Holbox Gay Travel
Holbox gay travel is exploding in popularity. Here are the best hotels, pristine beaches, trendy nightclubs and top restaurants in this LGBT-friendly town!
The Gay Travel Experience: Holbox, Mexico
When I saw the beaches on Holbox Island, my jaw dropped. I could not believe my eyes. There are truly very few places in the world that can compare to the gorgeous shallow water along the Holbox coastline.
What could make this paradise better? Well, I’d say the fact that gay guys love Holbox certainly helps!
Soon after arriving to the island with my partner Michael, we learned that Holbox is quite popular with gay couples. There were several gay guys in our hotel alone!
Throughout the week, we saw gay couples holding hands in the water, showing some adorable affection. Michael even ran into some old gay friends from New York City.
I have to say…Holbox gay travel is one of my absolute top recommendations. Next to my other favorite world beach destination Koh Lipe, Holbox is at the top of the list. In the sections of this guide, I’ll cover where to stay in Holbox, how to get there, bars, restaurants, safety and more.
Holbox Where to Stay, Hotels & Hostels
When deciding where to stay in Holbox, consider the walking distance from a potential hotel to the town center.
The hotels lining Playa de Holbox are quite popular since you can get to town within 10 minutes or so on foot. Some Holbox hotels offer more seclusion, nestled away from the town center.
You may be surprised to learn that the beaches in front of Holbox hotels are not the crystal blue-water beaches you see online! This takes many tourists by surprise. In fact, there actually aren’t any places to stay in front of the pristine Holbox beaches.
Holbox Gay Friendly Hotels
I stayed at a wonderful boutique hotel called Punta Caliza. Punta Caliza is the top gay-friendly Holbox hotel. They have an iconic angularly shaped pool as well as private pools up against the windows of each hotel room!
Each room’s pool has a big door you can swing open into the main area so you never feel secluded.
Casa Las Tortugas is another impeccable Holbox hotel that’s popular with gay travelers. They have beachfront rooms for two or four people, as well as standard rooms and master suites. Some rooms have private terraces.
Every room is absolutely beautiful, with a clean beachy ambiance and exposed wood framing. Casa Las Tortugas also has an on-site wellness and spa in addition to plenty of secluded spots on the property to lounge in paradise.
Best Holbox Hostels
Backpackers looking for Holbox hostels will feel right at home at Hostel Tribu. This is definitely the best place to stay on a budget on Holbox Island. It’s also in a good area, nearby most of the popular bars and nightclubs.
Hostel Tribu has many different types of shared and private rooms. They truly span the range by offering options from ten-person bunk-bed dorms, to a king suite which includes a private balcony.
If you’re traveling with partnered friends, Hostel Tribu has an awesome “double bunk bed” room. It’s perfect for two couples to share, or for two travelers who just want a little extra room in their bed.
Hostel Tribu offers more than just accommodations! The popular Bar Tribu is directly next to the accommodations. Read more about Bar Tribu below in this guide’s section on Holbox bars and clubs.
Holbox Gay Travel: Things to Do in Paradise
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Holbox has one of most stunning beaches in the world. The two beaches mentioned below truly made me jump with joy.
Holbox offers more than beaches, though. Those who crave adventure can book a bioluminescence kayak adventure or a kitesurfing session.
Visit Punta Mosquito (Mosquito Beach)
The number one thing to do in Holbox is to visit Punta Mosquito before it’s too late! I recommend Punta Mosquito with such urgency because Michael and I were the only two people on this beach for as far as the eye can see. We were 100% alone, taking in the most beautiful beach vista I have ever seen.
You’ll only need to wade into waist-high water at most to get on and off the boat (since there are no docks). Bring plenty to keep busy and prepare to take the most stunning photos of your life! The boat ride is delightful. Keep an eye out for flocks of flamingos.
You’ll need to bring some strong bug repellent if you will be at Punta Mosquito any time after sunset. Just as our boat came to bring us back to the hotel before sunset, I was attacked by horse flies. Those bites hurt!
Stroll Playa de Los Flamengo (Flamingo Beach)
Flamingo Beach, or Playa de Los Flamengo, is a short distance away from Playa Holbox. Flamingo Beach water is just as crystal clear as the water at above-mentioned Punta Mosquito. There are simply more tourists here. Flamingo Beach is a must-see on Holbox Island.
Lastly, the walk to Flamingo Beach from the park entrance will be about 15 to 20 minutes. When you reach the shore, prepare to wade through some calm, waist high water for a few minutes until you reach the sand bars.
I definitely recommend a sturdy pair of sandals like Birkenstocks that will be good for riding bikes and treading the beaches without flicking sand all over yourself.
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Kitesurf in Holbox
While making your way toward Flamingo beach, you will see various kite surfers just past the national reserve entrance. If there is enough wind, these guys will be having fun all day long.
I didn’t try it myself, but it sure looks thrilling. You can easily book a Holbox kite surfing experience with your hotel, if not online.
Perhaps just as entertaining for some, fly your own kite instead! there’s plenty of open beach space to have fun with a kite.
Book A Holbox Bioluminescence Tour
I also recommend you specify to the bioluminescence tour company that you prefer not to step through a ton of seaweed.
Michael and I did not have a pleasant experience getting into the kayak. We had to step through ten feet of decomposing seaweed sludge. This isn’t the norm, but is something I hope you can avoid!
Also, leave your phone at home unless you have a wet-bag and can manage to do your photography in the dark.
These tiny creatures, invisible to the naked eye, shed light like fireflies when you agitate the water. I won’t describe it in too much detail, because you’ll see it on your tour.
Holbox Gay Travel: Best Restaurants
The food at Viva Zapata is some of the island’s best. Michael and I went once for lunch and stuffed ourselves with tacos. Another time I went for dinner and tried the shrimp in spinach sauce.
Roots Pizza Holbox has several types of thin-crust, Mexican inspired pizzas. They are known for their special lobster pizza. Roots is especially good for large groups of 7 to 10 people. They have large round tables to share with family or friends.
Foodie Hall is a quick and easy spot for dinner or an evening snack. There are different windows from which you can order traditional Mexican food or other world cuisines if you so desire. The tacos here were delicious.
Grab some cheap Mexican soul food at La Tapatía. I experienced some of the friendliest Holbox restaurant service here. The friendly waitresses were all smiles and told us their top dinner choices. I also loved the music the played; it was really fun!
Holbox Bars & Clubs
Luuma Cocktail Bar
Luuma is everything you could ever want from a cocktail bar. They provide an amazing experience and some incredibly flavorful custom drinks.
Once you try their cocktails, you’ll understand why I love this bar so much. Luuma’s bartenders are enthusiastic and are super proud of their work.
The Hot Corner: A Holbox Gay Travel Must
Wondering where the biggest party in Holbox is? It’s at The Hot Corner! The Hot Corner is the most popular bar in Holbox to party outside and start the night off right.
Taberna Salma: The Best Nightclub in Holbox
Without a doubt, the Taberna Salma nightclub has some of the best music and DJ’s I’ve ever heard in a tropical place. The deep bass and piercing red lights create a clubby ambiance like no other.
Salma is a traditional restaurant and cocktail bar in the earlier hours and stays open serving drinks late into the night.
Salma always attracts a crowd that’s ready to dance, especially after The Hot Corner closes just a block away. During my visit, at 2AM, anyone from the other bars that still wants to party goes to Salma.
There’s a ton of seating and space to socialize. Salma is free to enter and is closed on Sundays.
The Holbox After-Hours Bar
Still looking to party after 3AM? La Perla Holbox is the gritty after-hours dive bar where late-night partiers flock.
Last on my list of top Holbox bars is Bar Tribu. The bar is part of Hostel Tribu, as mentioned earlier in this guide. Anyone who loves making art, music and meeting like-minded individuals should check out the bar, or consider staying with them.
Holbox Gay Travel Tips
Before you embark on some unforgettable Holbox gay travel, remember that Holbox is relatively new on the international tourist map. It’s definitely one of the newest top Mexico New Year’s destinations too.
While the island is beautiful and has many luxurious conveniences within hotels, the infrastructure in general is not highly developed. Slow Wi-Fi internet, poor cell service and muddy clay roads are some examples.
By the way, make sure to pronounce Holbox correctly! Don’t be that tourist that goes somewhere without knowing how to say it! The letter “x” in Holbox takes a “sh” sound. It’s HOL-bosh. The “Hol” is pronounced exactly as if you were going to say “Hola.”
How to Get to Holbox Island from Cancun Airport
A large part of the reason why Holbox isn’t flooded with tourists like Cancun and Playa del Carmen is because it’s not exactly easy to get to! Prepare for a bit of a trek. I promise though, it will be worth it. First, I’ll describe the most common way to get to Holbox. After, I’ll mention the option of booking a private plane!
From the Cancun airport, you will need to take a shuttle van to Chiquilá. The ride is about two hours. From here, you catch a ferry to the Holbox Island port. The ferry ride is about 30 minutes.
You can use Bookaway to book a ferry in advance, so you can secure a seat. I found it to be quite peaceful and loved seeing passengers waving from passing ferries.
Upon arrival, you’ll take a local buggy taxi to your hotel. Be aware that there are no paved roads on Holbox Island. Prepare for a bumpy 10-minute ride. Avoid wearing any shoes that you don’t want to get dirty. If there are any puddles, they may splash your feet.
Arrange everything regarding your Holbox airport transfer beforehand if possible. After a flight and the long drive to the ferry, it will be much less of a hassle if everything is booked and paid for. If you do decide to wait until arrival, keep in mind that locals will accept American dollars.
Private Planes from Cancun to Holbox
Does this all sound too stressful? Holboxeno offers private planes from Cancun airport to Holbox Island.
This short 30-minute plane ride costs roughly USD $540 in total. This price is for the whole plane, so it can be split with up to 9 people. You can join a shared plane or book a exclusive ride for you and your significant other.
Is Holbox Gay Travel Safe?
Holbox locals are a happy bunch. They love their island and are friendly to tourists. I saw no sign of anyone attempting to pickpocket anyone or do anything questionable.
Since tourism to Holbox is relatively new, pretty much everything is authentic. Even the attitudes of the native people.
Best time to Visit Holbox, Mexico
Since Holbox never feels too crowded, even at the peak of tourist season, you never need to worry about avoiding crowds as you would in most other tropical Caribbean destinations in winter. The main concern is about avoiding high temperatures and rainfall.
The best time to visit Holbox is from November through early March. Travel is even better during the winter holidays since New Year’s Eve attracts a rowdy crowd. Even during this time, nothing feels crowded at all.
April through October will have quite high temperatures, which some tourists avoid. Soaring temperatures combined with high humidity can make it uncomfortable to spend lots of time outside.
Starting in June, rainfall is high, also continuing through October. Most tourists avoid these months.
Do Holbox Beaches Have Seaweed?
Holbox beaches in front of the waterfront hotels have seaweed some of the time. Playa Holbox is part of this area. Oceanic fluctuations cause seaweed to wash ashore periodically.
Using ATM’s in Holbox
There are plenty of ATM machines throughout the town center. You can save a sizable amount of money by only using Holbox ATM machines that dispense Mexican Pesos.
Get your Pesos at Bancomer, a local ATM in the town center. Reviews online as well as other tourists might tell you it’s the only one on the island that gives pesos, but this isn’t true.