Punta Mosquito, Holbox: 2021 Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Punta Mosquito, Holbox: 2021 Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

An island paradise. White sand, clear seas, blue skies, unrelenting sunshine, and a remote location. Punta Mosquito Holbox is as dreamy as they come. You might expect this in the Maldives or Seychelles, but this isolated sandbank is just a couple of hours from Cancun.

People on the island talk about visiting Mosquito Beach all the time. However, many people never make the journey as they don’t know where to go or are put off by having to walk through the sea to get there. Information is hard to come by, especially since the conservation area was set up a couple of years ago changing where you can and can’t access.

So, if you want to make the journey to paradise, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide explains all you need to know. From what wildlife you might encounter, how to actually get there and what you need to bring with you.

Why you HAVE to visit Punta Mosquito

Punta Mosquito Holbox is paradise in paradise – a long sandbank just off of the island. Although Holbox is well known for its beautiful beaches and calm seas, few people make the trip to Mosquito Beach Holbox. As somehow, it is still off the beaten path! If you want to relax on a white sand beach away from the island, see wildlife and enjoy a unique experience – this is for you!

Only a few years ago, you used to be able to walk all the way to the top of the island. Along the sandbars and tropical island vegetation. But now, the area is a protected conservation area. However, you can still walk out to the sandbank for a true deserted island experience! If you’re on the lookout for information, make sure you use sources such as blogs and reviews from people who have visited since the protected area was established.

Wildlife

As a conservation area, there’s no shortage of wildlife to see. However, be sure to respect the signs and don’t enter the protected area – for your safety and the animals and ecosystems there.

Flamingos are perhaps the most sought after animal on Isla Holbox. And, they happen to live in Punta Mosquito. I won’t lie to you, there’s no guarantee of seeing them from Mosquito Beach. But, keep an eye out – including in the skies above you – and you might get lucky!

While you’re looking up, don’t forget to look down. You wouldn’t want to stand on a stingray now, would you? I saw at least 7 when walking along the sandbars and they are quite hard to spot. Generally, a thin layer of sand covers the stingrays – but they’ll definitely hear/feel you coming first and move.

The signs do warn of crocodiles but you’re unlikely to see these from the sandbank. Generally, the crocodiles can be found much closer to the northwest tip of the island. But, you’ll pretty much be guaranteed to see lots of small fish in the water and a variety of birds on the shore and overhead.

The White Sand of Mosquito Beach and the Clear Blue Seas around Punta Mosquito Holbox

The combination of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are what give that paradise look. Particularly, under the cover of beautiful blue skies and 30-degree temperatures to boot. Oh, and the fact that it feels so remote given that water surrounds you on at least 3 sides!

For most of the time, the Punta Mosquito sandbank is visible above sea level. The white sand beach is a welcome prize after a long walk along the coast. But, there are times – at high tide or after particularly heavy rain – that the sea completely submerges the sandbank. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy the calm seas and remote location in the water…

Paradise! The beach eases gently into the calm sea in the distance

Where is this island paradise?

The island of Holbox is located just off the northern coast of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The Punta Mosquito nature reserve is located on the northwest part of Holbox. And, the sandbank you can reach on foot is approximately 2.5 km southwest of the northern tip.

The sea at Punta Mosquito just doesn't compare to anywhere else! Zoe is floating in the shallow sea off of Holbox

How to get to Punta Mosquito, Holbox

Holbox can be easily reached by car or public transport from Merida, Valladolid, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. You need to first reach Chiquilá and then you can take the ferry across for 220 pesos each way.

The ferries run every half hour throughout the day. Two companies operate – one runs on the hour (9 Hermanos) and the other at half-past (Holbox Express). But, they both charge the same and take the same amount of time. Buy your tickets on the ADO bus or at the desks in Chiquilá. You might get told they are cheaper on the bus or that you avoid commission by buying them on the bus, but this isn’t true. You also can’t buy a return ticket, so just buy the ticket for the next ferry leaving and do the same on your return journey.

To reach Mosquito Beach by walking from the main town in Holbox, you need to follow these instructions:

  • First, walk to Hotel Las Nubes de Holbox. I’d recommend sticking to the path as walking on the beach will only slow you down.
  • Here, you need to walk out into the sea until you reach the shallow sandbars. The tide will determine the depth of the water before the sandbank, but I found it to be around hip height (and I’m 5 foot 6). The sandbars were around calf-level deep. Unless you’re really short, the water will always be shallow enough to walk through – I had a backpack on and was fine.
  • Once you’re on the sand bar, continue walking north towards Punta Mosquito Holbox.
    • You’ll first reach a sign with flamingos on it that says in 2km you’ll reach the conservation area and there you can’t pass any further. I know too many people who have thought that this sign means you can’t go further and have turned around – but you have to keep going here!
  • Depending on the tide, the walk on the sandbank will take you at least 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you see a narrow strip of beach, small boats anchored and ultimately, the Do Not Pass sign pictured below.

Another option is to join a boat tour to the sandbank. Most will also take you to the northern tip of the island to view the nature reserve from the sea.

A warning sign for crocodiles and stingrays in the Punta Mosquito nature reserve! You can't pass this point

What to bring

  • Suncream. Apply before walking in the sea, apply once you get to the sandbank and apply again before heading back to Holbox town! I got so burnt doing this walk – even with two applications of suncream! The water magnifies and reflects the sun making it even more intense than normal for Caribbean Mexico. Don’t forget the backs of your hands – I speak from experience!
  • Water, enough for a 30-minute walk to the hotel, at least 2 hours walking on the shallow sand bars and then another 30-minute walk back to town. In 30 degree heat… In the Caribbean…
  • Camera. This place is too good not to capture! If you have a GoPro or drone (check fly zones as Holbox has an airport on the island), then these would definitely be good too.
  • Swimwear, t-shirt, shorts. You need to walk in clothes you don’t mind getting wet, but that will also protect you from the sun. Sunglasses are another essential, a hat is good if you have one. You don’t really need a towel as you’ll dry quick enough.
  • Water shoes. You need to walk on land and along the sandbars. Water shoes are a good option as they’ll protect your feet from stones and sea creatures but are also lightweight. Alternatively, strap on Teva-like sandals or walking sandals would be ideal too. You don’t want to be carrying your shoes in your hands as you walk. Flip flops won’t stay on your feet and trainers will be heavy.
  • Drybag. Ideally. If not, a backpack will suffice. Just be careful how low the bottom of your backpack is with the waves and in deeper parts of the sandbanks/walk to the sandbanks.

As Punta Mosquito is a remote, natural attraction, make sure that you leave nothing behind – including rubbish and belongings.


If you have any questions or want any more information, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Information is correct as of November 2021 but is subject to change in future.


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