Top 8 best things to do on Isla Holbox

Bienvenido in Isla Holbox! In our opinion the best destination is Mexico. If you want to relax during your journey and mentally move away from the rest of the world then you have to go to Isla Holbox. On this island, there is really a mañana mañana atmosphere. Everything here goes a few gears slower which is really great. Isla Holbox is a tropical island that has miles of sandy beaches that you often have completely for yourself. Isla Holbox whale sharks are the best things to do on Isla Holbox, but there are more: beautiful hikes, breathtaking nature, drinking delicious cocktails at a beach club, and much more. Cars are not allowed, so you see a lot of bicycles and golf carts here. All in all, Isla Holbox is a perfect place to stay. Enjoy the most beautiful island in Mexico! We tell you in this article our top 8 best things to do on Isla Holbox.

Tip: make sure you bring enough cash with you because there is only one official ATM above the police station and this doesn’t work regularly. Try to withdraw enough money on the mainland so that you don’t have to change at local ATMs. Here, the exchange rates are very unfavorable.

Isla Holbox boat

How do you get to Isla Holbox?

From Valladolid or other places in Mexico, you take the bus to Chiquilá. This takes approximately 2.5 hours. In Chiquilá a boat leaves Isla Holbox every 30 minutes. The boat trip takes approximately 20 minutes. Once arrived you can choose to take a golf cart to your sleeping accommodation. Given the fact that it is a small island, you can also just walk there.

Bus tickets can be bought in advance. You can buy the bus ticket to Chiquilá here. The ferry ticket from Chiquilá to Isla Holbox can also be bought via the link.

How many days do you need for Isla Holbox?

This is of course entirely personal, but our advice is to stay at least 4 nights. We found Isla Holbox so magical that we ended up staying 8 nights. In our daily society we always have so much to do but once arrived on this island this is totally different. That is why we recommend that you don’t visit this island quickly but really take the time and embrace the fact you don’t need to do anything here if you want!

Best things to do on Isla Holbox?

Although it is a small island, there are plenty of fun things to do and excursions. In addition to the ultimate enjoyment on the beaches, there are plenty of fun activities to do. Curious? Read our 8 best things to do on Isla Holbox.

#1 Isla Holbox whale sharks: bucket list actvitity

The coolest thing we did during our trip to Mexico was swimming with whale sharks in Isla Holbox. We even dare to say that this is the coolest thing we have ever done with wildlife. We have never experienced such a magical experience. You can easily book the tour via the below link. We don’t recommend booking at one of the stalls in the village. When you stay, just like us, at Casa Sirenas Holbox you can also book your ticket via them. The best and easiest way to book your ticket is via the below link.

Whale Shark and Snorkeling Adventure | $129 per person

This excursion lasts all day because besides swimming with the whale sharks you also go snorkeling in the middle of the sea, which is really cool! The excursion starts in the morning around 9 o’clock and in our case we were on the boat with a total of 8 people. First, you will sail for about an hour and a half to where the whale sharks are. Before you enter the water you will get a clear explanation of what you can and cannot do. It is important that you don’t swim in front of the whale sharks and that you don’t them, these animals cannot stand that. You go in pairs with the guide into the water and have two options for swimming with the whale sharks. The guide always stays nearby so that safety is guaranteed. You can have bad luck and you can only swim with a whale shark for a few seconds because the whale shark suddenly goes under. We were very lucky with our second attempt that we were able to swim for a total of 10 minutes with a whale shark, which is really long! The best moment was that we could swim next to him and look him directly in the eye, allowing you to make a kind of connection with such a magical animal in peace. After everyone has made two attempts, we went back and stopped on the way in the middle of the ocean to snorkel. We saw rays, turtles and lots of different fish. Personally, this was the best snorkeling spot for us. All in all, it was one of the nicest excursions we did during all our trips. We hope you are as lucky as us, enjoy it!

Tip: the whale sharks in Isla Holbox are not in Mexico all year round. The best period is from June to August. If you are troubled by your equilibrium organ, take a travel tablet before you board the boat, the moment the boat is stationary, it will still fluctuate with unpleasant consequences, we speak from experience because we, unfortunately, did not have this tip at the time!

Isla Holbox whale sariks
Isla Holbox sea tour

#2 Go for a great beach walk

If you want to explore the island independently in addition to relaxing on the beach, you can go for a beach walk. The best thing about it is that you have beaches all for yourself. It is wonderful to see the animals around you including flamingos and tropical ones whose names we don’t know. You have the choices between two directions you can walk to, the north and south. The most beautiful route is to the north, but the first time you walk south. The reason for this is that walking to the south is a lot easier, so you can experience how it is to walk in this environment. At the south, you walk to the watchtower. If you start from the village you walk in 2 hours in total. You need to walk to the viewpoint. It can also take you 4 to 5 hours if you are going to relax on different deserted beaches, just like we did.
When you go north you walk across the water instead of the beach to Punta Mosquito. It is a magical walk because you hardly encounter anyone. Along the way you see the most beautiful birds flying past you and if you are lucky you can also see dolphins. You will definitely see flamingos because they are often found at El Bajo. For us, it was the first time we saw Flamingos in the wild which was very nice. Especially enjoy the peace and the fact that you walk all day on the water is also special. Assume that you are on the road for about 5 hours in total.

Tip: prepare well and don’t think too lightly about it. You must start on time because the sun is less strong. Don’t forget your sun protection and mosquito repellent and bring plenty of food and drink.

Isla Holbox beach
Isla Holbox flamingos

#3 Enjoy the beautiful sunsets

Something we always love to do is sit on the beach with a drink and some snacks and enjoy the sun setting. We have been to many different places but the sunset here is really cool! The big advantage is that you only share the beach with few people and if you walk for a couple of minutes you are completely alone.

Isla Holbox sunrise

#4 Admire sea spark in the night

Another nice excursion that you can book via the below link is admiring sea sparkle at night. You leave in the night around 4 o’clock to a small island near Isla Holbox. There you go ashore and you can admire the sea spark. It is fun to do only the disadvantage is that you have little sleep that night however you can catch this up on the beaches of Isla Holbox!

Bioluminescence Tour in Punta Cocos | $25 per person

#5 Relax at the beach clubs

There are several beach clubs in Isla Holbox from wonderfully basic to super luxury. You can enjoy yourself here in a hammock with a drink, up to hip sitting areas with cultural highlights. There are options for everyone. We liked Raices very much because this is simple but very pleasant. Live music is often played here in the afternoon. If you want a little more luxury, then LUUMA is for you.

Isla holbox v12

#6 Discover the delicious food

Even though Isla Holbox is not a large island, there are plenty of dining options to choose from. Given that you are here on an island, a fish eater can indulge. There are also plenty of choices for non-fish eaters. We found NÁAY the best restaurant on Isla Holbox. Here you can order delicious (vegetarian) bowls! It is small but really nice to sit here. If you want something different, Arte Sano is for you. As the name Sano indicates, it is healthy and there are good vegetarian options here.

#7 The three island excursion

Another activity that you can do, which we have not done, is a tour where you visit three islands. This tour takes about 3 hours and allows you to see more of the area. You go to a Cenote where you can swim in clear freshwater. Then you go to two islands where you can see many different birds. We did not do this because we had seen enough with the walks. If you want to see more, you can book the tour via the below link. We don’t recommend booking your ticket on the central square at one of the stalls.

Private Boat to visit Holbox surroundings (3-Island Tour) | $185 per person

#8 Kayak at the mangrove swamps of Isla Holbox

Kayak through the mangrove swamps of Isla Holbox during this morning tour. Together with a kayak guide you slip into your kayak and paddle off through the shallow, calm water. During the tour, you see birds wading, flamingos, and alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the channels. For more information, you can open the below link.

Kayak tour at Isla Holbox | $53 per person

Where to stay on Isla Holbox?

On Isla Holbox, there are many choices where you can stay. The prices here are significantly higher per night so keep this in mind. Make sure you take enough cash with you before you enter the island so that you can also pay for the overnight stay. If you want to pay with a credit card you quickly pay 5% to 10% extra on the total price. We have selected two very good accommodations. Both recommendations have a good price-quality ratio.

Casa Sirenas Holbox

isla holbox v5

We stayed 8 nights at Casa Sirenas Holbox! It is a very affordable place to stay. The location is perfect because it is just outside the center making it quiet. Within two minutes you are on the beach which is also great. The rooms are very clean, tidy and equipped with air conditioning. The staff is super nice, we love dogs so we went every evening with the dogs to the beach. We also went a few evenings with the staff to have a drink in the village. The coolest thing was that we traveled to Cancun with the manager and together ended our vacation in a restaurant. All in all, highly recommended!

Price per night from:
$ 31 double room

Mystique Blue Holbox

isla holbox v6

Do you really want to treat yourself well and find yourself in pure luxury and feel like a king and queen then you should go for Mystique Blue Holbox. This 5-star hotel is really beautiful. This hotel is located near Casa Sirenas and is about a 5-minute walk from the center. The rooms are really beautiful and the restaurant in the hotel is super. You can eat here on the beach with the sunset on your side. All in all a super place to sleep alone.

Price per night from:
$196 double room

Next destination

We hope this article helped you to get the inspiration to explore this magnificent island. After Isla Holbox, you can travel to Cancun or Valladolid. If you follow our itinerary through Mexico your next destination is Cancun. We wrote an article about the 15 best things to do in Cancun which you can open via the link.

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