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, 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 new 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. There are more than twenty pesos to one US dollar.
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 in 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.
Casa Las Tortugas
With a full-service spa and a yoga center, this family-run beach hotel is definitely one of the nicest hotels on the island.
Rent an Airbnb
Marvin’s: We stayed at an Airbnb called Marvin’s. Marvin was one of the best hosts I’ve ever had. He’s got a large house with multiple rooms listed. 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.
Location: Isla Holbox
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 hostel will definitely exceed your expectations.
Location: City Center
This eco-chic hotel takes up its own little corner at the end of the beach. Its treehouse-like bungalows (and amazing spa) are surrounded by gardens to give you a peaceful tropical escape.
Location: Far End of Beach
This is the best spot for coffee and smoothies– and such a cute little stand.
Villa Mar Resturante and Bar
You’ll find great ceviche here! The restaurant’s beach bar is also a perfect place to hang out and sip cocktails on a hot day.
Casa Las Tortugas
The hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant, Mandarina, has a prime beach location and ultrafresh seafood.
Head to the street vendors for dessert– you have to grab the local’s favorites, marquesitas, and a churro!
Barquito Beach Bar & Restaurant
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.
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!
Rent Bikes and Explore
Take a ride up to Punta Cocos. Words can’t describe this place. You’ve got to check out my vlog, and then go see it for yourself.
Hang at a Beach Bar
My favorite little beach bar was situated on the ocean, right in front of Hotel Zomay. Swings, sunsets and mango margaritas!
Visit Yum Balam
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.
Take a Whale Shark Tour
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.
See the Flamingos
Situated between Isla Holbox and the mainland, the small island of Isla Passion is where tons of flamingos congregate.
Relax in the Iconic Holbox Hammocks
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!
Watch the Sunset
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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