We first visited Isla Holbox in 2021, and really enjoyed visiting this small island area off the north coast of the Yucatan. This island has no paved roads or cars, and is a unique experience. I loved visiting this part of Mexico and exploring the island. Getting there is an adventure in itself! Check out how we traveled there and my Tips for Visiting Isla Holbox.

There are so many great things to do in Holbox, so give yourself some time to explore!

Here are some ideas for things to check out.

Visit the beaches

The beaches are what drew us to Isla Holbox. The beaches have beautiful, clear water, even when other nearby areas are being overtaken with seaweed. This is one way to avoid sargassum seaweed in Mexico, for the most part.

There are many beautiful beaches in the area. The first time we stayed in Holbox, we did not stay near town, so the second time we went back, we stayed closer to town and the main beach, and it made it easier to spend time at the beach. The powdery sand and the clear water is just beautiful! Be sure to come prepared with reef-safe sunscreen!

Looking out at the beach from under a palapa

Check out murals around town

Like many other towns in Mexico, there is a variety of art around town to see. The artwork is impressive, and is nice to view while exploring the island. Some, like this one below, which was next to a gelato shop, gained a lot of popularity. (I believe a new mural was painted over it in early 2023).

Enjoy street (or beach!) food

There are lots of places to eat, from resorts to restaurants, to tasty treats on the beach.

We sometimes would go to the beach just for fresh fruits and treats!

There are lots of great eateries around town, where you can find plenty of options, from fresh fish to Italian food. We enjoyed Painapol, where you can get things like smoothie bowls and interesting drinks. You can also find street food carts, such as marquesitas, a famous Mexican dessert.

Smoothie bowl with a variety of fruit on top

Check out bioluminescence

We did not have a chance to check out the bioluminescence, but I really wanted to see it. Depending on the time of year and conditions, you can see where millions of microorganisms light up the water.

(stock photo – not from my trip)

Shop & Enjoy the Downtown

The downtown area is fun to explore, from shops to food, seeing the sights, and sandy roads with golf carts.

Visit the animal shelter

We visited the animal shelter in Isla Holbox, and also brought a bunch of donations with us when we went, such as leashes and other pet supplies from the shelter wishlist.

Girl at a dog shelter

Wildlife, Whale Shark Tours, Bird Island Tours

There are some nice opportunities to see wildlife around the island. You can take a tour to Isla Pajaros to view birds, and there is a tower you can view from. There are also many tours out of Isla Holbox for whale sharks. This is something you would want to plan ahead as far as timing, because the tours do take a good portion of the day, and sharks are best seen at certain times of year.