Escape Cancún on Isla Holbox

I decided to start my three-month journey through Central America in Cancún, Mexico. While it’s not part of Central America, it was a great place to start my trip, mostly because the flights from Europe to Cancún were very cheap.

I didn’t really vibe with Cancún. I spent two nights there and I wasn’t very impressed. And since this was my first time in Mexico I felt like I didn’t like Mexico. As soon as I left Cancún though, I was relieved to learn that I just didn’t like Cancún, but Mexico is in fact amazing!

I left Cancún for a short trip to Isla Mujeres and then went further up to Isla Holbox. And Holbox might be my favorite island I’ve ever been to. If you are tired of the hustle and bustle, the expensive nightclubs and the fancy hotels of Cancún, Holbox is the place to go.

Getting to Holbox

Getting to the island is very straightforward. From Cancún, you can take a comfortable ADO bus to Chiquila which will take you approximately 3 hours. From there it’s just a 15-minute boat ride on a frequently running ferry. You can find more information about transportation to Holbox here.

What To Do

I didn’t do much on Holbox to be honest. While there are a lot of activities you can book there like snorkeling tours or a bird tour, I decided to just explore by myself which is usually my preferred way of seeing a place. The snorkeling tours are very popular during whale shark season (May to September) when Holbox is one of the best places to see the biggest fish in the world.

Beaches on Isla Holbox

I did, however, rent a bike for $5 for the day and it is a great way to see the island. The sand on the beach is very firm which makes it easy to ride a bike on it. We rode along the coast until we couldn’t go any further without crossing a river. But the sea at this point was so shallow that we left our bikes behind and just continued on foot. We found an awesome sandbank about 30 meters out in the sea full of birds including flamingos and we had it all to ourselves!

sandbank in the sea on holbox

flamingos on holbox

Where To Stay

From what I’ve heard, the place to stay on Holbox if you are on a budget is Tribu Hostel. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm that because it was closed when I was there. Instead, I stayed at La Isla Holbox Hostel which is not even a minute away from the main square and also very close to the beach. It was a very nice hostel with a kitchen, nice bathroom, some cool chill out area and bike rentals.

sunset on holbox

What To Eat

Even though Holbox is a small island without a big population, it is very lively at night and the food carts open after sunset all around the main square. This is where I had all of my meals and it is amazing. This is where you will find the cheapest and also one of the best food on the island.

I definitely recommend trying a marquesita when you are on Holbox. It’s a specialty of the Yucatan region and I had my first one here. They are like crunchy crepes and are a very popular street snack. You can have them with tons of ingredients, my favorite one was Nutella and banana.

amazing mexican breakfast on holbox

If you plan on coming to Holbox, make sure you bring enough cash. There were three ATM’s on the island when I was there in September 2017 but none of them had cash. I barely had enough money to get off the island and on a bus to my next destination. Not very wise to run out of cash on an island.

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  1. Pingback: Mérida, the Capital of Yucatan • Being Foreign

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