Wondering how to get from Cancun to Holbox?
Holbox is a must-visit on any and every Yucatan & Mexico itinerary. This small island just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is what people describe as paradise. And it’s obvious why. Going from Cancun to Holbox is quite straightforward, and I’ll explain how it works below.
How to Get From Cancun to Holbox
Holbox is an island just off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. This naturally means you can’t drive to the island.
Unless you’re flying in, you will have to take a ferry. Luckily, this process is quite straightforward! Before we jump into the different options for getting from Cancun to Holbox, first I will explain how to catch the ferry.
Taking The Ferry From Chiquila
When you arrive in Chiquila, you always arrive close to the port. Head your way towards the boats and you’ll find an office for either of the ferry companies: 9 Hermanos or Holbox Express.
There is a departure every 30 minutes during the day. The two companies alternate, so make sure to check which company departs first and buy a ticket from their office.
It’s NOT possible to book these in advance, but don’t worry, there is plenty of space on board! The first ferry departs at 6 am and the last one leaves at 9.30 pm.
It does not matter which company you use, their services and prices are the same.
A ticket costs $220 pesos, which equals $12.61 USD. This is for a one-way trip!
Option #1: The Easy Way: Private Transfer From Cancun
There’s nothing more relaxing than having your own private transfer. The driver will drop you off as close to the port as possible, so you don’t have to carry your luggage all the way.
You decide your own schedule; no rushing to catch the bus on time. Plus, you’ll get picked up at your hotel or at the airport.
Option #2: Public Bus From Cancun To Holbox
Catching a bus is the best option for those on a budget. You’ve got 2 options: an ADO bus or a Colectivo. ADO bus is the slightly more expensive option, but A LOT more comfortable.
Colectivo’s leave from the Soriana Supermarket car park and will cost $250 pesos per person. Which is the equivalent of $14 USD at the time of writing this post. This is a shared bus service and will make many stops along the way.
The ADO buses leave from the ADO Bus Terminal. You can buy tickets at the station which will set you back $316 pesos or $17.50 USD. This bus will go straight to Chiquila, usually without any stops along the way.
The coaches are air-conditioned with comfortable seats. We’ve used the ADO buses for every trip we made on our 4 week Mexico trip!
If you’re going straight from the airport in Cancun to Holbox, it’s also possible to take an airport shuttle to Chiquila. Check out El Holboxeño for more info. The airport shuttle costs $1000 pesos or $55 USD. Make sure to reserve this a few days in advance!
Option #3: Renting A Car From Cancun To Holbox
Driving yourself to Chiquila is also a very good option. You’ll be free to arrive when you want and leave as soon as the ferry arrives in Chiquila. This gives you a lot of freedom, which might be precisely what you need when on holiday.
You can park in a guarded parking lot at Chiquila, next to the harbour for only $100 pesos per day, which is the equivalent of $5.75 USD.
This option is excellent if there’s more on your itinerary. Why not visit Valladolid?
How long is the drive from Cancun to Holbox Ferry?
The drive from Cancun to Holbox will take approximately 2,5 hours when taking a private transfer or renting a car.
The ADO bus will take about 3 hours and a colectivo can take up to 3,5 hours since it stops for every person along the way.
There are also a few secure car parks to leave your rental car by the ferry port in Chiquila.
Option #4: By Plane
Are you in a hurry, up for something extraordinary or just love flying? It’s also possible to fly from Cancun to Holbox. There is no set schedule since all flights are chartered. You’ll be able to book a flight for a time that works for you since you pay for the whole plane, and not per seat.
The prices for www.flights-holbox.com are quite straightforward:
- Up to 5 people: $928 per plane
- Up to 13 people: $1682 per plane
The prices, routes and other info can be found here.
El Holboxeño also offers flights from Cancun to Holbox. I have contacted them for price information and this was their answer:
There are three different sizes of planes. The prices are for the whole plane, not per person.
2-3 seater: around $750 USD
5 seater: around $940 USD
9 seater: around $1600 USD
The prices include a taxi between terminals at the airport and also taxis to or from hotels on the island to/from the airstrip.
They also offer land transportation, so it’s worth checking them out.
Where to Stay on Holbox Island
📍Budget option: Hotel Ak’Na Holbox
Incredibly affordable, but still with private bathrooms. Close to the beach, and a great location overall.
📍Mid-range option: Hotelito Villas Holbox
Rooms come with either a patio or a balcony. Private bathroom, air-conditioning. Great location, right on the beach!
📍 High-end option: La Casa de Mia Holbox
A garden, pool and terrace. A great location for a little more peace and quiet. The rooms look fantastic!
Best Time To Visit
It’s possible to visit Holbox all-year round. But not every time of year is as good as the other. Honestly, depending on your heat tolerance, it doesn’t really matter when you go.
The wettest months are September and October, but still, it’s very tolerable.
The best months for visiting Holbox are March and April. You’ll get the least rain, but not the hottest weather. The average highest temperature in those months will be around 84°F, or 29°C.
Getting To Holbox: FAQs
Now we’ve discussed all the ways to get to Holbox, you might have some other lingering questions.
Can you do a day trip to Holbox from Cancun?
Absolutely! There are several companies offering day trips from Cancun to Holbox. You’ll get a great tour of the island, but won’t have much time to really take in the Island Life.
If you’d love to visit Holbox, but don’t have much time, this is a perfect option.
How many days in Holbox is enough?
4 Days on Holbox would be the perfect amount. You’ll get time to relax on the beach, go bar hopping, visit the Sand Bank, see the bioluminescence and much more!
How long is the ferry from Cancun to Holbox?
The ferry from the port of Chiquila to Holbox is only 25 minutes. Expect calm waters, so you’re unlikely to get travel sick!
The ferries leave every half hour.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
There are some other things to note when visiting Isla Holbox:
- There are no ATMs on the island, and it is often not possible to pay by card so bring enough cash.
- Everything is within walking distance, but the roads can get flooded after heavy rainfall during the rainy season.
- There is often no cell reception on the island, and the WiFi is usually incredibly slow. Not suitable for people who need to work online!
Final Thoughts – Cancun To Holbox Transportation Options
There are multiple ways to get from Cancun to Holbox. With an option for every budget, and every type of traveller.
Are you backpacking and trying to save every penny? Take a colectivo to the port. Got enough money to spend and looking for something out of the ordinary? Charter a plane!