The Ultimate 1-Day Guide to Holbox Island – What to Do in 24 Hours
Well done! You just discovered Mexico’s best-kept secret, Holbox Island!
Take it from me, this place is UNREAL!
Of all the islands that surround Mexico’s wondrous coastlines, (in my opinion) none of them quite compare to this.
When I first visited this place it took my breath away. In the face of growing tourism, I’ll be honest, I didn’t think places like this still existed.
It’s a magical slice of paradise home to glittering bioluminescent beaches, vibrant marine life such as sea turtles and whale sharks, along with an abundance of other wildlife such as Flamingos and Pelicans.
For that true island experience, Isla Holbox HAS to be on your bucket list.
My 1-Day Guide to Isla Holbox will Include:
- What the Perfect Day on Holbox Island Would Look Like
- The Best Places to Eat and Drink
- Coolest Places to Stay
- Things to Do
- Shopping on Isla Holbox
- Getting Around the Island
You can easily revisit this page anytime during your trip by bookmarking it in your phone.
What the Perfect Day on Holbox Would Look Like:
I decided it would be fun to provide you with a blueprint itinerary for your time on Holbox. 🙂
This is just a rough guide of things I would suggest doing during your visit.
However, if you scroll further down I’ve also listed my favorite restaurants, places to stay, things to do and so on… so feel free to switch things out depending on what appeals the most to you.
Morning (6 am – 12 pm)
9.00 am – Breakfast at Le Jardin
Fuel up for an epic day of adventure on this stunning tropical island by visiting Le Jardin for breakfast.
Try out their delicious homemade pastries, flavorsome coffee, and refreshing fruits.
Trust me, you won’t regret it!
10.00 am – Head to The Beach
Get what you came here for, some epic rest and relaxation on some the best beaches in the entire Caribbean.
What you will love about the water here is how shallow it is. It’s particularly nice if you have children because you won’t have to worry about them in the waves.
Water is calm, clear, and very shallow. So time to top up your tan and simply enjoy! 🙂
Heck go ahead, and treat yourself to a mojito!
Afternoon (12 pm – 6 pm)
12.00 pm – Rent a Golf Cart
Rent a golf cart and get ready to explore every inch of this remarkable island.
Marvel at the impressive street art, browse the different shops and eateries in the main square, try a Marquesita, discover blissful beaches and more!
The opportunities are endless. Once you’ve experienced the highlights of Holbox you will never want to leave.
2.00 pm – Discover Yum Balam Nature Reserve
Nature lovers will be in their element at Yum Balam Nature Reserve.
Witness the abundance of wildlife in this beautiful off-the-beaten-track location.
Be sure to take a camera with you in case you are lucky enough to spot a flock of Flamingos!
Evening (6 pm– 12 am)
6.00-7.30 pm – Punta Coco
Spend the late afternoon / the early evening relaxing on the beach of Punta Cocos!
Sunsets honestly don’t get better than this so you can thank me later for the amazing photos you will be able to take. 🙂
Plus, after the sun goes down you may have the chance to witness the remarkable bioluminescent phenomenon.
^ This picture is a moment that will stick with me forever.
8.00 – 10.00 pm Dinner at El Chapulim
Enjoy an evening dinner with your nearest and dearest, or new friends, at this quirky and delicious eatery. Here you can savor the flavors of Mexican cuisines and fresh seafood.
I’ve listed more information about this island hotspot below under the ‘best places to eat and drink section’, so be sure to check it out!
It’s one of my personal favorites.
Best Places to Eat/Drink on Holbox
Anyone that knows me will know that food is often the favorite part of my trip. Holbox Island definitely did not disappoint!
Prepare yourself for taste sensations at ridiculously good prices. (man, I love Mexico for that)
I’m also partial to a fruity cocktail on the beach (and again), the island did not disappoint (as you can see).
So, with so many tasty and innovative restaurants to choose from where do you start?
1. Le Jardin – French Restaurant
If like me you value a tasty breakfast and good coffee, there’s no better place than Le Jardin. This place does some delicious French pastries and morning breakfast selections if you’re craving something other than Mexican food.
Enjoy a flavorsome coffee outside under the airy palapa while chatting with other diners. This place is also kid-friendly and boasts a large toy section where children can play while adults dine.
2. El Chapulim – Mexican Restaurant
Come to this place with an open mind and you will have a great time. El Chapulim doesn’t take any reservation, has no menu, and the kitchen closes when food runs out, usually by 10 pm. Food is incredible and the chef Erik comes to your table personally, offering four different meal options. Usually, this includes some type of fish.
Vegetarians must book 24 hours in advance. They accept cash only.
3. Edylyn Pizzeria & Restaurant – Pizza
This eatery is the birthplace of Holbox’s famous lobster pizza (from M$300). The seafood on the island is delicious and fresh, so if you are a fan of lobster be sure to check this one off the list.
4. The Hot Corner – For Drinks and Music!
This fun, laid-back, open-air bar, offers a rustic hipster atmosphere! During the day the vibe is relaxed, you can chill out on the outdoor sofas or enjoy some yummy snacks, while at night the place comes to life! The fun often spills out on to the street so expect to join the conga line and sample one of their famous mojitos. Tons of fun!
Where to Stay on Isla Holbox
1. Tribu Hostel – Low Budget
This hostel enjoys a privileged position just a stone’s throw from Holbox’s beautiful white sandy beaches, and a 2-minute walk from the center. Suitable for all travelers including, backpackers, young family, or a couple.
You can make use of the large fully equipped kitchen and terrace area. On Sundays, the hostel hosts jam sessions with live music, different acts, and great drinks.
On other nights you can expect things like quiz night, salsa night, special dinners, etc. so you’ll always have something to do in the evening.
2. Villa HM Paraiso Del Mar – Medium Budget
This beautiful hotel has a private beach area just a short walk away, outdoor swimming pool, garden, and terrace. All rooms at this hotel are fitted with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a fridge.
A delicious buffet breakfast is served daily. The decor at this hotel is in keeping with the surroundings and makes for a very relaxing and tropical stay.
3. CasaSandra Boutique Hotel – Luxury Budget
This luxurious accommodation is definitely one for special occasions, CasaSandra offers incredible sea views, a private beach area with cabanas, an on-site restaurant, and spacious rooms.
Rooms at this hotel are decorated with wooden beam ceiling, hand-made furniture, and bright colors, it is utterly stunning. Each of the rooms also has a private balcony.
On-site you will find a gorgeous Mexican and International cuisine restaurant that boasts an elegant atmosphere.
Things to Do on Isla Holbox
With an abundance of wonderful things to do on the island, where do you start?
1. Our Full-Day Holbox Day Tour
The exciting news?
We recently added a Holbox Island day tour to our website that lasts a full day.
Plus, you don’t have to handle any of the logistics, we do all that, so you can simply relax and enjoy!
On the island, accompanied by your professional guide you will visit the stunning Jalahau cenote, Passion Island, and Punta Mosquito.
The day is jam-packed with boat tours, beaches, food and more!
2. Swim in the Bioluminescent Ocean
If you have the time, we would definitely recommend staying overnight on this magical island.
Because you have a better chance of witnessing the glittering bioluminescent beaches.
Punta Cocos is the perfect beach to spend the whole day! You can float in the shallows, laze in the hammocks, and walk along the perfectly white and sublime sands.
At night this is the place to be if you want to witness a bioluminescent phenomenon.
I’d recommend visiting around the 25th on the months of June, July, August, or September as this is when there is less light in the sky, therefore you will be able to see the sea sparkle more vibrantly.
Get a glimpse of what to expect in this mesmerizing video by Mike Corey:
3. Swim with Whale Sharks on Holbox
Human beings are not the only ones attracted by this glittering plankton.
The whale shark, also known as the Rhincodon typus, feeds mainly on it. These giants are not as scary as they sound, they are actually very docile and extremely agreeable to swimming alongside humans.
Holbox is known for having some of the best up and close experiences with these marvelous creatures.
However, these tours generally do take all day so are only really suitable if you plan on staying a few days.
Book a Whale Shark Swim on PlayaDelCarmen.com.
4. Visit the Ecological Reserve Yum Balam on the South Side of the Island.
Rent or golf cart and head to the road where all the hotels are. Keep going until you pass them, eventually, you will come to an uninhabited area of the island that few venture to.
The beach here is gorgeous and dotted with driftwood. Your journey will be rewarded with some solitude in one of the most laid-back places on earth.
Shopping on Holbox
For all you retail lovers out there you will be happy to know that Holbox is home to some incredibly unique stores.
1. Luuma Bazaar Boutique
If you’re into the best beachy styles look no further! Here, you can buy all sorts of swimwear (from brands such as Kiini), boho jewelry, perfumes, candles and more!
2. Hecha Con Amor
If you like handmade gifts such as trinkets, women’s bags, and kidswear be sure to check out this beautiful store. They also do some stunning handmade tunics.
3. Lolita Holbox
A great store to dig out original swimwear in an array of different colored prints and patterns. You can also find locally made woven bags and purses.
Getting Around on Holbox
Due to there being no roads or cars on the island you may be wondering how on earth people get around.
On Isla Holbox, there are actually 3 different ways to navigate the island.
- The option I would recommend is to hire out a golf cart they are a couple of hundred pesos for a few hours but well worth it, as it means you can explore every inch of the island by yourself and they are a lot of fun to drive.
- The second option would be to take taxis. The beauty of the island is that there are no cars, but there is a taxi-like system of golf carts to help you get around.
- Thirdly, would be rent a bike. This is the most eco-friendly option and you can rent one for around twenty pesos an hour at one of the shops around town.
Need your questions answered?
That’s what we are here for!!
Call our travel agents at PlayaDelCarmen.com, 1-888-537-9797
Or, alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to hear from you soon.
Holbox is a beautiful place I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂