Visiting Holbox Island

Visiting Holbox Island

How do you get to Holbox Island?

Holbox Island, located off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Despite its remote location, getting to Holbox is easier than you might think.

To reach Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh), you first need to fly into Cancun International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities around the world. From the airport, you can take a taxi, a private transfer, or the Ado bus ($20 USD) to the town of Chiquilá, which is approximately a two-hour drive away.

Once you arrive in Chiquilá, you will catch a ferry to Holbox Island for 220MXN (about $13USD, as of October 2023) from one of two companies: Holbox Express Ferry or 9Hermanos, which together run on alternating 30-minute departure times from 6:30am to 8:30pm daily. The ferry ride is short but offers stunning views of the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Sometimes you can even spot dolphins as you make your journey over.

What can you do on Holbox Island?

Now that you've made it to Holbox Island, it's time to explore all the amazing things this paradise has to offer. Here are some must-do activities:

1. Relax on the Beaches

Holbox Island is famous for its pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters. While all the beaches are lovely, Punta Cocos and the waist-deep sand banks of Punta Mosquito beaches are not to be missed! Spend your days on the white sands, soaking up the sun as you lounge against your Ola Bola, and taking refreshing dips in the sea. Don't forget to snap some Instagram-worthy photos of the breathtaking scenery!

2. Swim with Whale Sharks

One of the main attractions of Holbox Island is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world. These gentle giants migrate to the waters around the island from May to September, providing a unique and unforgettable experience for snorkelers and divers. Willy's is one of the longest-standing and most experienced whale shark tours around, as is Holbox Whale Shark Tours which also offers private excursions. Prepare to set aside an entire day for this memorable bucket list excursion.

Large whale shark underwater near Holbox Island

3. Explore the Yalahau Lagoon

Take a boat tour of the Yalahau Lagoon, a natural freshwater spring (cenote) that is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. Marvel at the vibrant colors of the mangroves, spot exotic birds, and keep an eye out for the resident crocodiles. Most tours will give you time on the beach to relax and hang out, and My Holbox Tours offers a variety of excursions. Bring your Ola Bola so you have something to recline on.

Colorful Yalahau lagoon sign on Holbox

4. Indulge in Fresh Seafood

No trip to Holbox Island is complete without sampling the delicious seafood that the island is known for. Head to one of the local restaurants and savor mouthwatering ceviche, grilled fish, and other seafood delicacies. Don't forget to pair your meal with a refreshing margarita or a cold beer.

5. Enjoy the Bioluminescence

Holbox is home to a large number of phytoplankton, which produce a stunning luminescent effect visible at night. While bioluminescence is visible on Holbox year-round, it's most visible from April to November, and especially when the moon is crescent or waning. You can swim with and enjoy this magical spectacle either on your own or via a guided tour

6. Enjoy the Mangroves

Not only are the mangroves beautiful and home to diverse species such as flamingoes and osprey, they are also essential to the ecology of the island. Enjoy a relaxing sunrise kayak tour through the mangroves to experience this unique ecosystem and learn about how they contribute to the island's delicate balance.

With its natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere, and abundance of activities, Holbox Island is a paradise that should be on every traveler's radar. Follow these tips to make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime. And don't forget to bring your Ola Bola!

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