Top 16 Things to Do in Holbox
Holbox is one of the most interesting places in Mexico. Until recently it was known as Mexico’s best kept secret.
But we are not going to fool ourselves. Holbox is becoming more and more popular and now almost all tourists visit the island to soak up its atmosphere and enjoy its beaches.
In this post we tell you 16 essential things to do in Holbox so that you fall in love with this island.
During our stay in Holbox, we stayed at Casa Peregrino. It is a super well located boutique hotel, in the center and a few steps from the beach, for a reasonable price and with exquisite attention.
How to get to Holbox?
The most common is to arrive by land to Chiquilá and then take a ferry to Holbox. There are two companies that leave every 30 minutes to the island.
The ferry ride lasts 25 minutes, and costs 200 Mexican pesos per person each way. We tell you in detail how to go from Cancun to Holbox in case you plan to get to the island through this city. If you go by ADO bus , you can buy tickets on board the bus for the same price and save time.
1. Enjoy its Beach and Sandbanks
The beach is the main attraction of Holbox. This island has many kilometers of crystal clear beach with fine sand that will make you feel in paradise.
In addition, the water is super calm, which means that it is fantastic for the little ones to take a good dip. Wherever you sleep, you will be just 5 minutes walk from the beach.
One of the most curious things to do in Holbox is to walk to the famous sandbanks. They form in various areas of the beach and can be easily reached by walking through the water.
It is well worth it because the color of the water is even more beautiful and it is easier to see fish.
2. Getting to Punta Mosquito, one of the best things to see in Holbox
In Holbox there are more and more tourists. Although the beach is very long and you never really feel cramped, if you want to be calmer we recommend walking to Punta Mosquito. It is located in the eastern part of the island, just over an hour’s walk from the main beach.
The best thing is that there you will feel alone with nature. There are hardly any people, only flamingos, other birds, starfish and vegetation. As a tip, try to bring a backpack because you will have to cross a section with a lot of water and depending on the level of the tide, the water covers a lot. So better take things protected!
It is an ideal place to spend the day, although there are no bars. If that is your intention, be sure to bring water and some food.
3. Swim with whale sharks in Holbox
This is one of the most typical things to do in Holbox. The whale shark is the main icon of the island, since there are few better places in the world than this island to swim with them.
You can do this from June to September, which is shark season in Holbox. And do not be afraid, these animals do not feed on people but on plankton!
In July and August the island fills up to be able to swim with the sharks. So if you want to avoid being disappointed, make sure you book your tour in advance. The tours are usually around $100 US dollars.
4. Rent a Bike and Explore the Island
Holbox Island is not very big. You can walk almost everywhere, but the best way to get around it is by bike. It is also the most popular type of transport on the island! There are a lot of stores where they will rent it to you at cheap prices.
5. Make L and Complete the Letters of Holbox, one of the funniest things to do in Holbox
As in Cancun, in Holbox you will also find the letters of the city. Although in this case they are incomplete! They are on the main beach, next to the pier. As you will see, the L is missing. But that has an easy solution, you put yourself in his place and the photo is ready!
6. Enjoy the Bioluminescence
In Holbox magical things happen. Between June and September you can swim with whale sharks but also witness the bioluminescence phenomenon.
You just have to make sure that there is not much light that night, so it is advisable to get as far away from the city as possible. If you want to increase your odds, it is best to book a tour.
7. Fall in Love with its Sunsets
The sunsets on Isla Holbox are spectacular. We had already read it before visiting the island, but we checked it when we arrived.
The best place to see the sunset in Holbox is Punta Cocos or from the pier itself. Do not miss it!
8. Dinner at Los Peleones
On the island there are plenty of restaurants for all budgets. But if we have to stay with just one, we stay with this one. It is in the heart of Holbox and they serve a wide variety of food: from Mexican specialties to international dishes.
Everything is great! It also has a very lively terrace with views, ideal for having a good cocktail after dinner. And by the way, don’t forget to put on your masks!
9. Try the Lobster Pizza, one of the most typical things to do in Holbox
Without a doubt, the star dish of Holbox is the lobster pizza. It was created by the Edelyn restaurant but is currently served by a lot of places. Some say that Roots eats the best. Since we don’t like it, we can’t get wet!
10. Photograph his Famous Street Art
Walking through the streets of Holbox you will realize that there are a lot of murals. And all very diverse! They were created in 2014, when the island participated in the first International Festival of Public Art (FIAP).
So a group of international artists came to the island to make them. And what an artistic heritage they left behind!
11. Kayaking in the Mangroves
Holbox is surrounded by nature. One of the most interesting things are its mangroves. There is a lot of wildlife there and the best way to explore them is by kayak. The tours last a couple of hours and you will be able to see flamingos and other birds. Although the best thing is to enjoy the scenery! You can book a mangrove tour at almost any tourist spot on Holbox.
12. Eat the Best Ice Cream in Holbox
This is one of our favorite things to do in Holbox. We are sweet tooth and we love ice cream. If you want to eat the best in the city, we recommend you go to this place.
All the ice creams are handmade and it shows in the taste. They are very good!
13. Have a Good Cocktail at The Hot Corner
In Holbox there is quite a lively nightlife. If you are looking for a good place to have a cocktail, we think this is the place to be. There is live music and a great atmosphere, as almost everyone gathers there to dance and have a drink.
14. Cheer up to Play Basketball with the Locals
If you like sports, we recommend you go to the center court to play with the locals. Matches with locals and tourists are always organized, so it’s a good way to keep fit.
Some take it quite seriously! And if you don’t want to play, you can always sit in the stands to watch it.
It is a very fun thing to see in Holbox!
15. Take a Snorkeling Tour in Cabo Catoche
Cabo Catoche is where the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean meet. This makes it an area very rich in biodiversity. So if you like to dive, you will find few places better than this.
In addition to the way to the cape you will also have a good chance of seeing dolphins.
In most tourist spots in Holbox you will find snorkeling tours in Cabo Catoche. Better book it in advance!
16. Swim in the Cenote Yalahau and Observe Flamingos on Isla de la Pasión
And to end this post about the best things to do in Holbox, we could not forget to mention the Cenote Yalahau. It is an idyllic place to swim and snorkel.
It is only accessible by boat, so the most common and cheapest option is to book the famous three islands tour.
Apart from the cenote, you will visit Isla Pájaros and Isla de la Pasión, where you will have the opportunity to see a great variety of birds.
Best Accommodation in Holbox
1. Downtown Holbox, the liveliest area of the island
If you want the convenience of having beaches, shops, and restaurants within walking distance of your hotel, staying in downtown Holbox is the best option.
In addition, it is where there are more accommodations. The commercial life of the island is concentrated in a few streets that are ideal for strolling, trying the delicious Holboxeño dishes and buying a souvenir to take back home. The streets are sandy and only bicycles and golf carts can circulate. During your walks, pay close attention to the buildings. Many of them are decorated with beautiful, colorful murals.
It is important to know that the internet connection in all of Holbox is very poor, since it is a fairly isolated island. If you are going to need WiFi during your stay, it is best to stay in the center , where there is a better signal. Also, in case the internet of your accommodation does not work, you can go to a nearby restaurant to try your luck.
The average price of accommodation in the center of Holbox is €100 per night. Although there is a lot of offer and you can find some much cheaper or others more exclusive, depending on what you prefer.
Our recommendations for hotels in the center of Holbox:
2. Staying on the Beachfront, a great experience
Do you fancy sleeping on the seafront? There are several hotels with direct access to the Holbox beach. Staying there you will have the privilege of having loungers on the sand exclusively for guests. For when you get tired of sunbathing, the center of the island is very close. Within a few minutes walk you will find plenty of shops and restaurants.
In addition, you will be lucky enough to see how the sun sets over the sea from the comfort of your hotel. Holbox has incredible sunsets, one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. Every afternoon, the beaches are filled with people wanting to witness this natural spectacle.
Waking up to playing on the beach is a luxury. For this reason, hotel prices are higher. Sleeping on the Holbox beach costs around €150 per night. Of course, the accommodations are luxurious, with a swimming pool and facilities decorated with great taste. Most hotels also have their own bar/restaurant where you can enjoy delicious Mexican food right on the beach.
Recommended accommodations on Holbox beach:
3. Punta Cocos, the quietest place to stay in Holbox
If you visit Holbox to disconnect from the rest of the world, we recommend you stay near Punta Cocos. This beach is on the west end of the island. That makes it the least crowded, you can breathe peace! As in the other beaches of the island, the shallow turquoise water is a real wonder. We also noticed that there was much less algae than in other areas of Holbox. Without forgetting that you can observe luminescent plankton, since there is no light pollution. It is a magical experience!
In addition to being very quiet, you will save money by staying in this area. Accommodation prices are lower than in the center of the island and you can find hotels from €60 per night. There are barely a couple of restaurants and a small store where you can buy the basics. You should also keep in mind that it is a developing area : there are buildings under construction and many streets are quite neglected. But surely all those inconveniences will be forgotten when you set foot on the wonderful Punta Cocos beach.
The positive thing is that Holbox is a very small island and, even if you are far away, it will only take you about 20 minutes walking to get to the center. It is also a good idea to rent a bike at the hotel to move more quickly around the island.
The best hotels near Punta Cocos:
Map with all the Things to See and Do in Holbox
In the following interactive map you will be able to locate all the activities to do in Holbox mentioned above.