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Holbox Gay Travel

Holbox is the newest gay holiday destination in Mexico. Pristine beaches and trendy nightclubs in this LGBT-friendly town are making Holbox gay travel explode!

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The Gay Travel Experience: Holbox, Mexico

When I saw the beaches on Holbox Island, my jaw dropped. I could not believe my eyes. I have seen 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!
gay scene holbox Mexico
I visited Holbox with my amazing boyfriend Michael, and soon after arriving 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.
gay friendly holbox
gay scene holbox Mexico
gay couples holbox holiday
The best thing about Holbox gay travel is that it’s an authentic and gay-friendly Mexican destination. Firstly, everything about the island is still genuine. There aren’t any big hotel chains, overpriced restaurants, pushy tour salesman or anything like that. Many people compare Holbox now to what Tulum used to be 20 years ago.
gay couples holbox holiday
Secondly, everyone is relaxed and accepting of gay travelers in Holbox. It seems this applies equally to tourists and locals. I never had a single negative encounter while kissing my boyfriend in nightclubs, walking through town or relaxing by the hotel pool.
gay vacations Mexico
gay friendly holbox
gay vacations Mexico

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.

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Gay Holbox: Where to Stay

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 hotels are a bit too far from the bustling area of Holbox, offering more seclusion.
where to stay holbox Mexico
where to stay holbox Mexico
holbox best area to stay

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.

This is because that area is a national park. The beach in front of the Holbox hotels are swimmable, but tend to have more seaweed.
holbox best area to stay
Holbox Island Mexico
Punta Caliza gay holbox
There are a decent number of hotels on the southeastern side of the Holbox town center. Perhaps these are cheaper, but the location is not ideal if you want the best holiday experience with a nice beach view. Plus, most of the bars are over here, closer to the beach.
Punta Caliza gay holbox

Punta Caliza: #1 Holbox Gay-Friendly Hotel

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 has a big door you can swing open into the main area so you never feel secluded.

gay hotels holbox
Punta Caliza’s architectural design is so inviting, you won’t want to leave! The walkways around the property are so cozy and the rooms are relaxing. I definitely spent an afternoon or two lounging by the pool while eating ceviche.
gay hotels holbox
punta caliza holbox
punta caliza holbox
The staff at Punta Caliza are stellar. They’re always available and willing to help make your stay perfect. Michael and I ended up making friends with everyone and actually felt like a small family by the time we said goodbye. I highly recommend!

The Best Hostel in Holbox

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.

holbox hostels
holbox hostels
holbox hostel near beach

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 the 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, too. Those who crave adventure can book a bioluminescence kayak adventure or a kitesurfing session.
flamingo beach Holbox
flamingo beach Holbox
flamingo beach Holbox Island
Check out these top Holbox gay travel recommendations for things to do on the island.

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.

For some reason, nobody goes to Mosquito Beach! Tourists don’t seem to know that it’s possible to visit. Schedule a boat with your hotel and just let them know when you want them to pick you up.
mosquito beach holbox
mosquito beach holbox
best beach holbox Mexico
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.
best beach holbox Mexico
Make sure you bring strong bug repellent if you will be at Punta Mosquito any time after 5:00 PM or so. Just as our boat came to bring us back to the hotel before sunset, I was attacked by horse flies. Those bites hurt! Also, be aware that there will not be any cell phone service at Punta Mosquito.
flamingo beach Holbox Island

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.

To get to Flamingo Beach, you can bike or take a golf cart taxi as far east as possible along Calle Paseo Kuka. You will arrive at the entrance to the Yum Balam National Reserve. There’s only one road this way, so you can’t miss it. From this park entrance, you must lock your bikes and walk.
gay beach holbox
gay beach holbox
playa de los flamenco Holbox
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.
playa de los flamenco Holbox
From here, the water depth may vary from zero to knee height, depending on the tide. I found it so beautiful to see such long stretches of water only an inch or so deep!

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.

Book A Holbox Bioluminescence Tour

Holbox Island is one of the few places on earth where you can see the beautiful natural phenomenon of bioluminescence. Late in the evening, you’ll kayak along the beachfront through the shallow waters to observe the glowing plankton. It really is a magical experience.
things to do at night Holbox
Holbox bioluminescence tours are very popular. You will see signs for them everywhere. The organizers usually take groups of 5 to 7 people, but private one or two-person tours are definitely available. Michael and I booked a group tour, but it ended up just being the two of us. We got lucky!
bioluminescence tour Holbox
bioluminescence tour Holbox
Holbox glowing plankton

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.
Holbox glowing plankton

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.

If you’re booking one of these experiences, you should be able to navigate a kayak and prepare to do so in the dark. If you’re not used to kayaking, I would imagine it to be a little scary!

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.

Both times Viva Zapata had a decently long wait for food. If you’re there for dinner, I would grab a drink at the bar while waiting for your table.
best restaurants Holbox
best restaurants Holbox
restaurants in Holbox
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.
where to eat Holbox
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.
best food in Holbox
where to eat Holbox
best food in Holbox
Grab some cheap Mexican soul food at La Tapatia. 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!
No matter what Holbox restaurant you’re at, you can never go wrong with ceviche, a local favorite. An order of guacamole and ceviche with chips is the perfect appetizer or midday snack.

Holbox Bars & Clubs

There are a handful of absolutely stellar bars and clubs on Holbox Island. Try out the recommendations below and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Bar Tribu Holbox

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.
Luuma Bar Holbox
Luuma Bar Holbox
Holbox cocktail bars

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 earlier in the evening you arrive, the better your chances are at getting a table or a spot at the bar. Luuma doesn’t take reservations, so it’s first come, first served.
Holbox cocktail bars

The Hot Corner

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.

Enjoy the fresh nighttime air and meet some new friends at parties that spill into the street. The Hot Corner is a covered outdoor area with plenty of seating.
The Hot Corner Holbox
The Hot Corner Holbox
gay party Holbox
I love how both local Mexicans and residents mix in with the tourists while spending a night at The Hot Corner. The locals love to party and you’ll definitely see them drinking their cases of beer out in plain sight!
gay party Holbox

Taberna Salma: The Best Nightclub in Holbox

Without a doubt, Salma nightclub has some of the best music and DJ’s I’ve ever heard in a tropical setting. 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 until 3AM.
Salma Club Holbox Mexico
Salma Club Holbox Mexico
best bar Holbox Island

Salma always attracts a crowd that’s ready to dance, especially after The Hot Corner closes just a block away. At 2AM, anyone from the other bars that still want to party head over to Salma. There’s a ton of seating and space to socialize. Salma is free to enter and is closed on Sundays.

La Perla Holbox

Still looking to party after 3AM? La Perla Holbox is the gritty afterhours dive bar where late-night partiers flock.
The number of people at La Perla after 3:00 AM does seem to fluctuate. One night it was completely empty, while the next night a crowd poured in at 3:15 AM. It’s not too far from Salma, so it never hurts to check things out.
La Perla Holbox
La Perla Holbox
Bar Tribu Holbox

Bar Tribu

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. The island is beautiful and has many luxurious conveniences within hotels, but the infrastructure in general is not highly developed. Slow Wi-Fi internet, poor cell service and muddy clay roads are some examples.
Holbox gay travel
Holbox gay travel
visiting Holbox Island Mexico
These modern inconveniences should not deter you from visiting the paradise that is Holbox. A large part of this island’s charm is how it has not been commercialized and trampled by tourists as seen in Tulum. In my opinion, it is better to plan with this knowledge in mind instead of finding out after you’ve arrived.
visiting Holbox Island Mexico
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!

How to get to Holbox Island
How to get to Holbox Island
holbox Mexico gay
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. I found it to be quite peaceful and loved seeing passengers waving from passing ferries.
holbox Mexico gay
Upon arrival, you 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.
Holbox taxis
Holbox Mexico beautiful
Holbox taxis
If possible, arrange everything regarding your Holbox airport transfer beforehand. 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.
Holbox Mexico beautiful

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 Safe?

Mexico clearly gets a bad reputation for safety. While there are definitely some towns and areas of Mexico that are unsafe, Holbox certainly is not one of them. The entire time I was in Holbox, I felt very safe, even while wandering the town center in the middle of the night.
Holbox very safe
Holbox very safe
Holbox Mexico Safety
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.
Holbox Mexico Safety

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.
when to visit Holbox
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.
best time to visit Holbox
when to visit Holbox
best time to visit Holbox
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?

The biggest confusion about Holbox concerns the beaches. Many tourists see the stunning azure waters in photos and naturally expect all Holbox beaches to look like this. The truth is that the best beaches are to the east of Playa Holbox and the town center.
Holbox beach seaweed
Holbox beach seaweed
Seaweed bloom Holbox

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.

It’s difficult to predict when this will happen, so there is always a bit of a gamble involved with choosing holiday dates. Most of the time though, the best beaches like Punta Mosquito will still be clear.
Seaweed bloom Holbox

Using ATM’s in Holbox

There are plenty of ATM machines throughout the town center. You can save a sizeable amount of money by only using Holbox ATM machines that dispense Mexican Pesos.
Almost all of the ATMs in Holbox dispense US dollars, many at an unfavorable rate to the Peso. Get Pesos directly, instead. Although restaurants and bars will take dollars, they will once again give an unfavorable rate at your expense. That would mean converting money a bad rate twice.
Holbox use dollars or pesos
gay Holbox bar
Holbox use dollars or 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.
There is another Mexican Bank ATM nearby that is not on google. It is across the street from Hotel Casa Bárbara on Calle Tiburon Ballena (I forgot the name of the bank). The building/ATM color is green and the physical ATM is on the back side of the bank building.
gay Holbox bar

Holbox Pharmacies: Can You Buy Medication in Mexico?

Everyone is always a bit curious about the medications and supplements that are legally available for sale in Mexico. Holbox has a few pharmacies where you can indeed buy certain medications that are not available in many other countries.
medication in Holbox pharmacy
medication in Holbox pharmacy
safe to eat food Holbox
As is typical in the Mexican tourist areas, not all pharmacies sell the same things. Many times, one pharmacy will only carry the most basic of medications while another will advertise the rarer drugs. Disclaimer: always abide by your country’s laws regarding international transport of medications and supplements.
safe to eat food Holbox

Gay Life in Mexico

Gay marriage is legal in large swaths of Mexico, but cannot be performed everywhere just yet. Each state has its own regulations and so changes are gradual. 

gay Holbox

All same-sex marriages performed in one Mexican state, however, are fortunately recognized throughout the country. This does not solve the issue for the millions of individuals who live in a state where gay marriages are not performed. The battle for equal rights is still going strong.

gay Holbox
cevice and guacamole
All Mexican states allow single (not married) LGBT individuals to adopt children. The law was passed in 2010, which makes Mexico the 11th country in the world to provide this freedom to the LGBT community. Mexico also takes pride in allowing MSM’s to donate blood. The nation is the first North American nation to lift the MSM blood donation ban.
cevice and guacamole
Mexico has numerous LGBT anti-discrimination laws that protect people in all states. The Mexican law protects gay people with quite a hefty blanket statement regarding intolerance for discrimination.
Mexico viajes gay
Mexico gay travel
Mexico gay travel
They start by explicitly disallowing discrimination when it comes to sexual preferences. The law then covers many other important remaining situations by stating any act that impedes enjoyment of rights. I’m no lawyer, but this sounds pretty solid to me!
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Next, check out wolfyy’s Playa del Carmen Gay Travel Guide.

Need more ideas for gay vacations? Explore wolfyy’s full list of gay travel destinations.

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