23 Best Things To Do In Holbox Island, Mexico (Sample Itinerary Included!)

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By Jessie Festa. This guide to Holbox Island travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best things to do in Holbox Island, Mexico?

Then you’re in the right place!

Located just off the northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the car-free Holbox Island (Isla Holbox)—pronounced like Isla-Hol-BOSH—will immerse you in tropical bohemian vibes.

In fact, on a recent trip to Isla Holbox not only did I enjoy beautiful palm tree-laden beaches and abundant natural beauty, but also trendy beach clubs, vibey restaurants, and plenty of options for vegan food and yoga classes.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg a sip of a piña colada when it comes to the many activities in Isla Holbox that range from swimming with whale sharks and kayaking through mangrove forests to beach club hopping and indulging in fresh seafood delicacies.

The island is also part of the protected Yum Balam Nature Reserve, and locals care deeply about eco-tourism, which is something you can also explore during your Isla Holbox trip.

Ready to pack your bags? Let’s dive into our in-depth travel guide and the many things to do on Holbox Island!

Note: In this guide, the names Holbox Island, Holbox, and Isla Holbox are used interchangeably. They all refer to the same destination in Mexico.

⏳ Short on time? My top recommendations for visiting Holbox Island Mexico include:

🏨 Hotel: Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox

🚗 Airport Transfer: Along with taking the ADO Bus (also bookable on BusBud), you can take a shared shuttle or a private shuttle

🗺 Tours: Viator and GetYourGuide

📍Recommended Excursions:
Classic Three Island Tour
Isla Holbox Mangrove Kayaking Tour
Whale Shark & Snorkeling Adventure from Isla Holbox

🥘 Top Restaurants & Bars:
-Barba Negra (tacos)
-Arte Sano (vegan)
-Crónicas Taproom (pizza)
Lazaro Wine Bar (rooftop)

🚶‍♀️ Getting Around: You can walk or bike to most of the main things to do on Holbox Island

🏥 Travel Insurance: SafetyWing

📞 Staying Connected: Airalo eSIM

Free Resources For Your Holbox Itinerary

But first, before we go over the many things to do in Isla Holbox, I invite you to grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit—which includes 40+ travel resources, from printables to quizzes to itineraries—all meant to help you explore the world beyond the guidebook!

Some highlights of the kit include:

  • Free “Where Should You Travel Next?” personality quiz
  • Budget travel calculators for vacations, road trips, backpacking & more
  • Pre-plotted Google Maps for 45+ destinations
  • Printable travel journal with writing prompts
  • Packing lists for different types of trips
  • And more!

Once you’ve grabbed your copy, keep reading for the in-depth Holbox Island travel guide.

Isla Holbox Travel Logistics

Where is Holbox Island?

Isla Holbox is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon that is home to flamingos, pelicans, and other birdlife.

The island is part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve and is known for its fishing industry and growing tourism, particularly for whale shark viewing​​.

Getting to Isla Holbox

From Cancun Airport, you can take an ADO Bus, a shared shuttle, a private shuttle, or an (expensive) taxi to Chiquilá, where you’ll board a 25-minute ferry to Isla Holbox for 220 Mexican Pesos.

Ferries run about every 30 minutes until 9pm, though note they are frequently late. If you stay in the Holbox Island town center, you’ll be able to easily walk to your hotel.

For instance, I stayed at Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox and it was about a 5-minute walk, as you can see on the map below.

Pro tip: If the ADO Bus website isn’t working, you can also use BusBud to book tickets.

Google Map showing route from Holbox Ferry Port to Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox
As you can see, the Holbox Ferry Port is only a 5-minute walk to Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox

Best time to visit Holbox Island

With a tropical climate and consistently warm temperatures, Holbox is a year-round destination. That being said, not every month is created equal.

June through September

For most travelers, the best time to visit Isla Holbox is from June to September, which is also the optimal time to see and swim with whale sharks.

During these months, visitors can expect warm and sunny weather, though note this period also falls within the Caribbean hurricane season, increasing the likelihood of rain and storms, particularly towards the end of the season.

While sargassum seaweed levels can fluctuate, these months typically experience clearer waters.

Additionally, accommodation and flight prices tend to be cheaper due to this being part of the low season, and the island is generally less crowded.

December through April

Conversely, the high season from December to April attracts more tourists due to the dry weather, resulting in higher prices and busier beaches and streets—though you can certainly still have an amazing trip during this time.

For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed a trip to Isla Holbox in February, and the only thing I was disappointed by was that it was outside of whale shark season.

woman in a bikini posing for a photo near Passion Island in Mexico
Enjoying the beauty near Passion Island on a Classic 3 Island Tour. Photo via Jessie Festa.

How to get around Holbox Island

Aside from a few work trucks, there are no cars on Isla Holbox—which helps to add to the relaxing vibe. Instead, you’ll see visitors and locals getting around by:

  • Foot. The Isla Holbox town center and main Playa Holbox beach area are very walkable.
  • Bike. If you’d prefer to get around faster, you can rent a bike from one of the local bike shops.
  • Golf cart. If you’re staying near the town center or main beachfront a golf cart isn’t necessary; however, one could be helpful if you’re looking to go to farther parts of the island like Playa Punta Cocos or Punta Mosquito.
  • Taxis. There are 4×4 taxis all over Isla Holbox that you can hail to get where you need to go.
woman gazing up at a palm tree on Playa Holbox
It’s easy to explore the beauty of Holbox village, the beaches, and beyond on foot. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Is Isla Holbox Safe?

According to Travel Safe-Abroad, Isla Holbox is safe and your risk of being the victim of a violent crime or scam is low—though do be aware of potential dangers with weather events like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

Personally, I felt very safe during my Isla Holbox trip, even when walking around at night. That being said, it’s always smart to keep travel safety tips in mind, even when visiting safe places.

For instance, I always travel with a few safety essentials like a She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm and Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments.

Where To Stay In Isla Holbox

Budget pick: Che Holbox Hostel & Bar

people hanging out in the common area of Che Holbox Hostel & Bar
Common area at Che Holbox Hostel & Bar. Photo via Jessie Festa.

One of the best places to stay in Isla Holbox if you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation with a lively and social atmosphere is Che Holbox Hostel & Bar.

Offering a range of accommodations from shared dormitories to private rooms, you’ll also enjoy communal areas—including a bar and outdoor lounge with a pool—and events like barbecues and movie nights to help you connect with other guests if you’re traveling solo in Mexico.

➡ Click here for full details & to book Che Holbox Hostel & Bar!

Mid-tier pick: Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox

Tropical grounds of Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

If you’re more interested in hotels in Isla Holbox than hostels, this is where I stayed during my trip and loved it.

Situated along the main drag of Isla Holbox, just a 5-minute walk from the ferry, is Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox—a boutique property that immerses you in nature.

The hotel offers garden-view patio as well as balcony-equipt rooms, an outdoor pool, and inviting communal areas in a tropical atmosphere.

Additionally, its convenient location just four blocks from the beach coupled with complimentary breakfast makes it an excellent value for budget-conscious travelers.

➡ Click here for full details & to book Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox!

Luxury pick: Hotel Casa Las Tortugas

entrance of Hotel Casa Las Tortugas Holbox surrounded by palm trees
Hotel Casa Las Tortugas. Photo via Jessie Festa.

This opulent Isla Holbox hotel features a stunning beachfront location and top-notch amenities, from an infinity pool to a luxe spa to numerous delicious restaurants to choose from.

Along with Caribbean-inspired rooms and suites with modern comforts, Casa Las Tortugas offers a range of Isla Holbox activities, from yoga classes to snorkeling trips.

➡ Click here for full details & to book Hotel Casa Las Tortugas!

Best Things To Do In Holbox Island

Wondering what to do on Holbox Island? There are many options!

Let’s dive into the best things to do on Isla Holbox. My top recommendations include:

1) Take a photo at the Holbox sign

Like many popular Mexican destinations, Isla Holbox has a colorful sign you can pose in front of.

Taking in the beauty of the beachfront and snapping a photo here is a great way to start your trip, especially as it’s one of the top Isla Holbox attractions!

three women posing in front of the Isla Holbox sign
Posing in front of the iconic Isla Holbox sign. Photo via Jessie Festa.

2) Bike around Isla Holbox

As noted above, one of the best ways to get around Isla Holbox is by bike. It’s a great way to reach some of the farther parts of the island, like Playa Punta Cocos and Punta Mosquito.

Alternatively, you can simply bike around without a plan and organically discover the beauty of the island.

There are numerous bike rental shops to choose from. Personally, I rented from Bikes Holbox, which is less than a 5-minute walk from Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox.

women biking around Holbox Island Mexico
Biking around Holbox Island. Photo via Jessie Festa.

3) Relax on Playa Holbox

When it comes to what to do in Holbox Mexico, spending time at the beach should be at the top of your list.

While there are several Isla Holbox beaches to enjoy, Playa Hobox is the main beach thanks to its central location walkable from the town center.

Here you’ll find soft white sand, translucent turquoise water, watersport options, and a lively atmosphere.

This beach also offers the perfect place to watch a stunning Isla Holbox sunset, so make sure to pack your camera along with your sunscreen!

Important note: There isn’t much shade here unless you pay to sit under an umbrella at one of the local beach clubs or bars. Because of this, make sure to bring sunscreen or a rashguard to cover up with.

double rainbow on Playa Holbox
Seeing a double rainbow on Playa Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

4) Escape the crowds at Playa Punta Cocos

Another one of the best beaches in Holbox, particularly if you want to escape the crowds, is Playa Punta Cocos—a beautiful beach with powdery white sand on the northwest corner of the island.

Here you’ll enjoy more shade and a more serene experience, as most visitors don’t make the trek all the way out to this spot. It’s a 45-minute walk from Playa Holbox or a 20-minute drive.

You can also do a scenic 4-mile walk to Playa Punta Cocos from the town center. Click here for a trail map.

Along with being stunning during the day, this is also a great spot for an Isla Holbox sunset!

Aerial view of Punta Cocos on Holbox Island, Mexico
Aerial view of Punta Cocos on Holbox Island Yucatan. Photo: zstockphotos via Canva Pro.

5) Enjoy the beauty of Punta Mosquito

This was one of my favorite places in Isla Holbox! Accessible via a scenic walk or bike ride along the beach from the main area of Holbox, Playa Mosquito Holbox offers breathtaking views of untouched coastline and shallow, crystal-clear waters.

Visitors can enjoy activities such as birdwatching, swimming in the shallow waters, and relaxing on the secluded beach away from the bustle of the main drag.

Note that you can also visit Punta Mosquito on a Classic 3 Island Tour, which I highly recommend!

woman in an orange bikini walking along Punta Mosquito beach in Holbox Island, Mexico
Punta Mosquito. Photo via Jessie Festa.

6) Take a Classic Three Island Tour from Isla Holbox

If you want to get out and really experience the beauty of Isla Holbox, a Classic 3 Island Tour is a must. During the excursion, you’ll travel by boat to visit:

Yalahau Lagoon. Located within Yum Balam Nature Reserve—which Isla Holbox is also a part of—you’ll swim and snorkel in a crystal clear cenote. Legend has it that pirates once used this cenote as a fresh water supply.

Mosquito Point (Punta Mosquito). On this gorgeous sandbar off the coast of Isla Holbox, you can go for a scenic walk along white sand or swim and relax in the warm azure Gulf of Mexico waters.

Passion Island (Isla De La Pasión). This stop also includes a stunning sandbar, as well as the opportunity to see a variety of birds—including flamingos!

Bonus. On the way from Mosquito Point to Passion Island, our group also had the pleasure of seeing dolphins hopping out of the water—which we were told was a rare sighting in February.

Note that at certain times of the year, you might also visit Bird Island (Isla Pájaros) instead of Punta Mosquito. Either way, we still passed by the island even though we didn’t stop there.

➡ Click here for full details and to book the Classic Three Island Tour!

Prefer a private experience?

➡ Click here for full details and to book a private Classic Three Island Tour!

7) Kayak the mangroves of Isla Holbox

One of the top things to do in Holbox Island is explore the mangroves, which are also one of the most important places on the island.

They serve as a protective barrier against erosion and storms, provide habitat for diverse marine and bird species, and contribute to the overall health of the surrounding marine environment by filtering pollutants and serving as nurseries for marine life.

Kayaking through the mangroves is a majestic experience, as you paddle through calm waters enjoying the quiet (there are no motorboats aside for the occasional fisherman) while catching glimpses of birds like blue herons, egrets, frigates, eagles—and even other wildlife like crocodiles.

Note that self-guided kayaking is not allowed on Isla Holbox, so you’ll need to book a tour.

➡ Click here for full details and to book the Isla Holbox Mangrove Kayaking Tour!

Prefer to go at sunrise?

➡ Click here for full details and to book a Sunrise Mangrove Kayaking Tour in Isla Holbox!

front of kayak surrounded by the Holbox Island mangroves
Kayaking the Holbox Island mangroves. Photo via Jessie Festa.

8) Swim & snorkel with whale sharks

When researching what to do in Isla Holbox Mexico that is truly unforgettable, this seasonal activity allows you to swim with the world’s largest fish species in their natural habitat.

From mid-May to mid-September, these gentle giants migrate to the waters around Isla Holbox to feed on plankton. It is incredible to witness this firsthand—though do make sure you’re only looking and not touching these wild animals to stay in line with best practices for ecotourism in Mexico.

Want to know more about whale shark season? Here is a quick look at the general calendar for seeing whale sharks in Isla Holbox:

May 15-June 10:

  • Weather: Acceptable
  • Sightings: Occasional

June 11-June 30:

  • Weather: Very good
  • Sightings: Frequent

July 1-August 31:

  • Weather: Excellent
  • Sightings: Very frequent

September 1-September 17:

  • Weather: Not so good
  • Sightings: Frequent

➡ Click here for full details and to book your Whale Shark Excursion in Isla Holbox!

whale shark
Whale shark. Photo via Derek Keats / Pexels.

9) Take a bioluminescence kayak tour at night

For a meditative yet educational experience, an evening bioluminescence kayak tour is a must.

With the glow of the night stars illuminating your way, you’ll kayak to a nearby sandbar to enjoy the constellations and shooting stars. During my tour, our group even saw Mars!

Another highlight is of course seeing the bioluminescence in the water. This is due to the presence of microscopic organisms, such as dinoflagellates or plankton, that emit light when disturbed, creating a magical glowing effect in the water.

You’ll also have the chance to swim in the bioluminescence if you’d like, though I opted not to since it was 2am!

➡ Click here for full details and to book an Isla Holbox Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour!

10) Enjoy kitesurfing & other water sports

While kayaking is forbidden unless you’re with a local guide, you can enjoy other water sports like standup paddle boarding, snorkeling, and kitesurfing.

The latter is particularly popular thanks to the island’s consistent and strong winds, shallow waters, and expansive beaches.

You’ll see many places offering lessons and rentals along the beach, or you can book a kitesurfing lesson in advance here.

woman kitesurfing
Kitesurfing is one of the most popular activities in Isla Holbox. Photo: Tho-Ge via Pixabay.

11) Volunteer at a local animal shelter

Love animals and volunteering? Refugio Animal Holbox is a charitable organization that provides animals in need with a loving home until they can be adopted or re-integrated into the wild.

When visiting Isla Holbox, you can visit their animal rescue and help their staff out by:

  • walking dogs
  • bathing dogs
  • cleaning kennels, bowls, or the courtyard
  • playing with the dogs

They’re also always looking for donations as well as for people to adopt their pets!

12) Snorkel & fish on a trip to Cabo Catoche

If you’d like to visit one of Isla Holbox’s most rarely-visited places, book a boat trip to Cabo Catoche.

Located 15 miles east of Holbox and situated at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, you’ll enjoy stunning beaches and opportunities to snorkel and dive vibrant coral reefs teeming with aquatic life.

Also keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, nurse sharks, and sea turtles!

During a private boat tour to Cabo Catoche, you’ll also learn traditional fishing techniques—using lines without poles—to pull your own fresh catch. This will used to make a delicious ceviche lunch.

This Isla Holbox tour offers a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and explore almost untouched nature.

➡ Click here for full details and to book a private tour to Cabo Catoche!

Beauty of Cabo Catoche. Photo: MARDOZ LULE from Imágenes de Mardoz via Canva Pro.

13) Get a spa treatment

Vacations to Isla Holbox aren’t complete without some relaxation, and what better way to unwind than with a spa treatment?

There are numerous spas on Isla Holbox, whether you want an al fresco beachfront massage, a treatment at a luxury spa, or something in between. Two top-rated spas to get on your radar include:

Aguas Spa. Located within the opulent Hotel Casa Las Tortugas, they offer a wide array of massages, body wraps, facials, water therapies, and signature treatments.

Bambú Spa. Located within the chill beachfront Casa Iguana Holbox, this spa has a simpler menu but you’ll still get a high-quality massage at a more budget-friendly price.

pool at Hotel Casa Las Tortugas in Isla Holbox Mexico
This beautiful pool isn’t the only amenity at Hotel Casa Las Tortugas. They also have a fantastic spa! Photo via Jessie Festa.

14) Take an active class

During my visit to Isla Holbox, I took a really fun salsa class at Che Holbox Hostel & Bar, though that’s hardly your only option.

Since Isla Holbox has a strong wellness culture, you’ll also find lots of yoga, Zumba, and fitness classes. A few places to check out include Samah Wellness and Holbox Yoga (which does yoga on the beach!).

group of tourists to Isla Holbox posing after a salsa class at Che Holbox Hostel
Posing after our salsa class. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Food & Drink Things To Do In Holbox Island

15) Spend the day at a beach club

On the northwest side of the island between Punta Mosquito and Playa Punta Cocos is a long strip of beautiful soft sand and azure warm waters.

While you can certainly lay out a towel to swim and sunbathe, a more fun option is to chill at one—or a few—of the many beach clubs and restaurants with in-the-sand seating along the strip.

My personal favorites when visiting Holbox were Mandarina Seaside Restaurant and Restaurante La Playa De Ñaña. These can be enjoyed whether you’re traveling with others or are on a solo beach trip.

In my experience, the farther west you go (toward Holbox town center) the friendlier and more affordable the establishment.

Pro tip: Make sure to stay for a stunning sunset, and have your camera ready to capture some spectacular colors!

sunset over Playa Holbox Mexico
Enjoying the sunset from Playa Holbox in front of Mandarina Seaside Restaurant. Photo via Jessie Festa.

16) Do a tequila tasting

At Tequila O’Clock, you can do a guided Tequila Tasting Experience.

The bar features over 50 tequilas and is owned by a local from the town of Tequila in Jalisco, where authentic tequila is made in Mexico.

During the tasting, you’ll sip a welcome cocktail as well as three tequilas made with 100% agave while learning how to properly appreciate and taste tequila. It’s a delicious way to explore local Mexican culture!

woman drinking a Corona on Playa Holbox in Mexico
Along with drinking beers on the beach, you can also do a tequila tasting! Photo via Jessie Festa.

17) Explore Holbox’s cafe culture

Wondering what to do in Holbox when it rains? Here’s an idea!

On Isla Holbox, you’ll find loads of aesthetic cafes serving up delicious java drinks. A few of my top picks include:

Mr. Happy Holbox. Set up like a retro yet tropical apartment complete with palm trees, a box TV, and an analog clock, this open-air cafe offers a unique aesthetic as well as delicious coffee and food. I loved my baked eggs and cappuccino!

Painapol. This charming Holbox cafe is renowned for its strong coffee, beautifully plated smoothie bowls, and laid-back island atmosphere. They also have a talent for turning fruits into beautiful flower garnishes.

Clandestino Coffee Shop. Enjoy delicious coffee and pastries in a plant-filled space that will instantly help you relax and focus at the same time. My recommended order: avocado toast with matcha!

box TV with the Mr. Happy Holbox coffee menu written on it
Mr. Happy Holbox coffee shop. Photo via Jessie Festa.

18) Order the famous Holbox Lobster Pizza

Along with tacos made with corn tortillas, my tour guide kept telling me about one food specialty I had to try: the famous Holbox Lobster Pizza.

One place known for it is Roots Pizza a la Leña, who cook their pizza in a wood-fired oven for a smokier taste.

Another top-rated spot to try lobster pizza is a local seafood restaurant called El Crustáceo Kascarudo. Here you’ll enjoy large chunks of lobster covered in melted cheese.

lobster pizza
Have you ever tried lobster pizza? Photo: rudisill from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro.

19) Go on a mission to find the best Isla Holbox tacos

There is an endless amount of delicious taco places on Isla Holbox, whether you’re looking for street stalls, a vibey space, or something in between.

My personal favorite tacos from my trip to Holbox Island were had at Barba Negra, which specializes in fish and shrimp tacos, which you can get in Baja, Mayan, or Garlic & Smoke style. The tortillas come out packed with ingredients, so you’ll definitely leave feeling full.

Pro tip: My local guide mentioned that in Holbox, tacos are made with corn tortillas, not flour tortillas, and are best paired with a bottle of Coca-Cola.

He also mentioned that if you want authentic local tacos, opt for places with less polish. As he put it, he knows a place is touristy when it feels “so clean”.

plate of shrimp tacos on a wooden table at Barba Negra in Isla Holbox, Mexico
Tacos from Barba Negra in Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

20) Pair food with good vibes at Isla Holbox restaurants

Wondering where to eat in Isla Holbox? You’ll have loads of options for delicious food!

Along with the above-mentioned Barba Negra, Roots Pizza a la Leña, and El Crustáceo Kascarudo, some of my favorite local eateries pairing yummy food with good vibes include:

Aluxes Holbox. This is one of the best restaurants in Isla Holbox, featuring tropical vibes, yummy food, and great drinks in a plant-filled space. I ordered the Pad Thai and a glass of wine which were both tasty and generous in size.

Crónicas Taproom. As a New Yorker, I know what good pizza tastes like, and Crónicas Taproom is it. Their pizza is Neapolitan-style, and I recommend ordering the “Kabalaza” featuring tomato sauce, mozzarella, zucchini, purple onions, mushrooms, olives, and chili flakes. Yum!

Arte Sano. If you’re looking for delicious vegan food in a stunning outdoor space, this Isla Holbox restaurant fits the bill, with a variety of smoothie bowls, veggie burgers, and Mexican staples made vegan.

veggie burger with a side of potatoes at Arte Sano Holbox
Vegan lunch at Arte Sano Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Things To Do In Isla Holbox For Nightlife

21) Sip drinks with a view at a Holbox rooftop

Along with delicious restaurants, Isla Holbox is also home to several beautiful rooftops and open-air higher-level eateries. Some of my personal favorites include:

Soulbox at Hotel Mittoz. This open-air rooftop features a view of the beach (albeit an obstructed one), a chill atmosphere, a small swimming pool, and great service. Our waiter even invited my group to a salsa class he was teaching the following night at Che Holbox Hostel, which we attended!

Lazaro Wine Bar. This trendy second-floor wine bar is incredibly vibey, with lots of bamboo pillars, plants, and dangling lights with macramé-style wood shades creating a soft yellow glow. My sauvignon blanc was delicious too!

Casa HX. At this Holbox rooftop, enjoy a tranquil ambiance, handcrafted cocktails, and panoramic views of Isla Holbox. I recommend getting one of their signature cocktails, like the “Nectar del Alma” with tequila blanco, blue curaçao, and melon liqueur, syrup, and egg white.

woman holding a glass of wine at Lazaro Wine Bar Holbox Mexico
Having a glass of wine at Lazaro Wine Bar. Photo via Jessie Festa.

22) Party on the beach in Isla Holbox

While you’ll find plenty of bars on Holbox Island that stay open until at least 10pm or 11pm, if you’re looking for some late-night fun, you’ll need to know where to look.

Bikini Bottom Holbox. I passed this late-night beach club when returning from my Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour at around 3am and the party was still going. If you like to dance, they feature live DJs!

Cariocas Beach Bar. This fun palapa bar features live music and DJs and stays open until at least 3am. They often have promos too, like 2-for-1 margaritas, which they typically announce on their Instagram page.

The Hot Corner. While slightly removed from Playa Holbox by about a block, this open-air bar stays open until 2am and often has live music and other entertainment.

23) Enjoy live music

As the sun begins to set, there is no shortage of options for live music—whether you want to enjoy live music on the beach at Capitán Capitán Beach Club or an indoor show at Barbara Negra.

Simply wander the town and let the sounds coming from the many open-air eateries and bars be your guide.

hammocks and picnic tables on the beach at Capitán Capitán Beach Club in Isla Holbox, Mexico
Capitán Capitán Beach Club. Photo via Jessie Festa.

A note on the Isla Holbox hammocks

While many Isla Holbox travel guides list relaxing in the famous Holbox Island hammocks as a must-have experience, most—if not all—of these have been removed for conservation reasons.

In fact, while I saw loads of hammocks directly on the beach, during my time in Isla Holbox I didn’t see any directly over the water.

Of course, there may have been some I missed, but either way, the ones you see in all of the photos have been removed.

Sample Isla Holbox Itinerary

To help you package up the above-mentioned activities in Isla Holbox, here is a sample Holbox Island itinerary.

I’ve put the most important Holbox Island things to do toward the beginning so that even if you’re doing a shorter trip, you can enjoy the best of the destination.

Note: Since swimming with whale sharks is a seasonal and bucket list activity, please input that on the day that makes sense for you and when you’re visiting. The tour typically begins early in the morning at around 6:30am or 7:30am.

Day 1:

  • Do a Classic Three Island Tour
  • Eat lunch in town
  • Snap a photo in front of the Holbox sign
  • Beach club hop or enjoy water sports
  • Watch the sunset from Playa Holbox
woman smiling while swimming in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico
Enjoying the best of Holbox Tourism on a Classic Three Island Tour. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Day 2:

Day 3:

sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from Playa Holbox in Mexico
Sunset from Playa Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Day 4:

  • Start your day with morning yoga
  • Spend time volunteering at the Refugio Animal Holbox
  • Enjoy a vegan lunch at Arte Sano
  • Take a kitesurfing lesson
  • Relax with a spa treatment
  • After dinner, go to bed early so you can wake up for a Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour

Map Of Holbox, Mexico

To help give you a lay of the land and easily navigate the above Isla Holbox things to do, here is a map with the above attractions pre-plotted:

Isla Holbox map

Click here for the interactive version of this Isla Holbox map.

Best Isla Holbox Tours

Now that we’ve gone over the best activities in Isla Holbox, here is a quick list of recommended local tours:

➡ Click here for a full list of top-rated tours on Holbox Island!

Travel Insurance For Holbox Island

When visiting Holbox in Mexico—or anywhere else in the world—it’s wise to get travel insurance.

One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage—including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

dogs sleeping in sand on Holbox Island, Mexico
Local dogs sleeping in Isla Holbox, Mexico. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Visiting Isla Holbox FAQ

Now that we’ve gone over the best Isla Holbox activities to add to your itinerary, let’s answer some frequently asked questions:

Q) How much is the ferry to Isla Holbox?

The ferry from Chiquilá to Isla Holbox is 220 Mexican Pesos. Click here to convert this to your currency of choice.

Q) What is Holbox, Mexico known for?

Holbox, Mexico, is known for its pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and laid-back atmosphere.

Q) Is Holbox worth visiting?

Yes, Isla Holbox is definitely worth visiting for its natural beauty, relaxed vibe, and array of activities.

Q) Is the Isla Holbox seaweed going to ruin my trip?

Seaweed presence in Isla Holbox can vary, but it’s generally not severe enough to ruin your trip, especially during the dry season.

boats docked in Holbox Island port
Boats in the Holbox Island port. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Q) Are there ATMs in Isla Holbox?

Yes, there are ATMs available in Isla Holbox, but it’s advisable to bring enough cash as they can occasionally run out or have limited functionality.

Q) Is Holbox cash only?

Many places in Holbox accept credit cards, but having cash on hand is still recommended for smaller establishments or in case of any issues with card payments.

Q) How many days should I spend in Holbox?

Spending 3-5 days in Holbox allows enough time to explore the island’s attractions, enjoy its beaches, and relax.

Q) Is it safe to walk around Isla Holbox at night?

Isla Holbox is generally safe to walk around at night, but it’s always wise to exercise caution and stick to well-lit areas, especially if you’re alone.

Q) What does the word “Holbox” mean?

Holbox translates to “black hole” or “black hole for water” in the Yucatec Maya language, reflecting the island’s rich natural water sources and possibly its mangrove swamps.

woman posing on the white sand of Punta Mosquito in Isla Holbox
Enjoying the beauty of Punta Mosquito. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Q) Are mosquitoes bad in Holbox?

Mosquitoes can be present in Holbox, especially during the rainy season, so it’s advisable to use insect repellent and take necessary precautions.

Q) Can I drink tap water in Holbox?

While tap water in Holbox is generally safe for bathing and brushing teeth, it’s recommended to drink bottled or purified water to avoid any potential stomach upset.

Q) Is Isla Holbox expensive?

Isla Holbox can be moderately expensive, with costs varying widely depending on accommodation choices, dining options, and activities, but it offers options to suit a range of budgets.

Q) Can you fly a drone on Holbox Island?

While people do fly drones, I was told by my guide and various locals that you aren’t supposed to fly a drone on Holbox as the island is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve.

Q) Can you rent kayaks on Holbox Island?

While you can kayak with a tour company, renting kayaks on your own is no longer allowed due to past issues with tourists behaving poorly or getting lost.

woman having a cocktail atop the Soulbox by Mittox Rooftop in Holbox
Having a drink at Soulbox by Mittoz on Holbox Island. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Final Thoughts On Visiting Holbox Island In Mexico

Exploring the best things to do in Isla Holbox, Mexico, offers a unique blend of adventure and tranquility.

From swimming with whale sharks to relaxing on pristine beaches, the island of Holbox caters to all.

Whether you’re looking for what to do on Isla Holbox that involves nature, like kayaking through mangroves and Isla Holbox snorkeling, or cultural experiences, such as salsa dancing and savoring local food, the above guide ensures you won’t miss out.

Holbox is a destination where the beauty of Mexico’s nature and culture converge, promising unforgettable experiences.

What are your favorite things to do in Holbox Island, Mexico?

Are there any activities in Isla Holbox that you’d add to the above itinerary?