Isla Holbox is a little paradise in Mexico. No cars, colorful street art, great food, and white sandy beaches. How to get to Isla Holbox? And where do you stay? You can read all about it in this article filled with Isla Holbox travel tips!
Where can you find Isla Holbox?
Isla Holbox is located in the southeast of Mexico and belongs to the peninsula Yucatán. Yucatán is the perfect place when you visit Mexico for the first time. It has beautiful white sandy beaches and impressive Maya temples (Chichén Itzá is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world). There are also multiple beautiful cities to explore, like Mérida and Vallodolid.
Most people visit Isla Holbox at the start or the end of their vacation in Mexico because it’s the perfect place to relax. On the island, you’ll experience a very relaxed vibe. There are barely any cars and the streets have no asphalt, but sand. You’ll see palm trees and hammocks everywhere.
How to get to Isla Holbox?
To get to Isla Holbox, you’ll need to go to the village Chiquilá. There are multiple buses a day from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Valladolid to Chiquilá. Check the website of the well-known bus company ADO for prices and timetables. You can buy a bus ticket to Chiquilá online or at the bus station.
Are you road tripping with a rental car? In Chiquilá, there are many places to park your car for little money. When you arrive at the main street, you’ll notice parking lots and prices right away.
Take the ferry to Isla Holbox
Chiquilá is a small village, so it’s a short walk from the bus station or the parking lot to the pier where the ferries to Isla Holbox depart from. There are two companies: 9 Hermanos and Holbox Express.
It doesn’t matter which one you decide to go with, prices are the same and they depart regularly. I would just pick the first one to depart. Usually, they depart every 30 minutes. A one-way trip will cost you 200 pesos. Check this website for a timetable and prices.
Transportation on Isla Holbox
Although you can walk everywhere on Isla Holbox (it takes about 15 minutes to walk from the ferry to the beaches on the other side of the island), I can imagine you might need some transportation. It’s pretty warm and the sand doesn’t allow you to move fast, especially when you’re carrying heavy luggage. Luckily, there are plenty of golf carts on the island, which you can use as a taxi (or you can just rent one yourself).
You can also rent a bike, which is perfect for exploring the island. I can highly recommend renting a bike when you’d like to visit Punta Cocos on the west side of the island.
Can you get cash at Isla Holbox?
There are only two or three ATMs on the island. Unfortunately, they rarely work and if they do, the exchange rate is pretty bad. If you visit Isla Holbox, make sure to get cash before you go. Also, prices for accommodation, food, and drinks are higher on Isla Holbox than in other places in Mexico, so take some extra cash.
You can pay with a credit card in most of the hostels and hotels, but here you also have to pay an extra fee.
Where to stay on Isla Holbox?
Although it’s a small island, there are still many options for accommodation on Isla Holbox. At the beach, you’ll find many large (and expensive) resort hotels. If you prefer staying in a smaller boutique hotel, you’ll find a great place around the main square.
Hostels and apartments are located just outside of the beach and the main square. You rarely have to walk for more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. You’ll find lots of accommodations on Booking.com, so you will always find something you’ll like.
Are you planning on staying on Isla Holbox a little longer and do you prefer to stay in your own apartment? It might be convenient to check the listings on Airbnb since there are some great Airbnbs in Holbox!
Have you never booked anything through Airbnb before? Make a reservation by clicking on this link for a great discount on your first booking.
PLEASE NOTE: Traveling in Mexico during COVID-19 is of course different from what you’re used to, especially when staying in hostels. Check the hostel before you book about the measures they are taking to prevent spreading the virus. So you know it will be safe to book or not.
Wifi at Isla Holbox
There is wifi at Isla Holbox, but it is really bad and slow. For me personally, I could rarely get a connection and if I did, I could barely send a text. For the best connection, it might be smart to get a local sim card. You can buy one at the airport or in telecom stores (there are plenty in Cancun). Make sure your phone doesn’t have a sim lock and ask for them to install the sim card for you. So you can check if it works correctly.
My favorite thing is this article with Isla Holbox travel tips: food! There are so many great restaurants at Isla Holbox, and most of them serve good food. From cheap taco’s to freshly baked French bread, from pizza with lobster to vegan food, you can get any food you like at Isla Holbox.
Most restaurants are located around the central square or at the beach. Some of my favorites: fish at Raíces Beach Club, Taco’s, and quesadilla’s at Taco Queto and breakfast at Limoncito or Le Jardin.
One of the highlights of a visit to Isla Holbox is street art. Everywhere on the island, you’ll see colorful murals. In your accommodation, you’ll probably find a map which tells you where the most popular murals are located.
The white sandy beaches of Isla Holbox are kilometers long and might be the main reason for you to visit the island. A perfect place to relax after spending time in crowded Mexican cities. Enjoy a beer, read a book, and chill in one of the hammocks. The water temperature is perfect, not too warm and not too cold.
Everywhere in Mexico, they’re offering tours and that’s also the case at Isla Holbox. The most well-known tour is swimming with whale sharks. It’s quite expensive. I wanted to do this at first, but when I got there, I didn’t really feel comfortable booking a tour like this (I don’t support animal tourism).
You can also opt to do a kayak tour at night, to see the luminous plankton, I heard that’s a very special sight to see. You can also visit the westernmost point of the island: Punta Cocos. This is the place to spot some bright pink flamingos.
These are all my Isla Holbox travel tips! Do you miss anything? Or would you like to add something? Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section underneath this article.
Would you like to read more about Isla Holbox & Yucatán?
Check out these articles:
- Where to eat in Isla Holbox (Mexico)
- 15 Best things to do on Isla Holbox, Mexico
- Review Casa Tucan, Playa del Carmen (Mexico)
Or get one of these great travel guides: