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You are here : Home > Pictures and tips for a good travel > Mexico > Holbox island

Holbox Island

'Isla holbox' in front of the village of Chiquila

Located in the "Yum Balam" ecological reserve


Official description

Holbox Island is located 11 km from Chiquila, in the open sea in front of the northern part of theYucatan peninsula, in the region of Quintana Roo, in Mexico. Holbox is a tropical fine white sand island situated in the Yalahua lagoon, which is 73km long.

Holbox island is wonderful, thanks to its magic landscapes, fine sand paths and its little wooden houses. Its inhabitants are still lovely and very friendly. Their main activities are the fishing and the tourism. We could consider Holbox as a mexican version of Cayo Largo, even if Holbox has about 1500 inhabitants, most of whom are fishermen and live in Chiquila, a village at 10 minutes walking distance from Paraiso del Mar.

To arrive to Holbox, you have to pass by the city Chiquila and then to take a ferry or a boat. The timetables of the ferries are: 6 a.m., 8 a.m, 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 5 p.m.and midnight.

Good to know :

There aren't cars in Holbox. Only the cycle cars, motorbikes, bikes and foot walks are allowed to move around the island.

There are no banks and not even cash dispensers, so don't forget to bring with you some mexican pesos or US dollars. Many shops don't accept either credit card or travel cheques.

My description

It's a very nice island, really quiet and full of streets covered from the sand and organized in grids as in the usa (so it's easy to get yours bearing). There're also many small and old wooden houses. You can have a good time there, but you don't have to exceed the 2 weeks of stay. It's like the whole region of Quintana Roo: a big marsh and consequently a HUGE mosquito's reserve.During the first week, you 'll say that it's ok, it's not a problem, and that you have to stand it just for some days. But the second week you'll be really happy to leave because even your products against the mosquitos are enable to keep them away.

From the airport of Cancun it takes 3 hours by mini bus plus 30 minutes by boat to arrive there. Be careful when you get off the shuttlewhich brings you from Cancun to Chiquila harbour. In fact, the shuttle left us really on the kerb of the harbour, and at that moment we didn't realize it cause there was a barge parked there. But two persons almost fell between the quay and the barge. Fortunataly, they managed to catch themselves in time, and so they didn't fall in the water (which could be a bad experience...) !


Actually, there're no cash machines or banks. The payments are made with pesos or american dollars. At the moment there're just a few credit card readers. In some shops it's possible to pay by adding your bill to the one you have at the hotel you stay. The hotel takes care to collect the money with a credit card, and it takes a charge of commission of 5%. This is better than the payment with euros, because the exchange of euros into pesos takes about 12% of commission.
On this island it's not possible to withdraw directly the money with a credit card. Otherwise,in the rest of the country you can find some cash machines, as in Chichen Itza or in Valadolid.

Some loose photos :

To start, here're some aerial photos (see some aerial views of Holbox island, of the region and of the airport of Cancun)




Some pics of the beaches: the north cost seaside, where are most of the hotels of the island



The cycle cars : normal cars are usually forbidden. This is a characteristic of the island and it makes it even more charming. But you still can see few nas, which are used by the police and in the building sites. Behind the yellow cab,the Villas Paraiso del Mar : a little hotel with 36 suites


The streets of the village. Only sand. It gives you the feeling to be on holiday


Next to the main square there's lot of animation. And like in most of the mexican villages, or at least in Yucatan, there's a very coloured play area in the central square. And at the beginning of the night there's a really agreeable animation there.



In front of this play area there's the famous cyber café. It offers internet access, international phones, postcards but not stamps, and some very typical t-shirts, like the one with written :: 'Blood donator' on and a huge mosquito which its mouth watering in anticipation.






Holbox aerodrome (see some aerial views of Holbox island, of the region and of the airport of Cancun)


Camping in Holbox

The gates are not just for the thieves.



And not far from there, a "little" lake of stagnant water to take in the mosquitos.


There're some hotels of this island i'd like to suggest you, and especially a local "4 stars" one (in Mexico, the stars are given not according to the quality of the services, but to the price of the rooms), :


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