The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox, Mexico, Travel / Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Located just off the Mexican coast, on the Yucatan Peninsula of Quintana Roo, lies a lazy yet vibrant island; a magical getaway from all the hustle and bustle of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
It’s cultivating charm comes from it’s unique character, the ‘not yet’ overly developed island holds host to many hidden gems, miles of white sandy beaches, an abundance of wildlife including crocodiles and flamingoes and a scattering of foodie delights, bars and small boutiques.

It’s a paradise for those wanting to hide from the chaos of day to life, a place to unwind, relax and a way to immerse yourself in a somewhat Mexican/Caribbean lifestyle.

The Ultimate Guide to Holbox



They use Mexican Pesos here but some places also accept US Dollars.
Also there are now around 6 ATM’s here but none seem to work so well. Bring cash with you to the island just incase you run in to a problem with any of the ATM’s.
There are a handful of places that accept card as a method of payment but these are few and far between, carry cash with you if you are dining out.


You are expected to tip around 10- 20% here and it will be stated on your receipt whether or not the service was included.
The Spanish word for tip is ‘Propina’


The Island itself is safe for travellers as well as for families. There is a low crime rate here and the locals pride themselves on keeping the island safe for their own families as well as anyone visiting. I did have my phone stolen recently here but again, I am more than sure it was by people who were not from the island.


You can buy most day to day items here, there are also three pharmacies, so if you happen to forget to bring any medication with you or you just fall a little ill while here, you should be covered!


Honestly, they are a problem here all year round but they are at their worst during sunset, sunrise or after it has rained. Just make sure you pack some good mosquito repellant!

The Ultimate Guide to Holbox

Getting Here

By ADO Bus

If possible, I recommend buying your bus ticket the day before your departure as some buses fill up quick!

From Tulum

There are currently NO BUSES running from Tulum to Chiquila. You will need to get a bus or colectivo from Tulum to Playa del Carmen and then catch the bus from there.

From Playa del Carmen

9.25am daily (aim to be there 20 minutes before departure)

Ticket price approximately $234mxn

From Cancun

9.00am daily (aim to be there 20 minutes before)

Ticket price approximately $220mxn


Go Holbox - The Ultimate Guide to Holbox - shuttle

There are many reputable shuttle companies that travel between Cancun Airport & Chiquila;

Go Holbox

Holbox Shuttle




Ferry from Chiquila to Holbox

The ferry runs nearly every hour at $140mxn for a ticket
--> FERRY TIMES <---

The ADO buses will drop you just at the end of the pier where the ferries wait. You will need to buy your ticket at one of the kiosks before you board your ferry.

Don’t worry if you have lots of luggage, there are taxis (golf carts) waiting at the ferry port to take you to your accommodation in Holbox.

The Ultimate Guide to Holbox

Where to Stay

Tribu Hostel

Budget – Hostel – Clean – Good Location

Tribu Hostel - The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox
A fantastic and cheap place to stay while here in Holbox. This hostel is one of the more popular choices to stay and rightly so; It’s clean, bright and communal space offers guests a great place to relax after a day of exploring.


Villas Flamingos

Honeymoon -  Couples - Families - Boutique
Villas Flamingos - The Ultimate Guide to Holbox - Where to Stay Holbox
Villas Flamingos is one of my favourite hotels on the island and is perfect for couples, families and for weddings and honeymoons. From their hammocks suspended in the waters of Holbox to the outdoor bar and restaurant, a perfect place to sit and watch the sun go down, the whole experience of staying at Villas Flamingos is magical.

Casa Las Tortugas

Beach Location - Spa - ECO Hotel - Couples
Casa Las Tortugas - The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox
Hotel Casa Las Tortugas is an eco-friendly hotel that, while never compromising on comfort, is very much in tune with its extraordinary surroundings. Tortugas is in a great location for exploring the island and also has a lot to offer itself. With a great bar and restaurant, pool, spa and beachside location, it’s the perfect hotel for your Holbox escape.

HM Palapas del Mar

Luxury - Beach - Couples
HM Palapas del Mar - The Ultimate Guide to Holbox - Where to Stay
HM Palapas del Mar is the biggest hotel here in Holbox with 52 rooms, a sky and sushi bar and even the option of choosing a room with your own private pool. This hotel is right on the beach and also boasts a fantastic menu in it’s restaurant too.

The Ultimate Guide to Holbox


Abuelo Tom

Abuelo Tom - Where to Eat Holbox
This is where a lot of locals eat and now, due to word of mouth, a few travellers too.
This place is nearly always busy. Don’t expect any fancy menus and their limited but super delicious Mexican food options will be found on a small chalk board on the wall.

Roots Pizzeria

Roots Pizzeria - The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox - Where to EatRoots pizzeria is fast becoming the ‘place to eat’ on the island. From it’s signature dish the ‘Lobster Pizza’ to it’s ‘Portobello Mushroom and Blue cheese Pizza’ they have the passion and skill to cook up some of the best pizza on the island.

Team this with their all Mexican bar and you will really be in for a  treat.


Barba Negra

 Barba Negra - The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox This is my favourite place to eat on the island and you will probably find me here most days. Barba Negra is all about seafood and tacos and they have one of the most talented chefs cooking up a storm in the kitchen for them.

This place is also budget friendly and great for families, friends and solo travellers.

Tip: Try the Shrimp ‘Diabla’ Tacos or/and the Cauliflower Tacos, they’re the best!

The Ultimate Guide to Isla Holbox

What to Do

Whale Shark Tour - Isla Holbox

Whale Shark Tour

Experience swimming with the biggest fish in the world!

Season: May – September
Book: VIP Holbox

Rent a Bike

I always recommend for visitors to just rent a bike and explore the island for themselves. You can ride along the white beaches, small town roads, see art murals…

To Rent: Bikes Holbox


Flamingos Isla HolboxFind Flamingos

There are tours that you can do to see these but you can actually walk to find them too (which I thin it way more fun!

Where to find them: Punta Mosquito

Swings - Isla HolboxIsla Holbox Swings

“WHERE ARE THESE SWINGS!?” is literally the most common question I get asked everyday.

Where to find them: CaroLinda Beach Club


Free Tour - Isla HolboxFREE TOUR

This tour takes you to the beautiful beaches of La Ensenada, just north of Holbox (from Punta Mosquito to Santa Paula).
Volunteers from around the world get to see this beautiful pristine beach, all while they help clean it.

“Marine litter is an environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problem affecting all regions around the world. In Holbox, because of the currents, gyres and eddies of the ocean, we receive in our coasts plenty of international garbage (especially plastic bottles). Be a volunteer on this free tour!”

Book: VIP Holbox (Free Tour)

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