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!
How pretty. I hope I can make it here one of these days. It looks relaxing.
This place so relaxing and beautiful. If I went there, I would just go lay on a lounge chair, on the beach, and read a book, with fruity, tropical drinks, all day.
What inspired your family to visit Isla Holbox, Yucatan, Mexico? I’m learning so much about it through your travels.
I have a friend who works on Isla Holbox. I hadn’t heard of it before her, and now I am hearing about it twice!
Wow! What a trip! I would love to visit Isla Holbox in the Yucatan! What an amazing trip.
I’ve never heard of this place and now I so want to go! Beautiful trip!
Isla Holbox looks like such a beautiful place to visit. The murals and ocean waters look so beautiful as well as relaxing. This is definitely somewhere I would really enjoying going with my husband.
Wow, what a great vacation. The pictures are terrific, and I love following along, this is our type of vacation, active, rather than just sitting on a beach!
This looks like such a beautiful, fun vacation. I would love to visit Mexico some day.
I haven’t been to Mexico but Isla Holbox looks so cool! I would love to visit this place with my family 😍. Great shots, hun 👌🏻🙂.
I’ve only been once to Mexico. We didn’t get to go to Isla Holbox but it does sound like a great place to see if we go again. That beach is stunning!
I would really love to go amd visit Mexico, such a really amazing and wonderful place for vacation
I would love to visit Isla Holbox one day. The simple and carefree life, amazing beaches, and delicious food are everything you can ask from a great vacation.
wow! What a magical place! And the beach is just a dream! This is a vacation I would like to have!
Isla Holbox looks like a beautiful place to visit or live! I think it would be nice to vacation in a car-free area with so many beautiful sights.
It really does look splendid! Me and the kids would LOVE to go there one day and learn about some of the culture. The world is truly a beautiful place. 😍 🙏
I am very jealous, I have not got around to visiting Mexico yet, but it is somewhere we would love to visit and will get to at some stage, the beach looks amazimg
I love the whole Yucatan area, but I haven’t been north of Cancun as much. This island looks lovely!
I am definitely going to try this place out for future travels!! You made it sound like such a great place to go.
Those views and the fresh pineapple with Tajin looks like it’s worth the trip. I’m adding Yucatan to the bucket list!
Your pictures are so beautiful! Thanks for all the great info! I’ve never been to Mexico before. We’ll be empty nesters soon, so hoping to one day see this place in person!!
Oh my goodness that beach looks amazing! And that pier! Mexico is definitely on my list of places to go to over the next few years…I hope I make it here!
Oh, the place is so beautiful! I wish I could visit there someday! I’m putting this on my bucket list.
Oh, it looks like such a beautiful and fun place to go! I love the fact that there are no roads. I would love to visit there someday.
Isla Holbox. looks beautiful, I do like how the houses look and the huge tree on the start of the blog got me captivated. Keep sharing new paces in Yucatan, makes me feel like I am travelling with you
I plan to spend a few months in Playa del Carmen, and during this time, I will go to the island of Holbox. I would love to use your tips and recommendations because the place seems delightful.
My husband and I have only been to Cozumel and Cancun in Mexico so far.. thanks for sharing about Yucatan. Something to think about the next time we think about Mexico 🙂
This looks so great!! We just got back from a week in Cancun, took the ferry to Isla Mujeres and enjoyed driving around in a golf cart all day! It was probably the most memorable activity of the trip!!
One of the beautiful places in Mexico that is worth visiting. The place looks lovely. We’ll definitely put this on the book.
This looks so beautiful & relaxing. It’s so affordable too.
I’ve never been to Mexico. But I’m adding this to the top of my list.
I’ve always wanted to go to Cancun. This looks beautiful. I have a friend who vaca’s in mexico every year she just loves it.
The beaches look gorgeous! I love the view from the pool too!