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Best things to Do in Holbox, Mexico

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Welcome to Holbox! If we ask you to name a Mexican beach destination, there’s no doubt that Cancún will probably be the top answer. What a lot of people don’t know is that there’s so much more than just the city in the area.

This cute island is just two hours north of Cancún. Believe or not, it has some breathtaking experiences and events that will make you seriously consider visiting. Today we will tell you all the things to do in Holbox.

How to Get to Holbox Island

As the island is getting more popular, transportation starts getting more and more accessible. Nevertheless, there are many ways to get to Holbox. The only thing all options have in common is that you will have to take a 25 min ferry to get here.

Holbox sign

Holbox is full of color and fun things to do.

The Ferry from Chiquita to Holbox

Holbox Ferry

Ferry terminal of Chiquila

You can catch the ferry from a small town called Chiquilá. This is a small port town that seems dedicated to serve travelers. You will see many restaurants and a ton of parking lots (as apparently going by car is the most common way).

Ferries come and go every half hour during almost the whole day. There are two companies, and they have very fair business competition Why? one of them offers service every hour on the hour, and the other one every hour on the half hour.

Holbox timetable

Getting to Chiquila

Now Here is a list of options to get to the town of Chiquilá.

Getting to Chiquila By car

The easiest and fastest way to get to Holbox is by renting a car. It will take you close to 2 hours to drive all the way to Chiquilá. Here you can leave your car in a parking lot for 100 MXN a day (around 5 USD). Parking lots are all over, and the port is literally by the end of the main street, so it’s really hard to not find it.

Holbox port

Planning on renting a car? You can read everything you need to know about renting a car in Mexico by Clicking Here.

When it comes to visiting somewhere, there are many ways to get around. Traveling through a country takes a lot of research, and has plenty of uncertainties, but that's why we're here to help! In our opinion, the best way to get around Mexico is by car, Here is everything

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Getting to Chiquita by Bus

ADO is the main bus company in Mexico. They have affordable prices for any Mexican destination, and they offer pretty good comfort for the price. The company offers two services every morning from Cancún to Chiquilá. By October 2020, the two services are 8:30 and 10:30 am.

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There are also public buses that run during the day, but it’s harder to find a proper timetable. They’re also harder to get on, as they have less spots per bus. If you’re not in a rush, this is a cheaper option that you can consider.

Getting to Chiquila by Hitchhiking

If there’s one thing we have noticed is that Mexico is a very backpacker friendly country. A lot of cars and pick-up trucks are willing to take you along the way, so if you’re on a budget or if you want to meet some locals along the way, hitchhiking could be a fun option to do.

There are two roads that you need to go through: The 180D, from Cancún, all the way to the 5, that finishes in Chiquilá. So you’re probably going to have to get at least two rides to get to the port.

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Things to Do in Holbox

There are so many fun and unique things to do in Holbox. Here's a list of our seven favorite activities.

1. Watch the Bioluminescence

If you have ever created a bucket list and this is not on it, this is your best time to add it. Bioluminescence comes from microorganisms like plankton. Due to a chemical reaction, light comes out of them when they’re moved or touched.

And just like in James Cameron’s “Avatar”, it looks like everything has energy and connects to the sea. The best part? It happens almost every day! The only thing that needs to happen is that there has to be literally no light (not even moonlight). So the best time to experience this is from 4 to 6 in the morning, approximately.

To do this activity, we strongly recommend you to book a tour or to bargain with a local. Bioluminescence can’t be found in every spot of the island, so unless you have a boat to move around it, it will be hard for you to actually find it on your own (at least on a big scale). This is definitely one of the best things to do in Holbox.

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2. Swing Next to the Sea

If you’ve ever daydreamed while scrolling through paradise pictures on Instagram, you probably have seen a set of swings in the water, with crystal clear water surrounding them.

things to do in Holbox

Well, that picture has been taken here in Holbox! One of the beach clubs, called “Ensueño”, has set them up for visitors to enjoy a nice and relaxed moment in the Caribbean Sea.

Unfortunately, the posts that were holding them were made out of plastic. As that's not very ecofriendly, they removed them from the water. The good news is that you can still find them in the sand (just a few feet away from their original spot).

things to do in Holbox, swings Ensueno

3. Dive with Whale Sharks

For those of you who dare to do things that others would find very scary, this is a great opportunity to get a rush of adrenaline. Every year, many whale sharks visit the area near Holbox, and you can dive with them.

So get an oxygen tank, a mask and get ready to experience one heck of a day by diving into the sea to meet your new gigantic-sized friends!

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4. Walk Along the Sandbar

There’s a very interesting natural phenomenon in the island, and one of the best things to do in Holbox. Almost every morning, when the tide is low, a sandbar comes out of the water right next to the shore.

The island is already known for having an “endless entrance to the sea”. This means that you can walk up to 600 feet into the sea and it will still be shallow.

The sandbar is quite big, and the overall views you can get are just breathtaking. Just picture turquoise waters with white sand that feels like flour in your feet. That is something you don’t want to miss.

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The sandbar starts at Villas Flamingos and goes past Hotel La Nubes. Keep in mind that the sand bar has to do with the tide. That's why it is good to check the tide before showing up. We were not lucky enough to see the sandbar, as we were told by a local that it would be another few days before the sand bar would appear again.

5. Check Out the Colorful Town

Even though most of the fun things to do in Holbox happen at the shore, downtown is still a cute place to walk through. It’s full of tiny, adorable stores with souvenirs, ice cream, classic Mexican food and much more. The town is full of colorfully painted buildings and creative murals, making it a very picturesque place to wander around.

The vibe here is just very relaxed, and everybody is very welcoming to visitors. So don’t miss out on the opportunity of walking the streets of Holbox.

Colorful town Holbox

Holbox is full of color and vibrancy.

6. Admire the Artwork Around the Island

If there is one thing that we always enjoy of the places we visit is the artwork. Unlike what you can find in a museum, street artists tend to disrupt the way art is classically conceived, and even in a small place like Holbox you can still find a whole variety of styles one next to each other.

As you walk through its street, pay close attention to the murals and corners. You may even find the inspiration you were looking for! But not only do the streets boast colorful artwork, but you can even find colorfully painted structures in the sea just like this one!

Isla Holbox, colorful spots in Mexico

7. Catch the Sunrise and Sunset

Continuing with the best things to do in Holbox, is that, due to its location and size, you can catch the sunrise AND sunset every single day. The sky has really magical colors, so it’s really worth checking both. So if you’re a big fan of chasing the sun like we are, this island will be a dream to you.

Sunrise, things to do in Holbox

Other Things to Know About Visiting Holbox

Now that you know the best things to do in Holbox and how to get there, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

Weather in Holbox

This Caribbean island experiences warmth and sunshine year round. The best time to visit Holbox is from fall to spring, as it is less humid at this time. However, there really isn't ever a bad time to visit here!

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What to Pack for a Trip to Holbox

Holbox has laid back and colorful vibes. The most important items to pack for your trip are sunscreen, a towel, and swimsuit. Ditch the heels and stick the flip flops, as  it is a beachy and casual island. We also suggest bringing bug spray for the mosquitos.

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México is a beautiful country with a whole variety of landscapes to offer. If you are a beach lover, there are so many great spots along the Yucatan Peninsula, and definitely a lot of spots in Holbox. This island is a true hidden gem, and still has plenty of charm, so check it out as soon as you can!

If you’re planning on visiting the country, or if you want to know more about what it has to offer, click here to see all of our Mexican travel guides, or click here to find the best Caribbean destinations.

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