10 Top things to do in Isla Holbox, Mexico

Holbox muelle

English / Español / Deutsch

The island of Holbox is located in northern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. This paradise island awaits you with fine, white sand beaches, clear, blue water with few waves, hammocks & swings in the water, wholesome meals & beachside cocktails, and an abundance of wildlife and nature.

Holbox is only 26 miles long and 1 mile wide, but it has plenty of exciting things to do. The atmosphere on the island is really carefree and relaxed. There are no chain restaurants, high-rise buildings, paved roads, or cars.

Holbox can mostly be reached via Cancun. It will take you around two hours by car to get to the port of Chiquilá from Cancun. There are regular ferries departing from Chiquilá that will transport you to the island in about 20 to 30 minutes.

In this post you´ll get to know the top 10 things you should do when you visit Holbox as well as some FAQs:

  1. See the whale sharks
  2. See the bioluminescence
  3. Go on a fishing trip
  4. Kayak through the mangrove forest
  5. Go on a three islands tour
  6. Visit Cabo Catoche
  7. Explore the Holbox Village
  8. Explore Isla Holbox on a bike or golf cart
  9. Check out the best of Holbox’s Gastronomy
  10. Try Kitesurfing 
  11. FAQs:
    • Which is the best time to visit Holbox?
    • How many days should I spend in Holbox?
    • How to get to Isla Holbox from Cancun?
    • How to get to Isla Holbox from Chiquilá?
    • How to get from the port to my hotel in Holbox?
Holbox pilar noriega

1. See the whale sharks in Isla Holbox

Holbox is well-known for its whale shark sightings. The greatest months to observe whale sharks in Holbox are June through September, with July and August being the busiest months.

You can swim with whale sharks, those gentle giants, are completely safe for people because they eat plankton,.

You may reserve a trip, rent a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak, and search for the whale sharks.

  • Price: the average cost for a tour is around 3,500 MXN depending on the inclusions.
  • Bookings: book your Whale Shark tour HERE
Holbox Whale Shark

2. See the bioluminescence in Isla Holbox

When the night falls on Holbox, the sea comes alive in a magical way. Visitors may see a natural show where any movement in the water results in light bursts because of the plankton, the glowing microorganisms that live there. June, July, August, and September are the ideal months to see the bioluminescence phenomena.

You can either take a tour, where a golf cart driver will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to the best location to observe the blue lights in the ocean, or you can explore the darkest beaches on your own in the hopes of witnessing this phenomenon.

  • Price: from 650 to 1,400 MXN
  • Bookings: book your tour HERE.  
Holbox Bioluminiscence

3. Go on a fishing trip in Isla Holbox

Holbox is very popular for fishing trips. The trips let you engage with the local fishermen who will guide you through the rich marine life, ensuring a fun and authentic experience. The three to four-hour fishing trips allow you to catch a variety of small and large fish, including sea bass, snapper, mojarra, and others.

  • Price: is around 2,500 MXN per person
  • Bookings: book your tour HERE

4. Kayak through the mangrove forest in Isla Holbox

One of the best ways to spend a day on the island is kayaking through the wildlife-rich Holbox mangroves. Enjoy a relaxing paddling while observing numerous avian species and potentially crocodiles. The tour takes about two hours, and you get to enjoy the scenery and hopefully spot some flamingos.

  • Price: the trip price is around R1,000 MXN, depending on the inclusions and the trip duration.
  • Bookings: book your Kayking tour HERE
Holbox kayaking

5. Go on a three islands tour in Holbox

Set out from Holbox on a boat trip to Punta Mosquito, Yalahau Cenote, and Passion Island. See exotic birds and pink flamingos, swim in a freshwater cenote, and experience colorful landscapes.

  • Price: around 800 MXN
  • Bookings: book your 3 Island boat tour HERE
Holbox 3 island tour

6. Visit Cabo Catoche

Set out on a fascinating half-day excursion of Cabo Catoche, where amazing wildlife coexists with sandy beaches. This coastal paradise will provide an enjoyable adventure for the whole family!

  • Price: around 1,800 MXN
  • Bookings: book your tour HERE

7. Explore the Holbox Village

Holbox Village is the heart and soul of the island; it is much more than just a tourist attraction. The vibrant murals that adorn its sandy streets tell tales of the region’s customs and culture. Shops selling handcrafted goods and restaurants providing up the best local cuisine, like fresh ceviches and seafood-filled empanadas, can be found while strolling around.

8. Explore Isla Holbox on a bike or golf cart

  • Bike: I recommend renting bikes for 24 hrs. because you will be able to take your time and explore the island. The price per hour is around 50 MXN or 300 MXN for 24 hours rental.
  • Golf cart: you can also rent a golf cart to explore the island from approximately 350 MXN for an hour to 1,800 MXN for a full day.
Holbox Town Bike

9. Check out the Best of Holbox’s Gastronomy

Holbox has some fantastic restaurants, serving everything from flavorful tacos to fresh seafood. My top recommendations for things to try when visiting Holbox are the acai bowl at Painapol, the tapas dishes and cocktails at LUUMA, the tacos at Temoc Tacos & Mezcal, and the lobster pizza at Roots. At night there are plenty of bars to have drinks and dance.

Holbox Food

10. Try Kitesurfing on Holbox Island

Holbox Island is well known for its water sport, kitesurfing, which is great for adrenaline junkies. Study the ins and outs of this thrilling sport under the guidance of qualified instructors.

Holbox Island provides ideal kitesurfing conditions due to its calm waters and consistent winds. There is something for every skill level of kitesurfer, from novice to expert.

Holbox Kitesurfing

Holbox FAQs

Which is the best time to visit Holbox?

It depends on your interests, there are 3 main seasons:

Dry Season: on Riviera Maya, the dry season starts in November while the rainy season lasts from May through November.

Whale Shark Season: the main reason visitors come to Holbox is to see the whale sharks. Therefore, June through September, when whale sharks are most active, is typically the busiest time of year on the island.

Off Season: the location is still well-liked by both local tourists and backpackers in the off-season. People visit the island all year round because of its immaculate white beaches and glistening blue waters.

Holbox Island boat

How many days should I spend in Holbox?

From 3 to 5 days is good to get to know the island and immerse yourself in the culture and nature of Holbox.

How to get to Isla Holbox from Cancun?

It takes 2.5 – 3 hours to get from Cancun to Chiquila port. Then 20-30 min to get from Chiquila port to Holbox Island.

The best cost efficient option is a shared shuttle.

Option 1 – Shared shuttle

There are shared shuttles that run directly from Cancun Airport to Chiquilá. You’ll share the ride with other tourists but the price is good and goes directly to the port.

You can book your shared shuttle HERE.

Option 2 – ADO Bus

The buses are spacious, clean and comfortable. When you land in the Airport in Cancun, you’ll first need to get a bus to get to the bus main station in Cancun for around 150 MXN and then another bus from there to Chiquila for around 250 MXN.

You can book your bus HERE.

Option 3 – Private shuttle

A private shuttle will cost you about MXN 3,000. You can book it HERE.

How to get to Isla Holbox from Chiquilá?

There are two ferry companies (9 Hermanos and the Holbox Express) that depart every 30 minutes to the island.

  • Duration: the ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes.
  • Price: and it costs around 250 MXN per person/one way.
  • Book your ferry with 9 Hermanos HERE. 
  • Book your ferry with Holbox Express HERE.

How to get from the port to my hotel in Holbox?

After you land in Isla Holbox just walk some meters to the taxi station. There are no cars but golf carts that have a set rate by zone. You can see the prices HERE.

Heads up! on rainy season the sand gets mixed with the rain and the roads can get muddy so bring appropriate shoes to avoid the mud. 

If you are staying in the central area, it’s about 10-15 min on foot.

Holbox Island Taxis

Are you interested in traveling around the world? In the Travel Section you can find detailed travel guides for different cities, touristic activities, recommendations, tips, and much more!

Did you like this post? Pin it! <3

Isla Holbox - Pin English

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or Bloglovin and get notified of my newest posts and updates!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *