Isla Holbox is an island in Quintana Roo, better known worldwide as the Mexican Caribbean.

. . . Holbox . . .

Holbox Island, population 2,000, is 38 mi (61 km) north-west of Cancún, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the 154,000 square kilometer Yum Balamecological reserve. It is known in particular for its whale sharks.

From Chiquilá. There are two companies that operate from the dock, very similar boats, similar prices, and leaves at the same time. Take your pick. Costs M$140 (one-way) and runs daily at 06:00, 08:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00, 17:00, 19:00, and 21:30. On weekends it also runs at 15:00 and 18:00. It takes about 25-30 minutes. With two or more people you can charter a fisher’s boat for the same price.

From Cancún (follow signs on the road), take Hwy 180 (called Merida Libre) or Avenida José López Portillo, direction to Merida. Keep to the right when the road separates. At El Ideal, turn right to Kantunilkin, and you will arrive in Chiquilá, where the road ends.

There are three buses daily from Cancún to Chiquilá and back on Mayab and Oriente. They leave from the main Cancun ADO terminal at 7:40 am, 9:40am, and 12:50 pm (as of Apr 2017) and the price is MXN125 per person. On Mayab (the first two) there is no luggage storage under the bus, and you’ll need to take it aboard. The bus may or may not be full so there may be a chance to place your luggage in an empty seat, however, that is not always guaranteed. The bus takes between 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours.

From Mérida you can take a night bus at 23:30, arriving in Chiquilá at 05:30, passing Valladolid around 02:30. If you prefer traveling during the day, you can take a bus from Mérida or Valladolid to Tizimín and change there to a bus to Chiquilá.

Map of Holbox

The island of Holbox is very small and there are no paved roads, only sandy paths. There are very few cars on the island and most people get around by walking, bicycle, or golf cart.

Sunset in Punta Norte, Holbox.
  • Birdwatching. You’ve got a good chance to see flamingos and lots of other birds if you walk the beach west or east away from town. (updated Nov 2017)

. . . Holbox . . .

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. . . Holbox . . .

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