Stress seems to be a word non-existent on Holbox (pronounced „Holbosh“).
I struggled more every day, trying to remember what day it was and I often didn’t even trust myself anymore. You forget about time on Holbox. Everything is so relaxed and and you will be too, shortly after!
My days are not very adventurous: swimming, eating, walking around. Usually, I’d be like „How boring“, but it’s the complete opposite. I start every day with a coffee, enjoy the great food and just love seeing all the colorful houses.
There are not many cars on the island, but golf carts and there’s also no fortified roads. We had beautiful weather almost every day, one was a bit windy, but that didn’t change my relaxed mind. Why would it?
I had planned three nights on Holbox, bjt you can definitely stay longer. I met quite a lot of people that told me, they have been staying for several weeks now.
I can totally see myself coming back, even though I don’t know when that would be. The island has so many hidden gems and areas to explore. I packed all my experiences in this guide, so you can have an amazing time on Holbox!
About Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox is located north of the Yucatan peninsula and was already populated by the Mayans. It is 42km long and the broadest point is only 2km. There’s about 1,500 inhabitants at the moment but that’s increasing steadily.
As it’s a sand island and it doesn’t have any fortified roads, you can walk around barefeet all day if you want. And, as I already mentioned, there’s barely any cars.
No one knows how long it’s going to stay like that. I’ve heard people talking, that it’s more touristy every year. One positive point is that most of the people and places care about sustainabilty and protecting the island.
Traveling to the island
I can only really talk about getting there from Cancun (ADO station downtown), but I also noticed that there is busses or shuttles from Cancun Airport or Playa del Carmen. All the busses go to Chiquila, where you have to change to the ferry.
There is two ferry companies „9 Hermanos“ and „Holbox Express“ and one of them leaves every 30 minutes. There is no price and not really a comfort difference, so just take the next one that is ready to leave. I paid 150 MXN per ticket, which is about 6,80€ (March 2019).
You’ll have the most options traveling from Cancun. The ADO busses are the most expensive ones, but are first class and don’t stop on the way.
Things to do on Holbox
I spent most time with sleeping and relaxing, but there is a lot of things to do there. There is something for everyone, from exciting to relaxed and I collected some of them for you.
If you prefer solid ground under your feet, you can just wander around on the island and enjoy the beautiful streetart.
Going for a bike or golf cart ride
It’s best to explore the isand via bike or golf cart – depending on if you like to be active or not.
I rented a bike once – I went in the afternoon to avoid sunburn and too much sweating. A day shouldn’t cost you more than 150 MXN and it should come with a lock as well. I reted mine for 35 MXN an hour, so I paid 70 MXN for the two hours I had it.
Renting a golf cart is a lot easier and it’s usually about 200 MXN per hour or 1000 MXN per day. I didn’t get to rent one but it honestly looked like a lot of fun!
Relax at the beach
Definitely one of my favorite activities on Holbox! The water is incredibly warm and I just placed my towel somewhere in the shade, read my book and once even did a little workout. The beach is kilometers long and doing nothing is actually really enjoyable. Don’t forget sunscreen!
Punta Coco is my favorite beach on the island because it’s so quiet and peaceful. You can walk, bike or drive, up to you, but it’s definitely a must visit. The area is not really populated, but I noticed that there is quite a bit of construction going on right now.
Refugio Holbox is a very special place, which takes care of stray animals and even wild animals. You can even volunteer there. Thre’s more details on that on their Facebook page.
If you don’t have time to volunteer, but would still like to support them, you can take one of the dogs for a walk for example.
When then sun goes down and the temperature cools down a little bit, the plaza comes to life. Kids play on the playground, people play basketball or football and during the time I was there, they had live musik because of carnival. Even if you still think it’s too hot to move, it’s definitely wotth watching the spectacle.
Hotels on Holbox
There is a lot of accomodation possibilities on Holbox, ranging from simple to luxurious. Generally speaking it’s more expensive than the rest of the Yucatan peninsula.
I didn’t look much at Hotels/Hostels in advance but decided to stay at Tribu for three nights because it seemed like a great and popular place. I was pretty lucky, as it is usually booked out months in advance!
My opinion about Holbox
It seems like the island used to be a secret, but isn’t one anymore. There is plenty of infrastructure for tourists. There are hotels for every price category, same goes for the many restaurants. As I said before, accomodation and restaurants are slightly more expensive compared to the rest of the Yucatan peninsula.
The island is still very charming and the atmosphere is friendly. Lovely, painted houses, streetart on every corner, hippie boutiques follow beach bars with happy hour offers and the Hot Corner has a live DJ in the evening.
Even though there’s a lot going on, staying on the island is relaxing. A little downside in this paradise are the masses of mosquitos, that come out when the sun goes down. I guess that’s the price you have to pay.
I left the island with a heavy heart after three nights and almost four days, to get back to reality and look forward to new adventures in Torreon. I would love to come back in the future!
Have you been to Holbox and would like to tell me about it? Are you planning your own trip and have burning questions? Feel free to drop a comment!
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you book through theses links. Your price doesn’t change and you support me and my work on Chaotic Travels. Thanks for doing that!