Pure Paradise on Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is an island not far from Cancun, in the Gulf of Mexico, bordering on the Caribbean Sea. It is a sand island with no cars, just bikes and golf buggies zipping about. As expected, it’s vibe is super relaxed.

This is the spot to take tours to see whale sharks in the right season. Unfortunately I’d missed this by about a month.


If I’m honest, I didn’t do a whole lot. But I did make the most of the beautiful beaches and warm weather. I spent most of my time on the beach, which of course makes a lot of sense when it’s all white sand and clear water.

Here are a few other things I got up to.

Walking dogs

The animal shelter on the island does wonderful work to look after injured and abandoned animals.

The majority of the animals are dogs and cats. While I visited there was also a raccoon and brown pelican. The puppy in the picture below – Rocky – was hit by a car on the mainland. He had his leg amputated. His operation was only one week before I was there but already he was full of energy and bounding around.

It’s possible to help out while you’re visiting the island, even if you’re there just a short time. I took a few dogs on walks to the beach. I know they really loved this! They are also in need of general help around the shelter, donations of money and supplies.


Although Holbox is a great place to just chill, I needed to do some exploring so I went on a kayak tour, organised by my hostel.

We took a boat from the beach up to the other end of the island where the river is. We were out on the water for about 4 hours and the sun was hot. 

Not long into our trip, we saw two groups of flamingos! They didn’t like us getting to close so they kept moving away.


We made our way through the main river and then veered off into some mangroves. This part was super fun! Especially the low and narrow mangrove areas where we had to duck under trees and manuver around tight corners.


After reaching a dead end, we made our way back to the main river. Here we saw a crocodile, more flamingos and some rosé spoonbills.

We stopped at one point to have a mud bath in the sulfur infused mud. We then paddled back to the beach and got the boat back to our beach.

Street art

As with almost everywhere I’ve been in Mexico and Central America, the street art has been fantastic. Such a great way to liven up a dull wall or building. Here are a few pieces I spotted around the island.

So that’s how I spent my few days on the gorgeous Isla Holbox!

I’m going now to the other side of the Peninsula to check out Playa del Carmen.

Cheers, Mel 🙂


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