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Holbox Island

Photo credit: szwerink / Foter / CC BY-SA
Holbox Island
  • (worth a detour)
  • 10+ km
  • Easy
  • Average
  • 2-3 days
  • 2 2

A tiny island offering impressive beaches and wildlife

Holbox (“black hole”) is an island located in the state of Quintana Roo in Yucatán Peninsula and only separated from the mainland by Yalahuah lagoon but still connected to it by a strip of sand. The island is close to Cancun and makes for a prefect escape from the party scene and crowds. It measures 40 kilometers in length and has a width of only two kilometers.


The island is part of the Yum Balam biososphere reserve, it is home to many endangered species and for that reason, the government has made a great effort to protect it. No cars or vehicles are allowed inside and the only way to get to it is by taking a twenty five minute ferry over the lagoon. Visitors can get around the island by walking and there are also gulf cart and bicycle rentals available.


The main attraction is swimming with whale sharks in Cabo Catoche (which acts as the separation between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea), but this activity is only available from June to December.


Another popular activity is a visit to Pájaros Island, a smile islet home to many birds such as flamingos, ducks, pelicans, herons and more.


Kiteboarding is also a popular activity, especially for beginners as Holbox has ideal conditions for learning such as shallow waters and no obstacles.


Isla Pasión is another favorite, it is an island located about ten minutes away from Holbox island where you can relax and enjoy the beach to yourself away from the buzz of the main island.




How to get there

You first need to get to Port Chiquilá, where ferries to Holbox leave.