Best of Holbox

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Holbox
Perched above the Yucatan Peninsula, the car-free island of Holbox has breathtaking beaches, scenic lagoons and tropical rainforest with an astonishing abundance of wildlife. The entire island is part of Yum Balam, a 590-square-mile land and marine reserve that’s home to jaguars, tapirs, manatees and over 400 bird species. East of Holbox, the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico at Cabo Catoche, an area of pristine rainforest, virgin beaches, and abundant sea life. In the summer, massive whale sharks congregate near the island, offering unforgettable opportunities to swim with these gentle giants.

There are countless ways to experience the allure of this pristine region. Previous kimkim travelers have headed out on paddling excursions among the mangroves at dawn — the best time to see wildlife. Evening offers equally rewarding possibilities on tours kayaking under the stars. This is the chance to see bioluminescence (the otherworldly glow of light produced by sea organisms) as well as the spectacle overhead of unpolluted, constellation-filled skies. 
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A cenote in the Yucatan
Map of Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days
Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days

With 12 days to spare, you can discover the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with plenty of time to relax and soak up the beach life. Start in Valladolid to learn about traditional cuisine and Maya cities such as Chichen Itz. Swim in little-known cenotes, explore the Cobá archeological site by bike, and while the day away on Playa del Carmen's beaches. Finish your trip with four days on Holbox Island, where you'll swim with whale sharks, observe exotic birds, and cruise through mangroves by kayak.

Chichen Itza
Mexico's Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 10 Days

Explore ancient Maya ruins, kick back on the beach, and visit the rainforest on this ten-day trip to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Start the trip in Tulum for swims in cenotes, then head to Valladolid to see Chichen Itza and other archaeological sites. End the trip on Holbox Island, a car-free oasis of sprawling beaches and quiet cafes.

Valladolid, Mexico
Map of History, Nature & Gastronomy in Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 13 Days
History, Nature & Gastronomy in Mexico City, Valladolid & Isla Holbox - 13 Days

Experience the best of Mexico's food and culture and still find time to relax on the beach on this 12-day trip from Mexico City to the Yucatán Peninsula. Start in the capital and explore the past, from Frida Kahlo's house to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. Then, head to Yalcobá to swim in freshwater cenotes and learn about Mayan milpa farming before taking the ferry to Isla Holbox, where you'll fish, kayak in bioluminescent water, and chill in a hammock.

Traditional meal
Mexico Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 11 Days

Swim in a hidden jungle cenote, explore the Playa Ruinas near Tulum, and more on this eleven-day exploration of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. You'll go caving underground to see ancient geologic formations, visit the archaeological site of Coba, and end the trip by relaxing on Holbox Island's beautiful sand beaches.

Tulum beach, Yucatán
Map of Relaxation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 Days
Relaxation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 8 Days

There are few better places for a quick recharge than Mexico's stunning Yucatán Peninsula. Over eight days, you'll travel down the famous Riviera Maya, hike around fortress ruins in Tulum, visit indigenous Maya communities, swim in exotic lagoons, and stroll around historic cities. However, you'll really kick back and relax during a couple of free days on the remote beaches of tranquil Holbox Island.

A Maya Riviera turtle
Map of Yucatán Adventure: Mexico City, Valladolid, Puerto Morelos & Holbox - 15 Days
Yucatán Adventure: Mexico City, Valladolid, Puerto Morelos & Holbox - 15 Days

From tacos and mezcal shots in Mexico City to lazing on the beaches of Holbox Island, this tour offers it all in just over two weeks. Start in Mexico's capital, where you'll learn the city's history while floating on the canals of Xochimilco. Head to Valladolid and discover the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Yalcoba, then venture along the Maya Riviera and snorkel in Puerto Morelos. Finish it all up by relaxing on the beaches of Holbox with some bird and whale shark watching thrown in.

Holbox Island
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 12 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 12 Days

From the colonial streets of Valladolid to the peaceful beaches of Holbox Island, this 12-day itinerary delivers plenty of adventure and relaxation in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Tour ancient Maya ruins, go swimming in underground rivers, and enjoy some R&R on the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island. And that's just the start.

Hammocks on a beach in Puerto Morelos
Map of Treasures of the Yucatán Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days
Treasures of the Yucatán Peninsula with Beach Stay - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary starts and ends in Cancún. In between, you'll enjoy a journey through the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula, learning about Mayan history at Chichén Itzá, visiting colorful seaside villages, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling around the coral reef off Puerto Morelos, and taking a boat to Holbox Island for a few days away from civilization.

Laguna Chunyaxche
Map of Mexican Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 9 Days
Mexican Culture & Beaches: Tulum, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 9 Days

From Mexico's Caribbean coast to the colonial streets of Valladolid, this nine-day trip showcases thousands of years of history and culture while leaving ample time for rest and relaxtion. Dive into cenote lagoons, marvel at the great pyramids of Chichén Itzá, and relax on the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island. Along the way, take part in cultural exchanges to learn about indigenous Maya customs as you meet local families and enjoy traditional home-cooked meals.

Take in the ancient Maya ruins and lie out on the pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya
Map of Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days
Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days

The Caribbean side of Mexico isn't known as the western Riviera for nothing—this stunning section of coast is lined with white-sand beaches home to towering hotels overlooking turquoise waters. More than that, it's filled with ancient Maya ruins, fairy-tale cenotes, and unspoiled nature reserves. You'll see all this and more as you spend 13 days on a self-drive tour around the region's natural highlights and resort towns—from Tulum to Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island.

Bacalar Lagoon
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 14 Days

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to see some of Mexico's best archaeological sites — including Chichen Itza — while also leaving plenty of time for relaxation. You'll swim in beautiful cenotes, explore the colonial city of Merida, and experience indigenous culture. End with a couple days on Holbox Island, where sand, surf, and beautiful sunshine await.

Ancient pyramid of Uxmal reflected in young boy's sunglasses.
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Yucatán Peninsula - 14 Days

The beaches and jungles of southern Mexico beckon on this adventurous, two-week family vacation. Start in Chiapas with the kids in tow to explore lost Maya cities, paddle across jungle lagoons, and join in the crafts and rituals of the native Lacandon people. Then it's on to the Yucatán Peninsula to cool off in turquoise swimming holes and tour colorful colonial cities before ending your trip on the white sands of Holbox Island.

Drink refreshing "cocos" (coconuts) on a Mexican beach
Map of Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 15 Days
Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 15 Days

When you combine the incredible sights of Mexico with its delicious flavors, you have a recipe for the perfect vacation. This grand tour starts with Mexico City's highlights and includes copious samplings of tasty street food and famous spirits. From there, you'll travel to historic landmarks and natural wonders throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, from the pyramids of Chichén Itzá to the white-sand beaches of the Riviera Maya to the remote islands of the far north.

Yokdzonot Cenote in Yucatán
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 15 Days

Fifteen days in Mexico's Yucatán region is enough time to visit famous archaeological sites while also enjoying its famous white-sand beaches. Explore the ruins at Chichén Itzá, experience indigenous cultural traditions, and float in the turquoise waters of the Chemuyil cenotes—these are just a few of the highlights. You'll also venture to Holbox Island and enjoy its famous golden sunsets.

Ancient Maya ruins of Ek'Balam
Map of Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas &  Yucatán - 12 Days
Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas & Yucatán - 12 Days

This family-friendly itinerary of southern Mexico combines cultural activities with plenty of natural exploration. The first half of your trip will see you exploring Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, el Chiflón and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and the impressive ruins of Palenque. From there, you will head to colonial-era Campeche where you will pick up your rental car and tour the Yucatán: from modern Mayan communities to ancient ruins, from refreshing cenotes to the white sands of Holbox Island.

El Castillo ruins at historically famous Tulum
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 11 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 11 Days

When you combine the ancient Maya culture of the Yucatán Peninsula with its natural beauty, you have all the makings of the perfect holiday. Over 11 days, you'll visit the highlights of this region, like its famous Maya ruins, while also going off the beaten path to swim in turquoise cenote lagoons and visit indigenous villages. Beyond that, you'll participate in Maya culinary workshops, snorkel in marine reserves, and discover Holbox Island's tranquil paradise.

Relax in sun-kissedBacalar in the Yucatán
Map of Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days
Yucatán Road Trip: Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid, Mérida, Holbox & Puerto Morelos - 12 Days

Get ready for a 12-day road-trip adventure across Mexico's famed Yucatán Peninsula, known for its Caribbean beaches, underground cenotes, and ancient Maya ruins. You'll see all of it, starting at the fortress ruins in Tulum and then visiting biosphere reserves and exotic turquoise lakes. Next, you'll venture north to enjoy cultural exchanges in indigenous communities, visit Spanish-colonial heritage cities, and descend into underground caves sacred to the Maya people.

A close up of Mexico City's "tacos al pastor"
Map of Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 12 Days
Food & Culture from Mexico City to the Yucatán - 12 Days

Over 12 days, you'll experience the cultural highlights of Mexico City and the Yucatán Peninsula, from the cuisine to the historic landmarks to the natural beauty. It starts with a whirlwind tour of Mexico's capital, during which you'll nibble on street food, stroll the colonial streets of Coyoacán, and hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán. Then it's off to the stunning Yucatán region to laze on white-sand beaches, visit biosphere reserves, and hike around ancient Maya ruins.

Ancient Uxmal Ruins
Map of Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days
Nature & Maya Culture in the Yucatán - 13 Days

Spend 13 days enjoying the best of the Yucatán Peninsula on this whirlwind itinerary. Tour the famous ruins at Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichén Itzá, plus visit Spanish-colonial heritage towns like Izamal and Valladolid. Throughout the adventure, you'll also dive into turquoise cenote lagoons, immerse yourself in local Maya culture, and enjoy some "me" time on the white-sand beaches of Puerto Morelos and Holbox Island.

Take a dip in the Caribbean Sea after exploring the Tulum Archaeological Zone
Map of Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days
Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days

A great thing about Mexico is that its cultural highlights also make for some of the most fun activities. You'll experience many such adventures over 13 days as you tour the historic center of Mexico City, hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán, and visit colorful neighborhoods like Xochimilco. Then you're off to the famous Yucatán Peninsula to tour the ruins of ancient Maya cities, participate in indigenous cultural exchanges, and enjoy beach time on the Caribbean coast and the Holbox Island.

Join a boat tour through captivating Sumidero Canyon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days
Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days

This 13-day adventure covers the highlights of two of southern Mexico's most historic and naturally beautiful states: Chiapas & Yucatán. In the former, you'll tour natural wonders like Sumidero Canyon and the Agua Azul waterfalls. In the latter, you'll visit its most famous archeological sites, like Palenque and Uxmal, while also enjoying the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island and Playa del Carmen.

Enjoying the views
Nature & Mayan Life: Tulum, Bacalar, Merida, Holbox, & More - 16 Days

Explore the best of Mexico's offerings on this comprehensive 16-day trip. Swim in crystal clear cenotes and go sailing in the Bacalar Lagoon. Continue to Chunhuhub for a mystical bonfire experience, then spend a few days exploring the historical sites of Merida and Chichen Itza. End the trip on Holbox Island for several days of sun, beach, and surf.

Agua Azul Waterfall
Map of Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days
Family Trip to Chiapas & the Riviera Maya - 14 Days

On this family-friendly two-week itinerary, you'll discover the diverse state of Chiapas, with its jungle waterfalls, colonial cities, and Mayan communities. Then you'll pick up a rental car and drive yourself around the Yucatán Peninsula, stopping to relax on the beach, swim in cenotes, and visit archaeological ruins perched high above the Caribbean Sea.

Exploring the Cenotes
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 18 Days

Take eighteen relaxing days to drive through the Yucatan Peninsula as you explore the best that Mexico has to offer: colonial cities, indigenous communities, white-sand beaches, and ancient Mayan ruins. Start the trip in Tulum for a dip into a turquoise cenote, then head to Bacalar for a sail on the lagoon. End in Valladolid and Holbox Island for sunrise at Chichen Itza and a couple days on the beach.

Puerto Morelos
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 19 Days

Drive from city to beach on this nineteen-day immersive trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, you'll explore the best that the region has to offer. Tour historic sites, sample local fare, relax on beaches, and more as you make your way through the jungles and roads of the area.

Scuba diving in the Yucatan
Explore the Mayan World: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Holbox Island, & More - 21 Days

Fully immerse yourself into Mexican history and culture on this comprehensive three-week trip. From the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid to the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, this trip covers millennia of history and leaves room for relaxation and food. End the trip on Holbox Island for some of Mexico's loveliest beaches and plenty of sunshine

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Mexico City · Yucatan Peninsula · Valladolid · Tulum · Oaxaca · Chiapas · Puerto Morelos · Merida · San Cristobal de las Casas · Palenque · Cancun · Cholula · Playa del Carmen · Puebla · Bacalar · Campeche · Uxmal · Chunhuhub · Calakmul · Guadalajara · San Miguel de Allende · La Paz · Morelia · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos · Guanajuato · Querétaro