The first record of the island being occupied dates from December 8th to the 16th, 1852, in the form of a document sent by Don Bartolomé Magaña to the Governor of Yucatan. The region close to the villages of Xcan, Labcah and Yalahua was attacked by Mayan rebels, and consequently its inhabitants sought refuge in Holbox. When the Yucatecan army found out, they prohibited this settlement and ordered its evacuation for fear of more attacks. However the refugees refused to abandon the island. Thus, in 1854 the inhabitants were recognized as residents of Holbox, establishing the town at the end of the island.
Once the region had been pacified, two large logging companies were set up to export wood; this led to the immigration of thousands of workers to the area, detonating commerce in the region. Simultaneously ships included Holbox on their routes.
In 1886 the island was destroyed by a hurricane; a permanent evacuation was ordered, but the residents refused to leave and it was decided to move the population to its current site. Commercial trade recovered and led to the establishment of customs and military authorities, as well as the creation of a school.
On November 24th, 1902, the Federal Territory of Quintana Roo was founded, with Holbox being incorporated as a sub-district of the Northern District.
During the revolutionary period, the logging companies closed their doors, obliging many inhabitants of the island to emigrate in search of work, but the fishermen stayed.
The inhabitants of Holbox are known for their strong and tenacious character; thanks to this they have built the community we now know, and they have overcome adversity and survived in spite of isolation and the lack of basic supplies. Now Holbox is a tourist destination for lovers of nature and relaxation, a paradise with spectacular beauty, mother of pearl white beaches, a great diversity of flora and fauna and a warm welcome from its residents.