For many centuries this island was swarming with pirates, because of its strategic position allows a safe haven , it was not until 1873 that the first European colonizers who fell in love with the place and decided to make their life here
Late last century , the larger islands , which were more protected from the open sea as it is Holbox ,start receiving survivors from Yucatan who fled the Caste War that was a known as a Mayan social rebelion and later , in January 1891, they settled in this island.
Some people began the colonization of Yucatan northern peninsula between 1880 and 1920 , in order to enlarge the agricultural and forest border of Yucatan ; therefore, the beginning of the century there were stablished small towns near Holbox as Solferino , Yalahau Chiquilá , San Angel and El Ideal , villages located on the road from Cancun to Chiquila where ferries depart to Holbox .
In the early twentieth century the continent between Isla Mujeres and Holbox was occupied by operators of gum trees , salt and fine wood trees . the population of the state of Quintana Roo settle in eight municipalities, for economic reasons were divided into three zones that are still as before : north, central and south; comprising the northern municipalities of Holbox , Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.
The villages were located along the coast in the early 20th century , but began to suffer the process of growth and occupation .In the year 1960 the importance of Holbox didn´t grow so much and its population was only 500 people. The seventies was important for Quintana Roo , for it was at this time that changed the population structure and , in 1974 , was established as a state over the Mexican Republic
Following the growth of Cancun during the 80s, Holbox was becoming known as a tourist destination and rest, but it was not until the early 90's when they began to build smaller hotels and more people came to populate the Island .
Despite the growth of Cancún and the Riviera Maya , Holbox is still a different tourist destination as it is a small island with a small population with rustic hotels , boutique, with friendly people which makes it different from others .