Located north of the Yucatán Peninsula between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, Isla Holbox is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. If you want to hang out with friendly locals and chill on the beach with flamingos, this is the place for you. Far from the crowds of Cancún, but not that far in distance, the tiny island is dotted with dirt roads, laid-back beach bars, and incredible natural beauty. Here's my ultimate Isla Holbox travel guide!
What to Expect in Isla Holbox
Language: Spanish. While it’s near Cancún, Isla Holbox is still newer on the tourist map, so don’t expect everyone to speak English. Any español you know will definitely come in handy.
Currency: Mexican peso. They also use the $ symbol so don’t freak out if you see a taco for twenty-five dollars.
Credit Cards and Banks: Make sure you have lots of cash here. There is literally one ATM on the island and only a few established shops take credit cards.
Climate: Most of the year, the temperature ranges from seventy to ninety degrees. The coldest month of the year is January, with low temperatures around sixty-eight and highs up to eighty-four. The hottest month of the year is September, with temps from seventy-three to ninety.
Good to Know: The sun is harsher here and Isla Holbox doesn’t have a ton of shade, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of bikinis!
Getting Around on Isla Holbox
Taxis: The beauty of Isla Holbox is that there are no cars. The island has a taxi-like system of golf carts. They line up when the ferries come in so you can get a ride to wherever you’re staying.
Bike: Since Isla Holbox is so small, bikes are an ideal mode of transport. You can rent one for around twenty pesos an hour at one of the shops around town.
Golf Cart: This is the preferred method of transportation in this little destination. Expect to see lots of golf carts rolling down the streets. You can rent a golf cart during your stay for an easy and affordable way to get around.
Rent a Car: While you won’t see very many cars on the road, renting a car is still an option while you are in Isla Holbox. It is pretty affordable and offers you the freedom to get wherever you want to go.
Walk: There is very little traffic or things going on in the streets so it’s safe to walk around.
Where to Stay on Isla Holbox
I highly recommend staying along the beach near Holbox Town, as there are so many wonderful accommodation options, and you’ll be able to get around easily by walking or biking.
Here are the best hotels on Isla Holbox!
With a full-service spa and a yoga center, this luxury beach hotel is definitely one of the nicest hotels on the island. The rooms are beautiful bamboo hut-style villas, and the onsite restaurant has some of the nicest food offerings on the island.
On my last visit, I stayed at a local’s house called Marvin’s. Marvin was one of the best hosts I’ve ever had. The rooms were comfortable, and there are public areas to hang out. Marvin even made us homemade ceviche! It was literally the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Check out VRBO for more beach rentals!
This charming little hotel is nestled in a lush tropical garden. Featuring luxury touches and vibrant decor, this is another top pick.
Save a bit of dinero and meet other travelers from around the planet. This much-loved, brightly decorated hostel will definitely exceed your expectations.
Where to Eat on Isla Holbox
Seafood is king on the island, so be prepared to see fish, shrimp, pulpo, and ceviche on pretty every menu around town! I really enjoyed grabbing bites from the street food vendors around town, from tacos to desserts.
Here are the best places to eat on Isla Holbox!
Tierra MiaFood Stand
This is the best spot for coffee and smoothies, and such a cute little stand.
Casa Las TortugasSeafood, Mediterranean
The hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant, Mandarina, has a prime beach location and ultrafresh seafood.
Even if you don’t stay at this tropical hotelito, you’ll definitely want to stop by for an easygoing dinner on the beach at the Barquito Beach Bar & Restaurant.
Street CartsLocal Cuisine
Head to the street vendors for desserts! You have to grab the local’s favorites, marquesitas, and a churro.
El SushiSeafood, Sushi
Sushi may not be the first cuisine that you think of when you think of Mexico, but with an ocean full of fresh fish, El Sushi serves up some world class rolls!
What to Do on Isla Holbox
Exploring the beaches and untouched nature reserves were my favorite things to do on Isla Holbox! The island is so quiet and rustic, so you feel like you’re experiencing authentic island life here. I highly recommend booking a whale shark and lagoon tour if you have the time. And, don’t miss my daily vlogs from Isla Holbox in my Traveling to Isla Holbox round-up for more ideas on what to do.
Here are the top activities to do on Isla Holbox!
My favorite little beach bar was situated on the ocean, right in front of Hotel Zomay. Swings, sunsets and mango margaritas!
Rent a kayak, and get to this ecological reserve on the south side of the island. The crystal clear water here is ideal for seeing the flora and fauna.
The island is famous for its whale sharks. Touring the gorgeous waters and swimming with the biggest fish in the world is an experience you won’t forget. I had a great trip with VIP Holbox.
Located in front of Villas Tiburon on the island, these hammocks are so nice to sit back, relax and take in the view. Plus they make for an adorable photo-op!
Situated between Isla Holbox and the mainland, the small island of Isla Passion is where tons of flamingos congregate.
Of course, one of the best things to do at the beach is to watch the sunset. Bring your camera; the sunsets are amazing here.
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