One thing you have to do when exploring Cancun is to visit Isla Holbox in Mexico. It’s easily one of the most gorgeous islands to visit and it can be really easy, as long as you follow some key tips to make your trip go smoothly.

Whether you’re going to visit Isla Holbox in Mexico for a day trip, or even longer, it’s worth planning ahead and making sure you get certain things booked before you arrive. We found this out the hard way on our last trip and really wished we’d planned (and packed) better for our trip.

So, to make your visit go nice and smoothly, we’ve detailed all our tips and tricks to get to Isla Holbox and what to do in Isla Holbox once you arrive.

This way, you’ll spend all your precious vacation time enjoying the island (and not bogged down with delays and additional research). Have the best time.

How to visit Isla Holbox in Mexico

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico shoreline and beach

First up, you need to get to the town of Chiquilá, where most boats depart for Isla Holbox. Now, if you’re planning this trip independently, make sure to hop on board the Holbox Express. The boats run every hour from around 6:30 am to 9:30 pm. The boat itself is relatively fast and costs just over 200 pesos. Plus, they take cards – making it all so easy.

Staying in Cancun? Make sure to book this Isla Holbox tour that sorts out all the transfers from your hotel, boats and timings. This tour is absolutely incredible if you want a day trip to Isla Holbox – though, be prepared for a relatively early start in the morning.

Just make sure to book this tour before arriving in Cancun. Spaces sell out fast at peak times and it can be such a hassle trying to find accurate prices (without needing to haggle) with local vendors. Just be sure to take some cash and a debit or credit card with you. You will need to pay the Balam Reserve Tax (around 500 pesos or so) on the tour.

Best things to do on Isla Holbox

1.) Sunrise kayak the mangroves

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico swimming lake

If you’re an early riser, and staying overnight on Isla Holbox, then make sure to book this guided sunrise kayak experience. As you kayak through the idyllic mangroves, you’ll get to see; flamingos and pelicans that all call this area home. Not only that, you might even spot some local osprey, too.

With this particular tour, you’ll get picked up from your Isla Holbox hotel by golf cart, and taken right to your waterside kayak. It’s all so easy and is so beautiful. Plus, all guides are experienced and speak both Spanish and English, too.

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

2.) Isla Holbox beaches

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico best beach

The protected shoreline of Isla Holbox is perfect to explore whilst you visit Isla Holbox in Mexico. Playa Holbox is probably the most famous part of the shoreline to visit and the white sandy beach is stunning.

Plus, you’ll find loads of little beach bars, sun lounger rentals and pools right next to the sand.

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico beach

For a bite to eat, hop into La Playa De Ñaña. Their ceviche is so good and their tacos are second to none. One thing to note, like most beachfront clubs with loungers – there is a minimum spend.

These are typically around 500 pesos but that fee does come off any food and drinks you buy.

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

3.) Whale shark tours

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico whale watching

One of the most famous residents around Isla Holbox in Mexico is the whale shark that frequents the waters all around the Yucatan Peninsular. They are absolutely beautiful to see these gentle giants in the wild – especially in their natural habitat around the coastline here. 

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico whale watching tour

Just make sure to book this Isla Holbox whale shark tour to see them in the wild. Not only will you have accurate safety briefings, but you’ll also get to snorkel Cabo Catoche all on a day’s trip. It’s so worth it. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

4.) Rent a golf cart 

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico buggy rental

There are no cars or trucks when you visit Isla Holbox in Mexico. The whole island is free from large cars and it makes the whole experience so incredible to explore.

That all being said, if you fancy exploring the length and breadth of the island, be sure to rent a golf cart or buggy. 

Now, there’s no real need to pre-book these, you’ll find lots of vendors renting them once you arrive. You can try and haggle a little but there’s very little movement on prices. That being said, we might just be terrible at haggling! 

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

5.) Playa de Punta Coco

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico boat hire rental

Another great beach to visit Isla Holbox in Mexico is Playa de Punta Coco. It has much more of a natural feel and much less built-up around the shoreline itself. This means it’s the perfect place to relax if you want a little space from the beach crowds that can build up at peak times. 

Also, I nearly forgot, this is the perfect beach to see bioluminescent plankton light up the waves and the sea itself. If that’s right up your street, then book this bioluminescent tour from Isla Holbox itself. It’s so incredible when the conditions are just right. That being said, you need to be prepared that you might not see any at all. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

6.) Sroll the harbour area 

After working up an appetite with all that sea air, make sure to head to the harbour area (where you arrived on the ferry). From here, you can walk the whole width of Isla Holbox and take in the colourful streets and little eateries and bars in the town itself. 

The whole area is totally geared up for visitors and it feels really safe to walk around. 

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico colourful town

For some great stops, head to Arte Sano for a yummy breakfast, Roots for their famous lobster pizza and Viva Zapata for their grilled fish and fresh tacos. You’ll leave this area stuffed. 

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

7.) Mantarraya Beach Club

Visit Isla Holbox In Mexico Flamingo

If you fancy a beach club vibe whilst you visit Isla Holbox in Mexico, then head over to Mantarraya Beach Club. Now don’t expect some fancy Ibza-esque beach club. It’s more of a plastic chair and beautiful shoreline type of place. But don’t let that put you off – it’s a pretty good spot for a more rustic seafront spot for food. 

Their grilled fish is so good and their salads are so yummy, especially when it’s so hot outside. 

Like most beachfront spots, you’ll need to pay a ‘holding fee’ to sit or chill but that typically comes off your food bill.

Just be aware, that although everywhere seems to take cards in Isla Holbox, they all seem to add a 5% fee for using it (or something similar). If that’s grating to you, make sure to take some Pesos.  

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

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