We have visited the Yucatan of Mexico several times, and each time, we enjoy visiting new places. In our search for new places to explore, we discovered Isla Holbox. This island is located on the northeast end of the Yucatan and is 27 miles long. We happened across this island after checking out travel recommendations, and we are so glad we decided to visit! We included Isla Holbox as part of our 16-day road trip around the Yucatan!
There are three main areas to the island. There is the central area, which is more of a city and downtown area (you can see the city “grid” on the map below). The central shore is also home to Playa Holbox, a beautiful beach. The southeast end is home to Punta Coco and bioluminescent tours. At the northeast part of the island, there is Punta Mosquito and bird island.
To get to Isla Holbox, you need to take a ferry from the mainland. We rented a car in Cancun from Avant Rent a Car and drove to the city of Chiquila. We made a road trip of it, stopping at Arbol Milenario, a thousand year old tree. However, it was a long day flying from New York to the Cancun airport, then renting the car and driving to Chiquila, so I recommend trying to get to Holbox without too many stops.
In Chiquila, we found a rental lot to leave our car (there are several to choose from) and got on the ferry. Chiquila is a small town with several rental lots right on the main road in.
The ferry ride is short – only about 20-30 minutes.
What makes Isla Holbox interesting is that there are no cars on this island. Instead, you will find unpaved roads and a variety of ways to get around.
When we arrived, we rented a golf cart taxi to get to the hotel with our luggage. This sign is located right when you get off the ferry and explains the taxi rates to each hotel zone (remember, the cost is MXN, so $49 refers to pesos, not USD!).
To get around the island, we did a lot of walking, but you can also rent a bike or your own golf cart (or find a golf cart taxi). We made the mistake of staying too far from downtown on our last trip, which meant lots of walking any time we wanted food or supplies. We did not mind walking, but it did become a little tiresome (again, because we were not near town).
Also note that after it rains, it can be tough to navigate around puddles, and the mud gets slippery!
The fastest way to town is often along the beach, so we planned accordingly and wore shoes that could get wet. We also brought headlamps for nighttime walks.
Things to Do
There are lots of great things to do on the island, including beaches, walks, observing nature, visiting downtown, water activities, enjoying sunsets, relaxing, dining, and more.
Playa Holbox is one of the nicest beaches on the island. I would recommend staying near Playa Holbox if you want to spend a lot of time there.
Any time we went to the beach, we enjoyed the various food carts, especially fresh fruit and paletas (popsicles). My fave is fresh pineapple with Tajin!
At the southeast end of the island, we visited Punta Coco. We did some snorkeling but did not make it back for a bioluminescent tour. When we return the bioluminescent tour is one of the top things on my list!
I also want to make it to the north end of the island, for bird watching and viewing nature, and perhaps going on a kayak tour.
There are fun things to do in town, from good food to shopping and enjoying the sights.
There is a nice variety of eateries to choose from, and one of our favorites was Roots Pizza.
We also spent time at our hotel, enjoying good weather, swimming in the pool, and spending time at the beach.
There are lots of neat murals around town that make for great photo opportunities. This one is very well known and is right next to a gelato shop, so we stopped by a couple times.
We really enjoyed our time on Isla Holbox and will be returning again soon! It is a unique place to visit and we have so many fun memories there.
This was one of the most relaxing places we visited, and we enjoyed the laid back vibe of the island.
Check out all of our Mexico blog posts here.
Check out my Tips for Visiting Isla Holbox.
About the Author: Marysa
Busy blogger and mom of two girls. We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!