Isla Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) is so close to Playa del Carmen now that the new road is open. You can go for the just the day or stay for a night or two.
Isla Holbox is one of the most laid back, peaceful, beautiful islands you will find. It's perfect for someone who wants to completely relax, read a book, watch the ocean, swim, and stroll through the town. There isn't a lot to do except during the summer months when the whale sharks are swimming off shore. You can easily get a boat trip out to the whale sharks to swim with them.
It's a rather large island at 26 miles long but only a mile wide. 3/4 of it is a National Game Preserve. There are three rivers segmenting the island and acting as a barrier for wildlife to enter the town. The population is about 2000 but growing quickly. NO Cars are allowed on the island. Rent a golf cart and drive on the beaches. If you decide not to rent one, you can hail a golf cart taxi. They are Yellow. (We had on yellow raincoats during the rainy season. Not the same as a yellow cab).
The town is really cute. Lots of fun little shops and restaurants to stop at.
We prefer to eat on the beautiful beach.
Now that you know what a great place it is, your first decision is how to get there. There are three options:
Fly private aircraft from Playa del Carmen airport
Take a bus
Rent a car and drive
Here's info on flying to Holbox (they have their own small airport for general aviation)
CONVENIENT fly anytime between 7am and 6:30pm - whenever you like FAST The fastest way to get to Holbox - flight time from Cancun is only 35 minutes DIRECT Fly directly to and from Cancún International Airport (FBO terminal) SAFE Safety and security are our top priority MANY DESTINATIONS Xcalac, Kohunlich, Chetumal, Mahahaul, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Merida, Holbox, Campeche, Villa Hermosa, Palenque, Havana, Cuba, Bahamas, Miami, Belize and Honduras.
You've heard all of the rumors and stories about this option. But here are some FACTS to help you make your decision. There is so much to see and do outside of Playa del Carmen, that I still think it's worth it. But DO NOT rent a car to drive...
It you decide to drive, get on the new highway and head north. There are signs in Playa pointing to HOLBOX. You will need to park at the town of Chiquila and take a boat to Isla Holbox. There is a fee for parking but, it wasn't much. I don't even remember how much. There is a ferry that seems to run at very irregular times plus there are small private boats available on demand. I've done both and the cost was the same.
A new tourist center is now open near the Chiquila ferry dock.
Chiquilá, Q.R. - A new tourist facility has been inaugurated for the port city of Chiquilá with an investment of 17.5 million peso. The inauguration was held Thursday by la Secretaría estatal de Turismo (Sedetur) Marisol Vanegas Pérez, who reports that the new facility, named Yum Balam Tourist Parador, will help support tourism.
The drive to Chiquila is fun. Be sure to stop in the little town of Solferino to see the "about a 1000 year old" tree. It's right on the road (the only road) to Chiquila, about 15 minutes out. There are signs pointing to the right in both English and Spanish. The tree sits right on the "road" and you can get out and take photos. Across the street is a walk through the trees concession but you don't need to pay them or anyone.
Try to plan your drive early in the AM or in the evening so that you increase your chances of seeing the Spider Monkeys on the ladders over the road.
Here's a map of the new highway from Playa del Carmen to Holbox (via Chiquila). It was cut through virgin jungle and they built monkey ladders all along the way to give the monkeys a safe way to travel. If you travel early in the morning or late in...
Late May 'til August is Whale Sharking Season. Take this opportunity to swim with the largest fish on the planet. Don't worry, they only eat Krill and Plankton. Best places to depart from (in a boat) are Isla Holbox or Isla Mujeres Both are just...
Whale shark season is fast approaching. From late May to August every year the largest fish on Earth come to feed in the Riviera Maya. The best departure points are Holbox Island or Isla Mujeres. Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity....
Although excursions to swim with these gentle giants are available from June to September, the interactions are best in July & August. Our important travel info for you is to plan a full day for this excursion, no matter what it says on the brochure.
These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.