and helpful. We flew there from San Andres, with no problem whatsoever. There is also the ferry. My dream for many years was also to go to Old Providence. And I'm glad I did. Plan to go back someday. Next time, we would forego San Andres and fly right from the airport there to Old Providence. People are giving you incorrect information, IMHO.

Edited: 01 June 2016, 09:37
Winnipeg, Canada
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745 posts
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5. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

V LITTLE CORN....

Well... best laid plans it's looking like. Here I have a bunch of places tentatively booked in Prov. - 13 nights, waiting to call Miss Elma, but tentatively booked a couple just in case. Only 1 night in San Andres at this cute place, Bugrys Beach House, before returning home.

So I thought... My husband came home last night & said he couldn't get the last wk in Feb. - so we have to do, it looks like, March 3 for 2 wks. When I punch in the flight to S.Andres it's almost $600 more - with different airlines, times & everything! I am SICK.

Have now gone back to looking at Little Corn, OR, maybe, Holbox... Holbox is def. the cheapest but there is just nothing to do there whatsoever. At least in Little Corn you can go to fires on the beach nights, reggae bars, spend a couple days in Big Corn, etc..I really like the feel of the place if nothing else. The waters and hills and such in Providencia though, looked absolutely GORGEOUS... Holbox seems to have nothing? (being March no whale shark season for us, just seeing flamingos. :)

However, having said that, we would spend in total about $400 less to go to Holbox....

I'm still waiting - maybe these flights will correct themselves and we can still go to Providencia... we'll see. Can't believe the difference only a week later.

If we end up in Little corn, don't get me wrong, that is on our Hit List - but we were going to do it in conjunction with 2 other weeks on mainland Nicaragua the next year. so instead I guess we would do 2 wks Nicaragua, and 1 wk return to Costa Rica instead, and no Corn Islands in that trip.... so all would not be lost.

Also am starting to look now at the "cost of living" on each of these islands - it sounds like Little Corn might be the cheapest overall??? I've heard Nicaragua costs are quite inexpensive.

Thoughts, as always, are appreciated...!

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6. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

Why don't you just fly to Bogota, Cartagena, Medellin or Cali (whichever is cheapest) and fly on VivaColombia to San Andres from there. Although you can't book a flight more than 5 months in advance on Viva, you won't pay more than US$300 for a return flight + baggage in March per person if booked in advance (say November/December).

I personally like the idea of having a pit-stop in Cartagena, Medellin or Bogota before San Andres and Old Providence. Some may think is a hassle but I like that kind of travel. One thing I would say is maybe leave your pit-stop days (2 max) for your return rather than on the way as Viva can be problematic when unpunctual although more often than not they're on time.

Not sure if that helps price.

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

The cheapest flights that come up are via Panama City.

Anyway looks like our dates got changed back - we got lucky! We are still going at the original time now - so it's just between Providencia and Corn Island. Will probably leave Holbox for when we can go swim with the whale sharks, which is not in our regular vacation time - so when we're retired, maybe....

When you add in the accomodations in Holbox (yeah the flight is super cheap there) it's about the same price as Corn. Providencia in the end is only about $300 or so more...

right now.

PS we only have 2 wks so we really want to GET there. The flight I have right now has us in PTY Sat am and we can be in Prov. by mid-afternoon, like 2:30, which is pretty good considering we leave Winnipeg, Manitoba Friday at 4:05! Mind you, it's trains planes and automobiles. :) but we're used to that.

but thanks!

8. Re: Providencia v Holbox Island (Mexico)

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