If there’s one thing everyone should try to do when staying near the beach, it’s to search for the local fishermen bringing in the catch of the day! We’ve done this in a few countries now and we decided to try it again during our stay on Holbox Island in Mexico.. and we’re really glad we did.

fishermen mexico
Look for the fishermen to get the freshest fish

If you hangout around the docks, or talk to any of the locals, they’ll know where the fishermen bring in their bounty. It helps to know a few words in the local language in order to bargain for the price – which almost always will be increased for foreigners. Depending on where in the world you are, you should be able to get a medium-sized fish for about $3 in Mexico.

buying fish in mexico
Don’t drop it!

Just point to the fish of your choice, agree on a price, cook it and presto, dinner!

…or usually it’s that easy. In some cases, the fish hasn’t been gutted or scaled. You’ll have to get a knife and do the butchering yourself. Luckily, I don’t have to get my hands smelling of fish, I just leave the dirty work up to the expert, Nick.

buying fish in mexico
Cleaning a fish at sunset isn’t so bad

Going to the local vegetable market is usually the place to start searching for accompaniments for your meal. We love preparing a fresh salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers and carrots. Mix it all together with a little bit of cilantro, squeeze in some lime juice and drizzle with oil. Rice, bread, boiled potatoes and fried vegetables also go well with a fish dinner.

vegetable market mexico
Fresh vegetables at the market

Not only is it fun to go out searching for a local fisherman and bargaining for his catch, but you can’t beat the flavour of freshly grilled or fried fish!

fish dinner in mexico
The finished product!

We highly recommend this independent way of enjoying a meal. Sometimes it’s nice to cook for yourself while on the road.

Check out this quick video of our fishy adventure!

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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8 thoughts on “A Trip to the Docks in Isla Holbox: Looking For the Catch of the Day

  1. Nick & Dariece,
    Great post & video! It’s always nice when you’re traveling to cook an in home meal and no better way than with fresh local food. In the video, I got a good laugh at the locals posing for a picture with their catch of the day!

  2. Nice work on the video.

    We’ve been on the coast of Costa Rica for the last ten days and while we haven’t gone straight to the fishermen (not the best at cleaning fish) the fish and produce at the central market have been a great way to eat well for pretty cheap.

  3. Thanks Daidri! It was a lot of fun finding the fish, chatting with the fishermen and of course, eating it!

    Cheers 🙂

  4. That sounds great too! We love going down to the local market and finding fresh food. As an added bonus, it’s a cheap meal!

    Cheers. Happy Travels 🙂

  5. Being able to cook for yourself on the road is always the best … missing being able to do that in Asia right now!

  6. Guys! I’ve been stalking your blog for hours now, just reading about all your awesome adventures. SO much great information and inspiration here. 🙂 Especially your posts about the Stans – seems like some amazing countries that you don’t hear much about.

    And what a small world this is… We’re in Playa del Carmen right now as well – maybe we’ll bump into you on the streats some day. 🙂 Take care!

  7. Cooking on the road is definitely a nice change from always eating out at restaurants, we like to have a balance between the two 🙂

  8. Hey Celia!

    Thanks for the comment. We’re glad you’ve been stalking us 😉 We’re heading to Tulum in a couple of days and before that, we’re busy with the tourism board here in Playa del Carmen, so I don’t think we’ll be able to meet up. Maybe another day though 🙂

    Cheers and happy travels.

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