Isla Holbox is a unique destination near Cancun, but not at all as busy. This island paradise is probably Quintana Roo’s best-kept secret. A huge part of Holbox is protected areas, perfect for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers.
Another thing we love about Isla Holbox is the whale sharks. A sighting is almost always guaranteed, especially if you visit between June and September. You can swim with them too! Normally, we wouldn’t recommend this activity because it can be very stressful for whale sharks, but not in Mexico. They have created really strict guidelines to make sure the whale sharks are protected while we humans are having fun.
On land, the most favourite attraction in Isla Holbox is the street art. You can find many amazing and colourful murals all over the town and easily spend over half a day admiring them all. Many of the paintings portray the island’s rich wildlife, while some others highlight the local culture and its important characters.
New to Isla Holbox? Our compact Isla Holbox guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Isla Holbox!
The only way to travel the 13 km from Chiquila to Isla Holbox is via a 20-minute ferry. Ferry ticket prices start from 187 MXN ($9.50) for a one-way trip.
The ferries depart from the main dock in Chiquila. There are frequent departures so you won’t have to wait long for the next ferry. If you’re coming from nearby towns like Cancun, Valladolid, or Merida, just make sure you arrive at Chiquila Port between 06:00 to 21:30.
PRO 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.
Ferries from Chiquila to Isla Holbox depart from Puerto de Chiquilá. If you’re coming from other towns like Cancun, Valladolid, Merida, all buses and colectivos will drop you off at the parking lot next to it.
Holbox ferries sail from 06:00 to 21:30, with a departure every 30 minutes. There are two companies providing the ferry service: Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos.
Both companies offer good service, the only difference is that one operates on the hour and the other one sails on the half-hour.
Whichever ferry you take from Chiquila to Isla Holbox, you will be seated in an indoor area that has A/C and TV screens. You can also walk around the main deck and enjoy the sea views. The journey from Chiquila to Holbox takes approximately 20 minutes.
We recommend booking online so you won’t have to queue at the ferry terminal. If you buy your tickets through BookAway, your ticket will be valid for the whole day, no matter what time you actually booked.
It’s also worth noting that you can buy round-trip tickets through BookAway and get up to 20% off!
Ferries dock at Holbox main ferry terminal. Many accommodations are within walking distance from the port. There are no cars in Holbox. If you’re in need of a ride, you will find many golf carts right outside the dock providing a taxi service. You can also rent one of these carts or a bike to move around the island.
Isla Holbox to Chiquila (the way back)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 187 MXN ($9.50)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 187 MXN ($9.50)
For your return journey from Holbox to Chiquila, you just need to get to the Holbox main dock, the same port you arrived at.
Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos are also the ferry operators for this route. They keep the same operation scheme so one departs on the hour while the other departs on the half-hour.
You can expect a ferry departure every 30 minutes from 05:00 to 20:30. The journey takes about 20 minutes.
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.
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.
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.