Cancun to Isla Holbox

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What to expect when visiting Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox is a unique destination near Cancun, but nowhere near as busy.

This island has a strong local feeling, and it’s quieter than most places in Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. Holbox Island boasts of several protected areas that are perfect for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers.

One of Holbox Island’s main attractions is its street art. You can find many amazing and colourful murals all over town and easily spend over half a day admiring them all. Many of the paintings portray the island’s rich wildlife, and some others highlight the local culture and its important characters.

TIP: Make sure you bring enough cash with you to Isla Holbox. Even though many places accept credit cards, the cell phone signal for payments is unreliable (making cards unusable) and the few ATMs on the island often run out of cash.

Recommended reading:

Compact Holbox Travel Guide & Top Things To Do on Isla Holbox

3 ways to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox

The distance between Cancun to Isla Holbox is 67 km. To get from Cancun to Isla Holbox, you have 3 options: a combined bus or minivan and ferry (3.5 hours), a private transfer (2.5 hours), or a private flight (30 minutes). Rates range between 527 MXN ($27) and 15,803 MXN ($810).

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan + Ferry3.5 hours527 MXN ($27)Check Minivan + Ferry Tickets
Private Transfer2.5 hours4,487 MXN ($230)Check Private Transport
Private Flight30 minutes15,803 MXN ($810)Check Private Flights

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Bus/Minivan + Ferry

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 527 MXN ($27)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 527 MXN ($27)

Ferries to Holbox leave from Chiquila port. Luckily, you don’t have to book the tickets to this port separately. You can book one ticket that includes the minivan from Cancun to Chiquila port and the ferry from the port to Holbox. Tickets cost 527 MXN ($27) for the entire trip.

Booking a combined ticket from Cancun to Isla Holbox is the most convenient option for this journey.

First, you will be transferred by minivan from Cancun to the port in Chiquila, a town on the north coast, located 140 km northwest of Cancun. This journey lasts about 2.5 hours.

In Chiquila, you will be transferred to the ferry that will bring you to Holbox in just 20 minutes.

Departure

The minivan from Cancun to Chiquila departs from the shuttle station next to the Soriana Supermarket in downtown Cancun. This station is across the street from the ADO bus station.

If you booked a combined ticket, the bus driver will lead you to the boat going to Holbox. This boat departs from the Chiquila Ferry Terminal.

Arrival

Ferries arrive at Holbox main dock. We suggest checking in advance if the location of your accommodation in Isla Holbox is near the dock.

If your hotel isn’t within walking distance from the port, you can ride a golf cart providing taxi service right outside the dock. You can also rent one of these carts or a bike for a whole day to move around the island.

Combined Minivan and Ferry Schedule from Cancun to Isla Holbox

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Chiquila Holbox Extreme8x departures a day from
07:30 to 18:30
3.5 hours527 MXN ($27)
Check Minivan + Ferry Tickets

We suggest booking a combined minivan and ferry ticket when travelling from Cancun to Isla Holbox. This way, you don’t need to worry about any transfers or having to book 2 tickets.

However, if this direct option is already fully booked, you can still make this journey on your own.

Booking tickets from Cancun to Holbox separately

Is the combined ticket option not available?

Below we continue with a step-by-step guide on how to book your tickets when the combined tickets are already sold out.

It’s basically the same journey, but you’ll need to book the tickets separately.

Step 1: Cancun to Chiquila by Bus or Minivan

For the first part of the journey from Cancun to Chiquila, you can either take a public bus or a minivan.

Both options take around 2.5 hours. We don’t recommend one over the other as both offer a reliable service, so it will really depend on your preference.

It’s good to keep in mind that as buses are bigger vehicles, they offer more space between seats and are more comfortable. On the other hand, minivans have more daily trips.

By Bus

Buses going from Cancun to Chiquila depart from the ADO Bus Station along Calle Pino in downtown Cancun. The service is provided by ADO Bus, Mexico’s largest bus company.

There are 8 ADO bus departures daily, and you can get a ticket for 332 MXN ($17).

Bus Schedule from Cancun to Chiquila
Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
ADO Bus9x departures a day from
08:15-17:00
2hrs 20m332 MXN ($17)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

With an ADO Bus, you are guaranteed of air-conditioning and reclining seats. Since this is a relatively short journey, note that some vehicles won’t have a toilet unlike most buses in Mexico.

By Minivan

The minivan service is provided by Chiquila Holbox Extreme, Holbox Shuttle, and Transfer Holbox.

Chiquila Holbox Extreme also offers direct rides including the ferry ticket which we discussed at the beginning of this section.

Most minivans also depart from the parking lot next to the Soriana Supermarket in downtown Cancun. This is across the street from the ADO bus station. You can also book a minivan that will pick you up from Cancun Airport.

Minivans operate every day and currently offer more trips than the bus. The ride from Cancun to Chiquila takes about 2.5 hours with fares starting from 312 MXN ($16).

Minivan schedules from Cancun to Chiquila
Minivan OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Chiquila Holbox Extreme8x departures a day from
07:30 to 18:30
2.5 hours312 MXN ($16)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets
Holbox Shuttle4x departures a day from
08:30 to 18:30
2.5 hours410 MXN ($21)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets
Transfer Holbox
(from Cancun Airport)
3x departures a day from
12:30 to 18:30
2 hours605 MXN ($31)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets
Holbox Shuttle
(from Cancun Airport)
4x departures a day from
10:15 to 18:00
2 hours878 MXN ($45)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets

You can check the full schedules of the minivans on BookAway.

Step 2: Chiquila to Holbox by Ferry

Buses, as well as minivans, drop off passengers at the parking lot next to Puerto de Chiquila. This is the port from where you can take a ferry to Holbox.

Ferries from Chiquila to Holbox Island operate from 06:00 to 21:30 with an interval of 30 minutes. Tickets start from 195 MXN ($10) for the 20-minute ferry ride.

The route is served by 2 companies: Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos.

Both companies are reliable operators. The only difference is that one sails on the hour and the other one sails on the half-hour.

The boats come equipped with an indoor seating area that has A/C and TV screens, and you can also walk around the main deck and enjoy the sea views.

Ferry schedules from Chiquila to Holbox

Ferry OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Holbox ExpressEvery hour from
06:30 to 21:30
20 minutes195 MXN ($10)
Buy Your Ferry Tickets
9 HermanosEvery hour from
06:00 to 21:00
20 minutes215 MXN ($11)
Buy Your Ferry Tickets

We recommend booking your ride online beforehand to skip a potential queue at the ferry terminal. If you book the Holbox ferry ticket with 9 Hermanos, your ticket will be valid throughout the day, so no worries about missing your ferry!

Check Minivan + Ferry Tickets

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Private Transfer

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 4,487 MXN ($230)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 4,487 MXN ($230)

If you are travelling in a group, you can also book private transport from Cancun to Holbox. It’s still not direct, but the company you book with will take care of both your private shuttle and Chiquila Holbox ferry.

A private transfer is particularly convenient if you’re coming from Cancun Airport, which is around 20 km from the city centre. When taking a taxi from the airport, you can go straight from your desired location to Chiquila, without having to go to Cancun centre first.

Rates for a private transfer start from 4,487 MXN ($230) for 4 passengers max. If you’re travelling in a larger group, there are private transfers that can accommodate up to 6 passengers with rates from 8,292 MXN ($425).

Travel time for a private transfer from Cancun Airport to Holbox Island takes 2.5 hours.

Check Private Transfers

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Private Flight

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 15,803 MXN ($810)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 15,803 MXN ($810)

There are also small private flights operating from Cancun to Isla Holbox. This is more an experience on its own than just a trip to get from A to B. With this flight, you’ll get a bird’s eye view not just of Isla Holbox, but the entire Yucatan Peninsula during the 30-minute flight.

Of course, this luxury comes with a cost. Rates for a private plane ride for up to 5 passengers start from 15,803 MXN ($810) and 27,119 MXN ($1,390) for 7 passengers.

Travelling by air is a great way to see the Yucatan Peninsula in all its glory. Although expensive, private flights offer a very scenic and fast way to get to Isla Holbox. The flight takes only 30 minutes.

Flights Cancun operates air taxis from Cancun to Isla Holbox. Rates start from 15,803 MXN ($810) for a private plane that can accommodate 5 people. For a group of 7, the flight costs 27,119 MXN ($1,390).

Keep in mind that there’s an additional 200 MXN ($10) airport fee per passenger. Also, as you’ll be taking a small plane, you may be able to bring only a small piece of luggage.

Cancun Airport

Flights depart from FBO Cancun, which is inside Cancun Airport.

To get there from the city centre, you can take a 30-minute shared minivan, bus, or taxi with rates from 878 MXN ($45) to 3,414 MXN ($175). You can book your ride in advance via BookAway.

See here a more detailed description of how to get from Cancun centre to Cancun Airport.

Holbox Airport

In Isla Holbox, you will arrive at the small Aerodromo de Holbox, situated within the tourist area. Your hotel and the Holbox beach should be just a short taxi ride away.

Check Private Planes with BookAway

Itinerary from Cancun to Isla Holbox

FAQ How to get there

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take a rental car from Cancun to Isla Holbox?

Although there are car ferries operating from Chiquila to Isla Holbox, it is not really advisable to take your rental car to the island.

Most tourists drive up to Chiquila, leave their rental car there, and then take the passenger ferry to Isla Holbox. Make sure to check out our Top 10 Car Rental Tips to help you save money!

 

Our favourite places to stay in Holbox

La Casa del Alux - Treating yourself

This adults only hotel offers suites and apartments rather than just rooms. Most of which come with balconies overlooking the nearby lake. If you opt for an apartment, you’ll also be able to enjoy kitchen facilities.

Scattered throughout the hotel there’s plenty of places to chill, from hammocks to sun loungers and little sun decks. La Casa del Alux is like a little oasis situated on the outskirts of Holbox town.

  • Chill out area and hammocks
  • Lake views
  • Huge suites and apartments
  • Adults only

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Corazón Mexicano - Mid-Range

Holbox is an island where you just want to enjoy and relax. The rooftop pool and terrace of Corazon Mexicano is the perfect place to do this. You could spend all day up here overlooking the ocean and surrounding mangroves.

The rooms are vibrantly decorated with splashes of colour and all include a private bathroom and air conditioning.

  • Infinity-style swimming pool
  • Vibrant, modern rooms
  • Roof-top views of the ocean and mangroves

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Boox Casa - Mid Range

Boox Casa emanates a laid back bohemian vibe that will instantly make you relax. It’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into the decor of the hotel as it’s absolutely stunning!

They even have a kitchen which you normally don’t find in a hotel. The stars of the show have to be the swimming pool and rooftop hammocks. Perfect for watching the sunset.

  • Free bikes
  • Large communal kitchen
  • Rooftop hammocks and swimming pool

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Casa los Abuelos - Mid Range

Want to stay at a great location on Holbox and within walking distance to everything you need? Restaurants, bars, supermarkets and of course the most important, the beach, are all on your doorstep when staying at Casa los Abuelos.

All of the rooms include a private bathroom and a small kitchenette if you want to do a bit of cooking. Casa los Abuelos is a great, affordable option on a somewhat more expensive island when it comes to accommodation.

  • Kitchenettes in every room
  • Great location, close to everything
  • A real bargain
  • Clean and spacious rooms

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

 

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