10 Things Nobody Tells You About Visiting Isla Holbox Mexico (2022)

What comes to mind when you think of Isla Holbox, Mexico? Is it calm, tropical waters and hammocks lazily swaying underneath palm trees?

Holbox, Mexico markets itself as a laidback, eco-friendly destination. And it is often described as one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s dreamiest beach spots. Imagine yourself sipping fresh coconut water on virgin beaches with nothing but the sound of waves gently rolling onto shore. Sounds perfect. Right?

But what if we told you that our experience in Isla Holbox wasn’t the fairytale that others make it out to be? The uncomfortable truth is that Holbox Island is no longer a rustic paradise.

Ready To Discover 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Isla Holbox Mexico?

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We didn’t know what we were getting into before arriving to Isla Holbox. And as our trip approached, we were excited to discover what this increasingly popular island was all about. So what did we find out after spending 4 nights in Isla Holbox, Mexico? Sadly, we saw the results of over-tourism and uncontrolled growth.

This may not be one of our most popular articles. But as travel writers, we feel the responsibility to call out when visitors and destinations can make better choices to support responsible tourism. Would it have been easier to just ignore all these problems and pretend we didn’t even go there? Sure! But we also think people deserve to know about negative travel experiences, so it’s easier to make more informed travel decisions.

This post describes what we believe is an example of ‘paradise lost.’

We are not just calling out the negatives. We also share ways travelers can help influence change, so that tourism can remain a positive force for both locals and visitors.

Estimated reading time: 26 minutes

Planning a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula? Make sure to read these posts next:

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The Basics About Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is a relatively large island located just off the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The island is found within the protected natural area Yum Balam Flora and Fauna Protection Area. The regulations in place help preserve Holbox’s unique and fragile ecosystem. Well, in theory.

Map Of Isla Holbox Mexico

What we saw firsthand while visiting Holbox, Mexico is not what you would expect from a protected area. I’m not saying that Isla Holbox’s protected status does nothing to support the sustainable management of the reserve. But I am saying that Holbox Island’s protected status is confusing, because it’s pretty obvious that environmental protection is not top of mind in Holbox Island.

In full transparency, many people love visiting Holbox. And that’s fine. We are not here to shame anybody or dismiss their experiences. We are just hoping to raise awareness about a place that is potentially at the brink of irreversible damage.

10 Things Nobody Tells You ABOUT Isla Holbox Mexico

1. Much Of Isla Holbox Is An Open-Air Dump

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We struggle to be overly critical of places in developing countries with garbage problems. There is typically a huge gap in resources and education to help overcome this type of issue. But Isla Holbox is part of a nature reserve. And it presents itself to tourists as an eco-destination. So we can’t ignore the infrastructure problem responsible for the island being an open-air landfill.

I know. ‘Open-air dump’ sounds dramatic. But in all honesty, much of Isla Holbox is covered in trash. And we’re not talking just beverage containers and food wrappers. No, no. You will find discarded mattresses, old shoes, and basically anything else you can think of strewn around the entire island.

To share a sadly ironic example – one of the upscale “eco-hotels” had a color-coded collection site for different types of recyclable materials. But when you went to place your trash in the designated slot, there was not even any kind of bin to collect anything. The recycling was not being separated at all. It was simply a dumping place for random garbage disguised as a cute recycling center.

(Video) 10 Things THEY DON'T TELL YOU About The CHICHEN ITZA Tour | Cancun Mexico 2022

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This is a small example of a larger story in Holbox, Mexico. It sells itself as an eco-destination, but you only have to peek behind the curtain to find a place that’s suffering from overdevelopment.

Quoting from Yucatan Magazine (2021): “Thetourism industry in Holboxgenerates up to 10 tons of garbage a day. Since recycling the waste is so expensive, much of it ends up in the ocean, dumped illegally or buried underneath the sand.”

2. You Will Face An Unwelcome Arrival From The Isla Holbox’s Taxi Drivers

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We realize that overcharging visitors is very common in many popular tourist destinations. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck when it happens! In our experience, the frustration felt when being overcharged is greater than the actual impact. Even if it’s just a few dollars, knowing that you are getting taken advantage of always sucks!

The worst culprits in Holbox are the taxi drivers that whizz tourists around in their supped-up golf carts and ATVs. You are introduced to their aggressive pricing the minute you step foot on Isla Holbox. There’s a board that used to have the taxi fares on display, but it was conveniently covered. The quote we received for getting from the ferry to our hotel was $15 US. For a 5-minute ride!!! Needless to say, we walked 15 minutes to our hotel.

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This is a really crappy way to arrive at any vacation destination, and it left us with a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of the day. We never took a taxi for the rest of our time on the island.

This type of short-sighted money grab feels like the rule, not the exception, in Isla Holbox. And local authorities should do more to make pricing more transparent for visitors.

3. The Car-Free Island Is An Illusion

You will read that no cars are allowed on Holbox Island’s sandy streets. How rustically charming does that sound?

2022 update: cars, trucks, motorcycles, gas-powered golf carts, and supped-up, John-Deere style ATVs race around the island’s dusty and/or muddy streets. Many vacationers are disappointed after encountering what other blogs call ‘golf carts.’

But these aren’t the battery powered carts that you might be familiar with. Nope. These are loud, gas-powered carts and ATVs most commonly used as taxis. And besides being noisy, they show little regard for pedestrian traffic as they kick up dust while going full speed around the island. We literally saw someone crash their ATV into the back side of a hotel on day one (see below).

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So, no. Holbox is not a laidback, car-free island anymore. In fact, it sounds more like you are in the parking lot of a Trump rally. I’m not kidding. Those massive ATVs are working with some serious horsepower!

4. Isla Holbox Has Sewage Problems…

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Isla Holbox lacks the infrastructure to properly manage the growing number of visitors to the island. While the garbage scattered around the island is one example of what happens when a place can’t support the number of visitors it receives, the ubiquitous puddles around town are another.

You will notice a lot of standing water in Holbox’s sandy streets. The massive puddles (and sometimes completely flooded streets) are a major logistical hurdle when getting around the island after a tropical downpour. However, these stagnant pools are also around when there has not been a ton of rain. Hmmm…something smells fishy. Or is it, sh!%%y?

That’s right, friends. Holbox Island has a sewage problem. The lack of investment and planning means that the sewage system meant for a small fishing village simply can’t keep up with the swelling number of visitors.

Waaay too many tourists, trash, rubble and stench everywhere, toxic mud puddles…

Member Review From TripAdvisor

The stinky puddles are a gross nuisance for travelers. But even worse is the environmental impact that the runoff could have on the protected Yum Balam Nature Reserve. Holbox has an insufficient water treatment plant, and investment funds have disappeared. Therefore, much of the dirty water spills into the sea, negatively impacting the area’s wildlife.

(Video) We visited Cozumel, Holbox and Isla Mujeres - here are our thoughts 👀🫣

Wastewater has a huge affect on delicate ecosystems. The sewage can infect and/or kill the plants and animals around the coastline. This has a domino effect on other species, and eventually, the entire ecosystem can be disrupted.

But you might wonder how Holbox got this way. When scanning the top Google results for ‘Isla Holbox Mexico’, you’ll find descriptions like, “laid back paradise”, “best-kept secret”, and “virgin tourist destination.” These romanticized words bring me to my next point…

5. Travel Writers (And Fellow Travelers) Are Not Helping Educate Others

Aimara and I didn’t major in sustainable development in college. But we did stay in a Holiday Inn Express before visiting Holbox. (Can we still use that joke in 2022?)

But seriously, search online for Isla Holbox (or any destination), and 99.9% of the time you will find travel writers focusing on all the wonderful things about it. Rarely do people take the initiative to call out when something isn’t as it should be.

We think that this is wrong. Travel writers have a responsibility to try and educate and influence better travel habits. And until that happens, Holbox will continue to get promoted as an idyllic eco-destination, missing on a great opportunity to help educate others about responsible travel.

You’ll find many other travelers disappointed by their experience on the island when reading reviews about Holbox, Mexico on Google or TripAdvisor. We hope that reading posts like this one and considering these types of comments will help people think more critically about the impact of their travel decisions.

The goal is to increase awareness so that people can make better decisions over time. We want all the beautiful places in the world to be enjoyed by future generations, too!

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6. You May Never Notice Isla Holbox’s Blemishes If You Don’t Leave Your Beachfront Hotel

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Higher-end lodging options line the east side of Holbox island. These beautiful hotels are located directly on, or across from, a calm and beautiful stretch of beach.

Travelers visiting this area can enjoy the beautiful views, eat at the hotel’s restaurant, and relax on their loungers during their entire stay. All without ever having to spend any time in the downtown area where Holbox Island’s problems come to light.

It’s not hard to imagine that people can have an incredible vacation if they experience Holbox in this way. The challenge is that there is still a huge infrastructure problem. So even if you are not exposed to the same issues that you would if you were staying around Holbox’s downtown, you still contribute to the waste and sewage issues that plague the little island.

7. Holbox Island Is Over Capacity

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The flood of tourists to Isla Holbox has outpaced the island’s ability to expand the basic infrastructure needed to support the growing number of people staying on the island. Yet things appear to be getting worse. And the island’s growth has all the characteristics of a short-sighted money grab.

Greed and corruption are two of the main issues contributing to the unsustainable development of Isla Holbox. This is most notable in the continued construction of major hotel projects, even though the island already cannot cope with its current capacity.

Quoting from Yucatan Magazine (2018): “Its (Holbox) 1,200 or so hotel rooms are primarily in small hotels with about 30 guest rooms apiece. That is not likely to change because of thelimited infrastructure and fragility of the island, said Dario Flota (Head of Quintana Roo’s Tourism Promotion Council).”

Fast forward to 2022, and construction is happening everywhere! A new Margaritaville property recently opened on Holbox Island in March 2022. And you will notice plenty of other new properties being built as you wander around the island.

(Video) IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THIS... goodbye Yucatan Peninsula!

So when community leaders announced in 2018 that “The island has reached its limit,” it appears that there is no limit to the greed that continues to push the boundaries of Isla Holbox’s ability to manage the growing number of tourists.

This is the current ferry schedule to go from Chiquila to Isla Holbox: (there’s another company that leaves on the hour, so multiply the number of trips x 2).

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8. The World’s Most Aggressive Mosquitos Live In Holbox, Mexico

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This Isla Holbox secret will literally save your life! And be literally, I mean figuratively.

For starters, mosquito repellent is essential. As dusk falls, swarms of these heat-seeking pests prey upon anyone who hasn’t applied at least two generous layers of DEET repellent. And don’t try to bring the all-natural mosquito spray. Isla Holbox’s mosquitos will just laugh at your feeble attempt to drive them away with an organic spray. We learned that from the helpless Dutch family having dinner next to us. The situation was so unbearable for them, that they had to ask for their dinners to go!

We are typically not super bothered by mosquitos. And I also don’t really think it’s a huge issue. But I think this is a useful FYI after observing how other travelers were reacting to the swarms of mosquitos. It’s also a fun thing to think about after realizing that much of the island’s standing water is sewage.

Want a break from reading? We have an entire Yucatan Peninsula travel series on YouTube!

9. Isla Holbox Is Over Priced

Isla Holbox was more expensive than most places we visited in the Yucatan Peninsula during our 70-day adventures. Though not significantly more than other island destinations like Punta Allen and Cozumel.

Unfortunately in Holbox, the quality usually doesn’t align with the prices you’re paying. And while many travelers complain about high prices in Holbox, we can’t confirm whether it is a matter of island pricing or if there is overcharging happening.

These are some of the prices we witnessed and got quoted:

  • Beers: $3 – $4
  • Cocktails: $10 – $13
  • Appetizers: $8 – $10
  • Entrees: $12 – $18
  • Golf Cart rentals: $18/hour – $30/2 hours – $125/24 hours
  • Taxis: based on what we got quoted, a 5 minute taxi ride is about $15.
  • Taco Food Tour: $82
  • Kayak Tours: $50 p/p (for half-day guided tours)

10. Holbox Has A Great Animal Shelter Where You Can Walk Rescue Dogs!

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There is an incredible animal rescue shelter on Holbox Island. Visitors are welcome to come in to simply play with the many dogs and cats brought in from neighboring cities to rehabilitate them from physical or emotional traumas. Or you can go a step further and take some of the friendly puppies out for a walk.

It was great to see a thriving organization like this on the island. Based on the number of people volunteering each day, it was obvious that many people visiting Isla Holbox do care about giving back to places that they visit, and they don’t just come to sit on the beach and leave. Which is part of the reason why we think people would be interested in a post like this. Many people really care.

Is Holbox Island Worth Visiting?

Even though Isla Holbox is a beautiful place, we do not think it’s worth visiting. It may once have been a secluded piece of paradise for nature and ocean lovers. But, sadly, that is no longer the case in 2022. Even though we understand and have seen that every place in the world has good and bad things. For Holbox, Mexico, the bad definitely outweighs the good ones.

Heading to the Yucatan Peninsula? Head to our destinations page where we write about our favorite destinations in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula! Just because we didn’t like visiting Holbox doesn’t mean we didn’t love the rest!

What Should Be Done To Improve The Situation In Holbox Mexico?

Isla Holbox is a prime example of a destination negatively impacted by irresponsible tourism practices. But that doesn’t mean that there are not ways to reverse some of the damage. The question is whether authorities will acknowledge the existing problems and actually do something about it.

In our very humble and non-professional opinion, Holbox can do three things to start helping the situation on the island:


1. Limit capacity to the island:

There is simply too much stress on Isla Holbox’s infrastructure. The only way for the island to improve the garbage and sewage issues is by reducing the number of people allowed on the island at a given time.

2. Increase investment in utilities:

Holbox needs to upgrade its current utility infrastructure if it wants to become a sustainable tourist destination for years to come. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement.

A Canadian company is in charge of developing a sustainable future for Isla Holbox. This is potentially a good thing. I say ‘potentially’ because this a company that proposed the construction of 9,000 new hotel rooms in the island’s protected areas (come on!).

So, on the one hand, it is great that they are thinking about solutions. On the other hand, the plan being discussed supports more development. And who knows what that will bring?

3. Get locals involved:

Our feeling was that many locals were outsiders to many of the financial benefits of tourism growth and only experience the negative side impacts of over-tourism… which is unfortunately a garbage-filled island with inadequate resources.

Locals need to feel like they are part of Holbox’s future plans. If tourism doesn’t work to improve the general way of life for people in a particular destination, then how can we expect the locals to be stewards of a place and support in keeping it beautiful and friendly?

What Can Travelers Do To Help Support Sustainable Tourism?

If you were curious about visiting Holbox, Mexico, you might be surprised and let down by some the information in this post. And it’s understandably hard to change people’s habits when most resources out there only paint part of the picture about a destination.

It’s also easy to feel helpless when you see irresponsible tourism in action. But with over-tourism and unsustainable travel impacting many destinations around the world, it is time for travelers to start thinking more critically about where and how we travel.

These are some easy steps we as travelers can take to make more conscious travel decisions:

  • Be informed: research places before visiting. Read in depth Google reviews of a place. Look at how recent the reviews are and also who’s writing them! Sometimes it’s just local travel agencies bumping up the ratings.
  • Let your wallet do the talking: avoid visiting places that fail in their responsibilities to their community – like Isla Holbox. Stakeholders will be more likely to make a change when their wallets are impacted.
  • Be honest: it’s hard to admit when you make a mistake while traveling. It can be tempting to only share the beautiful things you experienced. But traveler-generated information can be an excellent tool for raising awareness about sustainability issues.
  • Demand better: speak out to local tourism boards or to broader travel communities (by leaving reviews) when you encounter irresponsible tourism. Flagging these issues gives you a voice! And over time, your voice can encourage destinations to act on concerns highlighted by the travel community.

Final thoughts About Holbox Mexico

Sorry if this feels like a hit piece on Isla Holbox, Mexico. But we believe that the people that write about these destinations (AKA, us) have a responsibility to be transparent and encourage responsible traveling. That’s the only way that things can get better in the future.

In the end, we didn’t regret visiting Isla Holbox. Being on the island allowed us to reflect on the destinations that we visit and how we want to promote travel in the future.

We identified that we also need to become more conscious during our travels and do our best to avoid contributing to unsustainable tourism practices. It won’t be perfect, and we still have a lot to learn as we go. But we are hopeful that together, we can make the future of tourism better for our world and more inclusive for local communities.

Thanks for reading!


Did anything on this list surprise you? Have any questions about visiting Holbox Mexico? Reach out in the comments or DM us on Instagram!


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Tired of reading? We have an entire Yucatan Peninsula travel series on YouTube! Don’t forget to Like & Subscribe 🙂

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Home » Destinations » 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Visiting Isla Holbox Mexico


Is it worth going to Isla Holbox? ›

Is Holbox Island Worth Visiting? Even though Isla Holbox is a beautiful place, we do not think it's worth visiting. It may once have been a secluded piece of paradise for nature and ocean lovers. But, sadly, that is no longer the case in 2022.

What is Isla Holbox known for? ›

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.

Do people speak English in Holbox? ›

Just don't forget to give them a tip! People in Holbox are very open and friendly, but most of them don't speak English, so you'll be able to practice your Spanish!

How much cash do I need 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.

Is Holbox too touristy? ›

It's touristy, but not in the way many beach towns in Mexico are. Plus, food, drinks and accommodation are reasonable, so this is somewhere that works for any budget. Anything goes on Holbox.

Do you tip in Holbox? ›

There are some true hidden gems to discover and I am sure you will find your own favorite Holbox restaurant, but these are some places I can recommend. Be aware that when you get the bill in most Holbox restaurants they suggest you to pay 15% tip. This is not mandatory.

What Holbox means? ›

Holbox (pronounced hol-BOSH, meaning “black hole” in Maya) began attracting tourists a decade ago, and locals have since fought to stave off mega-resorts, the Washington Post reports.

What part of Holbox is best to stay? ›

Young backpackers will prefer to stay in downtown Holbox, where the restaurants and bars are concentrated. Couples and families will love the tranquility and pristine water on the western end. I personally think the best area to stay in Holbox is the eastern end where the sand bar and the best beach lie.

Is Holbox cash only? ›


This is an island where cash is king and there's no bank or currency exchange in site. Most places (including lodgings) don't accept credit cards so you're better off bringing pesos with you to last your entire stay.

Are there monkeys in Holbox? ›

The beaches are also home to sea turtles and the water around the island is a feeding ground for whale sharks, stingrays and other marine species. Living on Isla Holbox are Jaguars, monkeys and flamingos, making it an ecological hotspot.

Are there mosquitoes in Holbox? ›

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.

Who owns Holbox? ›

In Los Angeles, Holbox is the new Yucatán-style seafood restaurant from Gilberto Cetina Jr., whom you may know from Chichen Itza, which he founded with his father. (Gilberto Sr. is back in the Yucatán at the moment, building his own island dream house.)

Can I drink tap water in Holbox? ›

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.

How much is a beer in Holbox? ›

Many hotels offer a asic morning meal included in the rate but for other meals, exploring the many other options is part of what makes Holbox great. A bottle of beer is normally $30 - $40 pesos. Glass of wine $90 - $100 pesos.

Can you pay with credit card on Holbox? ›

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.

Are there Jaguars in Holbox? ›

Holbox is part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve, an area of mangroves, marshes and tropical forest rich in wildlife. Flamingos, herons and egrets feed in the lagoon, manatees have been sighted and jaguars still roam the jungle further inland.

Is Holbox like Tulum? ›

Pronounced ole-bosh, Holbox—actually Isla Holbox—is often likened to an off-grid-ier version of off-grid Tulum. Much quieter. Less hip. More authentic.

Does Holbox have nightlife? ›

Dance and Music on Holbox

And even if you don't want to dance, you can still enjoy the good mood of the performers and the audience. The nightlife on the island is quite manageable compared to the big tourist centers in Cancún or Playa del Carmen.

Is $5 a good tip in Mexico? ›

It's up to you how much you tip, but the recommended amount in Mexico is between 10% – 20% (15% is a good standard in tourist areas) of the bill or ticket price.

Is 20 pesos a good tip? ›

Restaurants: For good service, a 10% tip is standard. For really good service, anything between 15% and 20% is acceptable. Street food: Again, tipping is not required or expected, but it is appreciated (saying “keep the change” is sufficient). Taxis: If the driver helps with bags, 10–20 pesos is a good tip.

Is 50 pesos a good tip? ›

The Bellhop: 25 – 50 pesos is a standard tip for helping you to your room and with your luggage. The Concierge: Tipping 50 to 150 pesos for helpful recommendations is always appreciated. Housekeeping: A tip of 25 to 50 pesos a day for keeping your room tidy is appropriate.

Who lives in Holbox? ›

he island was founded by pirates, over 150 years ago. The pirate ships would go to a nearby lagoon to get fresh water. Some of the pirates decided to stay and marry local Mayan people living in the area. Descendants of the 8 original families still live on Isla Holbox today.

Can you swim in Holbox? ›

The crystal-clear water with incredible visibility provides the perfect setting to see and swim alongside the whale sharks. A licensed guide is required to accompany all swimmers; VIP Holbox is an eco-friendly choice.

Does it rain a lot in Holbox? ›

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.

Is it always windy in Holbox? ›

Holbox is blessed with a long windy season which normally runs from November until the end of May. The Main season is made up of two overlapping but very different seasons, the winter season and the spring season.

What time of year are flamingos in Holbox? ›

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.

Are there police in Holbox? ›

Regardless, in the streets and the beaches there are few police cars or officers, even in crowded areas.

How much are taxis in Holbox? ›

Number of PassengersOne-Way PriceRound-Trip Price

How much is a meal in Holbox? ›

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.

How much does it cost to rent a golf cart in Holbox Mexico? ›

To rent a golf cart, it is best to ask at your accommodation or contact one of the numerous rental companies. The prices are similar with all providers and are including gasoline about 300 MXN (15 USD) for 2 hours, 1500-1800 MXN (73-88 USD) for half a day and 2000-2300 MXN (98-112 USD) for 24 hours.

Can you see turtles in Holbox? ›

The lush fauna of Holbox

The environment around Holbox is great for whale shark sightings during the months from May to September, in the boat tours to the island is common to see some dolphins and turtles.

Where can you interact with monkeys in Mexico? ›

Akumal Monkey Sanctuary - Live the Monkey Experience.

Is a coati a monkey? ›

The Coati Is Part Raccoon, Part Monkey, and Part Pig.

Are there tarantulas in Holbox? ›

On the road leading to the town of Chiquila (where you catch the ferry to Holbox) you might see tarantula spiders crossing the road.

Where is bioluminescence in Holbox? ›

The top spot for swimming in bioluminescent waters on Holbox is at the southeastern tip of the island at a beach called Punta Cocos, conveniently located just a few minutes outside of the town.

Does Holbox get seaweed? ›

Holbox. On the northern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, Holbox escaped the worst of the summer sargassum. In contrast, the island experienced an influx of seaweed during November and December.

How big is Holbox? ›

Holbox is a small island that measures about 26 miles long and one mile wide, and it only has about 2,000 full-time residents.

How large is Holbox? ›

It is approximately 41.84 kilometres (26.00 miles) long and 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) wide, and it is separated from the mainland by 10 km of shallow lagoon that is home to flamingos, pelicans and other rich birdlife.

Can you brush your teeth with the water in 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.

Is drinking coffee in Mexico safe? ›

NO, you cannot drink tap water in Mexico but you can drink iced beverages, coffee, or salad and fruits.

Can you drink ice in Mexico? ›

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.

Are there ATM on Holbox? ›

Yes, there are ATMs in Isla Holbox. In fact, there are several ATMs scattered around the island.

How much does Holbox cost? ›

Tickets for the Holbox Ferry

Tickets are purchased at the ferry dock where both companies have small offices selling tickets. Price of Holbox Ferry tickets: For tourists, both companies charge adults 200 pesos each way.

When should I go to Holbox? ›

The best time to visit is between December and March when the weather is most settled. The hottest month of the year is May with an average daily maximum of 36 C and an average low of 23 C. The coolest month of the year is December with an average daily maximum of 28 C and an average low of 20 C.

Is bacalar better than Holbox? ›

Bacalar — For a completely different beach experience, head to Bacalar, an inland lagoon. Like Holbox, it's another gorgeous experience — but unlike Holbox, it's popular with Mexican tourists and much more budget-friendly. It's a 7.5-hour bus ride from Chiquilá and you'll need to switch in Playa del Carmen.

Do you need cash on Isla Holbox? ›


There are NO BANKS in Holbox Island, and there is only one ATM in the entire Island, however it doesn't always have enough money. Therefore we strongly recommend you to bring enough cash since only a few stores and restaurants in the Island accept Credit Cards .

Are there crocodiles in Bacalar Lagoon? ›

We only later learned, that crocodiles do in fact live in the Bacalar Lagoon. In fact, you can find many reviews from people on the Internet who have spotted these crocodiles in various places.

How long is Holbox ferry ride? ›

The easiest option to arrive in Holbox is via the two companies' catamarans with alternating ferry departures every half an hour. You cannot use the other company's tickets. The average ferry journey time is 25 minutes. All vessels have a top deck if you fancy a bit of sun and the breeze or to see the stars at night.


1. We FAILED to take our own advice and it was a BIG MISTAKE
(Tangerine Travels)
2. Holbox Island Mexico (PARADISE FOUND!)
(The Country Collectors)
(Two Gay Expats)
(Where in the World is cL)
5. Holbox - Mexico - January 2022. Amazing place!
(The Bananas Planet )
6. The Acapulco they DON’T tell you about!
(The Country Collectors)

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