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Mexico's Isla Holbox to host annual culinary fest Oct. 15-18

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Attention octopus and other seafood fans: The folks on Cancun’s little offshore island of Isla Holbox want you to know you’re invited to their Third Annual Gastronomic Festival set for Oct. 15-18. Organized by the Holbox Restaurant Association, the fest will feature local and international dishes prepared by 15 of the region’s top chefs.

Among highlights of the event will be a salute to octopus in which the chefs will whip up distinctive dishes centered around this Holbox staple.

Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) translates to something like “black hole” in reference to the dark waters of the Yalahau Lagoon separating the skinny, 26-mile-long island from the mainland. A spokeswoman for the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau noted, “Visitors can admire the striking natural beauty of Holbox as they stroll down sandy streets lined with picturesque Caribbean-style homes.” Overnight guests can stay in 15 or so small hotels on the island.

Besides seasonal bird-watching and swimming with migrating whale sharks, visitors can snorkel or scuba dive in waters packed with manta rays, dolphins, lobster, octopus, eagle rays, sea turtles and all kinds of Holbox's other underwater homies.

In other news around Cancun, aficionados of “wakeboarding” will gather at the resort Oct. 3-5 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Wakeboard Association. The event will spotlight a three-day wakeboarding competition called the “Cancun Pro” in which professional riders will vie for top awards.

Originally called “skurfing,” wakeboarding is said to be a mix of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Riders typically are towed behind motorboats or other vehicles at speeds of up to 25 mph.

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