Holbox is an island north of the Yucatan peninsula that is part of the Yum Balam nature reserve.  

In recent years it has gained a lot of popularity, becoming one of the best hidden gems in Mexico. 

Read on to learn about all the activities you can do in Holbox and useful tips that will help you enjoy its beautiful tourist attractions on your next vacation. 

Know the 12 best things to do in Holbox:

1. Explore the island by bike  

Getting to know the island by bicycle is fun and healthy. Renting it costs between 20 and 30 pesos an hour or 150 to 200 pesos for the whole day. In it you can walk without risk of getting lost in its beautiful streets surrounded by vegetation or on the white sands of its beaches during low tide.

A golf cart is a more comfortable and expensive alternative to explore the island; around 150 pesos an hour. 

You will not be able to rent any of the two vehicles in rainy seasons. 

2. Take a tour of three islands in Holbox  

With the 3-island tour you can meet the pink flamingos on the island of Las Aves and swim in a wonderful cenote. If you are lucky you will see dolphins next to your boat.

Book the tour at one of the many tour desks in the city center for 450 pesos per person. According to testimonials from tourists who have already done it, this tour is one of the best things you can do in Holbox. 


3. Observe the incredible bioluminescence of Holbox Island  

Bioluminescence is a beautiful natural phenomenon in which small organisms in the sea produce light through chemical processes, with which the beaches are dyed with tiny phosphorescent lights.  

The best time of the year to observe this natural spectacle is in June, July, August and September. Ideally, the night you visit the beach is not a full moon. The darker the sand, the better.

The tours that take you to the best beaches to enjoy this beautiful phenomenon cost around 300 pesos per person, in a 3-hour tour.

4. Enjoy the famous lobster pizza in Holbox  

If you love Italian food, you can’t stop eating the lobster pizza that they serve in Holbox and although there are many restaurants that prepare it, none like Roots.

Here you will also find delicious cocktails and various seafood dishes with a unique seasoning that you will love. In this place you will also find delicious cocktails and seafood dishes with a unique seasoning that you will love. Here you will also find delicious cocktails and various seafood dishes with a unique seasoning that you will love. 

5. Take a photo in the relaxing hammocks of Holbox  


In the famous hammocks of Holbox Island you can relax and rest on the calm, shallow and crystal clear waters. If you like, also have a refreshing drink and as many photographs as you want. 

6. Have a delicious seafood lunch in Holbox  

A seafood breakfast is the ideal thing to start the day in Holbox and one of the best restaurants for it is the Races bar. The place is also known for its variety of drinks and cold beers.  

7. Enjoy a beautiful sunset   

From Holbox Island you can enjoy one of the best sunsets in the world; the intense blue sky turns pink at sunset, remaining this color for hours.

You can enjoy this natural spectacle from anywhere on the beach, while having a drink or relaxing in the hammocks over the sea.

8. Take a kayak ride through the mangrove forest on Holbox Island  

Tour the Holbox mangroves rich in nature and wildlife on a 2-hour kayak ride. It is one of the most exciting activities you can do on the island.

You will be able to observe the different species of endemic birds of the island such as flamingos. Depending on the duration of the tour and inclusions, the tour will cost between 400 and 800 pesos per person.

9. Go fishing on Holbox Island  

As the island is very popular for fishing, fishing tours abound in the tourist centers of the city. An average of 3 or 4 hours in which you can fish snappers, sea bass and mojarras, costs 800 pesos.

With the same fish that you catch, they will make you one of the freshest ceviches you can taste in life.

Although it is a bit expensive, going fishing with the family is one of the most memorable experiences you can take from the island. 


10. Stand up paddle boarding and meet whale sharks on Holbox Island  

On the quiet beaches of Holbox you can practice paddle surfing, a fun and relaxing activity in which you row mounted on a surfboard.

The island is visited by whale sharks in June and September, with the best sighting season being between July and August. Sigustas, you can also swim with this species, the largest among the sharks. You don’t have to worry because they only eat plankton.

The average cost of a guided whale shark tour is around 2,000 to 3,000 pesos, depending on the package.

11. Visit the Yum Balam Reserve  

Yum Balam is a wildlife protection area established at the request of local communities in 1994.

It is a place of crystal clear waters where, in addition to an abundance of whale sharks and dolphins, there are large areas of tropical forests where flora and fauna thrive.

In Yum Balam you will find mysterious pre-Hispanic ruins and you can go hiking, fishing, diving, swimming with dolphins, kayaking, zip-lining, cycling and even visit a butterfly farm.

If you like, you can enjoy an excursion to the Conil or Yalahau lagoons, home to countless species of birds that nest in the swamps and mangroves. 

12. Get to know Isla Pajaros in Holbox  

The Birds Island, just over 15 minutes from the center of Holbox, is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in the area with up to 155 species of birds; among them, ducks, pelicans and flamingos, all in their natural habitat and in freedom. 

  What to do in Holbox at night?  

Holbox is not only nature. It also has good places to enjoy music, drinks and pleasant night walks in the company of acquaintances and new friends.

The main square is the nightly meeting place with its bars and restaurants, some with live music from local bands. 

There are also parties under the moonlight in addition to those held on the double-decker buses, which tour the hottest night attractions in the city center.

What to do in Holbox in one day?  

You can start your morning with a delicious rest and a refreshing drink on the beach hammocks and then, right there, order and eat a seafood dish. 

In the afternoon you can walk through the streets of the island and see the murals that you will find in them. If you get hungry, visit The Hot Corner, an incredible bar with a unique Caribbean style with the best ceviches, tacos and alcoholic cocktails in the city.  

To finish, walk slowly to Punta Coco, a magical and secluded place where you can also relax in the hammocks by the sea and enjoy a couple of beers while watching the sunset.

What to do in Holbox with children?  

The first thing you have to do with your children when you arrive in Holbox is take them to the beach. The sand is perfect for building castles and the gentle waves of the ocean will allow you to splash safely.

Then take them to see the different birds that inhabit the island on a boat ride and if you are lucky, they will see the whale sharks or dolphins that occasionally visit the Holbox coast. 

Other activities your kids will love include golf cart rides around town, delicious breakfasts in the central plaza, and sport fishing. 


What can you do in Holbox with little money?  

Holbox has very cheap attractions and activities such as strolling through the mangroves in a double kayak for only 150 pesos an hour, an activity with which you could also see the beautiful flamingos.

Another option is to enjoy the unique beaches of the island, with seashells and fine sand.

a.-  Walks on the beach  

If you keep walking along the beach you will eventually reach the place where the lagoon connects to the ocean. You will be able to see more native fauna and beautiful birds, as well as enjoy the impeccable view of the sea. 

b.-  Rent a bike  

Riding a bike along the roads on hot days in Holbox will allow you to cool off with the gentle ocean breeze. The rental of these is cheap with an average price of 20 pesos per hour. 

You can also rent a golf cart for 150 pesos an hour.

c.-  Try the Marquesitas  

Marquesitas are delicious crepes that are sold from food carts throughout the main square in the evenings. They cost 15 pesos. They are unique to Yucatan.

d.-  Admire the murals  

Scattered throughout the island you will find beautiful murals. This Holbox street art is impressive and started with the initiative of the International Festival of Public Art. 

What to do in Holbox with rain?  

One of the most fascinating things about Holbox is its tranquility, even more so when it rains. Take a walk on the beach in the rain and this will be the only thing you will hear when stepping on the sand. An indescribable rich feeling.

The best way to get around the island during the rainy season is by golf cart, as several tours cancel their departures during this period. Even with it you can continue enjoying the beach and the restaurants.

Activities that can be done in Holbox?  

The list of activities to do in Holbox is varied. From traditional fishing, horseback riding on the beach, kayaking or snorkeling, to paddle boarding and swimming with whale sharks. 

What excursions to do in Holbox?  

The 5 most popular tours on Holbox Island are:

  1. Sport fishing tour. 

2. Tour to Cabo Catoche: ideal place for fishing, snorkeling and dolphin sightings. 

3. Kayak tour through the mangrove: guided tour in which you will see flamingos and crocodiles. 

4. Swim with whale sharks

5. Tour of the 3 islands: you will be able to see up to 150 species of birds and get to know the Yalal waterhole. 

Expand here the information about the tours in Holbox.

What is the best time to visit Holbox?  

Yucatan has sunny, warm and humid days, temperatures that drop significantly during hurricane seasons, also known as nortes season, between and March.

The rainy season begins and ends in May and October, respectively, days with occasional rainfall of 1 to 2 hours, regularly in the afternoon. Despite these two dates, Holbox enjoys good weather.

How to get to Holbox?  

Although the best way to get to Holbox is from Cancun, there is still no direct transportation from this city. The first thing you have to do is go to Chiquilá, Quintana Roo and from there board a ferry that will take you directly to the island.


How much does it cost to go on vacation to Holbox?  

If you go backpacking for a week, your expenses can be the following: 

  • Food: $3, 150 pesos. 
  • Lodging: $1,750 pesos. 
  • Bicycle rental for one day: $200 pesos. 
  • Ferry from Chiquilá to Holbox: $280 pesos round trip. 
  • Bus from Cancun to Chiquilá: $250 pesos round trip. 

All these expenses add up to 5,380 pesos, but tours, alcoholic beverages, and plane tickets are not included, so you may exceed 10,000 pesos for a week.


How much does  a tour  to Holbox cost from Playa del Carmen?  

Holbox has hotels for all budgets and tastes. From simple rooms of 250 pesos, to luxurious hotels of more than 6 thousand pesos a night.


How much does a hotel cost in Holbox?  

Holbox has hotels for all budgets and tastes. From simple rooms of 250 pesos, to luxurious hotels of more than 6 thousand pesos a night.


How much is a cheap hotel in Holbox?  

Below we show you 2 of the best hotels in Holbox that are also very cheap. 

Hotel Casa Lupita  

Although the Casa Lupita hotel is not on the beach, it is very close to it in the center of the city. It is also close to restaurants and bars that offer a warm night in the company of friendly and hospitable local people. 

The prices per night are between 700 and a thousand pesos.

Ca’Rita Hotel and Residence   

Like the Casa Lupita hotel, this lodging center is in the center of the city, which will make it easier for you to enjoy Holbox’s nightlife. They also have special departments for families. 

The night costs on average between 1,400 and 1,700 pesos.

What are the best hotels in Holbox?

Let’s get to know the best hotels in Holbox. 

palapas of the sun  

Beautiful boutique-style hotel with a terrace or balcony in all its rooms, in a quiet area of ​​the beach. Prices are between 3,135 and 3,700 pesos per night.    

Holbox Clouds

Las Nubes de Holbox is one of the most expensive options but it is worth paying. A place away from the noise of the city with beautiful surroundings to appreciate one of the most captivating beaches in the world.

The price per room varies between 4,500 and 6,700 pesos per night.

How to move in Holbox?  

You will easily get around the island on a bike or golf cart. Some of these function as taxis.  

What to eat in Holbox?  

Fresh seafood dishes abound in all restaurants and are much cheaper than in Cancun. One of the most popular and oldest in the city is Pizzaria Edelyn, famous for its extraordinary lobster pizza.

You will also have other international options such as the delicious Italian food at Parrilla de Juan, or if you prefer the traditional and a good Mexican atmosphere, Viva Zapata is what you are looking for.


How do you get to Chiquila?  

If you are driving from Cancun, go west taking the free highway until you reach the city of El Ideal. Pay attention to the signs that indicate the island of Holbox and turn north towards Chiquilá.   

If you are driving from Mérida/Valladolid, it is best to go east on highway 180 and pass through Valladolid until you reach the city of El Ideal. Follow the signs to Holbox Island from here.


What is the  Yalahau cenote ?  

This beautiful waterhole is only half an hour by boat from the island of Holbox. It is a place of crystal clear waters that, according to legends, has magical and rejuvenating properties. 

In ancient times it was an important cenote where workers rested after a long day of work. It was also a valuable port where the Mayans traded.

In ancient times it was a very important cenote for fishermen since they rested here after a long day of work. It was also an important port where the Mayans traded. 

Now you know what to do in Holbox to fully enjoy this hidden paradise in Mexico. Visit him.


See also:

  • Also read our guide on which is better: Isla Mujeres or Cozumel
  • Click to know the 15 best things to do and see in Isla Mujeres
  • Click to see our list of the Top 25 Best Places in Mexico to Vacation
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