Why Holbox’s Beaches Deliver Pure Mexican Caribbean Delight

holbox beaches
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Why Holbox’s Beaches Deliver Pure Mexican Caribbean Delight

Known for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and lush vegetation, Holbox Island is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and soak up some sun and relaxation.

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore some of the most beautiful beaches Holbox offers and provide tips on making the most of your visit.

Get ready to discover hidden coves, swim in turquoise waters, and relax on postcard-worthy stretches of sand.

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.

You first have to go to Chiquilá and board a ferry that will take you directly to the island.

If you are driving from Cancun, head west on the highway until you reach the town of El Ideal.

Watch for signs to Holbox Island and turn north towards Chiquilá.  

If you are driving from Merida – Valladolid, it is best to go east on highway 180 and pass through Valladolid until you reach the town of El Ideal.

Follow the directions to Holbox Island from here.

12 best things to do in Holbox and its beaches

1. Explore the island by bicycle

holbox beaches
Source: Wayne Herbert / flickr.com

Getting to know the island by bicycle is fun and healthy. Renting a bike costs between 20 and 30 pesos per hour or 150 to 200 pesos for the day.

You can ride it without the risk of getting lost in its beautiful streets surrounded by vegetation or on the white sands of its beaches at low tide.

If you’re feeling lazy, a golf cart is a more comfortable but expensive alternative to exploring the island, around 150 pesos per hour.

2. Take a three-island tour in Holbox

holbox beaches
Source: Hugo Ortiz / flickr.com

With the 3 island tour, you can see pink flamingos on “Pajaros island” and swim in a beautiful cenote. If you are lucky, you will see dolphins next to your boat.

This is one of the best tours in Holbox.

Book the tour at one of the many tour desks downtown for around 450 pesos per person.

3. Observe the incredible bioluminescence of Holbox Island

holbox beaches

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

The best time of the year to observe this natural spectacle is June, July, August, and September.

Ideally, the night you visit the beach should not be a full moon. The darker the beach, the better.

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

4. Enjoy the famous lobster pizza in Holbox

holbox beaches
Typical lobster pizza in Holbox – Source: JorgeCorral / flickr.com

If you love Italian food, you can’t miss the lobster pizza they serve in Holbox, and although many restaurants prepare it, none like Roots Pizza.

They also serve delicious cocktails and several seafood dishes with a unique seasoning you will love.

5. Take a picture in Holbox’s relaxing hammocks (popular on the beaches)

Source: andres dEAN / flickr.com

In the famous hammocks of Holbox Island, you can relax and rest on its beaches’ calm, shallow, and crystal-clear waters.

To top the experience, grab a Margarita, Piña Colada, or an ice-cold beer and take as many pictures as you want.

6. Have a delicious seafood breakfast in Holbox

holbox beaches

A seafood breakfast is a typical way to start the day in Holbox, and one of the best places for it is the Raices restaurant.

The place is also known for its variety of drinks and ice-cold beers. 

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

Tour Holbox’s mangroves, rich in nature and wildlife, on a 2-hour kayak ride.

This is one of the most exciting activities you can do on the island.

You will be able to observe the different bird species endemic to the island, such as flamingos.

Depending on the duration of the tour and inclusions, it will cost between 400 and 800 pesos per person.

8. Enjoy a beautiful sunset 

holbox beaches
Source: Gerardo Jaso / flickr.com

From any of the beaches surrounding 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.

Again, you can enjoy this natural spectacle from any part of the island while having a drink or relaxing in the hammocks over the sea. Have your camera ready.

9. Go fishing

holbox beaches
Fishing boats – Source: paddid332 / flickr.com

Due to the high demand for fishing on the islands, fishing tours abound in the city’s tourist centers.

An average 3 or 4-hour tour in which you can fish for snapper, sea bass, and mojarras, costs around 800 pesos.

You may want to read: Best Fishing in Mexico: Saltwater and Freshwater Destinations

With your catch, they will make one of the freshest ceviches you will ever taste.

Although it can be a little expensive, it is well worth it. Fishing with the family is one of the most memorable experiences you can take away from the island.

10. Go paddle surfing and meet the whale sharks on Holbox Island

whale sharks

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

The island is visited by whale sharks from June to September, with the best sighting season between July and August.

Afterward, you can swim with this species, the largest of the sharks. You don’t have to worry because you’re not part of their menu; 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. Explore Pájaros Island in Holbox

isla pajaros
Source: vic_gar_mx / flickr.com

Isla Pájaros (bird island), a little more than 15 minutes from downtown Holbox, is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in the area.

You will find up to 155 species of birds, including ducks, pelicans, and flamingos, all in their natural habitat and the wild.

12. 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 crystalline waters where in addition to observing 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, biking, and even visit a butterfly farm.

If you like, you can enjoy an excursion to the Conil or Yalahau lagoon, home to countless bird species that nest in the marshes and mangroves.

What is the Yalahau cenote?

holbox beaches
Source: Diego Ramirez / flickr.com

This beautiful waterhole is located only half an hour by boat from Holbox Island.

According to legends, it is a place of crystalline waters that have magical and rejuvenating properties.

It was also a valuable port where the Maya traded.

In ancient times it was a refreshing cenote where workers rested after a long day’s work.

Read more about Cenotes in Mexico.

 What to do in Holbox at night

holbox beaches
Source: rainy city / flickr.com

Holbox is not only about beaches and 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 place to meet at night with its bars and restaurants, some with live music by local bands.

There are also moonlight parties in addition to those held on the double-decker buses, which give tours of the most lively nighttime attractions around town.

What to do in Holbox in one day

You can start your morning with a nice break and a refreshing drink on the hammocks on the beach and then order and eat a seafood dish there.

You can stroll through the island’s streets in the afternoon and admire the impressive murals.

If you get hungry, visit The Hot Corner, a unique Caribbean-style bar with the best ceviche, tacos, and cocktails in town. 

Finally, stroll to Punta Coco, a magical and secluded place where you can relax in hammocks by the sea and enjoy a couple of beers while watching the sunset.

What to do with kids

The first thing to do with your children when you arrive in Holbox is to take them to any of the beaches.

The sand is perfect for building castles, and the gentle ocean waves allow them to splash around 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 Holbox’s shores.

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

Visiting Holbox beaches on a budget

holbox beaches
Impressive murals on the streets of Holbox – Source: marin tomic / flickr.com

Holbox has very inexpensive attractions and activities, such as a ride through the mangroves in a double kayak for only 150 pesos per hour, an activity that also allows you to see the beautiful flamingos.

Another option is to enjoy the island’s unique beaches of seashells and fine sand.

Beach walks

If you keep walking along the beach, you will eventually reach where the lagoon connects with the ocean.

You will see more native fauna and beautiful birds and enjoy the impeccable view of the sea.

Rent a bicycle

Riding a bike on the roads on hot days in Holbox will allow you to cool off with the gentle ocean breeze.

Renting them is cheap, with an average price of 25 pesos per hour.

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

Try Marquesitas

Marquesitas are delicious rolled-up crepes sold in food carts throughout the main square at night.

They cost 15 pesos. They are unique to Yucatán.

Admire the street murals

Scattered all over the island, you will find beautiful murals.

This Holbox street art is impressive and started with the International Public Art Festival initiative.

What to do in Holbox in the rain

rainy beach storm

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; it will be the only thing you will hear when you step on the sand—an indescribable rich sensation.

The best way to move around the island during the rainy season is by golf cart because several tours cancel their departures during this period.

Even with the rain, you can still enjoy the beach and restaurants.

When is the best time to visit Holbox?

The Yucatan peninsula has sunny, warm, and humid days.

The rainy season starts and ends in May and October, respectively, with occasional rainfall of 1 to 2 hours regularly in the afternoons.

For the most part, Holbox enjoys a good climate most of the year.

Best Holbox affordable hotels

holbox beaches hotel
Source: Booking.com/macondohotel

Holbox has hotels for all budgets and tastes. From simple rooms for 400 pesos to luxurious hotels for more than 6 thousand pesos a night.

Here are 2 of the best hotels in Holbox with affordable rates:

Hotel Macondo Holbox: This affordable hotel is just a block from the beach. It is also close to restaurants and bars that offer a warm evening in the company of friendly and hospitable locals.

Tikul Hotel Boutique: Located on Holbox Island, 200 m from Playa Holbox, Tikul Hotel Boutique provides air-conditioned rooms and a garden. Staff on site can arrange airport transfers and other activities.

Top 2 hotels in Holbox

palapas del sol hotel
Palapas del Sol – Source: Booking.com/palapasdelsol

1. Palapas del sol

Set on one of the best beaches of Holbox Island, this accommodation offers privacy within walking distance from the town center.

Palapas Del Sol features air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and an outdoor beach pool featuring fantastic Caribbean Sea views.

Rooms at Del Sol are set in 6 beach cottages that feature local palapa architecture with palm-thatched roofs.

The cottages have their own terrace with hammocks, and mosquito nets are on each window.

This cute hotel offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving traditional dishes made with local produce and organic food.

2. Las Nubes de Holbox

holbox beaches
Source: Booking.com/lasnubesdeholbox

Las Nubes de Holbox is one of the most expensive options but well worth the price.

A place away from the city’s noise with beautiful surroundings to appreciate one of the most captivating beaches in the world.

Guests at Las Nubes de Holbox can arrange a boat tour of the island or go snorkeling at Cabo Catoche.

Massage services are offered at the Orquidea Spa. El Sabor de las Nubes restaurant at the Las Nubes de Holbox serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Are there ATMs in Holbox?

Holbox is not a developed tourist destination like Cancun, so there may not be as many ATMs on the island.

However, a few small stores and restaurants do have ATMs, but they often run out of cash.

It is best to check with locals or tour operators before visiting. In any case, it is advisable to have cash before arriving on the island.

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