Isla Holbox is a hidden treasure located on the Yucatan Penninsula, about 2.5 hours from Cancun. Experience the island vibe in this small beach town where everywhere is walkable with your own two barefeet. The best thing to do in Isla Holbox? Absolutely nothing.
CURRENCY: Mexican pesos, Try to get some from the airport as the ATMs here are not reliable
CLIMATE: Tropical (warm & humid), Rainy season is late Sept to early Oct; Whale shark season is June 1 – Sept 15
DRESS CODE: Beach vibes
GETTING AROUND: You can easily walk around the entire island
COST OF VISITING: $ – Hostels start at $14 per night and street food is a little as $2 to $3 (USD) per meal
TIPPING: 10 to 20% is appreciated
SAFETY: Isla Holbox is generally safe as it is a small island and everyone looks out for each other
CANCUN TO ISLA HOLBOX
BY BUS: There is an hourly Airport ADO bus that runs from 7:00am to 10:00pm from Terminals 2 and 3 and takes you to the downtown Cancun bus station. From the central bus station (located on Tulum Ave.) you will take a bus to Chiquila which will take about 2-3 hours. Check the ADO site beforehand for an up to date bus schedule. Once you arrive in Chiquila, you will take the ferry across to Isla Holbox (about a 20 minute ride).
BY TAXI: Taxis can run up to $100 USD one way as it is a 2-3 hour drive. If you are going to take a taxi, I recommend finding others to share the ride with.
BY CAR: From Cancun, go west on the highway until you hit the town El Ideal. Look out for signs for Isla Holbox for the road to Chiquila. You will need to park your car in Chiquila and take a ferry to Isla Holbox, which costs about 100 pesos and takes 20-30 minutes.. I am unsure of the price for parking.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a growing number of hostels, hotels, and resorts on Isla Holbox. I stayed in Tribu Hostel and loved the vibe here! It is close to the beach and also has a bar of its own. When I was there they had an amazing jam sesh where anyone could come and play. People from all over the island came to hang out, it was a lot of fun.
WHAT TO DO
SWIM WITH WHALE SHARKS
From June 1 to September 15, whale sharks migrate to the waters around Isla Holbox to feed. This is a great place to ethically swim with whale sharks, as they do not feed the whale sharks and try not to interfere with their daily life. Tours start around $150 USD and usually include snorkeling and a fresh ceviche snack.
VISIT THE FLAMINGOS
Isla Pajaros is about a 30 minute boat ride from Isla Holbox and home to flamingos, pelicans, and many other bird species. Spend the day bird watching as you sail around these crystal blue waters.
BREAKFAST AT LE JARDIN
This is a cute little french bakery and a perfect way to start your day.
LUNCH AT CEVICHES LA CHINGADA
Best fish tacos of my life at this local stand on a hidden side street. I was lost and hungry which ended up being the best thing that could ever happen to me, as I stumbled upon these babies.
During whale shark season, comes plankton season. Some nights, you can move your hand or feet in the water and see the water turn a glowing blue. I have seen this once and must say it is a natural wonder! At various times during the season, they also have kayaking tours at night to view this mystical wonder.
CHECK OUT THE STREET ART
Take a walking tour and take in all of the murals that line the streets of Holbox Island. You will not be disappointed.
DON’T MISS THE SUNSET
Walk to the beach to enjoy a magical sunset. From Tribu hostel, walk straight back to the beach. Once on the beach and facing the water, turn left and you will see a small beach bar directly on the sand. This is where many of the locals hang out for some sundowner drinks.