Welcome to Holbox
Holbox, properly pronounced “hol-bosh” is a rustic, tropical island located a few hours north of Cancun. Its crystal-clear blue waters, pristine beaches, and relaxed life pace are enough to attract anyone. With no cars and no worries, Holbox is famous for its bioluminescent waters and whalesharks. It truly is a place to behold.
For more transportation information, check out our Getting Around The Yucatan Guide
1. Snorkel with Whale Sharks
Holbox is one of the most famous places in the Caribbean to see the massive (but friendly) whale sharks! These exquisite creatures eat plankton, so no need to worry about getting scarfed down in their presence. Scuba diving with the sharks isn’t allowed so you’ll need to book a snorkeling tour with an operator that will take you out to find the beautiful creatures. Please don’t wear sunblock, use flash photography or touch the whale sharks. Whale Shark season is between mid-May to mid-September.
To go snorkeling with the whale sharks from Isla Holbox, we recommend this top rated tour.
2. See Bioluminescent Water At Night
Have you ever seen glowing blue water? 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!
Take a look at this highly rated bioluminesence night snorkeling tour.
This night kayaking experience is also supposed to be wonderful.
3. Be lazy
Enjoy every day. Be lazy. Wander through the town center. Admire the brightly painted buildings. Eat delicious food like the famous lobster pizza. Savor a tropical cocktail. Lounge in a sea hammock. This island should be treasured for its slow paced pleasure. Be sure to check out the fantastic street art. Many an alley and road here have vividly painted monuments, murals, and artistic creations. Many vendors sell handmade artisan pieces too, so you can easily take a piece of the island’s art home with you.
This affordable street art walking tour takes you around town for several hours learning about the history of Holbox and its art scene.
4. Try Kitesurfing
Holbox is famous for this exciting water sport. If you are already experienced in the sport you will easily find your favorite spot to soar along the far-reaching, flat coastline, especially during the winter months. Holbox is famous for its ideal conditions for beginners to learn in shallow waters with no big obstacles, a wide coastline and easy wind conditions. There are classes daily from shops on the island year round.
This popular private kitesurfing lesson by Kukulkite is the top rated on the island.
5. Take a Three Islands Tour
The highly popular Three Islands boat tour off the coast of Isla Holbox is a wonderful way to experience firsthand the nature of the island and its surroundings. Isla Holbox is famous for having an abundance of wildlife, especially birds, and this tour allows you to witness these nimble creatures in their habitat. Your first stop on the tour is the aptly named Bird Island, (Isla Pajaros). You won’t be allowed to walk among the birds as it is a protected area, but there is a dock and viewing platforms for watching and photographing the flamingos, horned bills, pelicans, and many other species.
Your other two stops will be Passion Island (Isla Pasion) where you’ll be able to wander on the island, go hand fishing and spot wildlife, and visit the naturally bubbling Yalahau Cenote. At Yalahau you’ll be able to spend a good amount of time swimming and exploring in the fresh water. The order in which you visit these locations will depend on your guide and how busy each place is.
Book your private three islands boat tour here.
6. Hit The Beach
While not quite as picture-perfect as beaches on Cozumel or Isla Mujeres, Holbox beaches are beautiful nevertheless and a great way to spend the day relaxing, swimming and snorkeling.