The Top 5 Beaches on Holbox Island, Mexico

This beautiful little island is one of my favorite places in Mexico. I love its relaxed atmosphere, sandy streets, colorful murals, incredible natural scenery, and, most importantly, its beautiful beaches.

All these islands have calm shallow waters and powdery white sandy beaches, surrounded by lush tropical greenery. There is also a rich birdlife, including pelicans and frigatebirds, and you can often spot fish swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

No matter what kind of beach day you’re looking for, there’s always a beach with the right atmosphere for you! If you’re in the mood for dining and sun loungers, you can find everything from luxurious beach clubs to casual beach bars on the larger beaches of the island.

Prefer a bit more wilderness—or even having a beach all to yourself? Holbox has that too!

Through multiple visits to Holbox Island, I’ve gained a deep understanding of this island. I’ve explored every beach, tried out many clubs, and discovered some of the best sunset spots on the island.

Playa Holbox – The Main Beach

Pros: Closest to town, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and beach clubs.
Cons: More seaweed can be a common issue, tends to be busier and noisier than other beaches, limited shade unless you pay for it!

Holbox’s white sandy beach is adorned with palapa-style thatched umbrellas that offer extended shade, backed by palm trees and tropical foliage, creating a picturesque scene under the clear blue skies on sunny days.

Holbox’s main beach is located right in front of the town, making it the most popular and easily accessible beach.

It’s also quite beautiful: the white sandy shore and shallow crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming. There are plenty of amenities with a variety of restaurants, bars, and beach clubs catering to different tastes and budgets. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards from several places along the beach or indulge in a beachfront massage for the ultimate relaxation!

Between all the beachfront hotels and beach clubs, there’s plenty of open white sandy beach space to unwind.

If you’re looking for shade from umbrellas or palapas, or if you prefer lounging on sunbeds, you can head to the beach clubs. To use the lounges, you typically need to meet a minimum consumption requirement for food and drinks (usually around 500-600 MXN per person).

When the wind blows from the northeast, Playa Holbox may feel a bit windy. Fortunately, large waves are rare. After storms or strong winds, seaweed on this beach can become more prevalent, but many luxury hotels make efforts to clear it from the beach club areas!

Getting there: It’s just a short walk from the main square in Holbox town center (head to Calle Tiburón Ballena or Calle Palomino), only two blocks away.

Playa Mosquito (Holbox Sandbar)

Pros: Idyllic white sandy beach, sheltered lagoon for swimming, remote feel.
Cons: No shade or facilities.

On sunny days, the sandbar is made of bright white sand with water on both sides, under a clear blue sky overhead. In the distance, a few people can be seen walking. It’s the best beach in Holbox, Mexico.

Starting from the eastern end of Holbox’s main beach, a massive sandbar extends all the way to Punta Mosquito, the northernmost tip of the island. Even when the tide floods the sandbar, the water is usually not more than knee-deep, so you can walk along it into the sea.

You can’t walk all the way along Holbox Sandbar as Punta Mosquito is part of a protected natural reserve. There’s a small rope fence and a sign at the spot marked as “Playa Mosquito” on Google Maps, warning visitors not to proceed further.

The area just before this cordoned-off section might be one of the most unique beaches in Holbox. Relax on the pristine white sands, observe the birds that call the reserve home, and swim in the clearest waters you can imagine!

Between the sandbar and Holbox Island, there’s a lagoon with very calm shallow waters (up to waist-deep). During my last visit, I spotted some small batfish swimming in the shallow areas!

Getting there: The sandbar starts around Flamingo Villa Hotel on the main beach. Just follow it until you can’t go any further!

Yum Balam Natural Reserve (Facing the Sandbar)

Pros: Occasionally, you can have a small beach to yourself, shaded by trees and bushes, abundant wildlife, and the option to swim in a sheltered lagoon.
Cons: No facilities, quite far from town.

At the far end of Holbox Beach, just past the last hotel, is the entrance to a portion of the Yum Balam Natural Reserve. This vast natural reserve actually encompasses most of Holbox Island and a part of the mainland, but the coastline facing the sandbar is the location of some of Holbox’s more remote beaches.

If you’re looking for a beach all to yourself, this is the place to go! Walk northeast from the end of the main beach to enter the reserve. Here, you’ll find several small sandbars, surrounded by tangled bushes and trees that provide some shade and make for good towel-hanging spots!

You can walk about 1 kilometer into the reserve, no further than where the river meets the sea across from Playa Mosquito. I’ve heard that crocodiles can sometimes be seen in this river, so don’t attempt to cross it!

Getting there: Take a taxi (one way, 100 Mexican Pesos) or walk (about a 30-minute walk from town) to the entrance of the reserve. The entrance is at the end of the beach road, right across from Hotel Las Nubes. Enter the reserve along the small path and walk along the beach until you find a spot you like.

Beaches West of Holbox Town

Pros: Some areas offer shade, sheltered swimming spots, a few beach clubs, and restaurants.
Cons: Limited to gaps between hotel beach clubs, not as much shade (unless you pay for beds and umbrellas).

Holbox’s main beach seems to extend eastward from the town. However, if you head west, there are still plenty of beaches to enjoy!

The beaches here are often quieter than the “main” beach. There are fewer hotels and beach clubs, so you can easily find a spot in between—although there isn’t always shade. The stretch between Hotel Puerto and Mystique is a nice area, with some shade from shrubbery in the mornings.

Some hotels have constructed sandbag barriers to create sheltered swimming coves where you can enjoy safe shallow waters—perfect for families with kids.

As you go further, the beach becomes even quieter. If you’re looking for a secluded swimming spot, head to Casa Blanca. The beach between there and Punta Coco sees very few visitors.

Getting there: Just head to the main beach and turn left instead of right!

Punta Coco

Pros: Provides a remote feel with a few secluded spots, quieter atmosphere, abundant natural landscapes, and shaded areas with trees and shrubs.
Cons: Far from the main town, only two beach clubs, which can often result in higher costs for food and sunbeds.

Punta Coco might be my personal favorite beach on Holbox Island. It’s the farthest you can reach from the town, and it feels incredibly tranquil and remote.

There’s plenty of shade here with abundant trees and shrubs, making it an ideal spot for people like me who are prone to sunburn! As the beach faces west, it’s also one of the best sunset spots in Holbox.

There’s a hotel here – Margaritaville St. Somewhere – and a beach club, Holbox Magico, with bright pink hammocks and a lovely bohemian atmosphere. But I prefer to skip both of these places and walk along the beach as far as you can go. Here, you’ll reach a long stretch of fine sandy beach, with a lagoon on one side and the sea on the other.

Punta Coco is part of the local nature reserve. Be sure to respect any roped-off areas as these are important breeding/nesting grounds for birds and sea turtles!

Important note: Bring plenty of water and snacks (or money for beach clubs). Insect repellent is also crucial, especially around the lagoon. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Transport: You can take a taxi from town (about 100 Mexican Pesos), ride a bicycle along the sandy path, or walk. If you choose to walk, you can follow the road, but I find it more enjoyable to walk along the beach from Holbox Town. Just head west, along the coastline, past Margaritaville (the last hotel), and then head towards the lagoon.

Does Holbox have Sargassum or seaweed?

In recent years, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have faced a significant issue with the influx of Sargassum (a type of seaweed) washing up on their beaches. Where it accumulates and dries up, it can create some unpleasant odors and disrupt the idyllic white sand ambiance. The Sargassum season in Cancun typically starts around May and lasts until around October, but it can vary from year to year.

Typically, Holbox, which faces northwest, doesn’t experience this phenomenon unless it’s after an exceptionally severe storm. However, there is an abundance of seagrass here. It serves as vital habitat and a food source for wildlife, making this island so unique.

However, after heavy winds and rain, it can get washed ashore in large quantities, and the accumulated seaweed often emits an odor as it dries. Nonetheless, it’s not too bothersome and certainly not as bad as the Sargassum on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula during the summer.

The ideal beach for watching the sunset in Holbox

The Holbox Pier on the main beach (near the colorful Holbox letters) – this is the most popular sunset spot on the island.

In front of El Chiringuito Bar Zomay (or the bar itself).

Punta Cocos – West-facing Punta Cocos is a beautiful sunset spot. The silhouette of the wooden pier against the setting sun makes for stunning photographs.

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