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How to Get From Cancun to Holbox

One of the most popular vacation spots in Mexico is Cancun. There is an amazingly wide range of things to do in Cancun and throughout the Yucatan such as amazing Mayan ruins, Cenote swim holes, and seaside towns like Tulum. If you have a trip planned, one of the most beautiful places you can visit is Isla Holbox. This hidden gem offers a real taste of paradise without the tourist crowds. The best part: it’s easy to get there! Keep reading to learn the best ways to get from Cancun to Holbox.

Holbox
Punta Cocos on Isla Holbox

The Cancun International Airport is the main airport for those who plan to visit any of the Yucatan Peninsula’s treasured destinations, such as Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and the star of today’s show, Isla Holbox also known as Holbox Island.

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Whether you are interested in traveling from the Cancun International Airport or from downtown Cancun, it’s about 2 hours to the Holbox ferry in Chiquila by car or shuttle.

 Cancun to Isla Holbox 

Anyone who plans to visit this charming small island must first get to the city of Chiquila. The distance between Chiquila port and Isla Holbox is about 8 miles. From the port, there is a ferry that will take about a half hour with boarding time to reach Holbox island.

This is the only way to get to the island unless you book a pricey flight. The price for a ferry ticket is about $220 pesos for adults (about $11 dollars). You can check a peso to dollar converter for the most accurate exchange rate.

6 ways to Get from Cancun to Holbox

Below are the 6 ways to get from Cancun to Holbox (and I’ll go into each in more detail).

  • Rental Car: Drive to Chiquila + Ferry
  • Private Transfer to Chiquila + Ferry
  • ADO Bus to Chiquila Ferry
  • Colectivo to Chiquila Ferry
  • Fly to Holbox
  • Taxi or Uber + Ferry
Holbox Ferry

Keep on reading to find out all you need to know about getting to Isla Holbox, the best times to visit, the best places to stay, and the top things to do in Holbox that you absolutely can’t miss.

1. Rental Car

Renting a car is the easiest and most convenient way to get around the Cancun area. Car rentals range from about $10-$20 a day. I recommend booking your car rental online prior to your arrival for peace of mind. After you’ve secured your car rental, the approximate travel time from Cancun to Chiquila is about 2 hours.

This is a great option if you plan to explore more of the Yucatan after your visit to Isla Holbox. If you are simply traveling to and from Cancun, a shuttle or bus is probably a better option.

Once you’ve arrived in Chiquila, you will not be able to take your rental car with you. However, there will be several places near the ferry port offering parking options for less than $200 pesos, or $10 dollars.

There is a “Rental Car Center” at the Cancun Airport where you can find most large companies as well as local agencies. I’ve always rented with Hertz when visiting Cancun. They have a rental location in downtown Cancun as well as the airport. Check car rental rates here.

If you do rent a car (which is my personal favorite way to explore the Yucatan), make sure to take all your belongings with you when you take the ferry. Leave nothing valuable in the car.

2. Private/Shared Shuttle

A private shuttle will take you the same amount of time as driving would take you to get to Chiquila. If you’ve just landed at the Cancun airport the easiest way to travel to Holbox is by private shuttle. You can check shuttle rates here. The perks of having a driver waiting for you at the airport in a private air-conditioned vehicle means you can leave as soon as you’re ready and stop along the way when you want.

This is also ideal for those who are traveling in groups. For solo travelers on a budget, it would be a great option to book a shared shuttle. The best price for these tickets run about about $50 each way.

I recommend Cancun Transportation, which is $225 for 3 passengers.

Another private hassle-free option is to book a transfer in a brand-new Mercedes Benz car or van. This is an excellent luxury option for larger groups. It is quick, unshared transportation that can be booked in advance with GetYourGuide.com.

3.  ADO Bus

Mexico’s ADO Bus company (the biggest bus company in Mexico) offers comfortable trips from Cancun to Chiquila. The trips are about 3 ½ hours but cost less than $20 dollars.

You can find ADO buses in the three airport terminals at the Cancun Airport as well as leaving from the downtown Cancun ADO bus station from Calle Pino, SM23, MZ56, Lt 1 y 2, Centro, 23.

The bus will drop you off directly at the ferry port. This is the best and cheapest way for solo travelers on a budget. It’s also a fun experience for families! If you want your kids to see a different slice of Mexico outside of luxury hotels, this is a geat learning experience as well.

In addition to the ADO Bus, you can also find public bus routes with Mayab and Oriente bus lines. Although, these are known to be slower options that include more stops along the way.

Find the ADO Bus schedule here.

4. Colectivo to Holbox Ferry

Colectivo pick up is from central Cancun at the Soriana supermarket car park (in the back) at the corner of Av Tulum and Av Uxmal. This is a shared public service that will make stops between Cancún and Chiquila.

Departure times: 12:00 noon and 6:30 pm. Arrives: 02:30pm and 9:00 pm You can take your luggage. Cost is $250 pesos per person.

5. Flight

Although this is the fastest way to get to Isla Isla Holbox, it’s nonetheless the most expensive option. The flight is from Cancun International Airport to Aerodromo de Holbox; the small Isla Holbox airport will set you back about $500 dollars for the quick 30-minute flight. While a private plane may seem the easiest way, it’s a different layer of planning.

6. Taxi or Uber

Uber is hit and miss in Cancun. As of writing this in August of 2022, there is no Lyft or Uber service from the Cancun airport or within Cancun. As for taxis; they are fairly safe in Cancun. The biggest issue is the honesty of the drivers and how expensive the ride will become. Since it’s a bit of a ride to Chiquila, a taxi will be really expensive most times. While taxis are an option, it would not be my suggestion.

Chiquila Ferry

Chiquila Port
Chiquila Port

Once You Arrive at the Chiquila Port ferry terminal, you’ll have the option of two ferry companies that go to Holbox; 9 Hermanos and Holbox Express.

The Holbox Express is a daily ferry from the port of Chiquilá to Holbox and it departs every hour from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm.

9 Hermanos is a daily ferry from the port of Chiquilá to Holbox and it departs every hour from 5 am to 9 pm.

Chiquila to Holbox ferry tickets are $220 pesos ($11USD) for adults, and $160 pesos ($8USD) for children and the journey time to the island is 20 minutes.

About Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox sign

The Mayan people are native to the Yucatan. Along with Spanish, many people in the area also speak the Mayan language. Holbox is a Mayan word and in the Mayan language, the letter x is always pronounced as a “sh” sound. Isla Holbox is pronounced hole-bosh, not hole-box.

Holbox Island is located in the state of Quintana Roo (one of the three states in the Yucatan Peninsula), in southeastern Mexico. It is located on the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

6 Things to Do Once You Arrive in Holbox

Isla Holbox Street art

Now that you know what your transportation options are, it’s time to explore a few Holbox adventure options!

Now, with no further ado, here are the top things to do in Isla Holbox:

1. Visit The Beach

If you’ve been dreaming of paradise, look no further. The beaches of Isla Holbox aim to provide you the relaxation you’ve been needing. With fluffy white sand, turquoise waters, beach hammocks, and palm trees, you’ve got everything you need to unwind. Grab a cold coconut and listen to the sound of the shore as you appreciate the beauty that Isla Holbox offers. 

2. Explore Town

Isla Holbox’s town is small and easy to explore. There are no cars on the island, only golf carts, so it’s perfectly walkable. Here you can find shops, restaurants, and many locals and tourists to meet. Keep an eye out for the amazing street murals all over the town. 

3. Watch the Sunset at Punta Coco 

Punta Coco is one of Isla Holbox’s top beaches to watch the sunset. There are local bars and restaurants that you can visit while you end your afternoon here and prepare for a beautiful night. Because of the lack of pollution, there is no better place to watch the bioluminescence show. 

4. Bioluminescence 

Bioluminescence is light produced by living organisms. Isla Holbox happens to be one of the few places in the world where this happens. It’s one of those amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities you simply can’t miss. 

GetYourGuide.com offers a Nighttime Bioluminescent Marine Life Kayaking Tour. On this tour, you will kayak and have the option to swim in the water and enjoy the unique experience of seeing neon-blue bioluminescent plankton up close. You can learn more and book a ticket here.

5. Swim With Whale Sharks

Whale sharks make their way to the Yucatan Peninsula at some point during May and stay through September. During this time, you can book a tour and swim with these gigantic and beautiful creatures. This is one of the top attractions in Isla Holbox and one of your best options for a truly unique experience.

6. Explore the Street Art

You can find many amazing and colorful murals throughout the small town. Many of the paintings portray the island’s rich wildlife, and some others highlight the local culture and its important people.

Best Time to Visit Holbox

What is the best season to visit Isla Holbox Mexico? The weather is at its prime between the months of December and March. This is also considered the dry season. You can expect clear, sunny skies, and breezy days. The hottest months are considered to be from June through September, with higher chances of rain and humidity.

Beyond Holbox

There are several other islands in the state of Quintana Roo that are worth exploring in addition to Isla Holbox including Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy, Isla Cozumel and Isla Banco Chinchorro.

During your Yucatan vacation, you might also consider visiting Riviera Maya, Tulum or Merida.

Check out our Yucatan Guides:

13 Gorgeous Cenotes of the Yucatan (Cancun, Tulum and Valladolid)
Best Mayan Ruins by Cancun (Easy Day Trips)
Cancun Packing List with FREE downloadable checklist

Travel Insurance

If you purchase travel insurance it may include rental car coverage. We use World Nomads travel insurance which provides us with car rental coverage as well as tons of other coverage medical, theft, delayed baggage, etc. World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover trip essentials and is very reasonable.

In today’s today’s world, travel insurance is my top suggestion to everyone currently traveling.

It’s never fun to think about what could go wrong on a trip. A good plan can ensure that emergencies that may come up – medical trouble, stolen items, damage to your belongings, etc. – are easier to handle, and at little to no extra expense to you.

I recommend Travelex for family travel insurance. Not only does this company offer ‘cancel for any reason’ policies as well as very clear COVID-19 coverage, Travelex also includes coverage for children under 17 when traveling with an adult at no additional cost. (Be sure to read all terms and conditions.)

Squaremouth is a 3rd travel insurance I highly recommend. It allows travelers to quickly get a quote, compare, and buy travel insurance. Squaremouth will find the best policy for your trip for the lowest possible price. Be sure to look for ‘cancel for any reason coverage‘.

Holbox Hotels & Accommodations

The island of Holbox is small and you can certainly visit for a day or on a tour. If you have the time, I’d recommend staying in Holbox for two nights. That will give you time to relax into island life, enjoy some delicious food, and enjoy a few tourist attractions.

Holbox Budget Hotel:

Hotel Mayari Holbox, $56 per night

Hotel Mayari Holbox is a budget hotel and the highlights are closeness to the beach and a nice rooftop pool and deck.

My favorite site for hotel reviews is TripAdvisor. To check current rates for Hotel Mayari Holbox, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.

Holbox Luxury Hotel:

Mystique Holbox by Royalton, A Tribute Portfolio Resort, $380/night

Mystique Blue Holbox is a contemporary, luxurious, and exquisite boutique beachfront resort on the Island of Holbox. Splurge on a spacious suite that includes a huge terrace and ocean views. Perks of the hotel include designer-driven décor, beautiful gardens, and pool.

For hotel reviews I suggest TripAdvisor. To check current rates for Hotel Mayari Holbox, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.

Holbox Adults OnlyBoutique Hotel:

Aldea Kuka – Holbox Eco Boutique Hotel, $250/night

Luxury Eco-Hotel Boutique Aldea Kuká is an adults-only hotel with a private beach. The outdoor pool provides fun for everyone, while guests in the mood for pampering can indulge in deep-tissue massages. Kukatch, one of 2 restaurants, serves international cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other features include a poolside bar, a snack bar/deli, and a terrace. This is a great hotel for the price. It’s very private, the rooms are spacious, and hotel grounds are majestic!

For hotel reviews I suggest TripAdvisor. To check current rates for Hotel Mayari Holbox, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.

Holbox All Inclusive:

Villas HM Paraiso Del Mar, $133/night

Villas HM Paraiso Del Mar is set on the beachfront on Holbox Island. This secluded complex offers spacious air-conditioned suites with a TV and minibar. HM Villas Paraiso del Mar features tropical gardens and an outdoor pool with a poolside bar. Guests can sip on a refreshing cocktail or go for a swim at the nearby beach. Guests can relax with a massage, available upon request. They also offer an all-inclusive option.

My favorite site for hotel reviews is TripAdvisor. To check current rates for Hotel Mayari Holbox, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.

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