Fast Facts

Location: NW of Cancun, Mexico. Separated from mainland Mexico by a narrow lagoon.
Signification: Swimming with Whale Sharks, the biggest fish; peaceful coastal life.
How to Reach: Fly from Playa del Carman and Cancun. Alternatively, if you are coming here for only a day, hire a transfer from Cancun. You can also take a bus and reach the town of Chiquila. From Chiquila, take a ferry and cross over to the island of Holbox. You can also hire an Air Taxi.
Best Time to Visit: Between the months of May and September, the migration season for the whale sharks.
Nearest International Airport: Cancun International Airport

At the surface, Isla Holbox in Mexico is just like any South American coastal paradise: endless beaches, pristine blue water, great sun and soccer on the beach. However, come the month of May, and something curious happen in its surrounding waters. Hundreds of Blue Whales, the biggest fish of the ocean, migrate to claim their share of ocean’s bounty — small fishes, planktons and other products of the marine depths. Contrary to your idea of what is a shark is like, these filter feeders are very friendly animals that actually enjoy the company of curious humans. So, you can actually swim with the giants of the ocean. Whale shark diving are one of the favorite activities of tourists who love adventure.

Things to do in Holbox

Whale shark tours are the greatest adventures of Holbox. These tours are conducted by a number of tour agencies. Typically, these tours start early in the morning, between 7 am to 8 am. You will be ferried to spots where there is a certain chance to find the sharks, and follows thereafter is a stunning snorkeling experience. The tour agencies give you some basic guidelines, and also provide you with necessary diving gears.

Once under the water, you will find yourself up and close with the spectacular blue whales. Sighting is almost a certainty, because blue whales come to these parts of the ocean in great numbers, and secondly because they are not shy of people. On the other hand, they actually approach human beings in a rather harmless way, as if to humor the curious onlookers.

Although Blue Whales are the greatest attractions of Holbox, you will also find a large number of other aquatic and terrestrial species on your way to the trip. Wild Dolphins, Flamingos, egrets, and pelicans are some of the beautiful species that you may expect to see on your way. If you are lucky, you may also spot a rare ‘Chimay birds’. You can also catch a glimpse of the manta ray, another regal inhabitant of the ocean. They are quite harmless too, and you can approach them fearlessly.

Things to Know before your Holbox Tour

Remember, Holbox is not the most popular destination in Mexico. The locals are in fact, somewhat averse to the idea of it being turned to a tourism hotspot, fearing that the ecology of this magnificent island can be harmed by that. As a result, it is not very conveniently accessible. You have to undertake a rather bumpy ride from the town of Chiquila, which you have to reach from Cancun. Plan your itinerary well beforehand. Even when you are offshore, the town of Holbox has a unique flavor. All roads are of sand, and life is extremely laid-back, just what you need for a relaxing vacation. Do not miss the sunset along the coast, it is one of the best views you can get in Holbox.

Accommodation and Dining

There is a wide range of hotels in Holbox, although there are not many of them. Usually, they vary from thatched rustic style houses to very posh and luxurious villas. Air-condition is available in only a handful of hotels. In others, you will have to do with a fan, which usually suffices. Xaloc is the most popular resort in Holbox and is very highly rated by tourists. Some of the most popular hotels and resorts of Holbox are:

  • Elements Holbox
  • Villas Dilfines
  • Casa Sandra Hotel and Holistic Spa
  • Villas Paraiso
  • La Palapa

There are also a number of wonderful restaurants in Holbox, which serve excellent local as well as international delicacies. The ambiance of the island itself is very laid-back and calm, and the restaurants do their best to maintain it. Some of the most popular restaurants in Holbox are:

  • Edelyn
  • La Parrilla de Juan
  • La Isla del Colibri
  • Viva Zapata
  • Zarabanda

Related Links : Check out the unique experience of swimming with the magnificent blue whales in this fantastic travel video!

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