8 Reasons To Visit Isla Holbox, Mexico

Isla Holbox is located on the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I visited here several years ago when there were just a handful of hotel options, a couple of restaurants and no hostels, but travellers were here to see the main attraction – whale sharks.

I fell in love with the laid back atmosphere here and made tonnes of friends who were working with the tour and dive companies and in the few hotels and restaurants. In recent years it seems like Holbox has gained popularity with more and more visitors each year heading over to the island.

So why should you go? Here are 8 reasons why you should pack your bags and head to this tropical island in 2017!


Holbox has some of the whitest sand and turquoise beaches I have ever seen! And the great thing is that they are not crowded like some other Mexican destinations. The beaches here are the perfect place to sit back with a book and enjoy a cocktail.


There is plenty of wildlife on the island, particularly different species of birds and also iguanas. You will see plenty of these around the main tourist areas, but you can also take tours to the mangroves or a boat tour round the island where you can see more.


Whale sharks are the main attraction here in Holbox, and this is an ethical place to swim with them. See my post Why You Should Swim With Whale Sharks In Isla Holbox to see why Holbox is the place to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.


I travelled to Isla Holbox with one of my best friends, Clare. After a stop in Miami, time in Tulum and Isla Mujeres we were ready for the slower pace of life on Holbox. When we weren’t out seeing the wildlife and exploring the islands we would spend our days lounging around, reading books and drinking / making cocktails!


After documentaries such as Blackfish, tourists are even more keen to see dolphins and whales in the wild and not in a tank. There are so many dolphins around the island of Holbox and they will very likely follow your boat if you are taking a tour around the island or on your way to see the whale sharks.


Holbox is popular with kite surfers and is also a great place to learn the sport. Since the island is not heavily populated you can find yourself with miles of ocean to practice. You will also likely find friendly locals living on the island who are willing to take you out with them.


Someone once told me flamingos can’t fly and I begged to differ.. On Holbox there are hundreds of these pink beauties lounging in the shallows, but they also like to put on an aerial display.


Being a small island, everyone knows everyone and that means you will be welcomed by the locals. During an intense rain storm where everything shut down, the chef at the Italian restaurant opened up for a group of 20 of us and made the most incredible pasta dish I have ever tasted! This is the type of hospitality you will find on Holbox.

As you can tell I absolutely fell in love with the island of Holbox and I am sure you will too. These are some of my favourite things to do on the island, but really you can do as much or as little as you want!

I hope this post inspired you to visit the beautiful island of Holbox. Please share your own tips, comments and favourite spots on the islands in the comments below. 

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  • Reply
    Mrs Ayla's Adventures
    February 3, 2017 at 5:29 am

    I sooooo want to visit here! Looks like paradise and especially love that it’s not as touristy as some of the other spots in Mexico 🙂

    • Reply
      Becky van Dijk
      February 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      You definitely should! Its a really beautiful island and whilst I think more people may be there now than when visited several years ago I am sure its still a completely beautiful and untouched island – plus you get to the see the whale sharks which is the best bit!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Hi can you say me wich hotel do you take in isla holbox?its same beautiful…thanks

    • Reply
      Becky van Dijk
      February 9, 2017 at 3:18 am

      I stayed at Casa Las Tortugas and it was beautiful! I think they have added new areas and a pool, so it is probably even better now. It was owned by a lovely Italian family and friendly and unique.

  • Reply
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    August 16, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    […] around Isla de Mujeres and Isla Holbox you can find tour operators that will take you to huge congregations of whale sharks in the open […]

  • Reply
    Marcos Cisneros
    September 5, 2017 at 9:20 am

    We spent a week on Holbox recently and it is incredibly beautiful and clean. The locals and all of the people who work there are so friendly and helpful with anything you may need. We stayed at the Casa Takywara and it had everything we needed. There were times when we walked out of our room and we were the only people on the beach for what seemed a mile or more. If you want the “action” head towards the center of the island where you have more restaurants/bars on the beach. We walked everywhere we went whether on the beach or into town. While there we did the whale shark tour and were able to see and swim with at least 20 of these massive and beautiful creatures. I highly recommend this Island. We have frequented many places in Mexico and Isla Holbox is now my number 1 place to go! Get there1

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