8 Unmissable Things to do in Holbox, Mexico 8 Unmissable Things to do in Holbox, Mexico

8 Unmissable Things to do in Holbox, Mexico

After exploring the lush jungles around Tulum, cooling off in the many cenotes, and learning about the rich Mayan history of the Yucatan Peninsula, head to the sleepier, back-to-basics Isla Holbox. This paradise island with soft sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters is the perfect location to unwind and soak up the sun. Start your day with good coffee on one of the colorful street corners, only to relax at a beach bar later, spot flamingos, and watch a gorgeous sunset – there are many things to do in Isla Holbox, Mexico.

Things to do in Holbox

Isla Holbox (hole-bosh) in Mexico is a paradise island full of sunshine, beaches, cocktails, tacos, and tranquility. Located at the very top of Quintana Roo, it’s an easy getaway from other destinations such as Valladolid or Tulum and a must-see on your Yucatán itinerary

things to do in holbox mexico

Discover soft white-sand beaches, relaxing hammocks perched in the turquoise waters, colorful alleys, and many other things to do in Holbox, Mexico. The bohemian beauty, perfect weather, and carefree (+ car-free) atmosphere make it well worth a visit for those looking to escape the larger crowds and wind down.

street art mexico

1. Punta Cocos

Isla Holbox’s long and narrow size, wedged between the sea and lagoon, provides some of the most stunning corners to explore. One of these, called Punta Cocos, on the western point of the island, lies edged by the brightest blue. At these tranquil shores, you’ll find powdery white sand and crystal-clear shallows, sometimes with flamingos sunbathing on the horizon. 

Mexico Punta cocos

Rent a bike or buggy in town and head west down the road till you reach the shore. Here, you can park your bike and walk the rest of the way to the water. Spend the day relaxing and soaking up the sun with your feet in the water. As the point lies on the western side, it’s the perfect place to catch the sunset, too!

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8 Unmissable Things to do in Holbox, Mexico
Flamingos in Punta cocos Mexico

2. Holbox Street Murals

As you wander through the sandy alleys of Holbox, Mexico, you’ll quickly find yourself in a world of color. Especially in the heart of town, vibrant street art — created by international and local artists — tells the island’s stories in bold, colorful strokes.

things to do Holbox Mexico street murals

Gaze in wonder at the large, ocean-inspired murals that cover entire buildings or the intricate paintings of local plants and flowers. Each artwork blends environmental themes with Mayan heritage, adding to the region’s natural vibrant colors.

Mural center Holbox Mexico

3. Sunset at Playa Holbox

At the end of the day, after exploring Holbox’s murals and discovering the different surrounding beaches, wind down in the center to watch the beautiful sunset. When the sun begins to sink behind the sea, people gather by the Holbox letters downtown, filling up the pier, rocks, and beach bars in front.

things to do in Holbox Mexico sunset playa Holbox

On such a laid-back island like Holbox in Mexico, this is the perfect way to end the day. Crack open a drink while music starts playing, and watch people enjoy acro yoga, play with their dogs, or simply relax on the shores.

paddle board sunset playa Holbox Mexico

It’s also possible to watch this natural show if you’re staying in a Holbox hotel on the beach, though it’s worth making your way down to the pier!

rent kayak holbox mexico

4. Go Coffee Hopping

Amidst its vibrant, beachy charm, Holbox has some incredible coffee spots. Start your morning adventure by sipping on a tasty iced latte in one of the bohemian cafes that line the sandy streets. From rich espressos to unique coffee concoctions, often paired with delicious sandwiches, waffles, or fruit bowls, there are plenty of options.

trendy cafe holbox Mexico

5. Punta Mosquitos and Sandbanks

The northernmost point that visitors can access on Isla Holbox is Punta Mosquitos. This vast area is made up of a large, pristine white sandbank and crystal-clear waters, sometimes dotted with sunbathing flamingos. Behind it begins the island’s off-limits animal reserve.

things to do in Holbox Mexico Punta mosquitos

With only the sound of the surrounding waters and a quiet shore, it makes the perfect getaway for those seeking tranquility. Soak up the natural beauty as you wade through the shallow waters, walking across the sandbank to reach the point. From Holbox, it’s a challenging one-hour walk, so make sure to bring plenty of water and reef-safe sunscreen.

Alternatively, you can also visit Punta Mosquito by boat, which costs 150 MXN (8.80 USD) per person per trip. Once there, relax in the simple, rural nature that Isla Holbox, Mexico, is known for.

drone Punta Mosquitos Mexico

6. Relax at a Beach Bar

At a beach bar in Holbox, Mexico, time slows down, allowing you to savor every sip of your tropical cocktail while you sway in a seafront hammock. The atmosphere blends laid-back luxury with soft background music and the sounds of the sea. It’s an experience that perfectly highlights the peaceful, easy-going spirit of island life.

beach bar playa Holbox Mexico

Several beach bars lie along the northern coastline of Isla Holbox. Some of our favorites were:

  • ALMA Bar
  • Coquitos
things to do holbox mexico beach bar

These all have an open-air concept and sandy floors right on the beach. Most beach bars have a minimum consumption, but you can stay the whole day, feasting on delicious tacos, drinking mojitos, and reading a good book.

things to do holbox mexico beach club

7. Refugio Animal Sanctuary Holbox

Refugio Animal Holbox is a heartwarming experience and one of the most interesting things to do in Holbox, Mexico. This sanctuary is passionately dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned and distressed animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and more. 

things to do in Holbox Mexico Refugio Animal Sanctuary

Visitors are welcome to learn about the animals, as well as engage and play with them. You can even go for a walk with the incredible dogs on the beach – a memorable experience!

Walking the dogs, bathing or playing with them, cleaning, and donating to the sanctuary are all ways to contribute to this meaningful cause. Refugio Animal Sanctuary is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.

cats Refugio Animal Sanctuary Holbox Mexico

8. Bioluminescence Tour at Night

One of the best things to do in Holbox is to experience the magical bioluminescent plankton light. As night falls, the waters around Isla Holbox transform into a spectacle of glowing blue, created by millions of microorganisms. These tiny beings emit light when moved, turning the sea into a beautiful glowing canvas.

bioluminescent plankton tour holbox mexico

You can book a tour to witness the bioluminescence, which typically involves a journey through the island’s clear waters, either by kayak or golf buggy. As you glide through the glowing waters, your guide will tell you all about this fascinating phenomenon. Skies here also rarely see any light pollution, allowing you to gaze at the constellations in the clear night sky.

Bioluminescence tour things to do in Holbox Mexico

The best time to experience bioluminescence is during the summer months, from May to August. However, if you visit outside of this period, it’s still a magical experience! Tours can be booked all around town and cost about 600 MXN (35 USD) per person. They’ll pick you up from your hotel and bring you to Punta Cocos for about two hours.

book a bioluminescence tour hotbox Mexico

Best Restaurants & Cafes in Holbox

There’s much food to try on Isla Holbox, Mexico; discover many bohemian cafes, delicious taco shacks, pizza on the beach, or cool gelato shops. You’ll find most of the restaurants in the center of town. A few of our favorites are:

  • Painapol
  • La Barracuda
  • Alma (great lookout!)
  • Luuma
  • Mr. Happy (amazing coffee)
  • Complemento Coffee Shop (brunch)
  • Tuch (tacos)
restaurants and cafes things to do in Holbox Mexico

Where to Stay

Paradise Isla Holbox in Mexico is a great destination to visit on a day trip when traveling through the Yucatán. However, the peaceful atmosphere and simple beach living make it worth staying a night. From luxe eco-lodges to chill hostels with hammocks on the beach, there’s a Holbox hotel for every traveler. 

Where to stay in Holbox Mexico

The best area to stay in is the central area near the ‘Holbox’ letters. Try to stay as central as possible, as it’s easier to get to the surrounding nature without having to walk too far. When you leave the city center, there are fewer dry paths and lit streets.

hotbox Mexico letters beach

How to Get to Holbox, Mexico

Isla Holbox is an island off the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, about 13 kilometers from the mainland. The closest international airport is Cancun, which is about a 2-hour drive away.

Find flights to Holbox ✈️
how to get to Holbox Mexico

To get to Holbox, Mexico, you first have to travel to the port town of Chiquilá, from where you hop on a ferry towards the island.

Two ferry companies operate between Chiquilá and Holbox, offering the same service. Ferries leave every 30 minutes all day long, and the journey takes only 15 minutes. A roundtrip to Holbox costs 400 MXN (23 USD).

get to holbox Mexico by boat

Getting to Chiquilá by Bus

If you don’t have your own transportation, the easiest way to get to Holbox is to hop on the ADO bus to Chiquilá. From Cancun, the journey takes around 3,5 hours, and tickets cost 180 – 300 MXN (10.50 – 17.50 USD), depending on the date and time. The bus station is in Chiquila right next to the ferry port.

sandbank holbox mexico

By Car

If you have a rental car in Mexico, you can drive up to Chiquilá by yourself. You’ll have to park your car in one of the small car parks in town, which costs 200 MXN (11.50 USD) per 24 hours. This is a great option if you’re visiting Isla Holbox on a day trip!

Tip: Though it’s usually not a problem, it’s recommended to remove all valuables from the car. 

golf buggie Holbox Mexico

Getting Around 

Once you get to Holbox, you’ll notice that there are no cars on the island. Instead, you’ll be greeted by a row of golf buggies ready to drive you around. To get from the pier to the center costs about 150 MXN (8.70 USD), but you can also walk (10 minutes) if you don’t have much luggage.

street mexico

Isla Holbox is only 1.5 km wide but quite long, with no paved streets. To reach further locations and the most beautiful beaches, you can rent a bike, ATV, motorbike, or golf cart. Bikes cost about 100-150 MXN (6 – 9 USD) per day, and carts cost 1500 – 2500 MXN (87 – 150 USD). But you can also rent by the hour!

mango snack beach holbox mexico

How Much Does Holbox Cost?

Although Holbox in Mexico is growing in popularity, it’s not touristic in the same way as many other beach towns are. Food and accommodations are reasonably priced, with many different budget options.

Tip: There are only a few ATMs on Holbox, which are known to be unpredictable. Because of this, it’s recommended to bring cash with you from your previous destination.

Costs of Traveling in Holbox

Travel on a budget in Holbox, from $620 − $1150 USD weekly per person, mid-range $1400 − $2140 USD, and high-end from $2230 − $3070 USD. However, costs depend on factors like accommodation, transportation, and activities. We did not include flights. Check flight prices here

* Average daily costs
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shopping mexico

Best Time to Visit

Similar to the rest of the Riviera Maya, the best time to visit Holbox, Mexico, is when it’s dry. The dry season runs from late November to February, with warm, sunny weather, clear skies, and an average temperature of 29 degrees Celcius. 


It’s good to check if it hasn’t rained in a while before traveling to Isla Holbox. If you visit during the rainy period, there’s more chance that the paths are muddy and flooded.

streets holbox mexico
02/04/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/mexico/holbox-mexico/
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