Cancun to Isla Holbox

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How to get from Cancun to 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

4 ways to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minvan + Ferry3 hours551 MXN ($27)Check Ferry Tickets
Private Transfer2.5 hours4,690 MXN ($230)Check Private Transport
Private Flight30 minutes16,510 MXN ($805)Check Private Flights

The distance between Cancun to Isla Holbox is 67km. To get from Cancun to Isla Holbox, you have 4 options: a combined bus or minivan and ferry (2hr 20min), a private transfer (2.5 hours), or a private flight (30 minutes). Rates range between 551 MXN ($27) and 16,510 MXN ($805).

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. The tickets for this combined journey cost 551 MXN ($27) for the entire trip.

If you are travelling with 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. It’s also possible to leave directly from Cancun Airport. Combined travel time is around 2.5 hours and rates start from 4,690 MXN ($230) for up to 4 persons.

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 eyeview 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 16,510 MXN ($805) and 28,250 MXN ($1385) for 7 passengers.

Travel insurance

The pandemic showed us the importance of having a travel insurance. If you don’t have one yet, we recommend checking out the insurance of SafetyWing. This insurance is in particular popular with digital nomads and travellers who are on the road for several months.

SafetyWing offers Medical and Travel Insurance starting at just $40/month. Another advantage: you can still sign up if your trip has already started!

Itinerary from Cancun to Isla Holbox

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Bus/Minivan + Ferry

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 551 MXN ($27)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 551 MXN ($27)

Booking a combined ticket from Cancun to Isla Holbox is the most convenient option for this journey. First, you will be transferred by a minivan from Cancun to the port in Chiquila. Once you enter the van, the driver will bring you to Chiquila, where you will be transferred to the ferry going to Holbox.

Chiquila is a town on the north coast, located 140km northwest of Cancun.

Departure from Cancun

The minivan departs from the shuttle station next to the Soriana Supermarket in downtown Cancun.

This station is across the street from ADO bus station.

Combined Minivan and Ferry from Cancun to Isla Holbox

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Chiquila Holbox Extreme8x departures a day between
07:00 to 18:30
3 hours551 MXN ($27)
Check Bus + Ferry Tickets

With the option above, 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 Isla Holbox independently

Is the combined ticket option not available?

We’ve explained here the steps when taking public transportation from Cancun to Isla Holbox. For the first part of the journey from Cancun to Chiquila, you can either take a public bus or a minivan.

Step 1: Cancun to Chiquila

Duration: 2hrs 20m
Cost: 306 MXN ($15)
Duration: 2hrs 20m
Cost: 306 MXN ($15)

There are two options to get to the port of Chiquila: a 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. For this route though, minivans give you more options with departure times compared to the bus.

Option 1: Cancun to Chiquila by Bus

Duration: 2hrs 20m
Cost: 387 MXN ($18.50)
Duration: 2hrs 20m
Cost: 387 MXN ($18.50)

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.

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

There are 8 ADO bus departures daily, and you can get a ticket for 387 MXN ($19).

Bus schedule from Cancun to Chiquila
Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
ADO Bus8x departures a day between
08:15-17:00
2 hours 20 minutes387 MXN ($19)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

Option 2: Cancun to Chiquila by Minivan

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 306 MXN ($15)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 306 MXN ($15)

The minivan service is provided by Chiquila Holbox Extreme and Holbox Shuttle. Note that Chiquila Holbox Extreme also offers direct rides including the ferry ticket from Chiquila to Holbox. This is the option explained at the beginning of this section.

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

Minivans operate every day and currently offers more trips than the bus. The ride from Cancun to Chiquila takes about 2-2.5 hours with fares from 306 MXN ($15).

Minivan schedule from Cancun to Chiquila
Minivan OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Chiquila Holbox Extreme8x departures a day between
07:30 to 18:30
2 hours 20 minutes306 MXN ($15)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets
Holbox Shuttle4x departures a day between
10:15 to 18:00
2 hours938 MXN ($46)
Buy Your Minivan Tickets

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

Step 2: Chiquila to Holbox by Ferry

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 183 MXN ($8.50)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 183 MXN ($8.50)

Once you arrive in Chiquila, you need to find Puerto de Chiquila. Both buses and minivans drop off passengers at the parking lot next to it.

There are 2 companies providing Holbox ferry service: Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos. Both companies are reliable operators, and the only difference is that one sails on the hour and the other one sails on the half-hour.

Ferries from Chiquila to Holbox Island operate from 06:00 to 21:30 with an interval of 30 minutes. Tickets start from 184 MXN ($9) and the ferry ride takes around 20 minutes.

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 schedule from Chiquila to Holbox

Ferry OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Holbox ExpressEvery hour from
07:30 to 21:30
20 minutes184 MXN ($9)
Buy Your Ferry Tickets
9 HermanosEvery hour from
06:00 to 21:00
20 minutes224 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!

Departure & Arrival station

The Isla Holbox ferry departs from the Chiquila Ferry Terminal and arrives at the Holbox main dock.

We recommend that you check the location of your accommodation in Isla Holbox to see if it’s within walking distance from the port. There are no cars on Holbox Island, but you can find many golf carts 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.

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Private Transfer

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 4,690 MXN ($230)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 4,690 MXN ($230)

A private transfer is especially convenient if you’re coming from Cancun Airport, which is around 20km from the city centre.

For this option, you won’t have to go make a stop at the bus station in the city. Instead, you’ll take a private minivan going straight to the ferry terminal in Chiquila, and then transfer to a public ferry to get to Isla Holbox. Both rides will be taken care of for you.

Rates for a private transfer start from 4,690 MXN ($230) for 4 passengers max. If you’re travelling in a bigger group, there are private transfers that can accommodate up to 6 passengers with rates from 8,670 MXN ($425).

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

For guaranteed trusted drivers and excellent customer service, book your ride online through BookAway.

Book a Private Transfer with BookAway

Cancun to Isla Holbox by Private Flight

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 16,510 MXN ($805)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 16,510 MXN ($805)

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 16,510 MXN ($805) for a private plane that can accommodate 5 persons. For a group of 7, the flight costs 28,250 MXN ($1385).

Keep in mind that there’s an additional 200 MXN ($9.50) airport fee per passenger. Also, as you’ll be taking a small plane, you may be able to bring only a small luggage.

Book a Private Plane with BookAway

Departure & Arrival station

Flights depart from FBO Cancun, which is just inside Cancun Airport. To get there from the city centre (located 18km to the north), you can take a 30-minute shared minivan, bus or taxi. Rates range from 98 MXN ($4.80) to 500 MXN ($24.50).

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

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!

  Hotel

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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