Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue – Mexico

Are you interested in playing with the animals at Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue?

Holbox is a small idyllic island off the coast of Mexico. It is very popular among travellers. Thanks mostly to its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Not to mention its lack of concrete roads and high-rise buildings. Despite its small size, it is home to the wonderful Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue.

This may be of particular interest to those who love animals as much as we do.

We spent 5 days on Holbox Island. We can safely say, the best and most rewarding thing we did during our stay, was to visit Refugio animal Holbox. A small locally run animal rescue right in the heart of the island.

The sign at the entrance to Holbox animal rescue with their logo on it

Where is Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue?

Luckily Holbox is only a very small island and the Animal rescue is very close to the centre of the town. You can see the location of the rescue on the map below.

map of where to find refugio holbox animal rescue in Mexico

How To Get To Holbox Island

To get to Holbox you will need to one of the ferries from Chiquila to the island. There are two different ferry companies that run all day and alternate between them. This means there is a ferry heading to Holbox roughly every 30 minutes.

All you need to do is head to the ticket offices by the pier when you arrive in Chiquila and purchase a ticket for whichever company is departing next.

To get to Chiquila you have a few options. You can rent a car, take a public bus or a private Taxi. Renting a car is the best option if you plan to explore more of the country as you will have far more freedom.

We travelled by public buses and used the ADO bus company. They were fast, reliable and affordable. You can find the bus schedules and book tickets here.

You can also read out post on how to get to Holbox from Cancun here.

What Does Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue Do?

Holbox Animal Rescue has taken in MANY stray, injured, and neglected dogs and cats from all over Mexico. They then work hard to help them recover, spay/neuter them and find them loving forever homes.

A man walking a rescue dog down a street on Holbox Island

Volunteer at Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue

Volunteering your time is a really great way to give back to local communities when you are travelling. It is important to make sure you only give your time to reputable organisations, like Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue.

We were so excited to discover that Holbox Animal Rescue welcomes anyone and everyone, to come and walk the dogs for them. There is pretty much an open invite from 10 am-6 pm each day. It is a short and easy 5-minute walk from the main square to get to the rescue.

Many rescues require advance warning or pre-registration, or even charge money to go and help out. This is not the case here.

Once you arrive at the rescue you can say hello to all the eager little faces that will greet you and ask for a dog or two to take for a walk. The friendly staff on site will happily find you a new 4-legged friend. Then you can head straight to the beach together for some fun.

A man walking a rescue dog on the beach and in the sea in Holbox, Mexico

If you don’t fancy going for a walk then you can also just go inside the rescue and play with the dogs and show them some love. Or, you can even help them clean up if you’re feeling super helpful. Any and all help is appreciated.

We took a couple of adorable dogs out for a walk to the beach. Which is just a 5-minute walk down the street. I’m not sure who had the best time, us or the dogs. Just remember to be careful of the heat, since it is very hot during the day. Both for yourself and the dogs.

all of the dogs in holbox animal rescue waiting by the entrance

For this reason, I recommend going to the rescue when they open and getting out for a walk before the midday heat. Alternatively, you could go later in the afternoon.

After we returned with the dogs we had just walked, we just had to ask if we could go in and see the cats. Of course, they were more than happy for us to go play with them. I highly recommend spending some time with the cats too, they are all so loving and playful. We had the best cuddles!

A girl with a rescue cat sleeping on her lap in Holbox, Mexico

Sadly for us, we only found out about Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue on the last day we were on the island. Otherwise, this would’ve been a perfect way to start off every day on this slow-paced, easy-going island.

Other Ways You Can Help Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue

As they are a rescue, they will always welcome donations. Although we weren’t asked to donate anything, so there’s no pressure. But if you don’t plan to visit Holbox anytime soon and would still like to help then they would be so grateful.

It is also good to note if you are visiting this area of Mexico on holiday, and then heading home after. They are often looking for pet flight escorts. To escort an adopted animal to their new home. This doesn’t cost you a penny, they just can’t fly alone. So that’s another great way you can help out.

And of course, if you happen to fall in love with any of their 4 legged residents then adoption is always an option! We wished we could take them all home with us.

a man walking a rescue dog away from the beach in Holbox Mexico

Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue – Final Thoughts

So, my animal-loving friends. I hope I have convinced you to check out Refugio Holbox Animal Rescue if you’re heading that way anytime soon. Or you can always check out their website from home and see how you can help out if that feels right for you.

If you’re also looking for other things to do with your time on Holbox Island, then check out our post for some more inspiration.

Thanks for reading this, the animals will thank you for it too. Are you inspired, and want to help out? Please consider donating.

🤍 I have written this in loving memory of my beautiful boy Bailey who left us just weeks after we visited Holbox Animal Rescue. He was the best boy, who also loved long walks on the beach.