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Holbox Island: A Caribbean Paradise to discover

Destinations 09/04/2024
Panoramic image of Holbox Island
Welcome to the wonderful Island of Holbox, a paradisiacal destination that captivates with its beaches with crystal-clear waters and its relaxed atmosphere!

Holbox Island is a hidden gem in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, which invites you to immerse yourself in a natural paradise. Integrated into the Yum Balam natural reserve, this island emerges as an ecological refuge between the Yalahau lagoon, home to flamingos and pelicans, and the crystalline waters that intertwine between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. On this island that seems isolated, since you will not find paved streets, nor large infrastructures, nor cars, each corner tells a story and each wave whispers the secrets of this unparalleled destination.

In this complete guide, we will explore the unmissable experiences and places that make Holbox a unique destination, where nature, daily life and tourism coexist in perfect harmony. But beyond its scenic beauty, this island is a range of experiences that will immerse you in the very essence of Caribbean life.

Get ready to discover the charm of this Caribbean island!

What to see and do in Holbox?: Exploring its Hidden Treasures

We will begin our trip at Isla Pajaros, a natural sanctuary where birds dance in the sky and serenity embraces every moment. From there, we will venture to Isla Pasion, a dream corner that awakens romance and provides unforgettable sunsets.

In this corner of the Caribbean, the waters teem with life. Holbox is located in the heart of a diverse marine ecosystem, home to fascinating creatures such as sea turtles. Explore the turquoise waters and discover the wealth of marine fauna that lives in every corner of this paradise.

Afterwards, we will enter the mystical Yalahau Cenote, where the freshness of the water mixes with the spirituality of the environment. These three destinations are known as the Three Islands Tour and are usually offered as the representative package for those who visit the Island of Holbox.

The streets of Holbox become living canvases thanks to the murals that tell local stories and color the path of the island.

Bioluminescence, a natural phenomenon that transforms the nights into a brilliant light show, invites you to immerse yourself in the nocturnal magic of Holbox. And if you're looking for more intense thrills, water activities like snorkeling with whale sharks and kitesurfing will get your heart pumping to the rhythm of the Caribbean.

Isla Pajaros

We begin our tour on Isla Pajaros, a bird sanctuary that delights nature lovers. This island is home to more than 150 species and birds, where you will enjoy an unprecedented visual spectacle.

The island is surrounded by wildlife, where pelicans, storks, seagulls and, to top off the dazzling parade, majestic flamingos steal the show (they can be seen between the months of April to October).

This corner invites nature lovers to live a unique experience and check out the wealth of biodiversity and the ornithological paradise that Holbox has to offer.

Image of the sunset with different birds on Bird Island

Isla Pasion

Explore the magic of Isla Pasion (Passion Island), a romantic retreat just 10 minutes from Holbox. In this paradisiacal corner, where white sand beaches and turquoise waters intertwine to offer a perfect setting for couples looking for an idyllic escape.

Walking along the white sand beaches while the soft sea breeze caresses you becomes a unique experience. The turquoise waters that surround the island are more than a visual spectacle, they represent a mirror of shared emotions, where couples can enjoy moments of serenity and adventure.

In addition, the island has a “viewpoint” (a wooden pier), from which you can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views that embrace the island in its entirety.

Passion Island view from the sea

The Yalahau Cenote

The Yalahau Cenote is an underground natural wonder known for its sweet, transparent waters that invite you to a refreshing swim. Its natural environment adds a touch of magic, with lush vegetation that is reflected in the calm waters of the cenote. The natural light that filters through the dense vegetation creates a show of lights and shadows that will immerse you in an almost mystical atmosphere.

This cenote has a special place in local Mayan legends, as it was considered “the fountain of youth”. It is believed that its waters were considered sacred and that those who immersed themselves in them obtained spiritual and purification benefits.

Located in the middle of the jungle, access to Cenote Yalahau takes you through natural trails that increase the feeling of adventure. Cenote Yalahau offers an unforgettable experience for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and connect with the natural beauty of Holbox.

Murals in Holbox

Embark on a visual journey through the picturesque streets of Holbox, where creativity comes to life through captivating murals that tell local stories. The town of Holbox is relatively small, where the sandy streets invite you to take carefree walks and observe the wooden and palapa buildings, giving the town a unique Caribbean charm and uncovering its fishing roots.

On this paradise island, every corner is an open-air gallery, immersing you in the rich culture and artistic expression that defines the essence of Holbox. The murals, full of vibrant colors, transform the facades of the houses into authentic works of street art. Created by local and international artists, these murals capture the essence of the island and offer a unique visual experience for those exploring the streets of Holbox.

Whether you travel by bicycle or explore the charms of the Main Plaza, the murals will accompany you every step of the way. Discover the charm of Holbox and let its magic envelop you!

Image of the sandy streets and murals of Holbox

Punta Cocos Beach

On the western shores of the island of Holbox, we discover the exquisite Punta Cocos Beach, a corner of natural beauty that defines the essence of the Mexican Caribbean.

This coastal retreat captivates visitors with its soft sand and crystal-clear waters, providing an idyllic experience amidst the tranquility and exuberance of nature. Punta Coco is part of the Yum Balam natural reserve, which guarantees the preservation and protection of its rich biodiversity. As you relax on the beach, you'll be able to spot seabirds and perhaps even dolphins playing in the nearby waters.

From this beach, you will be able to observe one of the most spectacular and unforgettable sunsets of the trip, as well as the phenomenon of bioluminescence, which we will talk about below.

Image of Punta Cocos Beach next to the wooden pier


In Holbox you can observe one of the most impressive natural phenomena that exists: bioluminescence. This natural spectacle transforms the ocean into a brilliant stage, where every movement creates luminous flashes, offering a fascinating and unique vision of water and marine life.

The waters around Holbox come to life at night, especially in the summer months, revealing a dance of lights (thanks to a biochemical reaction) performed by bioluminescent organisms, such as phytoplankton and other microorganisms. To be able to enjoy this great phenomenon, we recommend moonless nights or nights with as little light pollution as possible.

Take the opportunity to live this experience with a guided boat excursion, where local experts will take you to the best places to witness this phenomenon. Alternatively, if you prefer a more intimate experience, you can venture out on your own in a kayak and enjoy bioluminescence under a starry sky.

Aquatic activities

In Holbox, although it is a small island, it is possible to do a large number of activities, especially aquatic ones.

You will discover a range of exciting experiences ranging from encounters with majestic whale sharks, all types of boat or kayak tours, to the adrenaline of kitesurfing. Join us in this guide to the water activities that make Holbox a paradise for ocean lovers. Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of fun and discovery under the Caribbean sun!

Snorkeling with Whale Sharks

Venture out into the waters for one of the most captivating experiences Holbox has to offer: diving with the majestic whale sharks. An exciting opportunity to observe these giants of the ocean up close, in fact they are currently the largest fish on our planet. Without a doubt, this activity is the “star” of the island of Holbox.

Accompanied by expert guides, you will discover the stunning beauty of these animals in their natural environment, providing an intimate connection with marine life. Get ready to live unforgettable moments while swimming alongside whale sharks, an experience that will awaken your amazement and love for the marine biodiversity of Holbox.

a man swimming with a whale shark in the ocean


For adrenaline lovers, kitesurfing in Holbox is an unmissable activity. This paradisiacal island, blessed with ideal winds and crystal-clear Caribbean waters, becomes the perfect setting to glide over the waves, propelled by the force of the wind.

Whether you are an experienced kitesurfer or are taking your first steps in this exciting water sport, Holbox offers exceptional conditions for all levels. Let yourself be carried away by the perfect combination of wind, sea and skill.

a man jumping in the air while kitesurfing

Restaurants in Holbox

Flavors that will captivate your palate. Holbox not only conquers with its beauty, but also with its wide gastronomic offer.

Exploring Holbox's food scene is not only a delight for the palate, but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and hospitality. From authentic Mexican flavors to international options, Holbox restaurants offer a culinary experience that complements the island's natural beauty.

Mahi Holbox, Luuma, Viva Zapata, Edelyn and Ser Esencia are more than restaurants; They are culinary destinations that fuse tradition and creativity in every bite.

Mahi Holbox

This charming restaurant invites you to enjoy the authentic fish and seafood from the island of Holbox. With dishes prepared with fresh local ingredients, Mahi Holbox offers a dining experience that combines fresh, vibrant flavors and artistic presentations.


If you're looking for a bohemian atmosphere, with contemporary gourmet cuisine and healthy options, Luuma is the perfect choice. This restaurant stands out for its vegetarian and vegan options and its desserts, using local and organic products to create delicious dishes that take care of both the palate and the health.

Viva Zapata

Immerse yourself in the authentic Mexican experience at Viva Zapata. This colorful restaurant, with its festive decor, offers a variety of traditional dishes and local flavors, from tacos to ceviches, all prepared with fresh, authentic ingredients.


If you're looking for a gourmet experience, Edelyn is the ideal choice. With a menu that stands out for its fresh seafood and international options, this restaurant offers a unique mix of flavors, highlighting its lobster pizza, recognized by all customers and for being one of the most representative dishes on the island.

Ser Esencia

The fusion of local and fresh ingredients with innovative culinary techniques defines Ser Esencia's unique gastronomic proposal. This restaurant, with a more sophisticated touch, presents elaborate dishes that surprise diners with unexpected flavors.

Tips for visiting Holbox

To make the most of your visit, we offer practical and useful tips on the best time to travel, can't-miss activities and the locals' best-kept secrets. Holbox is much more than an island, it is a lifestyle waiting to be discovered.

At Park Royal Hotels & Resorts, we're always available for you to stay at any of our hotels in Cancun: Grand Park Royal Cancun, Park Royal Beach Cancun, and The Villas Cancun by Grand Park Royal. To get from there to Holbox, it is necessary to take a ferry from the town of Chiquila. If you only have one day to do this excursion, with the reservation of this same excursion to Holbox, a bus can pick you up at the hotel first thing in the morning, including drinks and fish-based food at a local restaurant. During this tour, which lasts about 10 hours, the bus will take you to Chiquila and once there you will board a private boat or ferry that will take you directly to the Island of Holbox.

Holbox, with its tropical climate, is an attractive destination all year round, but the best time to visit is from private boat or November to April. During these months, the weather is warm and dry, perfect for enjoying the beaches and outdoor activities. Avoid the rainy season from May to October to ensure sunny days and ideal conditions.

As we have commented throughout this guide, the best activities to do in Holbox are whale shark watching (from May to September), the phenomenon of nocturnal bioluminescence, different water activities (kayaking, paddle surfing, diving, etc.) and explore the island by bike.

Finally, the best kept secrets of this island, and must-visit points, are the Yalahau Cenote and its surroundings, the hidden gastronomic corners and being able to do artisanal fishing with local fishermen, where you can enjoy the freshness of the seafood captured in the moment.

Get ready to explore this Caribbean paradise and immerse yourself in the magic of Holbox Island!
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