Some posts on this website include affiliate hyperlinks. When you ebook or purchase one thing by way of these hyperlinks, I earn a small fee (at no further value to you). Check out my privateness coverage for extra info.
With its boho vibes, brightly colored murals, and dreamy seashores, Isla Holbox looks like just a little slice of paradise. These are the perfect issues to do whereas in your journey to Holbox…
Isla Holbox is definitely my favorite place in Mexico. I’ve been thrice in the previous couple of years – and am presently typing this from my resort balcony, watching the palm timber sway on the breeze.
I really like that that is an island the place you possibly can stroll by way of city barefoot alongside sandy, car-free roads. An island the place music spills from virtually each constructing, and the place you possibly can dine on the seaside with waves lapping at your toes as you watch the sundown. An island the place all the things is just a little bit slower than it should be, as a result of we’re on island time!
I’ve come to Holbox as each sort of traveller. From a finances backpacker – staying within the least expensive hostel I might discover and dwelling off tacos and beer – to my present journey, forking out on a pleasant resort and among the island’s higher-end eating places.
It signifies that at this stage, I actually know the island inside-out. I’ve finished virtually all the things there’s to do in Holbox, eaten my means by way of all the perfect eating places, and located what I feel is likely to be the perfect seaside bar on the island.
After painstaking analysis (and a LOT of dreamy seaside days) that is my information to the perfect issues to do in Holbox. Buen viaje!
Fast Listing: What to do in the event you Solely Have 1-2 Days in Holbox
Holbox is the sort of place the place you may simply spend a number of days (or a number of weeks!). However in the event you’re brief on time, right here’s a fast checklist of the can’t-miss issues to do on the island. I’ll share extra data on each within the subsequent part of this put up.
- Benefit from the seaside
- Go swimming with whale sharks (if it’s the proper season) or ebook the three islands tour. Each, you probably have time.
- Eat seafood
- Hire a motorcycle or golf cart to discover (don’t miss the Yum-Balam Nature Reserve)
- Watch the sundown over the ocean
19 Issues to do in Holbox
Holbox city is a tiny little fishing village, specified by a grid system with a full of life Plaza on the centre. Getting round is straightforward: it takes not more than ten minutes to stroll from one finish to the opposite, and there aren’t any automobiles on the island so there’s little or no site visitors to be careful for.
1. Chill at Holbox’s Beautiful Seashores
You’ve come to a paradise-esque island with white sandy seashores, swaying palms, and infectiously laid-back vibes! OF COURSE the most effective issues to do in Holbox is to hit the playa and relax!
Hire a hammock or sunbed (you’ll discover them dotted all alongside the seaside) or just discover a patch of sand and lie down. Click on right here to verify my information to the perfect seashores in Holbox and select your favorite slice of paradise.
When you want, you possibly can gap up in one of many quite a few seaside bars lining Holbox Playa. Most will allow you to use a mattress or hammock in change for a minimal spend per particular person. When you’re on a finances, Capitán Capitán is an efficient shout – nice seafood and affordable costs – however there are some fancier ones too (I like Villa Flamingos).
2. Swim with Whale Sharks
Some of the standard issues to do in Holbox is to take the chance to swim with whale sharks. These lovely, innocent creatures are the world’s largest fish, so swimming with them is a really particular expertise.
Whale shark season in Holbox runs from Might to September, so in the event you’re on the island on the proper time of yr, you possibly can ebook your self onto a tour.
Simply be sure to discover one with robust ethics. Excursions ought to by no means feed the animals or let visitors contact them. Most excursions in Holbox gained’t permit greater than two folks into the water with a whale shark at a time. Test critiques earlier than reserving something and be sure to’re selecting an operator that sticks to the foundations.
3. Discover the Vibrant Road Murals
What I really like most about Holbox is the COLOUR! Like a lot of Mexico, this can be a significantly vibrant little island city. And the most effective issues to do in Holbox city centre is to take a self-guided tour of the colorful murals that are dotted in all places.
They’re simple to search out: it feels as if there isn’t a single road that doesn’t have a mural on it! It doesn’t take far more than ten minutes to stroll the size of this small city, so exploring is straightforward. A few of the greatest streets for murals are within the blocks surrounding the principle sq., and alongside the Av. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell which runs parallel to the seaside.
4. Stroll to the Holbox Sandbar
Holbox Sandbar is a strip of ice-white sand that stretches from Holbox Seaside (close to Resort Villas Flamingo) out to Punta Mosquito.
Even when the tide is protecting it, the sandbar is normally not more than ankle deep, so you possibly can stroll all the way in which alongside till you attain the character reserve boundary. The seaside right here, Playa Mosquito, is a well-liked spot for sunbathing and chilling – however there aren’t any services or shade.
As a substitute, there’s an excessive amount of birdlife, together with pelicans, frigates, and – on the proper time of yr – flamingos. Simply be sure to don’t go the signal that clearly marks the beginning of the protected space!
Between the sandbar and the principle island is a sheltered, waist-deep lagoon which is nice for recognizing marine life. I noticed child rays final time I used to be there.
5. Discover Yum-Balam Nature Reserve
The most effective issues to do in Holbox is to head out to Yum-Balam Nature Reserve. You’ll discover it on the northeastern finish of the seaside, simply past Resort Las Nubes.
A stroll by way of the swampy reserve can have you wading throughout ankle-deep rivers and ducking beneath tangled tree branches as you notice the native wildlife (together with lizards, sandpipers, and herons). The trail is winding and typically tough to identify, so it looks like a mini-adventure! You can even discover your very personal non-public patch of seaside as you observe the coast.
The furthest level you possibly can stroll to is a large river (which meets the ocean virtually reverse the marker for Playa Mosquito on Google Maps). I’m advised crocodiles reside on this river, so it’s not advisable to try to cross it.
When you attain the river, you possibly can wade offshore to the Holbox Sandbar. The lagoon is normally lower than waist peak, and inside about 5-10 minutes you’ll attain the sandbar.
6. Take the three Islands Tour
One of many basic excursions on Isla Holbox is the Three Island Tour. It is a half-day speedboat tour that takes you to 3 islands: Punto Mosquito (for flamingos and wildlife), Isla Pasión – Ardour Island (for empty white sand seashores) and Isla Pájaros – Hen Island (a pure fowl sanctuary).
Most excursions additionally cease for a swim at Yalahao Cenote on the mainland, rumoured to have as soon as been utilized by pirates to high up their freshwater provides.
There are a number of tour operators on the town, so store round to discover a firm you just like the look of. When you want to ebook on-line, click on right here to verify the costs of a speedboat tour on GetYourGuide.
7. Eat Lobster Pizza
The signature “native” dish on Holbox is lobster pizza. Contemporary, native lobster – solely in season – served up on a skinny crispy pizza base. Supposedly, the unique was created by Pizzeria Edelyn, however many argue that the perfect is to be discovered at Roots, which is the place I attempted it.
It’s a beautiful outside restaurant the place you possibly can sit at tables on the sandy flooring amongst lanterns hanging from timber, and watch as cooks hand toss the pizza dough. And the lobster pizza was DELICIOUS (749MXN).
8. Watch Sundown
Holbox sunsets are one thing particular. On daily basis, vacationers and locals collect on the little pier on the seaside to observe the sundown over the ocean.
At some point the sky shall be burnt orange and vivid purple, the following it is likely to be paintbox pink with fluffy candyfloss clouds. Decide up some beers from a store and calm down on the seaside to observe. Good spots are the picket pier close to the Holbox Letters, or the ‘nook’ in entrance of El Chiringuito Bar Zomay.
Talking of Bar Zomay, that’s the most effective seaside bars in Holbox to observe the sundown. Others are Escape Holbox, Alma Bar (rooftop bar at Villas Tiburon), and the rooftop restaurant at Spirit Holbox Resort.
9. Go Kayaking in Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence is gentle produced by dwelling creatures – and Holbox is among the locations the place you possibly can witness this spectacle from the shore. On the southern seashores of Isla Holbox, bioluminescent plankton create a vivid blue glow when the water is disturbed. It’s particularly seen on clear, darkish nights when there’s no moon.
You’ll be able to see it by merely taking a taxi to Punta Cocos after darkish – although this may be costlier than a tour. Fundamental excursions, which value round 300-400 MXN, contain transport to and from the southern tip of the island, with about half-hour on the seaside to paddle within the water and observe the bioluminescence.
For a way more adventurous expertise, attempt a nighttime kayaking journey to see the bioluminescence. At sea after darkish, you’ll have the perfect likelihood of seeing the glowing plankton up shut with minimal gentle air pollution. You’ll additionally get an unbelievable view of the celebrities – and even just a few planets – overhead.
10. Get a Therapeutic massage on Holbox Seaside
There’s nothing fairly like a therapeutic massage by the ocean, listening to the sounds of the waves crash on the shore as you fully unwind. You’ll see a number of locations providing massages round Holbox (this can be a vacation island, in any case), from open-fronted picket ‘palapas’ proper on the sand to swankier spas in resort resorts.
I actually favored Mayan Therapeutic massage by Selene. There are just a few branches – I went to the one subsequent door to Ehuan seaside bar (simply earlier than Casa Iguana). It’s a country palapa and the entrance is open onto the seaside street, so that you do get various noise from passing golf carts and the music from the seaside bar – however the Mayan Therapeutic massage was EXCELLENT!
When you’re in search of a extra non-public spa expertise, attempt The Spa at Spirit Holbox resort, the place remedies additionally embrace a hydrotherapy session with swimming pools, waterfalls and a jacuzzi.
11. Hire a Golf Cart to Discover Holbox
The most effective methods to discover Isla Holbox is to lease a golf cart and set out on an journey. There are virtually no automobiles on the island, so everybody will get across the island’s sandy streets by bike, moped, or golf cart (carrito de golf).
You’ll be able to lease these from just a few locations round city. I’ve rented from Rentadora Monkeys (close to the principle sq.) previously however there are just a few completely different choices. It’s not low cost – costs begin from $350 MXN for 1 hour or $2500 MXN for twenty-four hours final time I checked (in February 2023). However it’s a extremely enjoyable method to get round, and in about 2 hours you possibly can discover a lot of the driveable elements of the island.
12. Go for a Bike Journey
If renting a golf cart feels too fast-paced for island life, you can too lease a motorcycle to get out exploring. It is a beautiful method to get across the island and see just a few completely different sights.
Not one of the distances are significantly large: you possibly can bike from the city centre to Yum Balam Nature Reserve, or (in the other way) to Punta Cocos in lower than 10 minutes. However biking is greater than a fast method to get from A to B – it’s additionally an effective way to discover Isla Holbox and take in the tropical surroundings.
13. Kayak Amongst the Mangroves
Holbox is a nature lover’s paradise. A protected space with plentiful wildlife, a lot of the island is wild and undeveloped. Take a guided kayaking tour into the mangrove forests for an opportunity to see among the island’s most valuable wildlife up shut, together with flamingoes, pelicans, and osprey. Even (hardly ever) crocodiles!
Kayak is the easiest way to discover, because it’s far more eco-friendly than a motorboat. It’s additionally quieter, which suggests you’ll have the ability to get a lot nearer to the wildlife with out disturbing it. Do this dawn mangrove kayaking tour (from $56 USD) or this mangrove tour in double kayaks (from $53 USD).
14. Eat Seafood
Earlier than it was a boho vacationer haven, Holbox was a tiny fishing village. Lately, the native fishermen are supplying super-fresh, super-delicious seafood to the island’s greatest eating places.
I’ve already talked about lobster pizza (a should attempt) however there’s additionally ceviche, sushi, pulpo (octopus), coconut shrimp, and – my favorite – fish tacos! Attempt a few of these eating places when you’re visiting…
- Las Panchas – probably the most effective seafood spots on the island. Informal, easy, and beloved by each locals and guests.
- Ñaña Seaside Membership – glorious fish tacos.
- Ser Esencia – upmarket spot identified for its multi-course tasting menus. This is among the greatest eating places on Holbox.
- Roots – for lobster pizza.
- Restaurante Hinata – for scrumptious sushi.
- El Ma.Carmita – uncooked bar idea identified for oysters, ceviches, and seafood. I had the perfect meal of my journey right here (recent fish fillet with risotto)!
- For the prospect to catch your individual, attempt this non-public fishing and sightseeing boat journey. Eat your catch and expertise the freshest ceviche possible!
15. Go Seaside Bar Hopping
Fancy sipping a cocktail along with your toes within the sand? Holbox has a ton of implausible bars, from swanky seaside golf equipment and rooftop terraces to extra rustic seaside bars and full of life get together bars.
I’m planning a separate put up to spherical up all my favorite Holbox bars, however right here’s a shortlist to get you began:
- The Sizzling Nook – full of life get together bar with an incredible atmosphere.
- El Chiringuito Bar Zomay – the most effective seaside bars for sundown.
- Luuma – boho-chic vibes and nice cocktails
- ALMA – rooftop bar with a small pool and seaside views
- Salma – cool seaside bar with tiki vibes
- Crónicas Taproom – cool spot on the principle sq. with craft beers
- Do this Taco Tour with Cocktails (from $89.98pp) for an intro to the nightlife scene with a neighborhood information.
16. Horse driving on the seaside
Love horseriding? In Holbox, that is the right method to get just a little “off the overwhelmed path” and see issues that you just won’t have the ability to attain on foot or by bike/golf cart.
You’ll be able to be part of a guided horseback trip to discover the seashores and mangrove forests of Isla Holbox from a distinct perspective. This is among the costlier excursions obtainable on the island, however price it if you wish to attempt an journey with a distinction.
17. Study to kitesurf
Each time I come to Holbox, I watch the kitesurfers rushing throughout the waves and leaping into the air, and I feel “I’d like to attempt that”. But one way or the other I nonetheless haven’t managed it – partly as a result of classes could be a little costly, and I assume I’d relatively spend that cash on tacos, beer and massages!
Holbox is thought to be an incredible place to be taught to kitesurf, because of its constant winds, sheltered sandbar and calm, boat-free waters. The kitesurfing season runs from November to Might/June.
When you fancy giving it a attempt, ebook a taster session at one of many native colleges – or take a full course (9 hours over 3 days) to grasp the fundamentals. KukulKite and Holbox Kiteboarding Faculty seem like the very best rated colleges on the island. Kitesurfing classes with KukulKite begin from $260 USD – click on right here to verify newest costs and availability.
18. Go Paddleboarding
Desire your watersports at a gentler place? Holbox can also be an ideal location to discover by paddleboard. You’ll be able to lease them from most kitesurfing colleges and at just a few locations alongside the seaside. I obtained mine from Kayak Holbox n Travels (a shiny blue picket stall close to BarBarossa) and would extremely suggest them.
When you paddle to the Sandbar, you possibly can benefit from the sheltered waters of the lagoon – and spot fish and rays swimming within the tremendous clear, calm waters beneath you. Depening on how lengthy you might have the board for (and the way a lot vitality you might have) it’s potential to paddle all the way in which to Punta Mosquito. You’ll be able to’t land there because it’s a part of a protected space, however you possibly can watch the birds out of your board.
19. Attempt an Escape Room in Holbox
Escape Room Holbox is the excellent factor to do if the climate turns unhealthy, otherwise you simply fancy a break from being out within the solar! It’s operated out of Tribu Hostel and begins from $300 MXN pp (for a bunch of 5).
Sadly, I wasn’t ready to do that on my journey as I used to be travelling solo and didn’t assume a solo escape room can be all that enjoyable. Subsequent time! Nonetheless, the critiques are glorious and the value isn’t unhealthy, so in the event you’re in search of one thing completely different to do, this can be a nice possibility.
What Concerning the Holbox Hammocks?
A whole lot of on-line guides to Holbox checklist “photographing the hammocks” as the most effective issues to do. I haven’t included them on this checklist for 2 causes. One: as a result of taking a photograph in a hammock didn’t actually really feel like an “exercise”! And two: as a result of probably the most iconic hammocks have now been eliminated.
There was once a number of hammocks strung up instantly over the ocean – probably the most well-known being a string of vibrant hammocks topped with letters spelling out “Holbox”. These have been eliminated – apparently for conservation causes – as have most others (as of my most up-to-date go to in February 2023).
There are nonetheless just a few hammocks on the seaside (not over the ocean) in addition to swings and colourfully painted large chairs. So that you’ll nonetheless discover loads of photograph ops.
Extra on Holbox & Close by
Funds Information to Isla Holbox
I hope you discovered my information to the perfect issues to do in Holbox useful. Depart a remark with your individual ideas on the backside of the web page!