Best Time To Visit Holbox Island, Mexico

By Daria Bachmann. This guide sharing when to visit Holbox Island contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Trying to figure out the best time to visit Holbox Island, Mexico

You’ve come to the right place!

Holbox Island is a popular vacation spot off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, Holbox is a perfect spot for wildlife watching, basking on white sand beaches with shallow waters, and enjoying a laid-back beach lifestyle.

But what is the best time to go to Holbox Island?

The island has a humid tropical climate similar to the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula, and while you can enjoy the island most of the time, there’s always a chance of rain.

I’ve traveled all over Mexico, including visits to Holbox several times during rainy and dry seasons. Because of this, I have first-hand knowledge of how different the weather can be on this island depending on the time of the year. 

This guide will tell you about the best months to visit Holbox so you can enjoy a fun vacation with the best weather and the most sunshine. 

Note: This guide uses the names “Holbox Island”, “Isla Holbox,” and “Holbox” interchangeably. They all refer to the same island destination in Mexico.

⏳ Short on time? My top recommendations for visiting Holbox Island Mexico include:

🏨 Hotel: Hotel Casa Bárbara Holbox. You can also click here for a Holbox hotel map.

🚗 Airport Transfer: Along with taking the ADO Bus (also bookable on BusBud), you can take a shared shuttle or a private shuttle

🗺 Tours: Viator and GetYourGuide

📍Recommended Excursions:
Classic Three Island Tour
Isla Holbox Mangrove Kayaking Tour
Whale Shark & Snorkeling Adventure from Isla Holbox

🚶‍♀️ Getting Around: You can walk or bike to most of the main things to do on Holbox Island

🏥 Travel Insurance: SafetyWing (budget-friendly) & World Nomads (more comprehensive)

📞 Staying Connected: Airalo eSIM

Free Resources For Visiting Holbox Island

But first, before we go over when to visit Holbox, I invite you to grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit—which includes 40+ travel resources from printables to quizzes to itineraries—all meant to help you explore the world beyond the guidebook!

Some highlights of the kit include:

  • Free “Where Should You Travel Next?” personality quiz
  • Budget travel calculators for vacations, road trips, backpacking & more
  • Pre-plotted Google Maps for 45+ destinations
  • Printable travel journal with writing prompts
  • Packing lists for different types of trips
  • And more!

Once you’ve grabbed your copy, keep reading for tips on deciding when to book your trip to Isla Holbox!

Where Is Isla Holbox?

Holbox is located along the Gulf of Mexico, right off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Specifically, it belongs to the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and lies within the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas.

This location allows it to have some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches. In fact, along with Playa Santispac in Baha California and the beautiful beaches in Campeche, Holbox has some of my favorite stretches of sand in Mexico!

woman in an orange bathing suit walking along a white sandbar near Mosquito Point on Holbox Island, Mexico in the dry season
The beaches in Holbox are stunning, especially in the dry season. Photo via Jessie Festa.

What Is The Weather Like In Holbox? 

The weather in Holbox is warm and tropical year-round, but the island has distinct seasons.

The dry season—which runs from December to April—has generally clear skies with little to no rain and less humidity, making it an excellent time for beach activities and outdoor exploration.

The wet season from June to October sees increased rainfall, occasional storms, and higher humidity; however, even during the wet season, you can still experience some sunny days.

Best Time To Visit Holbox Island

High season vs shoulder season

The best time to visit Holbox is from December through March when the island has perfect sunny weather and minimal chance of rain.

It’s also the busiest time on the island when the prices of hotels and tours tend to be the most expensive.

If you want to avoid the crowds and save money, visit Holbox during November or May, which are shoulder months. Both months to visit Holbox mark the transition between dry and rainy seasons.

Winter crowds usually die down in May, because the weather on Holbox Island becomes hotter and more humid.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to book a whale shark tour in late May, as the whale shark season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Just note that May only sees occasional sightings, with peak season being July and August.

On the other hand, November is usually a quiet month after the hurricane season when you can enjoy pleasant sunny weather and take advantage of lower prices before the busy winter season kicks in. 

tourists visiting a Holbox sandbar during the dry season
December through March is the best time to visit Holbox. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Cheapest time to visit Holbox

The cheapest time to visit Holbox is during the hurricane season from late August through October. While you will save on accommodations and activities, the inclement weather can negatively affect your travel plans, making it difficult to enjoy this destination. 

Least busy time to visit Holbox

The least busy time to visit Holbox is from June through the end of October when tourism on the island dies down because of more frequent rain. 

Hurricane season in Holbox 

August marks the beginning of the hurricane season in Holbox and the rest of the region. This is the worst time to visit Holbox when the island experiences rainstorms and inclement weather that can disrupt your plans.

Holbox has dirt roads, which get washed out during the rainy season, making it challenging to get around without getting covered in mud. 

Precipitation during the hurricane season is usually more intense than during May and June when rains tend to be more sporadic and happen in the afternoon.

washed out roads in Isla Holbox, Mexico
Washed out roads on Holbox Island. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Holbox Weather By Month

Here is a look at the Isla Holbox weather by month. The information is based on analyzing the AccuWeather calendars as well as the Climate Data website.

Isla Holbox weather in January 

January is a popular month for visiting Holbox because of the sunny weather and clear blue skies. It’s also one of the busiest months on the island when many travelers visit to escape the cold weather up north.

However, it’s also the coldest month in Holbox, with temperatures fluctuating between just below 55°F to 86°F (13°C to 30°C).

Isla Holbox weather in February

February is another popular month for visiting thanks to the dry and mild climate on Isla Holbox.

The first half of February is chillier with temperatures getting down to 57°F (14°C); however, the second half of the month is warmer with temperatures ranging from 63°F to 86°F (17°C to 30°C).

Isla Holbox weather in March

March is when temperatures in Holbox start to increase gradually. Expect temperatures of about 59°F to 90°F (15°C to 32°C).

The high season in Holbox begins to wind down in March, and it’s a good time to score better deals on hotels and tours, especially in the second half of the month.

Isla Holbox weather in April 

April is the transition month between winter and summer in Holbox. Temperatures continue to rise during this month to about 70°F to 93°F (21°C to 34°C). April is the last month before the island starts to get very hot and humid.

woman learning on a palm tree on Playa Holbox in Isla Holbox, Mexico
Enjoying sunny days and billowing palms on Holbox Island. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Isla Holbox weather in May

May marks the transition to low season in Holbox. Temperatures continue the upward trend, and you can expect a range of about 74°F to 93°F (23°C to 34°C).

May is also the beginning of the seaweed season in Holbox. Also known as “sargazo” in Spanish or “sargassum”, seaweed is a smelly algae that washes up on many Caribbean beaches from late spring through fall.

Holbox escaped the seaweed issue for awhile; however, in recent years, it started showing up on Holbox beaches

Isla Holbox weather in June 

Check the Holbox Island weather forecast before heading out, as June is the beginning of the rainy season. While temperatures fluctuate from about 74°F to 93°F (23°C to 34°C), humidity and precipitation increase significantly compared to May. 

Isla Holbox weather in July 

Holbox continues to see rain in July, although it’s typically more occasional than continuous. If you come to Holbox during this time of the year you can still enjoy your trip; but, be prepared for increased chances of showers and muddy roads.

The temperature in Holbox Island at this time ranges from 74°F to 93°F (23°C to 34°C).

Isla Holbox weather in August 

The weather in Isla Holbox, Mexico during August is sticky, with humidity levels continuing to rise throughout the month.

Additionally, hurricane season officially kicks off at the end of August—which is also the hottest month of the year in Holbox, with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 93°F (24°C to 34°C).

woman swimming in the clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Playa Holbox in Mexico
Enjoying a swim in Holbox’s warm turquoise waters. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Isla Holbox weather in September 

September is the first hurricane month in Holbox when the island experiences drastic changes in weather with heavy rainstorms, gusty winds, and limited opportunities for activities.

During this time, the precipitation averages about 31 inches of rain, and temperatures fluctuate from about 73°F to 91°F (23°C to 33°C).

Isla Holbox weather in October 

October is the rainiest month in Holbox, with an average of 48 inches of precipitation. It’s the worst month to visit as many places close down because of the constant rain and lack of visitors.

Temperatures during October in Holbox tend to be between 66°F to 90°F (19°C to 32°C).

Isla Holbox weather in November 

November is the end of the rainy season in Holbox when you still see some precipitation; but, there’s more sun and tourism starts to pick up slowly.

Precipitation decreases in November with an average of about 26 inches per month. Temperatures range from about 68°F to 88°F (20°C to 31°C).

In my opinion, this is possibly the best time to visit Holbox, as it’s a shoulder month, meaning you can score deals and the weather is still pleasant.

Isla Holbox weather in December 

December is one of the colder months in Holbox and it marks the beginning of the busy winter season. The weather is mostly dry and sunny and temperatures range from about 64°F to 88°F (18°C to 31°C).

Seasons In Holbox 

Like the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula, Holbox has two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. 

a bird sitting in the mangroves of Holbox Island, Mexico
Rainy season in Holbox offers good opportunities for wildlife watching. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Holbox rainy season

Pros & cons

The rainy season in Holbox is from June through October. During these months, the island experiences increased precipitation and higher humidity. 

If you visit Holbox from June through early August, you can still enjoy outdoor activities, as rains tend to be more sporadic than continuous and usually occur in the afternoon.


Lower prices. The rainy season in Holbox is the best time to save money on accommodations, tours, and even street food. Many vendors on the island are willing to haggle at least a bit during this time as there is a limited number of visitors (though try to be mindful of this, too).

  • Better opportunities for wildlife watching. One of the top things to do in Holbox is spot wild animals. Because the island tends to be less busy from June through October, you can typically spot them more easily.

Fewer crowds. If you don’t want to visit Holbox during the busy season, the summer months are a great alternative, as they are generally quiet due to the lack of crowds. 


Not much going on. On the other hand, if you are looking for a lively atmosphere, the rainy season might not be the ideal time for your trip to Holbox, because things begin to slow down when June comes around.

Higher chances of rain. If you are visiting Holbox from June through August, expect to see some rain on your visit, and if you are visiting it from September through October, be ready for the chance of a hurricane. 

  • Not the best time to enjoy Holbox. While you can sit out an occasional rain and go back to your activities later, waiting for a hurricane to pass could take a couple of days, which is not ideal, especially if you only have limited time on the island.
double rainbow on Playa Holbox on Isla Holbox, Mexico
The good thing about rain in Holbox is it often leads to rainbows on the beach! Photo via Jessie Festa.

Places to go in Holbox during the rainy season

If you visit Holbox during the rainy season when you can’t always enjoy the beach, consider going to places on the mainland like Valladolid and Merida to explore the culture of the Yucatán.

Valladolid is a designated Pueblo Mágico, famous for its cenotes and pastel-colored architecture. It’s also a gateway to Chichen Itza and you can easily combine the two activities. 

Merida is the capital of Yucatán and is known for its rich culture and history. In fact, it’s the cultural hub of the peninsula and is the second-largest city in the region after Cancun. The city boasts an ornate central plaza, several landmarks, and museums. 

If you are looking to get some authentic Mexican crafts created by local artisans, there’s no better place than La Casa De Las Artesanias de Yucatan in Merida, a large gallery-style store where you can purchase goods made by Indigenous groups from across Mexico, including Yucatán. 

Things to do in Holbox during the rainy season

See Holbox wildlife. While Loreto has whale watching, Holbox has swimming with whale sharks!

If you’re interested in seeing whale sharks or sea turtles, the best time to go to Isla Holbox is July and August, which is peak whale shark season.

This is when these gentle giants migrate to the area to feed on plankton. Adult whale sharks can reach up to 41,000 pounds and up to 33 feet in length. 

And while they are huge, swimming next to them is perfectly safe as long as you keep your distance and don’t bother them. When booking a whale shark tour, carefully read other travelers’ reviews to make sure you support an ethical company. 

While you have the highest chance of seeing whale sharks during this time of the year, there is never a guarantee. Watch out for companies that make promises or tell you that they follow whale sharks closely. Whale sharks are protected by law, and all tour operators have to maintain a safe distance. 

Similarly, sea turtle nesting season occurs from May to September, with peak nesting activity usually in June and July.

Restaurant hop. Isla Holbox is home to many delicious restaurants, some offering trendy vibes and others providing a more local experience. You can even gamify the experience by challenging yourself to find the best tacos on the island.

My personal favorite for this is Barba Negra, which serves up fish and shrimp tacos packed with filling.

chefs on Holbox Island cooking a meal with food sizzling in front of them
Exploring local restaurants is one of the best things to do on Holbox Island. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Take a cooking class. La Puerta Rosa offers morning, evening, and private cooking classes in Holbox. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture on the island.

Listen to live music. Many of the bars and restaurants on Holbox host live music acts. While you can ask your hotel what’s going on that day or night, you can also simply wander around Holbox Town and let your ear be your guide.

Take a class. Holbox Island is home to a rich wellness culture, so you’ll find options for yoga and fitness classes at places like Samah Wellness and Holbox Yoga (which does yoga on the beach!).

For some cultural fun, you might also take a local salsa class at Che Holbox Hostel & Bar, the local chapter of Salsa Lovers Worldwide, or a local studio.

Get a spa treatment. Speaking of wellness, you can also relax at one of the many spas on the island. A top recommendation includes Aguas Spa, located within the luxurious Hotel Casa Las Tortugas.

Things to pack for the rainy season in Holbox

The rainy season in Holbox Island means you might need to pack some additional gear, including:

Waterproof jacket. This is a must-have in case it starts raining.

Mosquito repellent. Regardless of the season, pack mosquito repellent on your trip to Holbox to avoid bites. 

Quick drying clothes. When visiting Holbox during the rainy season, bring lightweight clothes from materials that dry fast. 

Swimsuit. While the rainy season brings more precipitation to Holbox, you can still enjoy some water activities and go for a swim. Personally, I love the bathing suits and beach coverups from Kenny Flowers.

Sunscreen. Especially as Isla Holbox is located within the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, it’s important to pack reef-friendly sunscreen for your trip.

brown dog at the Refugio Holbox Animal Sanctuary in Isla Holbox, Mexico
One of the most fun things to do in Holbox any time of year is also visiting Refugio Holbox Animal Sanctuary, a rescue center that takes care of and rehabilitates animals found on the island. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Holbox Dry Season

Pros & cons

The dry season in Holbox is from December through April. It’s the best time on the island when thousands of visitors arrive to enjoy the perfect sunny weather in this tropical paradise. 


  • Plenty to do. Businesses are in full swing in Holbox during the dry season, as it’s when most tour agencies, restaurants, and hotels make their money. Unlike summer months, when some places close for the season, winter is when you have the most options on the island.

Perfect weather. If you are looking for picture-perfect weather, the dry season is the best time to visit Holbox. 

  • Great parties. Depending on what you are looking for, this could be a pro or con. The dry season is when most people travel to Holbox, and you can be sure that you will find some great beach parties on the island in many bars and restaurants. You can also enjoy the many Holbox beach clubs.
woman having a beer on Playa Holbox while visiting Isla Holbox during the dry season
Having a beer at a Holbox Island beach club. Photo via Jessie Festa.


High prices. The peak months in Holbox are December and January when prices are the highest. It’s a busy time for international tourism when many people visit to escape the cold weather in their home countries. 

  • Crowds. Holbox can get very crowded in winter, especially during holidays like New Year and Christmas, when many domestic and international tourists come to celebrate. 

Tougher to spot wildlife. If you travel to Holbox during the high season, it could be tougher to spot wildlife, as many animals move away from busy parts of the island and go deeper into the Yum Balam Reserve. 

Places to go in Holbox during the dry season

Yum Balam Nature Reserve. One of the best places to visit in Holbox, Yum Balam is a protected area that can be visited with a guided tour from Holbox. I booked a kayaking tour of Yum Balam during my trip and had a great time paddling through the mangroves and spotting different animals like crocodiles, flamingoes, and other birds. 

Islands around Holbox. Taking a Classic 3 Island Tour is one of the most popular excursions from Holbox and includes visits to Yalahau Cenote, Punta Mosquito (Mosquito Point), and Isla Pasión (Passion Island). At certain times of the year, you might also visit Isla Pájaros (Bird Island) instead of Punta Mosquito.

woman kneeling in the clear water off Isla Pajaros (Bird Island) near Isla Holbox on a Classic 3 Island Tour
Cooling off on a sandbar near Isla Pajaros during a Classic 3 Island Tour. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Things to do in Holbox during the dry season

High season is the best time to bask in the sun on Holbox beaches, enjoy a lively atmosphere at Holbox restaurants, and take tours. Below are some of the most popular activities on Holbox during the high season:

Spot bioluminescence. Isla Holbox is one of the handful of places in Mexico where you can see bioluminescence—a natural phenomenon that occurs when plankton in the water emit light through a chemical reaction.

The easiest way to see bioluminescence is by joining a guided bioluminescent kayaking tour; but, you can also take a quick trip to Playa Punta Cocos on the west side of Holbox.

I was able to see bioluminescence on Playa Holbox at night. All you need to do is walk into the water and make movements with your hands to see the glowing plankton. 

Take a kite surfing lesson. Isla Holbox is one of the best spots for kite surfing in the Yucatán Peninsula thanks to plenty of wind and shallow waters. There are several kite surfing schools around the island where you can hire an instructor or you can book a kitesurfing lesson in advance here.

Rent a paddleboard. Early morning is the best time to paddle board around Holbox when the island has calm, glass-like waters. There are numerous places where you can rent a paddleboard or even book an aquatic adventure tour, like Kayaking Holbox.

Rent a bicycle. Biking is a popular way to get around Holbox thanks to the compact size of this island. You can rent one at places like Bikes Holbox.

woman walking on the sandbar at Mosquito Point in Holbox Island, Mexico
There are many ways to enjoy the warm water and beautiful beaches in Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Things to pack for the dry season in Holbox

Swimwear. The dry season is the best time to enjoy water activities in Holbox like swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. Again, I love the bathing suits and beach coverups from Kenny Flowers.

Mosquito repellent. Always have a mosquito repellent in your bag when heading to Holbox or other parts of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Sunscreen. Especially as Isla Holbox is located within the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, it’s important to pack reef-friendly sunscreen for your trip.

Shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses. The weather is generally warm and sunny in Holbox from December through March, so make sure to pack light clothing.

Flip flops and sandals. Don’t forget about beach footwear.

Worst Time To Visit Holbox Island

The worst time to visit Isla Holbox is during September and October, which are the wettest months of the year. This is also when activities are limited and many businesses close down.

If you are looking for a more relaxed getaway, it’s a good idea to skip Holbox during major holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter when the island gets busy and there are usually loud parties and music.

If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the shoulder months of May and November when the weather is still pleasant but there are fewer tourists.

tables of colorful bracelets, purses, and keychains being sold as souvenirs on Holbox Island, Mexico
Shopping for souvenirs on Holbox Island. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Travel Insurance For Holbox Island 

When visiting Holbox Island—or anywhere else in the world—it’s wise to get travel insurance.

For this, I have two recommendations:

SafetyWing. If you’re looking for something straightforward and budget-friendly, you can’t beat SafetyWing. They offer one global policy that you can cancel at any time or continue paying for long-term coverage (making it the perfect option for digital nomads!).

Their plan includes medical coverage, trip interruptions, personal liability, unplanned overnight stays, lost luggage, and more.

World Nomads. For something more comprehensive, World Nomads is a great option. While you’ll pay a bit more, you’ll typically get higher coverage maximums as well as additional inclusions—like trip cancellation.

Best Time To Vist Holbox Island: FAQ

Now that we’ve gone over the best time to visit Isla Holbox, Mexico, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Q) Is Holbox worth visiting?

Isla Holbox is one of the most beautiful places in Yucatán that’s worth a visit if you are looking for gorgeous beaches, wildlife-watching opportunities, and a laid-back lifestyle. 

Q) How many days do you need for Holbox?

Especially as it’s farther to reach, it’s recommended to spend about five days on Holbox to enjoy its beaches, sample delicious food, and book fun tours.

woman holding up a glass of wine at Lazaro Wine Bar on Holbox Island, Mexico
Having a drink at Lazaro Wine Bar, one of the many trendy restaurants and bars on Isla Holbox. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Q) Does it rain in Mexico?

Yes, it rains in Mexico. The rainy season occurs in many parts of Mexico, but it’s more pronounced in coastal areas that experience significant precipitation and even hurricanes from June through October. 

Q) How do you get to Isla Holbox?

To reach Holbox Island, you can take a ferry from the town of Chiquilá, which is approximately a two-hour drive from Cancún. Chiquilá and Holbox are separated by a small channel and the boat ride between them takes about 20-30 minutes.

Another option is to take a flight from Cancun International Airport (CUN) to Holbox Airport (HOL). It’s a more expensive but much faster option that saves you hours on the road. 

Other options for getting to Chiquilá from Cancun Airport include taking an ADO Bus (which you can book on BusBud), a shared shuttle, or a private shuttle. You can also take a taxi, though this is not recommended as it’s overpriced.

Q) What is the best time of year to visit Holbox Island?

The best time of the year to visit Holbox is between December and late March when you can enjoy dry weather with low humidity and plenty of sunshine. That is unless you want to swim with whale sharks, which is best done in July and August when sightings are most frequent.

Q) What is the best month to visit Holbox Island?

The best time to visit Holbox is from December through March when the weather is sunny and there is little to no rain.

boats docked in the Holbox Island port on a sunny day
Visiting the port on a sunny day in February on Holbox Island. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Q) What is the best time to see bioluminescence in Holbox?

The best time for seeing bioluminescence in Holbox is summer when there is a much greater amount of bioluminescence plankton along the coast of Holbox than during other times of the year. You can see it when walking through or making movements with your hand in the water.

The amount of light pollution also has an effect on how much bioluminescence you can see, which is why it’s best to do during a dark night with no moon.

Q) When are the high and low tourist seasons in Isla Holbox?

The high season in Holbox is from December through March and the low season is from June through October. 

Q) Is there daylight savings time in Quintana Roo?

There is no daylight savings in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. 

Q) When is the rainy season in the Yucatán Peninsula?

June through October is the rainy season in the Yucatán Peninsula when the region has more rainy and humid weather with some occasional sun. This is the low season when you can score good deals on hotels, tours, and transportation. 

colorful mural at an outdoor restaurant on Holbox Island, Mexico
Holbox Island is home to some great murals. Photo via Daria Bachmann.

Final Thoughts On The Best Time To Go To Holbox Island

Holbox is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula.

Known for its gorgeous beaches, incredible wildlife, and warm climate, Holbox is a perfect destination almost year-round—as long as you avoid September and October, the two hurricane months. 

Just make sure you check the Holbox Mexico weather forecast before booking your trip!

Ready to book your trip to Holbox? Check out:

When do you think is the best time to visit Holbox Island, Mexico?

About The Author

This guide is written by Daria, a travel blogger who encourages her audience to get outside their comfort zone and explore through her websites, The Discovery Nut and Explore Baja California. Daria has traveled all over Mexico and spent several months camping and exploring Baja California.