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Are you heading to the remote island of Holbox soon? Or maybe you’re already there and wondering what to do for your next couple of days? You’ve come to the right place!

Holbox is one of the most beautiful islands in Mexico (if not in the entire world). It’s a peaceful place with beautiful beaches, cute restaurants, no cars and one of rare places where we can see the bioluminescence all year round.

In this article, I tell you everything you need to know about the best things to do in Holbox and my tips to enjoy them.

1. 3-island Tour

bird island near Holbox

This is the most popular tour on Holbox and for good reason, you get to see all the highlights!

You can book it from different providers on the island but I personally booked this one online.

While it seems slightly more expensive than from a tour booth on the island, it’s actually the same because it includes the entrance to the cenote, which the others don’t.

Yalahau cenote near holbox mexico
punta mosquito in holbox from the boat

Also, it was exceptional so I highly recommend it and our boat was much better than the others.

The captain takes you on his boat and brings you to 3 places. The first one is Yalahau cenote where you can go for a swim and enjoy the views.

You then go to Punta Mosquito, which is much easier than on foot since the boat brings you closer. Finally you go to the Passion island where you can see the mangroves but more importantly, the flamingos!

Click here to see the prices and availability

2. Going to Punta Mosquito

Punta mosquito in isla holbox
Punta mosquito in isla holbox mexico

Punta Mosquito is the most beautiful place in Holbox. If you want to see the clearest water possible, that’s where you need to go.

It’s also a great place to go at night to see the stars and bioluminescence but that’s something you should only do with a guide.

During the day, if you want to go to Punta Mosquito, you have two options. The first one is to make your way to Las Nubes Hotel (which is the last hotel in Holbox) and then walk on the sandbar during low tide to Punta Mosquito.

The water is quite shallow, it usually is around mid-calves, but it’s a bit long and tiring. Make sure to wear a hat!

The other way you can get to Punta Mosquito is with the 3-island tour.

3. Seeing the bioluminescence

biolumenesnce kayaking in holbox

Holbox is not only one of the best places in the world to see bioluminescence, it’s also one of the rare places where you can see it all year round.

The best season is between May and September since they are the hotter months and that’s when you get to see it blue. But don’t worry if you are visiting during the rest of the year because it’s also visible then. I went at the beginning of April and we saw it.

The only difference is that it tends to be more white and is a bit harder to find. However, you need a guide to go there anyway and they know how to find it!

The best tour you can take for bioluminescence is the kayaking tour. I booked this one and it was fantastic.

You’re picked up from your hotel in a buggy taxi and meet your guide near Las Nubes hotel. They give you a lamp, wet bag, a paddle and a kayak and you can then kayak to Punta Mosquito.

When the bioluminescence is strong, you get to see it as you paddle. It’s stunning.

Once you reach Punta Mosquito, you’ll do a bit of stargazing. The guide will show you all the main constellations.

After that, you go see the bioluminescence. You can touch the water and the guide explains everything about the phenomenon.

After a bit over an hour, you’ll kayak back to the meeting point and the buggy taxi will bring you back to your hotel.

Click here to see the prices and availability

4. Taco Tour

prawn tacos in holbox
prawn taco and mezcalita in holbox

The taco tour is one of the most unique tours you can do on Holbox. It’s not available at any of the tour desks but can be booked online here.

It’s run by a local, Lorena, who takes you to the best taco places on the island.

During the tour, you get to eat 4 tacos and 4 cocktails (mezcalitas and margaritas). She explains everything about tacos and their history but is also a very nice person to chat with.

You can ask her loads of questions about Mexican culture, food and drinks. She is very knowledgeable.

octopus taco in holbox
mezcalita and steak taco in holbox

I particularly loved the fact that she was available to answer so many questions about how Mexicans live and their traditions.

The tour starts at 6:30PM. You’re picked up from your hotel by a taxi and brought to the first taco place and then walk around.

It’s a lot of fun and a great thing to do on your first day in Holbox since you’ll discover loads of cool food places.

Click here to see the prices and availability

5. Swim with whale sharks

If you are visiting between June and September, then you’ll be in Holbox for the whale shark season.

Every year, the whale shark comes to Holbox at that time and you can book a tour to swim with them.

They are the third biggest creature in the ocean and not aggressive at all which is why you can go and swim with them. Of course, you’ll be with a local guide who will monitor the behaviour of the whale sharks and make sure everything is safe.

It’s an experience of a lifetime!

You usually also get to see other cool creatures such as turtles and dolphins but of course, as for any wildlife tour, it’s impossible to truly predict what you will see.

Click here to see the prices and availability

6. Kayaking in the mangroves

Holbox is a sand island protected by the mangroves and one of the best things to do is to explore the tunnels on a kayak.

To do that, it’s recommended to opt for a guided tour since it can be a bit of a maze. Also, it’s a lot safer.

The tours take place early in the morning, at sunrise, and you go to the tunnels with a guide. It’s a great place to see the wildlife , especially birds and in certain cases crocodiles.

Click here to see the prices and availability

7. Chilling at Holbox Beach

playa holbox in mexico
beach club on holbox beach at sunrise

If there is one thing everyone should do in Holbox, it’s simply relaxing. You can go to the main beach (playa Holbox) which is easily accessible on foot and close to most hotels.

There are a lot of beach clubs so you can get a drink and rent a chair and umbrella.

Alternatively, you can also take your towel and enjoy the beach without having to pay the fee for a beach club.

beach in isla Holbox
beach in Holbox

The water is beautiful and shallow so it’s a great place to refresh.

The only downside to Holbox Beach is that there is a lot of seaweed and the smell is quite noticeable so try to find a spot away from the seaweed.

I also recommend going there for a walk early in the morning (before 8AM) because it’s quiet and very beautiful.

8. Rent a bike or a buggy

golf buggy in holbox
bikes in holbox

There are no cars on Holbox and the streets are not paved which means that the best way to get around is with a golf buggy or a bike.

You can hire a bike for around $10 per day. If you are a family or simply don’t want to bike in the heat, a golf cart is also a great option. It’s more expensive but also a lot of fun!

Most hotels have bike rentals available and golf carts can be hired near the ferry.

9. Go to Yalahau cenote

yalahau cenote
yalahau cenote from tower

Yalahau cenote is actually located on the mainland but it’s accessible from Holbox with the 3-island tour. 

The boat brings you to the entrance of the reserve (there is an entrance fee but if you’ve booked this tour, it’s included). You can then enjoy the bar, the hammocks and of course swim in the cenote.

The water is a bit cold but it’s very refreshing.

There is also an observation tower with wonderful views of the cenote and the surrounding nature.

10. Drinking delicious Mezcalitas (or Margaritas)

mezcalita in holbox
smokey mezcalita in holbox

The Holbox food and drinks scene is simply exceptional. There are so many bars serving delicious cocktails here and if you haven’t tried a mezcalita yet, this is the place to do it! 

Or maybe you love it already and then you can be sure to love it even more.

Each bar serves their own but I particularly recommend the smokey margarita (which can use mezcal or tequila) and the hibiscus mezcalita.

11. Discovering the street art

street art in holbox
street in Holbox

Street art is all around in Holbox and if you love beautiful murals, you will be in for a treat! As you walk around the streets, you’ll find incredible pieces everywhere.

Not only are those beautiful but they also make for the perfect background for a photo.

main stage in holbox
mural in holbox

One of the most impressive murals is located in central park, on the main stage.

It changes regularly and features famous Mexican artists such as Pinta o Muere who also did famous pieces in Playa del Carmen or Bacalar.

12. Seeing the flamingos

flamingos in holbox
bird island in holbox

The best place to see the flamingos in Hobox is Passion Island. You can get there by boat if you opt for the 3-island tour. The boat drops you near the island and you can see the flamingos in the water.

You’re not too close (there are buoys to stay behind to protect them) but you can still see them very clearly.

Another place from which you can sometimes see them is Punta Coco.

13. Going to Punta Coco

punta coco in holbox
boat near punta coco in holbox

Located at the very end of the island (South West side), Punta Coco is a quiet beach that is worth checking out if you want to relax but also do some snorkelling.

You can get there on foot or with a bike and enjoy this unspoilt beach. This one is different to Playa Holbox. It’s a lot more natural so don’t expect big beach resorts but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

You can also see some flamingos (it’s very close to the Passion island) and the bioluminescence at night (though I always recommend going with a guide for that).

14. Watching the beautiful sunset

sunset by the letters in holbox
sunset on holbox beach

Sunsets on Holbox are amazing! It’s just as simple as that! If you love watching the sunset, head to the main beach, Playa Holbox, around 30 minutes before the sun sets and you’ll be blessed with a beautiful spectacle. The sun and sky become very red sometimes. 

sunset on the beach in holbox
sunset in holbox

There is also a pier near the Holbox letters where you can sit and enjoy the view but it’s very pretty from anywhere on the beach.

15. Trying Kitesurfing

kitesurfing shop in holbox

Holbox is an excellent destination for kitesurfing since there is quite a bit of wind (but not too much), small waves and of course, a beautiful setting.

There are several kitesurfing schools on the island and they offer different activities depending on your skill level.

It’s an excellent place to learn to kite so even if you’ve ever done it before, it’s something to consider.

I hope this article has helped you understand what are the best things to do on Holbox in Quintana Roo. Don’t hesitate to check out the other articles!

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