On the northern tip of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula at about 21 degrees north latitude, only 40 miles NW of Cancun, you’ll find one of the best kept secrets in Mexico. The beautiful Isla Holbox. The perfect laid back island town, REAL Mexico, not the typical tourist traps like Cancun and Playa, full of amazing people, excellent bars and restaurants, white sand beaches, everything you would want for a vacation in Paradise… but in addition to all of that, it is some of the best tarpon fishing in the world!
For being so close to Cancun, it took fly fishers a long time to discover the little island of Holbox, and the tarpon paradise. Until very recently, it wasn’t on the map of very many fly fishers. Now, it is one of those destinations on the lips of most anglers looking for sight casting to baby tarpon, and in the summer, the grande migratory tarpon. And, this is the most fun place in Mexico to hang out after the fishing day is over. The fishing is relatively close to the lodge, depending on conditions, you will start casting within 15 minutes to 45 minutes from leaving the beach. Just about any custom trip can be planned, They do not have fixed change days at Holbox Fly Fishing Lodge. You can arrange as many days as you want to fish and as many days you may just want to relax and enjoy the island life and Holbox’s many other charms.
Reservations & Rates
High Season (May - September): The 7 nights/6 day package at Holbox is $3,495.00 USD per person (double occupancy)
Low Season (October - April): The 7 nights/6 day package at Holbox is $2,995.00 USD per person (double occupancy)
• Single Supplement is $200 per Fishing Day
Your angling package at Holbox includes round trip transfers from Cancun to Holbox Fly Fishing Lodge, including the ground transfer, ferry boat and taxi. Air-conditioned accommodations, breakfast and lunch, beverages (beer at the lodge, soft drinks and bottled water) and hosted “Happy Hour” beer and margaritas and hors d’oeuvres, daily fully guided fishing, and 15% Mexico VAT.
Your angling package at Holbox does not include personal tackle, dinners, gratuities, alcoholic beverages other than what is outlined in inclusions, items of personal nature and any lodging or meals not provided at the lodge.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Holbox
The baby tarpon and some big tarpon are around all year at Isla Holbox. You can make this a getaway anytime of the year and find good fishing, and enjoy your feet in the sand when it is cold at home... Always a good idea!
In the winter, spring and fall the baby tarpon can be great with good weather. The fish are resident and you can go looking for them in the
intricate mangroves creeks and tunnels and open flats on the backside of the island and in the lagoon. The island can be a great wind block during what can be the windiest part of the season, allowing you to keep sight casting to fish when other places may be having a tough go of it.
In the summer, starting in late April and early May bigger tarpon start moving in. We don't know if they are migrating through, ending their migration, coming here to feed or if they just enjoy the area! We do know that they are there and build in numbers and size through August and into September. The busiest months are May through August. This is due for two reasons: one, there tends to be fewer windy days during this period making it possible to spend more time fishing for big fish in open water; and two, there are more and bigger fish around during this time.
Getting to Holbox
Isla Holbox is on the very northern most shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean. Laguna Yalahua is on its western and southern shores, the backside of the island. Upon arrival in Cancun, you will be met by a representative from the lodge, a driver carrying a sign with your name on it or the name “Holbox Fly Fishing Lodge.” The transfer from the Cancun Airport to Isla Holbox takes about 2 ½ to 3 hours all together. You will be in an air-conditioned van for the first couple of hours, then arriving in the little town of Chiquila. Here the
shuttle driver will get you a ticket to board a ferry boat that will carry you across the lagoon to the Isla Holbox. The ferry ride takes about a half an hour, dropping you at the ferry dock on the south side of the island. From here another guy will be waiting with a sign with your name on it and he will drive you the rest of the way to the lodge in an open golf cart taxi. This last leg only takes about 7 minutes to drive from one side of the island to the other.
Lodging at Holbox
The Holbox Fly Fishing Lodge is the perfect setting for both anglers and non-anglers visiting Holbox. It can accommodate up to 10 guests in comfort and it is right on a perfect white sand beach. You don’t have to walk 50 yds to dip your toes in the emerald waters of the Caribbean. The rooms are spacious and extremely comfortable. Each room has a powerful air conditioning to keep you comfortable inside at night, large comfortable beds with fresh linens, in room bathroom facilities with sink, shower and toilet, and daily room cleaning with fresh towels provided for
both the shower and the beach. Each room also has a mini fridge stocked with bottled waters and cold beers for whenever you need rehydrate. Coffee is delivered to your room daily to get you going on the right foot, and breakfast is served in the home style dining room down stairs. Lunches are eaten on the boat between shots at tarpon, with cold water and soft drinks always available on ice in the boat. Beer is available upon request, charged extra. Upon return to the lodge in the afternoon, you will be served hors d’oeuvres and cocktails to enjoy with an unobstructed view of the sunset.
For dinners, you are on your own to explore the many excellent restaurants, and bars the island has to offer in town. This is one of the most unique features of Holbox, allowing you the chance to be a part of the amazing atmosphere Isla Holbox has to offer. You would not want to be secluded in the lodge the whole time on this amazing island, there is just too much to experience here in the small-town Mexican nightlife.
Everything is only about a 5 to 15 minute walk from the lodge into town, or you can get one of the golf cart taxis to drive you around.
There is a hosted/free “Happy Hour” serving beer and margaritas, after fishing and before dinner. After that you will want to head down to town to enjoy the local bars and restaurants of the island. You are welcome to bring your own spirits – the lodge has plenty of ice and mixers.
Fishing at Holbox
The guides here are the best on the island and all know how to guide fly fishers, most being expert casters themselves. They speak exceptionally good English and are experts at choosing the right flies, rigging your tarpon leaders and putting you in the best place to be the most productive during your trip to Holbox with them. The head guide Sandflea is a legend and the most well-known and respected guide in the entire Yucatan He has been guiding the area for tarpon for over 30 years, and the team of younger guides that he has trained are keeping the fire alive and following in his footsteps.
The baby tarpon fishing is available year round and you will want to be prepared to spend the majority of your time chasing these lively fish, ranging from 5 to 30 pounds in the lagoon on the back side of the island. Perfect 8wt targets, you just need a floating line and a simple “Suicide Rig” leader from 20 to 60 pounds, depending on what the guide wants for the particular area and conditions you are fishing in. In the winter months this is the standard program all of the time and it is extremely entertaining to say the least. It will blow your mind how much of your day you will actually spend casting vs hunting as in so many other saltwater fisheries. This is a target rich environment!
In the summer, you have a very real chance to go target the big boys. There can be big fish year round, but the winds of the winter and spring can make it too difficult to go look for them in the big open waters of the Caribbean out front of the island. The big migratory fish are most targetable from May into September as this is the best time for lower winds and you can get out and find the fish rolling in the distance to locate them. These monsters require 11wt and 12wt rods, with serious reels to stop them. You will want to have both floating and sinking lines to get the flies down to the fish when required. Leaders need to be rigged properly for tarpon with 30 to 40 pound breakers behind 80 to 100 pound shock tippet. Have the best hooks possible as well, in the appropriate sizes and make sure they are laser sharp! These guys are no joke and will seriously take advantage of improperly rigged tackle. Be on your game! Other species occasionally in the area include permit and bonefish, snook, jack crevalle, spotted weakfish, sheepshead and others.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Extensive mangrove habitat for juvenile tarpon. The vast area on the inside of the island is protected from the wind, and has an amazingly diverse habitat with wide open turtle grass flats, and mangrove shorelines with elaborate creek entrances and tunnels to provide the ideal rearing habitat for baby tarpon. This gives you the opportunity to get a ridiculous amount of time actually casting at fish and not just hunting for them.
• The tip of the Yucatan is right on the migratory path of the big tarpon as they make their way to and from Florida. This gives you the best opportunity in Mexico to target the giant adult tarpon during the summer, with large fish available when the winds permit you to be out on the deep water on the Caribbean side of the island.
• The beautiful and comfortable beach front lodge is the ideal location for a true Caribbean island experience. You can have the teal blue water lapping against your feet 50 yards from your front door. This also makes it the perfect place to bring the non-angling family members that would rather relax and enjoy island life than sit in the boat all day.
• The little island town of Holbox is a super fun and funky place to really relax. Holbox is filled with excellent restaurants, bars, shops and wonderful people to enjoy, outside of a secluded lodge setting. The location and town make it hands down the best atmosphere in the Mexican Yucatan to enjoy and be a part of the island life.