If you’ve been looking for an island paradise, then look no further. Isla Holbox is the one.
Isla Mujeres is usually on top of the list when travellers are looking at which islands to visit in Mexico, but we think that Holbox beats Isla Mujeres without any effort.
Holbox has somewhat remained the hidden gem of Yucatan, managing to maintain a bohemian and laidback island vibe that entraps visitors for weeks.
This idyllic island has everything you could ask for – picturesque sunsets every evening, white-sand beaches and wildlife.
Dancing salsa on the streets
There’s never any need to rush on Holbox, which is part of its appeal that allows you to escape reality. By day it’s a tranquil place, but by night the streets come alive.
And by this, we really do mean the streets! Once the sun has set, everyone grabs a drink and heads to the streets to salsa the night away as the bars play their music onto the streets.
We honestly can’t rave about Holbox enough and it probably has to be one of our favourite places in Mexico!
Despite being such a small island, there’s plenty of things to keep you amused. Check out our Top Things to Do in Holbox for the best things to do during your stay on the island.
Where to stay in Holbox
Choosing where to stay is a pretty simple task because only the southwest proportion of the island is inhabited. The majority of accommodation options are located within the centre of town or along the beachfront, so picking is easy!
In the centre of the town, you’ll find accommodation for all types of travellers and budgets. From cheap hostels and homely Airbnbs to luxury hotels.
If you’re looking for a bit more seclusion, there are a number of hotels and Airbnbs a bit further from the town. You’ll find most of them on the way to both Punta Mosquito and Punta Coco.
This adults only hotel offers suites and apartments rather than just rooms. Most of which come with balconies overlooking the nearby lake. If you opt for an apartment, you’ll also be able to enjoy kitchen facilities.
Scattered throughout the hotel there’s plenty of places to chill, from hammocks to sun loungers and little sun decks. La Casa del Alux is like a little oasis situated on the outskirts of Holbox town.
Holbox is an island where you just want to enjoy and relax. The rooftop pool and terrace of Corazon Mexicano is the perfect place to do this. You could spend all day up here overlooking the ocean and surrounding mangroves.
The rooms are vibrantly decorated with splashes of colour and all include a private bathroom and air conditioning.
Want to stay at a great location on Holbox and within walking distance to everything you need? Restaurants, bars, supermarkets and of course the most important, the beach, are all on your doorstep when staying at Casa los Abuelos.
All of the rooms include a private bathroom and a small kitchenette if you want to do a bit of cooking. Casa los Abuelos is a great, affordable option on a somewhat more expensive island when it comes to accommodation.
Holbox has plenty of restaurants to visit. There’s a number of streets in the centre of town just lined with restaurants.
Being an island, it’s a great place to sample some fresh seafood or a barbeque restaurant situated on the beach.
Painapol – the best brunch spot in Mexico?
If there’s one restaurant you need to visit on Holbox, it’s Painapol. Painapol is the perfect breakfast and lunch spot offering smoothie bowls, eggs done every way you can think of, sandwiches and a selection of refreshing juices. It’s the kind of food that leaves you feeling satisfied and rejuvenated.
Tacoqueto – great, cheap tacos
To satisfy your taco cravings at a really reasonable price, head to Tacoqueto. Tacos aren’t the only thing on the menu, the nachos and burritos are also great choices with huge portions. The restaurant is basic, but service is quick and you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
Roots Pizzas a la Leña – taste the pizza Holbox is famous for
One the more expensive end of the price scale is Roots Pizzas.
If you’re looking for a normal pizza then another Italian restaurant may be better, but if you’re willing to pay 600 MXN ($30.50) for Holbox’s famous lobster pizza head to Roots. It’s a thin crust, wood-fired pizza topped with fresh lobster.
If you look at Holbox on Google Maps, you’ll initially think that it’s quite a large island. However, look a little closer and you’ll realise that there’s only a small section that’s actually inhabited.
As a result, there’s no need for motorised vehicles on the island so you’ll only see golf buggies and ATVs whizzing past you. You can walk everywhere you need to go, which makes exploring the island super easy!
The only thing that can make moving around Holbox difficult is the rain. Unfortunately, the island doesn’t have a very good drainage system so the roads can often become flooded.
Riding a bike becomes virtually impossible and the only shoes you’ll be wearing are your flip flops, any others are destined to be ruined!
Holbox is only a small island, so most places you need to go to should be only a short walk away. All of the restaurants, bars and supermarkets are all centrally located and easy to hop between.
There are a number of accommodation options right in the centre, and even if you opt for one a bit further out, you’ll still be within walking distance.
When we say taxi, we don’t mean the conventional car taxi you were probably thinking of. The taxis on Holbox are in the form of golf carts.
The only place you may need to use a taxi is when you arrive at the ferry port with your luggage. When you get off the ferry, there will be a number of golf carts ready and waiting.
A ride to your accommodation should cost around 50 pesos.
Most hotels and hostels have their own bikes that you’re able to rent. If they don’t, then there are plenty of shops dotted around town that also have bikes available to rent.
This is a great form of transport on the island because it allows you to cover more ground than on foot and you can explore at your own pace.
You can rent a bike by the hour for around 20 MXN ($1) – 40 MXN ($2.05) or for the whole day from 100 MXN ($5).
By Golf Cart
One of THE things to do during your visit to Holbox is to hire a golf buggy and drive around the island. Not only is this a fun day out, but also a way to get around.
There are a number of places where you can rent a golf cart from. All you have to do is walk down any of the main streets and you’ll find one.
The only downside of golf carts is that they can be quite expensive. Prices start at around 710 MXN ($36) for 3 hours and go up to 1,810 MXN ($92) for 24 hours. If you’re splitting this between the maximum number of people able to fit on the golf cart (4), then it can make it more affordable.
Don’t forget that you can always haggle on the price!