10 Things to Know Before Visiting Isla Holbox

Holbox street art | © Christopher William Adach/Flickr
Holbox street art | © Christopher William Adach/Flickr
Photo of Jack Guy
25 November 2017

The beautiful island of Holbox is just four hours from the international airport at Cancun, and is increasingly popular with visitors. Here are a few things you should know before you travel, to be prepared for this unique location’s idiosyncrasies.

Take a decent amount of cash with you

There is only one ATM that dispenses Mexican pesos on the island and it is not unusual for it to run out of money. You can withdraw US dollars from other ATMs, but you’ll get stung with a bad exchange rate. Stock up on pesos on the mainland and withdraw more before you run out.

Beach life on Isla Holbox | © d.aniela / flickr

Bring your insect repellent

Holbox is known for its mosquitoes, so don’t forget to bring some repellent. It’s also wise to stay indoors around sunset to avoid the most active period for these annoying, bloodsucking insects.

The streets flood after it rains

Don’t be surprised to see knee-high puddles forming if there is a lot of rain. The drainage system on the island is so bad that a sudden downpour can leave certain streets impassable.

Hire a bike instead of a golf cart

There are plenty of places that will rent you a golf cart, for a substantial fee. There are so few roads on the island that you are better off saving some money and hiring a bike instead. If you don’t like cycling, you can walk to most places within half an hour of the central square, or get in a taxi.

Launches bob in the tide on Isla Holbox | © Robert Brands / flickr

Take care of the wildlife

Holbox is home to thousands of birds, and the beaches are used as nesting sites by turtles. Keep your impact on wildlife to a minimum by walking carefully over the sand and staying away from restricted areas.

Say no to straws

In bars and restaurants you will often see signs asking customers to refuse straws if offered. This is because Holbox has a huge problem dealing with waste. Reduce your impact on the environment by saying no to straws and using as few plastic bottles as possible.

Flamboyances of flamingos often move around

For those that go to Holbox to see flamingos, it’s important to remember that they aren’t always in the same place. Check with a local guide for the latest location of these fantastic birds.

Flamingos at Celestun │ | © Katja Schulz / Flickr

Plan ahead if you want to see whale sharks

The largest fish in the sea are found in the waters off Holbox from May to September every year. You’ll need to plan your trip around this time if you want to see them.

Phosphorescent plankton make for a great nighttime trip

In certain parts of the island there are plankton which glow in the dark when you touch them. Take a night tour with a local guide to see this strange natural marvel in action.

Hot Corner is the place to party

Island life is laid back, and that’s all part of the appeal. But if you want to really let off some steam, Hot Corner has live music, good drinks, and a great atmosphere. Well worth a look.

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