Aldea Kuka, Isla Holbox

Aldea Kuka, Isla Holbox

Boutique hotel Aldea Kuka offers eco-friendly
luxury on the sun-kissed shores of Isla
, a tropical sanctuary and nature-lover’s paradise in
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

A world away from the party central of Cancun, Isla Holbox has
earned a reputation as a bohemian
enclave for travellers looking for a shock of summer sun in the
depths of winter, and a nature-rich haven between June
and August.

Once a secret among Mexicans, this relatively untouched fishing
town has today garnered a reputation among those more interested in
birdwatching than club-hopping. As the island’s popularity has
grown, so too has its hotel offerings, with accommodation ranging
from no-frills campsites to five-star hotels. Aldea Kuka, Holbox’s
newest boutique accommodation, strikes a perfect note between.

The dream of Aldea Kuka was born almost 20 years ago when
Mexican-born owner Marco Z. Garcia Marquez first came to the island
during a family
road trip
through the Yucatan. Unsurprisingly, Marquez fell in
love with Holbox and, after visiting religiously for years,
purchased his own patch of sandy, seaside land in 2013. That slice
of the shoreline has been transformed into Holbox’s most beautiful,

boutique hotel.


When conceiving Aldea Kuka, Marquez sought to create a cluster
of bungalows reminiscent of a Mayan village. The design has been
seamlessly executed; simple structures made of bamboo and logs
topped with palm roofs open up to the infinity pool and the sea

Simple, however, is an understatement. Inside, the rustic
bungalows are sweeping, lofty cocoons adorned with furniture and
accessories that Marquez has collected on his travels across
Mexico. Handwoven beach blankets and bags, hand-carved tables and
cavernous soaking tubs with hollowed out gourd calabashes give
these rooms a feel of luxury
at its most appealing. In sourcing the materials and
decor for the interiors, Marquez built strong connections with
artisans in the Yucatan and beyond.

The hotel plans to introduce a monthly artist-in-residency
programme to highlight the cultural and artistic heritage of the
artisans and artists.

What’s for breakfast?

Aldea Kuka’s restaurant serves exclusively fresh local cuisine.
A small farm in the port town of Chiquila (from where you board the
ferry to Holbox) supplies the produce including milk and eggs.

How about lunch and dinner?

Aldea Kuka’s full-service restaurant puts an emphasis on local
seafood. Holbox’s famous lobster will be among the most fresh
you’ve ever eaten.

Is there a bar?

Bar options include an appealing selection of Mexican beers – a
smart choice to enjoy on your balcony hammock.


Look out to sea from the infinity pool or the comfort of a
private hammock and you may find little reason to leave –
especially with the hotel’s luxury
on hand should you need a touch of pampering. For those
longing to explore, the hotel can arrange bicycle rental or
transport in the private golf cart.

Things you should know

As Holbox’s popularity grows, Marquez hopes to be a leader in a
movement to create environmentally friendly,
sustainable hotels
that leave as little footprint on the island
as possible. He’s paid as much attention to the mechanics of the
operation as the aesthetics with extensive on-site water treatment
facilities that will allow the hotel to become fully plastic bottle
free – no small feat in a country where safe drinking water remains
an issue. Solar panels are being installed and a grove of trees
will be added to the property’s sandy courtyard to offset the
hotel’s CO2 emissions.

Within a short walk you’ll find…

Within a 30-second walk you’re at the beach, where rustic
sunshades offer relief from the persistent sun. Join locals who
sprawl across their towels, tune their guitars and dive into the
water. Wander 15 minutes west down the road to the heart of
Holbox’s restaurant and bar scene. Alternatively, head east to
reach Punta Mosquito, Holbox’s most pristine beach that’s prime
flamingo-spotting territory each April
through to October.