Looking for fun things to do in Holbox? In this guide to what to do in Holbox, we’ll cover the top things on the island, especially for those who love to be outdoors in nature.
Isla Holbox is the smallest island in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is gorgeous! Located roughly 40 miles from Cancun, Holbox is easily accessible—read this post to learn how to get to Isla Holbox. A few things to note about Holbox: it’s full of cute hotels, there are no cars or roads, and it has endless white beaches, flamingos, romantic sunsets, and colorful cocktails.
Holbox was once known as Mexico’s best-kept secret, thanks to its endless charm and beauty. While Isla Holbox isn’t as much of a hidden gem these days, it’s still a fantastic place to vacation or volunteer abroad at the Holbox animal shelter.
There are many things to do in Isla Holbox, and most involve getting offline and chilling on the beach. Keep reading this Isla Holbox guide for more inspiration on what to do in Holbox!
P.S. Calling all digital nomads: I tested out this WIFI hotspot, and believe it or not, it worked on Holbox!
QUICK TIP: Book your tours, rental cars, and transfers through my local contacts
I’ve been working with Living Dreams Mexico for years and they are who I send all my family and friends to when they visit the Riviera Maya. I really can recommend them enough for private tours and experiences. They have solid 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and Google from almost 4000 reviewers! You can view all their tours here.
If you’re looking for private airport transfers and rental cars then Vanessa and Oliver from Turismo Channel are personal friends of mine and I can 100% recommend them to make an inquiry click here and complete the form. Someone will be in touch within 24 hours.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
Best Things to Do in Holbox, Mexico
1. Explore the Island On a Bike
There’s no shortage of bike rental shops on Isla Holbox—most offer hourly, half-day, or one-day rentals. I highly recommend renting a bike in Holbox for at least one day, as it’s the best way to explore the island and experience the relaxed, chilled-out vibes.
I’ve ridden a bike to Punta Coco and Mosquito Beach in Holbox. Mosquito Beach can be a little tricky, and you’ll need to leave the bike and walk after a certain point, so bring a lock and chain to enjoy the best beaches in Isla Holbox.
Not into cycling? You can also rent a golf cart in Holbox!
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best Isla Holbox Tours: Click here to check out the top Isla Holbox tours
Best Isla Holbox Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Isla Holbox
Best Isla Holbox Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Isla Holbox
2. Go On a Boat Trip
Thousands of travelers go to Isla Holbox yearly to swim with the whale sharks, which is one of the best things to do in Holbox. This only happens during a few summer months, typically from May to September. Don’t be disappointed if you aren’t visiting Isla Holbox during whale shark season, as there are many other water adventures.
One of my favorite Holbox boat trips is the 3 Islands Tour, which takes you to three islands and a cenote. If you’re lucky, you may also see flamingos—I saw some from afar. There are also many snorkeling and fishing tours, kitesurfing, and SUP adventures. You can book a guided tour or rent the gear and go yourself.
3. Kayak Through the Mangroves
If you’re planning what to do in Holbox on the water, consider a kayaking adventure. One of the most fun things to do in Isla Holbox is kayaking through mangrove forests. You can spot many different species of birds and even some crocodiles if you get lucky. The area is also famous for its flamingo populations. The mangrove kayaking tour is two hours long, allowing ample time to explore the lush environment.
You have several options to explore Isla Holbox’s magical bioluminescence. I’ve seen the phenomenon several times, and it’s super cool. I didn’t take a tour as I was with a local who knew where to go, so it’s up to you whether you go alone or with a guide. Either way, this is a must-do activity in Holbox.
If you want a guide to the bioluminescence in Holbox, I recommend this kayak tour. The guide takes you to the best spot to witness this incredible blue light phenomenon. Make sure the moon won’t be too bright, though—I once went during a full moon, and it was difficult to see anything until late at night.
5. Catch a Stunning Sunset
The sunsets in Holbox are to die for as the sky turns pink like cotton candy with vibrant shades of red and orange. Punta Cocos and the pier are the best places to observe Holbox’s beautiful and colorful sunsets. Fully charge your camera in advance—you won’t want to miss capturing this. If you have luggage space, it’s also worth packing a travel tripod and a drone to go all out.
Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.
If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.
Is Holbox Mexico Safe?
With all this being said, you might still ask yourself, “Is Holbox Mexico safe?” Holbox is a small island known for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. While it’s generally considered safe, like any travel destination, it’s wise to take precautions. Stay aware of your surroundings, secure your belongings, and follow local guidelines or recommendations.
Isla Holbox Travel Guide Planning
🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Isla Holbox?
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Isla Holbox?
I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Isla Holbox?
First and foremost check out all of the amazing Isla Holbox tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.
If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!
If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
Things to Do in Holbox: Final Thoughts
Mexico’s Isla Holbox is a seriously underrated travel destination. If you’re a nature lover, this serene island is ideal for exploring the outdoors. From kayaking to cycling, there are so many fun ways to explore Isla Holbox.