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Holbox Island

Pierre and Barbara
February 13th, 2020 · 4 min read
Home > Yucatan > Holbox Island

Tips 👏

  • There’s no cars on the island, just golf cars as taxis.
  • We found some ATMs but they seemed not reliable, bring cash.
  • The center of the island is packed with hotels, agencies and street food.

🏠 Accommodation

We stayed in a very central AirBnB which we highly recommend. Super clean, with a big roof terrace, kitchen and two-beds bedroom.

🚲 Getting there

We drove 2 hours from Cancun, see below.

⏱ Duration

We stayed 2 days and 3 nights and felt that was good.

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Drive from Cancun 🚙

After finishing the paperwork to get our car, we started our drive from Cancun to the island. The roads were great, with few traffic. It took us around 2 hours and 170MXN in tolls to reach Chiquila, the closest town on land.

Once there, we looked around and picked the less-dodgy-looking parking to leave our car for three days, at a cost of 300MXN. They all kind of look the same, open 24h, so no real good advices here.

From there, we headed to the pier, where we bought tickets to the next ferry, every 30 minutes, for 200MXN. It took around 20 minutes of boat, after what we finally landed, and hired a little golf car taxi to bring us to our hotel for 40MXN. The taxi was not needed since it’s just a 10 minutes walk, but trolley travel yo.

Overall, everything was kind of straight-forward and fairly easy. It took us about 4 hours door-to-door, and costed 910MXN for two people.


Agencies 🎟

During our first evening on the island, we went to speak with some agencies to get prices and availabilities. After some negociations, we opted to book the Three Islands Tour for 400MXN/person and the Bioluminescence Boat Tour for 650MXN/person. All agencies offered more or less the same tours and prices, so we booked all the activities with the same one and asked for a discount.

We did that at night around 8PM on the main street when all agencies were open, asked discounts to several ones and went with the cheaper one which we recommend (Daris on WhatsApp +5219841787348)

Three islands tour 🏝

The next day, we started our three hours tour at 10AM from the pier after being picked-up by a golf car at the agency. We boarded the 8 persons boat, and made our first stop at Isla Parajos after 30 minutes. We only did the tour of the island by boat since walking on it was forbidden (bird sanctuary), and observed lots of pelicans and fragadas sunbathing around.


We then carried on for other 30 minutes up to the Cenote Yalahau. Upon arrival, we had to pay a 25MXN/person fee to enter in the site, after what we jumped in the fresh water natural pool. Honestly, it was nothing super exciting, and the water was quite cold, but the place was nice and relaxing.


From there, we went back in the boat and made our last stop 30 minutes later to Isla Passion, a wonderful little island with an observation tower and a sand bank. We chilled there for a while, watching eagles, flamingoes and iguanas, before heading back to the pier to finish the tour at 1PM.


Overall, the tour wasn’t the most exciting we been to, but very honest for the price, and still quite fun. A good way to get the highlights of the island in a short time.

Bioluminescence tour 🌌

The same night, we went back at the agency at 7:30PM to get picked up for our night tour to see the natural bioluminescence by boat. It was at night because it needed to be pitch-black to see the phenomenon. We also learned that the time of the tour changed everyday, since it’s based on the weather and the moon.

Once in the boat, we made our way in 10 minutes back to Isla Passion. We landed on the island and walked up to the sand-bank. The guide explained that the phenomenon is triggered when phytoplankton are in contact with oxygen, basically when the water is in movement. Just by walking and looking at our feet, we witnessed the magic. Every step taken was generating small spots of blue light, as easy as that. We started to swim in the water, run, anything that could make the water move, it was fantastic.

We then moved to different spots, to end-up under the watch-tower, the darkest spot of the island. This was clearly the best and the most fun since we could see the light strongly. We then climbed-up the tower to watch the sky with planets, falling stars and milky way, before heading back to town.

That was the highlight of our stay on the island, and we highly recommend. It took in total 1h30 and worth it 100%. Because it needed to be dark, we sadly didn’t managed to take any good pictures. The best time to see it is from June to September, but we still saw it pretty well in February.

NOTE: We initially planed to go by ourselves via a simple walk or taxi ride up to Punta Coco at night, which is what most tours offered. By boat however was far more impressive, since we actually swom in the water, making the experience way more vivid. We however learnt after that it was somewhat illegal, your choice.

Walking around 🚶

For our last day, we decided to chill and walk around the beach. The island was lovely, and the beach paradisiac, featuring sand banks, shallow blue water and hot temperatures. We started by going up north to the end of the main beach, enjoyed few beers, to then coming back down to Punta Coco for the sunset.

It was quite a walk overall, more than 8km in total, so we hired one of the many golf car taxis to do it trolley travel style. A well deserved chill day in the mexican warm waters.


Restaurants 🍲

Our 3 days stay in Valladolid, or go back to the main Yucatan post.

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