Exploring Paradise: Holbox Island, Mexico

Holbox Island, Mexico is a hidden gem located off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, approximately 2.5 hours north of Cancun. With its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and abundant wildlife, Holbox offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking tranquility and adventure. Read on and embark on a 4 to 5 day journey to discover the wonders of this captivating island.


BEST TIME TO VISIT HOLBOX ISLAND, MEXICO

Holbox, Mexico, is a beautiful destination known for its sandy beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and unique wildlife, including whale sharks and flamingos! The best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you’re looking to experience.

Weather: The weather on Holbox is typically warm year-round, but the temperature can vary. The dry season, from December to March, generally offers sunny days and less rainfall, making it an ideal time to visit if you want to enjoy the beach and outdoor activities without the risk of rain. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.

Whale Shark Season: If you’re interested in swimming with whale sharks, the best time to visit is from May to September. During these months, these gentle giants migrate to the waters near Holbox to feed on plankton, offering tourists a unique opportunity to swim alongside them.

Birdwatching: Holbox is a haven for birdwatchers, with many migratory bird species visiting the island. The best time for birdwatching is during the winter months, from November to February when bird populations are at their peak.

Avoiding Crowds: If you prefer quieter surroundings and don’t mind the possibility of hot weather, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of May to June. If you don’t mind the rain, visit from September to October. During these months, you’ll likely find fewer tourists.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Holbox depends on your interests and priorities. Whether you’re seeking sunny beach days, wildlife encounters, or a more tranquil atmosphere, you’re sure to find something to enjoy throughout the year.

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Holbox Itinerary

HOW TO GET TO HOLXBOX


Getting to Holbox Island, Mexico, is an adventure in itself. Most likely you will be coming from the Cancun International Airport (CUN). You will then drive 2 hours to the port town of Chiquilá. From Chiquilá, you will embark on a 30-minute ferry ride to Isla Holbox and lastly take a golf-cart taxi to your accommodation. I promise it is well worth the journey! Luckily, there are various transportation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some options on how to get to this tropical paradise from Cancun:

Private Transfer

Book a private transfer that picks you up and takes you directly to Holbox Island or Chiquilá. I highly recommend using Holboxeno. They offer a few different shuttle options. A shared shuttle, private transfer, or a door-to-door service that takes you all the way to your hotel on Holbox. When I visited with a larger group, we opted for the door-to-door service. This included a private van transfer with airport pick-up, tickets for the ferry, and a golf cart taxi pickup once we arrived on Holbox. Holboxeno coordinated all the tickets and timing, so we just showed up and enjoyed the ride!

Public Transportation

A more budget-friendly option is to take a bus from Cancún to Chiquilá. Several bus companies operate routes between the two destinations, with frequent departures throughout the day. From the Cancún bus station, you can catch a bus bound for Chiquilá. The journey typically takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the bus schedule and any stops along the way. Upon arrival in Chiquilá, make your way to the ferry terminal to catch a ferry to Holbox Island.

Rental Car

Renting a car at Cancún Airport and driving to Chiquilá is another option. Chiquilá is the mainland port town from where ferries depart to Holbox Island. The drive from Cancún to Chiquilá takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. Once you reach Chiquilá, park your rental car in one of the secure parking lots near the ferry terminal and purchase your ferry tickets. This is a great option if you plan on doing a longer road trip through Mexico.

Air Taxi

For those seeking a quicker and more luxurious option, air taxis are available from Cancún or Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island. These small aircraft offer a scenic flight over the Yucatán Peninsula and provide a convenient way to reach the island in around 30 minutes.

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Ferry Times

Visit Holbox Express for the most up-to-date ferry schedule and ticket prices. The ferry typically runs from 7 am to 9 pm. This is something to consider when booking your flights. Make sure your flight lands earlier in the day and departs later in the afternoon to give you buffer time to travel to and from the island.

how to get to holbox island mexico

TRAVEL TIPS WHEN VISITING HOLBOX ISLAND, MEXICO

When visiting Holbox Island, Mexico, there are several travel tips that can help enhance your experience:

  • Cash is King: While some places accept credit cards, it’s ideal to bring cash, especially for smaller purchases and transactions. There are ATMs on the island, but they tend to run out of cash, so it’s wise to bring more than enough pesos with you. I recommend getting pesos from an ATM at the Cancun airport. Most places do accept USD but the conversion rate can be unfavorable.
  • How Much Cash To Bring? This honestly depends on you! Some people like to splurge while others are more budget-conscious.

Mel’s ATM Traveler’s Tip:

  • Bank with a company that waives ATM Fees
  • ALWAYS decline the conversion rate the ATM suggests (most of the time your bank offers a better rate than the ATM)
  • Best Travel Debit Card: Charles Schwab
  • Plan for Limited Connectivity: Holbox is a remote island, and internet connectivity can be spotty. Don’t rely on having constant access to Wi-Fi, instead, embrace the opportunity to disconnect and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.
  • There are no cars on Holbox: The only way to get around the island is by foot, bike, or golf cart.
  • There are stores & small convivence shops to purchase water, drinks and snacks.
  • Wear Shoes You Don’t Care About: as stated in the “must pack,” the streets are prone to flooding and can be quiet dirty. Bring waterproof shoes that you don’t mind if they get dirty or wet!

WHERE TO STAY ON HOLBOX

When choosing where to stay on Holbox Island, Mexico I recommend booking your accommodation well in advance. Most of the hotels are small boutique style and have limited availability. When booking, consider what factors are important to you, such as proximity to the beach, restaurants, or the main town area. If you are looking for a more quiet and remote stay, choose a hotel away from town.

Beachfront Hotels

If you’re seeking a luxurious and indulgent experience, there are several beachfront hotels and resorts on Holbox offering upscale amenities such as infinity pools, spa services, and gourmet dining. These properties typically provide direct access to the beach and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

  • Hotel La Palapa: great spot if you want beachfront views and steps from the downtown area.
  • CASA CAT BA: is a private hideaway located beachfront on Isla Holbox, if you have a larger group you can rent the entire property.
  • AWA Holbox: offers 5-star accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, and bar.
  • My Blue Hotel Holbox: This exclusive hotel offers an array of top-notch amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, lush garden, and a top-class restaurant.
Holbox Mexico Hotels

Luxury Boutique Hotels

Holbox is known for its luxury boutique hotels that offer a more intimate and rustic atmosphere. These accommodations often feature charming bungalows or cabanas nestled amidst lush tropical gardens.

  • Nomad: a beautiful rustic seaside oasis with a distinct cinematic aesthetic.
  • Casa Las Tortugas: one of my favorite hotels on the island! The epitome of a beach hotel with boho-chic vibes.
  • Hotel Villas Flamingos: this luxury hotel has its own private beach and is located on the outskirts of town making it a more serene and quiet location.
  • Villas Caracol: located on Playa Norte Beach, this hotel offers a Balinese-style feel. One of my top choices on Holbox.
  • Ser Casasandra Holbox: true island tranquility 5-star hotel.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

For budget-conscious travelers, there are also hotels and guesthouses on Holbox offering affordable rooms.

  • Para Ti: perfect hotel for mid-range budget tourists. Known for its gorgeous pool and delicious breakfast. Para Ti is overall a great choice!
  • Casa Blanca: small boutique property and close to the beach and town.
  • Spirit Holbox: known for its rooftop swimming pool and terrace, this hotel has great amenities for a lower cost.
  • El Corazon Boutique Hotel: this hotel is a cherished retreat in a central location with beach passes included in your stay.

Vacation Rentals on VRBO

If you prefer a more larger space during your stay, consider renting a vacation home. There are numerous options available through platforms like VRBO, ranging from cozy beachfront cottages to spacious residences equipped with kitchen facilities.


4 TO 5 DAYS ON HOLBOX ISLAND MEXICO ITINERARY

DAY ONE: ARRIVE

Arrive to Cancun International Airport early to mid afternoon. Take your private transfer with Holboxeno to Holbox. Check into your hotel and head to dinner!

Dinner: Roots Pizzas to try the famous Lobster Pizza

Night Cap: Barbara Negra

DAY TWO: EXPLORE HOLBOX ISLAND MEXICO

Visit the Sandbank and walk to Punta Mosquito. This was hands down my favorite thing we did! Punta Mosquito is a narrow sandbar that lies just off the coast of Holbox, and is one of the island’s most beautiful places to visit. You will feel as if you are walking on water.

Punta Mosquito Tips:

  • Check the tides, and go during low tide, usually in the morning. Also, visit when the water is calm.
  • To get there, take a golf cart taxi to Hotel Las Nubes and follow the path to the beach. Cross the water over to the sandbank – you wont miss it! Plus you will probably see lots of other people walking along the sandbank.
  • Watch out for Sting Rays! There are a lot of stingrays in the shallow water, as long as you watch your step you won’t have any issues.
  • Walk along the sand bank to Punta Mosquito and enjoy the extraordinary blue water!
 
 
 

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Lunch: Stroll back to town and stop at one of the many beach bars for lunch & margs! ALMA Bar is always a good choice.

Sunset Drinks: Bar barossa Beachclub Holbox

Late Dinner: Salma

Night Out: Stay at Salma or visit Hot Corner to dance in the streets!

DAY THREE: ADVENTURE ACTIVITY

Breakfast: Mr. Happy

Do a fun activity!

Lunch: Taco Queto. If you are seeking true Mexican flavor, I highly recommend Taco Queto! The tacos are truly so delicious. My personal favorite was the green chili pork taco.

Sunset Drinks: El Chiringuito Bar Zomay

Dinner: Mono Omakase Bar or Basico Holbox

DAY FOUR: PUNTA COCO & JUST SIMPLY RELAX

Breakfast: Painapol

Beach Club: Holbox Magico at Punta Coco. Walk along the beach until you reach Punta Coco. This is a great place to spend the day! There are sandbanks you can walk out on, as well as another tip of the island you can walk to from this point.

 
 
 

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Sunset: Either stay at Punta Coco for sunset or head back towards town for sunset at the Spirit Hotel Rooftop bar.

Dinner: Luuma

DAY FIVE: DEPART HOLBOX ISLAND, MEXICO

Breakfast: Le Jardin

Most likely your airport transfer will start early morning or afternoon. Our transfer began at 11am to make it to our 4pm flights from Cancun. So we just had an easy morning and late breakfast, while soaking up the last minutes of paradise.

Holbox Mexico

TASTE & SIP ON HOLBOX

For such a tiny island, there are NO shortage of restaurants. For dinner, I do suggest making reservations. Some restaurants take reservations online, while others you can stop in the day before or earlier in the day to be added to the list.

WHAT TO DO ON HOLBOX

  • Relax in water hammocks or swing on a beach swing
  • Rent bikes to explore the island
  • Kayak through the mongroves
  • Go on a snorkeling trip
  • Visit the three islands tour: Isla Pájaros, Isla Pasion and the Yalahau Cenote
  • Walk to Punta Mosquito
  • Explore the town and go shopping in the many boutique stores
  • Explore the colorful street murals
  • Visit Holbox Animal Rescue where you can take rescue pups on walks
  • Bioluminescent tours
  • Whale Shark Tours (May to September)
  • Relax at a beach bar
  • Learn to Kitesurf
  • Watch sunset, sunset in general is a big deal here!
  • Get a massage on Holbox Beach
 

I hope this blog post helps you plan the perfect trip to Holbox Island, Mexico and inspires you to add this vibrant island to your travel list! The beaches on Holbox are absolutely breathtaking, I guarantee you will fall in love with the charm of this magical place.

If you need any help planning or have any questions, please comment below or message me on my contact page! I would love to hear about how your trip went as well. Did you walk out to Punta Mosquito? What did you end up doing on day four?

Looking for other destinations in Mexico? Check them out here!

Holbox Mexico

Meet Mel

I started Mel’s Scene to showcase my trips and offer my personalized itineraries to other global wanderers. I have never cared for material things, I care more so for the experiences and memories that each travel destination has given me.

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