Cancun is the main tourist destination on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. It offers a diverse range of things to do, from water activities, visiting ancient Mayan archaeological sites, to just relaxing on one of its stunning beaches. This vibrant beach city runs alongside the Caribbean Sea, guaranteeing a crystal blue sea and snow-white sand.
For many visitors, Cancun is a popular entryway into the wonderful country of Mexico due to its busy international airport. It is the door to other popular sites in the Quintana Roo district, such as Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum.
Depending on what you’re looking for in Mexico, Cancun can just be a short stopover or a holiday destination by itself. You’ll find most tourists in the Hotel Zone, which is full to the brim with all-inclusive resorts, restaurants and lively bars.
There are 4 ways to get from Isla Holbox to Cancun: a 3-hour combined bus or colectivo and ferry, a 2.5-hour private transfer, and a 30-minute flight. Rates range from 518 MXN ($25) to 15,075 MXN ($745).
There is no direct ferry from Isla Holbox to Cancun. When taking public transportation, you’ll first have to take a ferry to Chiquila, and then transfer to either a bus or a colectivo going to Cancun. Combined travel time is 3 to 3.5 hours.
If you’re heading straight to Cancun Airport and want a hassle-free journey, you can also take a private transfer. Rates start from 4,655 MXN ($230) for up to 4 persons. This includes a public ferry ride from Holbox Island to Chiquila and a private shuttle from Chiquila to Cancun Airport.
If budget is not a problem, the fastest way to get from Isla Holbox to Cancun is via a private flight. For this option, you’ll spend about 30 minutes on air, overlooking the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. Rates start from 15,075 MXN ($745) for a plane that can fit up to 5 passengers with small luggage.
To get from Isla Holbox to Cancun, you must first get to the port of Chiquila by boat. Once in Chiquila, you can take a colectivo or a bus to get to Cancun. The entire journey takes around 3 hours.
Step 1: Holbox to Chiquila
Duration: 2.5 hours Cost: 220 MXN ($11)
The ferries to Chiquila are run by the companies Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos. Both offer the same service and the difference is that one departs on the hour while the other departs on the half-hour.
The Isla Holbox ferry departs every 30 minutes from 05:00 to 20:30. You will arrive at Chiquila Port after around 20 minutes.
Before boarding your Holbox ferry, we recommend checking the schedules of buses and colectivos from Chiquila to Cancun so that you won’t have to wait too long at the port.
Ferry schedule from Isla Holbox to Chiquila
Every hour from 06:30 to 20:30
220 MXN ($11)
Every hour from 05:00 to 20:00
220 MXN ($11)
We recommend booking your ticket online via BookAway so you won’t have to physically queue at the port. Tickets are at the same price of 220 MXN ($11) whether you buy them online or at the Holbox main dock, from which the ferries depart. If you book with 9 Hermanos, your ticket will be valid for an entire day, no matter the departure time.
Colectivos to Cancun depart from the car park next to Chiquila’s main dock. The service is provided by a small local company called Te Llevo a Holbox and the vehicles are sprinter type minivans. They come equipped with AC and reclining seats.
You can book a colectivo ticket online through the Te Llevo a Holbox website, but with an additional booking fee. You can also purchase your tickets in person at their only office located on Holbox Island. A colectivo ticket costs 350 MXN ($17.50).
Both the colectivo and the bus will drop you off at the Central Bus Terminal area in Cancun’s city centre. Many hotels and hostels are located around and just a few blocks from the bus terminal so you can choose to walk.
If you are staying more than a few blocks away or at the beach areas, you may have to take a taxi to get to your final destination. Taxis are available outside of the bus terminal and are metered so rates will depend on the distance and time. An average ride to the beach area is around 210 MXN ($10).
Another option is to use public transport. Buses pass in front of the bus terminal on Avenida Tulum and lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 connect the bus terminal with the beach and hotel area. The rate for the buses is 15 MXN ($0.70) to be paid directly to the bus driver.
Isla Holbox to Cancun by Private Transfer
Duration: 2.5 hours Cost: 4,655 MXN ($230)
Are you heading straight to Cancun International Airport after a visit to Isla Holbox? If so, you can take a more expensive yet more convenient private transfer.
For this option, your tour operator will guide you to take a public Holbox ferry going to Chiquila. From here, a private shuttle will be waiting to take you to Cancun International Airport.
Rates start from 4,655 MXN ($230) for a group of up to 4 passengers. That includes both your individual ferry tickets and private shuttle ride. For guaranteed trusted service, we recommend booking your private transfer through BookAway.
If you’re looking for the fastest way to get from Isla Holbox to Cancun, the flight is the way to go. There are no commercial flights between the two destinations, but Flights Cancun offers private flights daily.
Rates start from 15,075 MXN ($745) for a private plane that can accommodate 5 persons. Quite expensive, but also very scenic. Flight time is 30 minutes and you’ll have an amazing view of the Yucatan Peninsula for the entire journey.
You can book your flight through the Flights Cancun website. 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 only be able to bring small luggage.
Flight departure and arrival points
Flights depart from Aerodromo de Holbox, which is situated within the tourist area at Holbox Island. This small airport should be just a short taxi ride away from your hotel or Holbox beach.
In Cancun, you will arrive at FBO Cancun, which is just inside Cancun Airport. From here, you can get to Cancun city centre via a 30-minute shared minivan, bus or taxi. Rates range between 98 MXN ($5) and 500 MXN ($24).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take a rental car from Isla Holbox to Cancun?
Although there are car ferries operating between Chiquila and Isla Holbox, it is not really advisable to take your rental car to the island. On your way to Holbox Island, it’s best to leave your rental car at Chiquila Port, then just take it back on your way to Cancun. Make sure to check out our Top 10 Car Rental Tips to help you save money!
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The homestay offers a very convenient location, close to the local markets and not too far from the ADO bus station. The rooms are clean and spacious, plus a steal for their price. If you fancy doing some cooking whilst in Cancun, you can make use of the communal kitchen.
Looking for a unique sleeping experience? The Yellow Capsule Hotel will definitely give you that. Instead of traditional rooms, you’ll get to sleep in a pod. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the future when you clamber into your bright and spacious pod.
The capsules are clean and include everything you need for a comfy stay, a mirror, outlets, a safe and storage space. When you’re done hangin around in your pod, you can chill at the hotel's terrace and enjoy their free breakfast.
Viento Suites is somewhat of an escape from the busy and hectic cancun. Once you’re inside the walls of the hotel, chilling in the garden beside the swimming pool, you’ll forget about the outside world.
The location couldn’t be more perfect. It’s situated within Downtown Cancun but also very close to the Hotel Zone and beaches. The rooms look like those from a high-class hotel, but without the extortionate prices.
Resorts in Cancun can cost you a bomb! Sina Suites gives you that resort-style feel without the high prices. Ever wanted your own private marina in a hotel? Now you probably do, and Sina Suites has one. It also has a large swimming pool set amongst gardens that overlook the lagoon.
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