A few hours away from the bustling tourist hubs of Quintana Roo, you’ll find a secluded paradise island home to stunning beaches, colorful wildlife, and fewer tourists. I first visited Isla Holbox back in 2017, and felt conflicted writing anything about because I wanted it to remain as untouched as it was when I visited. However, it seems like the cat’s out of the bag. Isla Holbox has become a popular alternative to Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen.
Mexico has no shortage of incredible beach destinations. With the Caribbean on one side and the Pacific Coast on the other, you have your pick of the litter when it comes to beach getaways in Mexico. Isla Holbox is quickly climbing that ladder of popularity. However, you’ll find that it still has a fraction of the tourists that Cabo or Cancun or Puerto Vallarta will have.
From my friends that have visited in recent months, it’s been refreshing to hear about their experiences on Isla Holbox. Despite being on more travelers’ radars, it hasn’t lost its charm. Bicycles are still the main form of transportation. The Wi-Fi’s still crap. The lone ATM in town is still busted. Music to my ears, honestly. I’ve heard Holbox is what Tulum was like before the massive boom, and I can only hope that it never turns into Tulum. Don’t get me wrong, Tulum is an objectively amazing travel destination, but over-tourism has been its downfall.
You will find resorts and beach bars in Isla Holbox, but it is nothing close to Cancun or Tulum’s Zona Hotelera. If you’re looking for an island getaway to truly get away from it all, then let me tell you about Isla Holbox.
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Where Is Isla Holbox?
Isla Holbox is a small island located in the state of Quintana Roo. It can be found a bit north of the Yucatan Peninsula. The 26-mile-long island is right on the Gulf of Mexico about six or seven miles away from mainland Mexico. It’s a prime location to escape from the crowds of Cancun without having to go too far.
How To Get To Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox is a bit harder to get to, but that makes the reward that much sweeter. It’s a big reason why it hasn’t experienced the mass tourism that more convenient Mexican beach destinations have received. The best way to get to Isla Holbox is to fly to Cancun airport.
From there, take a bus to the town called Chiquila. If there aren’t any buses leaving directly from the airport, hop on the ADO bus to get to downtown Cancun. They’ll drop you off at the ADO bus station, where you can catch a bus to Chiquila. If you’re arriving in the evening, I’d recommend spending the night in Cancun. There are a bunch of nice hostels near the bus station.
Chiquila is about three hours away from Cancun by bus and the boats to Isla Holbox don’t run all day. Just let the bus driver know that you plan on going to Holbox, and he’ll drop you off right at the port. After you buy your tickets from the ferry booth, you can hop on a boat to Isla Holbox. The ride only takes about half an hour. Enjoy that Caribbean sun, y’all.
Once you dock at Isla Holbox, there will be golf carts waiting to take you into town or your accommodation. Unless you want to walk, you’ll have to take these golf carts. Isla Holbox has very few cars on the island. It’s a pleasant change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Mexico, and truly adds to the remote island getaway vibe.
If you are coming from elsewhere in Mexico, like Merida or Valladolid, it’s pretty much the same instructions. Just find your way to Chiquila. Buses should be pretty frequent. The ADO buses are top-notch and bus travel in Mexico, especially touristy states, is safe and comfortable.
If you have a bigger group and some money to spend, you can also get a private transfer from Cancun airport all the way to Holbox. It saves you a lot of hassle, and the price that much more expensive if you have a few people to split it with. It’s also possible to just visit Isla Holbox as a day trip from the Riviera Maya, like this option below.
Where To Stay on Isla Holbox
I mentioned earlier that Isla Holbox is about 26 miles long. Well, only about one or two of those miles contains any actual civilization. That’s the great part about Isla Holbox. It’s completely walkable or bike-able. All of Holbox town is right along the beach and extending a few blocks inland in the “downtown” part. The rest of Isla Holbox is mostly nature preserve and completely undeveloped. Like I said, as untouched of a paradise as you’ll find in Quintana Roo.
Most of the accommodation is concentrated around Holbox town. You’ll find boutique hotels, small resorts, and artsy hostels. When I visited, there were no big hotel chains or mega-resorts anywhere in sight. Airbnbs are also an option, although the tourism office discourages using Airbnb. Developers are pricing out residents to build rental units, just like everywhere else in the world. However, many locals of Isla Holbox have lived here their whole lives. You can imagine they wouldn’t stand a chance competing with greedy developers loaded with cash. Because of this, I’d recommend staying at a locally-owned hostel or boutique hotel.
When choosing a location, I’d recommend just staying close to the town center. You can find lodging on the far ends of Holbox’s strip of beach, but it’ll be a longer walk. Punta Cocos is great for sunset, but staying there means that you’re at least a half-hour’s walk away from the best fish taco spot in Mexico.
I stayed at Hostel Tribu, which was insanely nice for a hostel. The art is dope, the hammocks are cozy, and the common area is way nicer than you’d expect from a hostel. It is right on the beach and about two minutes away from the town center. From sunset yoga to trivia nights, the hostel offers a lot of activities if you get bored of being on the beach.
It does get full, though, so make sure you have a backup option if you haven’t booked in advance. They overbooked the night I got there and I almost didn’t get a bed even though I booked a few nights in advance. Here are some other great hostels in Holbox to consider.
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Getting Around Isla Holbox
Walking should do just fine if you plan on chilling along the beach and enjoying the laid-back vibes of Holbox town. However, there is much to explore on this island. Renting a bike is the way to go. It’s a great way to explore the island and see the more untouched parts of Isla Holbox. Walking is fine, but that midday Mexican heat hits different. Rent a bicycle if you plan to explore as much of Isla Holbox as possible.
There are very few cars on Isla Holbox. The taxis on the island are all golf carts. You’ll encounter them as soon as you hop off the ferry, so you’re already familiar with them. If you don’t feel like walking or cycling, the golf cart taxis are your only other option. Being a barefoot beach bum is the way of life on Isla Holbox. Embrace it.
Things To Know Before Going to Isla Holbox
How Much Cash To Bring to Isla Holbox?: Don’t count on being able to take cash out on Holbox. Bring how much you think you’ll need for the entirety of your stay. If you’re a backpacker, $40 a day should be safe. Very few places on Isla Holbox accept credit card. There are ATMs on Isla Holbox, but they are extremely unreliable. They run out of cash very quickly, too. Save yourself an hour waiting in line only to find out the ATM is out of money. Bring enough cash.
Do You Need to Know Spanish?: Isla Holbox hasn’t been completely gringo-fied quite yet. Not everyone will speak English, so it’ll be nice to have a little grasp on the Spanish language handy. However, you’ll be able to get by without it.
What’s the weather like?: Isla Holbox is nice year-round. The weather is almost always a pleasant 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect lots of sunshine and cervezas. It does have a rainy season, though, so avoid visiting during hurricane season.
Also, it never hurts to have good travel insurance handy while you’re out adventuring across the world. I useSafetyWingto keep me covered throughout my travels for as low as $40 a month anywhere in the world.
What To Do On Isla Holbox
We were planning on chilling in Holbox after a hectic week in Cuba, so we honestly didn’t do too much. That was perfectly okay with me. A lot of walks on the beach, swimming, and drinking at beachside bars made up the brunt of my time in Holbox. There is plenty to see and do on the island, though.
Swim with the Whale Sharks:
One of the biggestdraws to Holbox is the opportunity to scuba dive and swim with the whale sharks. Whale shark season is only during a certain time of year so make sure to plan to visit during that time. I went during the offseason and in terms of tourists, Holbox was almost desolate.
Walk to Punta Mosquito to see the flamingos
Isla Holbox has a lot of beautiful wildlife, and flamingos are among the biggest draw. If you walk up to Punta Mosquito, that’s your best bet at seeing flocks of flamingos. It’s a long walk, but you can cut the time in half by cycling. Your bike can only take you so far, though. You’ll reach a point where you either have to walk on a sandbar in the ocean, or swim across a small creek. Bring a lot of sunscreen. We were walking for what felt like ages in the blistering sun.
Also, if you find one half of a dolphin skull on the beach, don’t carry it around the entire way back. It will not be worth as much money as you think it is.
Catch the Sunset at Punta Coco
On the other end of the island is Punta Coco. We were told it was a fantastic place to watch the sunset, but after the exhausting adventure to Punta Mosquito, we decided to eat some fire fish tacos instead. Here are those fish tacos because I don’t have a picture of the sunset.
Like I said, we didn’t do much because doing stuff usually costs money and we were tired and poor. For those of you who are into doing stuff, here are some more ideas. Like I said, most are water-related:
Kayaking on Isla Holbox
Kayaking is a pretty fun excursion and it can take you to some lesser-trafficked parts of the island. You can kayak on the Caribbean or through some cool lagoons more inland.
Rent a Bicycle and Cruise Around
Biking is a popular way to get around and also a fun way to see more of the island. You can also rent bikes for pretty cheap. As trivial as this sounds to most of you, the bikes are very cute and vibey. They are usually light pink or blue with a nice big basket. There you go, there’s your Instagram suggestion for the article.
You can also paddleboard or parasail. Basically, if you want to be out on the water, you have a lot of options. Deep sea fishing or renting your own boat to take out is something I’ve heard of people doing.
Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to, though. Holbox is an insanely relaxing, laid-back town to chill and just take it slow. The beach seems endless and the water is gorgeous.
A few of the resorts have some great places to chill, either poolside or beachside. You can honestly spend your entire time hanging out and being a beach bum. Life is simpler in Isla Holbox.
Nightlife on Isla Holbox?
One thing that Isla Holbox lacks is a booming nightlife scene. While you’ll find some beach bars and one or two late night hangs, it’s far from one of Mexico’s premier party destinations. If there’s one thing that Isla Holbox lacks, it is the nightlife of the more popular beach destinations in Mexico. Cancun’s booming megaclubs are nowhere to be found. Instead, you’ll probably end up drinking at one of the small local bars. Some of your hostels and hotels might have more exciting nightlife, if we’re being honest. To be fair, trivia night was pretty poppin’, especially because we won.
The one “club” we went to had a live band for the early portion of the night, but was practically a ghost town. That was called hot Corner, and it’s one of the only late night hangs in Isla Holbox. You can find it right in town. I remember rallying a few people from the hostel and getting them to go out. I felt a little bad once I realized the party scene probably wasn’t what they wanted to sacrifice their sleep for. You don’t really have a choice, so it is what you make of it.
In other words, day drinking is the name of the game in Holbox. You can’t go wrong with drinking on the beach and drinking at poolside bars. Nightlife starts and ends early in Holbox.
Isla Holbox is Mexico’s next “it” destination. This laidback little hippie town in the often chaotic country of Mexico will steal your heart. The vibes are immaculate. Be sure to pay a visit.
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My Complete Mexico Travel Itinerary
Be sure to check out mycomplete Mexico backpacking itinerary, a jam-packed 77-page guide covering 33 of my favorite destinations in magical Mexico.
My Complete Mexico Backpacking Itinerary
By popular demand… Here is the complete itinerary for one of my favorite countries in the world, Mexico. In this 77-page guidebook, I cover 30 of my favorite Mexican destinations, including how to get to each city, where to stay, and the best things to do in each city. I also include tidbits of useful information like things to know before going to Mexico, as well as my favorite party destina…
View All Posts on Mexico
This is one of Mexico's most popular typical drinks so you have got to try it! It's a place with great live and DJ music and thus, a spot not to miss on your night out in Holbox.
We read online that a rule of thumb for how much money you need in Holbox is 1,000 Mexican pesos per day per person. That's about right, however it doesn't account for specific activities or things like transfers.
Is It Worth Visiting Isla Holbox? Yes, yes and yes! If you've already explored places like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, then head to Holbox Island for a sleepier, less developed experience. Colour lovers will feel like they're dreaming!
The island is very budget friendly:
If you know and have been to Tulum, you know that it is expensive because it is an Instagrammers paradise. Holbox is not expensive when compared to other islands.
See Bioluminescent Water At Night
If not, you must check out the bioluminescent waters of Holbox at night. Caused by microscopic phytoplankton, the water glows blue when agitated by waves or splashing. The best ways to experience the bioluminescence are by night snorkeling or night kayaking. Very, very cool!
One of the best places to witness these fascinating and sparkling creatures give a new face to the beach is on Holbox Island. Holbox Island or Isla Holbox is an island in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Water. It is not safe to drink the tap water in Holbox island, because of the high amount of minerals in the subsoil. Therefore it is always preferable to consume only bottled water and refill your bottles from the jumbo water bottle at any Hotel.
Holbox receives its fair share of rain. Even the “dry” season is only relatively dry. You can expect almost daily rain from May – November, with the heaviest rain occurring from September – January.
On Holbox there is ONLY a Telcel phone signal available. Going to Playa del Carmen first? Check out my guide for buying a sim card in Playa del Carmen.
Generally, the Holbox crocodiles can be found much closer to the northwest tip of the island. But, you'll pretty much be guaranteed to see lots of small fish in the water and a variety of birds on the shore and overhead.
The Water Sports Are Different. If you want snorkeling and scuba diving, Isla Mujeres is your best option. If you want to fly-fish for tarpon and swimming with whale sharks among the bioluminescent plankton during the summer months, Isla Holbox is your choice.
The cheapest way to get from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Holbox Island is to Air taxi which costs $20235 and takes 38 min. What is the fastest way to get from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Holbox Island? The quickest way to get from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Holbox Island is to Air taxi which costs $20235 and takes 38 min.
Daily Expenses Budget
A fine dining restaurant with drinks around Isla Holbox can easily cost $420 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $28 per person. Private tours can cost $834 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free.
If what you are wanting to do is actually swim, as opposed to play in the surf, then Holbox is the best place to be. I am a swimmer, and have found Holbox the perfect place for a swim work out. Nice clean, warm, flat water. Perfect.
|Summer||June to August|
|Autumn/fall||September to November|
|Winter||December to February|
|Spring||March to May|
While quite a few businesses in Holbox these days do, in fact, accept credit cards, many are still cash only. Of those accepting credit cards, most charge a 3-5% cc fee. Don't forget that credit cards need power and signal to work, so if these go out at any time you'll need cash as a backup.
Holbox is 26 miles long – it would take you a couple of days to walk the length of it and back. Most visitors see as much as they can, slowly and sedately by bike, but if you're in a hurry – or if if you don't feel up to the exercise – you can rent a souped-up golf buggy and drive along the designated dirt roads.
Locals say you can find some all year round, but officially the Holbox flamingo season is between April and October. Getting to the flamingos in Holbox isn't super easy, but the walk is beautiful. Park your bike or golf cart at Las Nubes de Holbox hotel (you can't go any further) and get ready for a 1-hour walk.
Bioluminescence is seen best during a full moon or clear night so make your way at night. (We began walking around 9pm/21:00.) Bring only the essentials; mosquito repellent & flash light/torch (phone light works too) as the second half of the walk has very minimal street lights. ENJOY!!
What is this? Things like bioluminescent algae that twinkle along the seascape can poison sea life from fish to sea turtles and can make humans very sick if they come into contact with it, so swimming is not advised.
What is this? Isla Holbox is about 2 hours north of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and it takes about 2.5-3 hours to get to Isla Holbox from Tulum. Since it's an island and there are no bridges, you'll also need to get a short, 20-minute ferry ride from the port town of Chiquila, Mexico.
Residents in Mexico may brush their teeth with tap water, but they'll rinse and spit, careful not to swallow. As a tourist, you may be better off taking the precaution of using bottled water to brush your teeth, and do try to remember to keep your mouth shut when you shower.
Wondering, Is ice safe in Mexico? Yes — You can safely drink ice in Mexico. As mentioned, locals don't drink the tap water, and they don't make ice cubes with it either. While boiling water does kill off bacteria, freezing it does not.
Coffee, hot tea, canned soda and juice, beer, wine and alcohol are all a safe bet.
The average minimum temperature (usually the minimum temperature is noted during the night) in Holbox Island in June is 24.8°C (76.64°F). The amount of rain in June is high with an average of 140mm (5.5in). It rains on average a total of 11 days. The average maximum daytime temperature lies around 33.8°C (92.84°F).
Holbox is known for its mosquitoes, so don't forget to bring some repellent. It's also wise to stay indoors around sunset to avoid the most active period for these annoying, blood-sucking insects.
Sargassum in Holbox: The latest
April 9, 2019: The beaches of Holbox are not normally affected by sargassum since they are located very north of the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you have a few USD with you, there is no harm in taking them with you to Mexico as a reserve. Where available, the use of credit cards as a means of payment is a very good choice. They are accepted in many stores and restaurants, but they are not widely available on Holbox Island, so cash is a must.
Isla Holbox is the quintessential “sleepy little fishing village” and remains unspoiled, due to it's inaccessibility from the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula. The population of Isla Holbox is around 2,000 people, with many of the island's inhabitants fishing the waters for a livelihood.
Ferry to Holbox island is located in Chiquila, about 1 hour and 48 mintues from Cancun airport. The boat runs daily from 6:00 am to 9:30 pm every half an hour. Ferry from Chiquila to Holbox costs around $ 7 dollars and crossing to the island takes 20 minutes.
There's a tiny airport on Isla Holbox, so you can reach the island by private plane. Most flights to Isla Holbox leave from Cancun airport, but you can also make arrangements to fly from Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and Merida. The journey time is around 40 minutes, making it the quickest way to reach Holbox.
The street art in Holbox is iconic, and a lot of it follows the same color scheme, making one think that it couldn’t have been by accident. It also has a whimsical quality throughout and left me wanting to see even more. Since the island is so small, you can easily stumble upon the best murals while just walking around, so keep an eye out! On the southern side of the island, in an area known as Punta Cocos, you will find shallow waters that are home to bioluminescent plankton that glow in the dark when the water around them…
The shallow water around the island makes the perfect setting for kiteboarding, especially if you’re a beginner.. At Refugio Animal, visitors can sign up to take the dogs for walks.. Visiting one while on a beach vacation is a nice break from all the salty ocean water.. Holbox Kiteboarding School has paddleboards for rent and also offers SUP yoga classes!. The best time to see the bioluminescence is at night when there is very little light from the moon.. To rent a paddleboard, simply walk along the beach, and you’ll find plenty of places that have them.. Whether you’re looking to wade through the warm, shallow waters on the beach, play in bioluminescent pools, or not do much of anything at all, here’s your complete guide for Isla Holbox, with everything there is to do, where to stay, and so much more:. One of the best places to take a yoga class in Holbox is Ser Cassandra, which has classes at 9am-10:15am Wednesday through Sunday.. The peak season to see whale sharks is from June to September, and they are most plentiful in the sea between Isla Holbox and Isla Mujeres, which is about two hours away by boat.. Holbox Adventure offers a birdwatching and kayak tour that will take you through the mangroves around the island to truly experience the beauty of the area.. Holbox Collection has an affordable tour that will take you to Isla Pájaros, Isla Pasión (a great place to swim), and Cenote Yalahau.. Casa Las Tortugas The atmosphere at Tribu is what makes it truly special.. I recommend Aqua Spa at Casa Las Tortugas for all things wellness and self-care.. The calm, shallow waters off the beaches of Holbox make the perfect place to paddleboard.. It’s also the best time to see the bioluminescence.. Whatever time of year you choose, there’s really no “bad” time to visit Holbox.
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In arrivo il Decreto Aiuti bis con diverse misure contro l'aumento del costo della vita. Quali saranno? I dettagli nell'articolo. | LeggiOggi
Stando inoltre alla precedente relazione, approvata durante il Consiglio dei Ministri del 26 luglio e inviata in Parlamento, l’incremento delle entrate proveniente dall’Iva e dovuto all’aumento dei prezzi dell’energia e all’impennata dell’inflazione hanno portato a un tesoretto da 14,3 miliardi di euro, che potranno essere utilizzati per il nuovo Decreto.. I fondi in questione serviranno a finanziare diverse misure, tra le quali figura l’ azzeramento dell’Iva su prodotti di prima necessità come pane e pasta e la riduzione dell’imposta dal 10 al 5% su carne e pesce, in base a quanto anticipato dalla vice ministra dell’Economia Laura Castelli ai microfoni di Radio24.. All’interno del provvedimento aiuti di agosto dovrebbe trovare spazio anche la proposta che prevede l’ estensione del bonus 200 euro ( che per alcuni arriverà a ottobre ), anche ai lavoratori dipendenti con redditi sotto i 35mila euro che finora erano stati esclusi.. “Consideriamo importante che il governo si sia impegnato ad erogare i 200 euro di luglio anche a quei lavoratori precari e stagionali che erano stati esclusi e questa era una nostra richiesta”, ha affermato il segretario della CGIL Landini al termine dell’incontro.. Un’altra misura pronta a intervenire sulla decontribuzione è il probabile nuovo raddoppio della soglia esentasse per i fringe benefit : secondo quanto si apprende, nel corso dell’incontro a Palazzo Chigi sul dl Aiuti bis è stata accolta la proposta di Iv, che già in passato aveva presentato emendamenti in questo senso, per riportare il tetto dei benefit aziendali detassati da 258 a 516 euro , esattamente come accaduto durante l’emergenza Covid.. Si ricorda inoltre che per il 2022 l’ISEE massimo con il quale si può accedere ai bonus sociali bollette per nuclei in difficoltà è stato portato da 8 a 12mila euro, e che la misura è retroattiva.. La legge 24 dicembre 2007, n. 244 (Legge di Bilancio 2008), all’articolo 1 comma 290 stabilisce che “ con decreto del Ministero dell’economia e delle finanze di concerto con il Ministro dello sviluppo economico, le misure delle aliquote di accisa sui prodotti energetici usati come carburanti ovvero come combustibili per riscaldamento per usi civili sono ridotte al fine di compensare le maggiori entrate dell’imposta sul valore aggiunto derivanti dalle variazioni del prezzo internazionale , espresso in euro, del petrolio greggio “.. I decreti che hanno prorogato il taglio alle accise sono in questo caso a firma del Ministro della Transizione ecologica e del Ministro dello Sviluppo Economico, poiché quando il MiTE è stato creato, alla nascita del Governo Draghi, ha acquisito i compiti e le funzioni precedentemente attribuite al MISE in tema di politica energetica e mineraria nazionale.