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5 BEST Ways To Get from Cancun to Holbox [2024]

Wondering how to get to Holbox from Cancun? It’s easier than you might think. Check out all the transportation options in this post and decide how to travel from Cancun to Holbox.

Holbox is a heavenly car-free island off the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. In fact, it’s one of my absolute favorite places in Mexico!

With pristine beaches, untamed nature, and a slow pace of life, Isla Holbox in Mexico is a perfect spot to take a break from the resort towns and recharge while swimming in crystal clear waters and sipping margaritas with your feet on the white sand. Sounds good, right?

Image of the beach in Hobox inserted in a post on how to get from Cancun to Holbox.

So let’s start from the beginning: how to get from Cancun to Holbox. The main thing you should know is that getting to Isla Holbox requires a ferry trip.

The ferry to Holbox departs from a town called Chiquila, which is around 87 miles (140 km) from Cancun. That’s approximately a 2-hour drive.

There are several options to get all the way from Cancun to Holbox Island. I’ll give you all the relevant information about them so you can decide what’s the best way to get to Holbox for you, depending on whether you prefer a cheaper option or a more comfortable one.

PRIVATE TRANSFER + FERRY$275 (up to 3 people) + $13BOOK IT HERE
ADO BUS + FERRY$30 + $13 per personBOOK IT HERE
PRIVATE FLIGHT$1000 (up to 5 people)BOOK IT HERE

If you decide to visit on your own, unless you opt for the private flight to Holbox or an organized tour, your journey will be split into 2 parts: transportation to the Chiquila Port plus ferry to Holbox Island.

I’ve personally visited Holbox multiple times and tried a few of these transportation methods, so let me give you a full breakdown of the pros and cons of each method.


Below you’ll find 3 transportation options from Cancun to Chiquila, which will be followed by a ferry ride – private transfer, shared shuttle, or bus (and taxi, but we don’t recommend that option). You should choose based on your budget and priorities.


Without a doubt, the best way to travel hassle-free is to have a private driver take you from Cancun to Chiquila. It can also be financially convenient if you are traveling as a group, compared to taking a shuttle, where you have to pay per person.

There are different options available for your Holbox transportation via private driver: you can choose to take a taxi, pre-book a private driver, luxury transportation, or group transfer.

Length:2.5 hours
💲 Price:275 USD one way (up to 3 passengers) + 13 USD
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

I strongly recommend pre-booking a private transfer from Cancun to Isla Holbox. It’s hassle-free and done by a reputable company that I personally know and use on my trips to Mexico, so you can travel knowing that you’re in good hands. 

Woman standing in front of a white and yellow van inserted in a post about traveling from Cancun to Holbox

We recently traveled with Cancun Airport Transportation on the route Playa del Carmen-Chiquila, and our driver Angel was fantastic. He made sure we had the best possible transfer, and that’s why I have no problems recommending this company!

▶️ One of the reasons I recommend the private transfer from Cancun to Holbox is that you get a big comfortable vehicle with air-conditioning and an English-speaking driver who will be waiting for you right at the airport or at your hotel. 

Private Transfer from Cancun to Holbox

💲The regular private transfer to Holbox costs $275 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip ($550 for 3 people), with all taxes included in the price. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

The price for the private transfer is slightly cheaper if you depart from Cancun Airport to Holbox Island rather than from Cancun City (same on the way back from Holbox to Cancun Airport if you’re catching a flight home).

▶️ Now, if what you want is to travel in style and as comfortably as you can get on this route, you can book a luxury transfer service. You’ll be greeted by a bilingual driver at the airport or at your hotel, and travel in a suburban type of vehicle with VIP Service.

Luxury Service from Cancun to Holbox

💲The luxury transfer price for up to 6 people costs $540 or $1,079 if you want to add the trip back from Holbox to Cancun too. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

If you’re a large party and need more space in the vehicle, check out their group transfer service.

Group transportation (up to 16 passengers)BOOK IT HERE

Book your private shuttle in the search box down below 👇

⚠️ Note: The private transfer takes you to Chiquila Port, from where you take the ferry. The ferry trip is not included in these options. You can buy online your ferry tickets to Holbox Island.

Pros and Cons of the Private Transfer

✅ This is the fastest and most hassle-free way to get from Cancun to Holbox Island, getting picked up at your desired time and being taken directly from your hotel to the ferry port in a comfortable vehicle.

✅ Your driver is guaranteed to be bilingual, so you don’t need to worry about language barriers.

❌ The only downside I can think of is the price. It’s a more expensive service than taking the shared shuttle or the public bus.

Read what the reviews say:

”Highly recommend this company for getting around Cancun. We used them to and from the airport as well as one additional excursion. Their rates are FAR better than the taxis/buses around the resorts and they have a pick up area right outside of the area airport for pick up. Very easy/quick to book and provided car seats so you don’t have to travel with one if traveling with little ones.”

Nathan Carey – Check out other reviews


If you are a budget traveler or want to save on your transportation from Cancun to Holbox, consider taking a shared shuttle. It’s cheaper than taking a taxi or a private transfer, although it’s more expensive than the ADO bus.

Length:2 hours
💲 Price:31 USD one way + 13 USD
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

▶️ You can take this shared shuttle from Cancun to Chiquila, and then get the tickets to Holbox at the Chiquila Port or online in advance.

Shared Shuttle from Cancun to Holbox

💲This shared shuttle costs $31 per person, and it has air conditioning for a more comfortable trip. Be aware that it does not include the ferry tickets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ Once you’re in the Chiquila port, you’ll need to get the ferry. You can buy your ferry tickets to Holbox Island online.

▶️ An alternative is buying a shuttle + ferry combo ticket which includes both the land transfer from Cancun to Chiquila and the ferry to Holbox. The ticket costs $44 and there are three daily services: at 12 PM, 2.30 PM, and 6.30 PM. The overall journey takes around 3 hours. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Pros and Cons of the Shared Shuttle

✅ It’s a cheaper option than the private transfer, and the journey time is about the same.

❌ It doesn’t pick you up at your accommodation, so if you’re staying in the Hotel Zone you’ll have to take a taxi to Cancun Downtown first.

❌ There are limited departure times, so you’ll have to schedule your trip around them.


Image of a red ADO Bus parked in a bus station in Mexico

Getting to Holbox from Cancun in the cheapest way possible involves taking an ADO bus from Cancun to Chiquila and then taking the ferry. The ADO bus is a public bus that has direct routes from Cancun to Chiquila on a daily basis. 

Length:2.5 hours
💲 Price:24 USD one way + 13 USD
👉 Where to book it:BOOK IT HERE

ADO is the main bus company in Mexico, so you can rest assured that the quality of the service is good. They have large buses with air-conditioning that connect all the major towns in the Yucatan Peninsula.

👉 To travel from Cancun to Holbox by bus, you need to go to the ADO bus station in Downtown Cancun. Unfortunately, no buses are going to Chiquila from the Cancun Airport, so you’ll need to get to the bus station first, and from there take another bus to Chiquila.

▶️ There are regular buses serving the Cancun bus station from the airport. The buses depart from Terminals T2, T3, and T4 to Cancun every 30 minutes. The trip costs 150 MXN (around USD 8.50) and takes 25 minutes.

The exact time of departure for the buses can vary depending on the terminal, though, so be sure to check this information beforehand.

▶️ Visiting Isla Holbox from the Cancun Hotel Zone? To reach the bus station you can take a taxi or a bus. Buses R1 and R2 will do the job. It’s a 30-minute ride and the bus tickets cost 12 MXN (0.7 USD).

▶️ From the bus station, you can take the bus to Chiquila almost every hour.

ADO Bus transfer from Cancun Downtown to Chiquila

💲Tickets cost $24 for one way to Chiquila at the time of writing, and the trip takes 2.5 hours. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Here are the times of the ADO bus schedule from Cancun to Chiquila at the time of writing (make sure you check to see if they’ve changed):

8.15 AM
9.00 AM
10.00 AM
11.00 AM
12.00 PM
1.00 PM
3.15 PM

These are the departure times from Cancun Downtown.

If you’re coming from Hotel Zone, you should leave no later than 30 minutes prior to the departure time (and that’s already cutting it close).

If you’re coming from Cancun Airport, plan to leave at least 45 minutes before.

Pros and Cons of the ADO Bus

It’s the cheapest transportation option available, and the journey time is very similar to the other transfer methods.

It only departs from Cancun Downtown, so you’ll have to pay for a taxi or take other transportation to reach the ADO Bus station first.

The bus will drop you off at the bus station in Chiquila, and you’ll have to walk to the ferry terminal. It’s not far, but can be quite uncomfortable if you have luggage.

▶️ Once in Chiquila, you’ll need to take the Ferry to Holbox. You can get the tickets for the ferry to Holbox Island in advance here. It’s only $13 for a one-way trip on a high-speed ferry at the time of writing. ➥ BUY IT HERE


You could get a taxi from Cancun to Chiquila and then sort out the ferry by yourself. I don’t recommend this option unless your Spanish is very good and you are well acquainted with the prices of transportation because taxi fares are not fixed in Mexico and you’ll have to haggle hard with the driver to get a fair price. 

That’s why I recommend pre-booking a private transfer from Cancun to Isla Holbox and saving yourself the hassle (and potential rip-off).


Image of a white and red Holbox Express ferry at Chiquila Port in Mexico

There are two ferry companies: Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos. They are both pretty similar in terms of the services and quality they offer, but let’s take a closer look.

Holbox Express offers high-speed ferry trips from the Chiquila Port to Holbox. The first departure is at 7:30 AM and the last one is at 9:30 PM. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the ferries have A/C and toilets. A one-way trip costs around 14 USD.

9 Hermanos is another ferry company. Even though you’ll see it as “standard” (as opposed to high-speed), the trip from Chiquila to Holbox takes exactly the same: 20 minutes. The earliest departure from Chiquila Port is at 6 AM and the latest is at 9 PM.

A one-way ticket costs 13 USD and is valid for the whole day, so if you miss your ferry, you can use the same ticket for the next available trip that day.

▶️ Once you’re in the Chiquila port, you’ll need to get ferry tickets to Holbox Island.

You can get the ferry ticket in advance here from one of the two companies I mentioned above – I recommend doing so if you’re traveling in the high season. Both companies are good and offer the same rate and travel time. ➥ BUY IT HERE

⚠️ The timings are updated at the time of writing this post, but you should check the current Holbox ferry schedule to make sure nothing has changed before your trip.


Many people choose to hire a tour and go from Cancun to Holbox on a day trip, since it saves them the hassle of coordinating and booking transportation, or worrying about how to move around the island. In fact, if you really can’t spare a few days to stay in Holbox, a day trip to the island is one of the best things to do in Cancun!

Everything is arranged for you. It’s a great way to see as much of Holbox as possible and enjoy the best activities there.

▶️ This Holbox Island Tour takes you on a full-day exploration to see some of the most picturesque locations not only in Holbox but also in two other nearby islands. 

Swim in the crystal clear waters of Yalahau Island, look for wildlife in a protected area, go on a tour of Holbox to enjoy its white-sand beaches, and end the day with a visit to Isla Pasion (Passion Island), where the rays of the sun turn the water a stunning turquoise blue. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

👉 For more options, check out this list of Holbox tours from different locations in Quintana Roo and Yucatan.

Pros and Cons of a Tour

Everything will be organized for you, from transportation to activities, so you don’t have to worry about planning the trip or checking ferry timetables.

You’ll be following a fixed schedule, so you won’t have any flexibility when it comes to places to visit or how long to stay in each place.

It’s more expensive than other transfer methods, and not ideal for big groups as the cost can easily add up.


If you want to combine efficiency with the unique experience of flying over the Caribbean on your way to Holbox, this is for you!

▶️ This private flight from Cancun to Holbox is by far the most scenic and unique way to get to the island. And the fastest too. The Cancun to Holbox flight takes approximately 30 minutes to arrive at the tiny Isla Holbox airport. However, it’s not the most environmentally friendly.

💲This is a private flight for up to 5 passengers and it costs $1000 one-way. You will board a private plane with restrooms, and receive bottled water.

Departure is from the Cancun Airport, with the first flight leaving at 7 AM and the last at 6 PM. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Pros and Cons of the Flight

✅ It’s the fastest way to reach Holbox. While any other transportation option will take at least 2 hours and 2 minutes, flying to the island only takes 30 minutes.

It’s incredibly expensive, much more than the other alternatives. Even if there are five of you, it’s still not very cost-efficient.

❌ It’s the least sustainable option, which is why I highly advise you against it.


How long is the drive from Cancun to Holbox?

This depends on the type of transport you choose. Private transfers are faster and take about 2.5 hours depending on traffic conditions. Both the shared Cancun to Holbox shuttle and the ADO bus take about 2.5 hours to arrive at Chiquila. The ferry journey from Chiquila to Holbox takes another 20 minutes.

Can you fly from Cancun to Holbox?

Yes! This is in fact a very interesting option. There are Cancun to Holbox flights via private plane every day. It’s the fastest and most unique way to get to the island from Cancun, and it only takes 30 minutes!

Is there a ferry from Cancun to Holbox?

Not exactly. What some people call the “Cancun to Holbox Ferry” doesn’t really depart from Cancun. The ferry leaves from a small town called Chiquila, which is 139 km (86.3 miles) and a 2-hour drive from Cancun.
The Chiquila – Holbox ferry ride takes around 20 minutes, and there are multiple departures a day.

How much is the Holbox ferry?

The ferry to Holbox Island starts at USD 13 for a one-way ticket.

How to get to Holbox from Cancun Airport?

In my opinion, the best way to cover the distance from Cancun Airport to Holbox (or Holbox – Cancun when coming back) is by pre-booking a private transfer.
You’ll be picked up at the airport by a bilingual driver, and taken on a comfortable, air-conditioned, and insured vehicle to the Chiquila Port. It’s a hassle-free transportation option and the one I recommend the most.

How far is Holbox from Cancun?

The distance between Isla Holbox and Cancun is approx. 38 miles (60 km) on a straight line. However, to reach the island you’ll have to make your way to Chiquila, located 86 miles (139 km) from Cancun (traveling by road), and then catch the ferry to Holbox.

Can you go on a day trip from Cancun to Holbox?

You sure can! In fact, it’s one of the best Cancun excursions. However, if you do have the time, i absolutely recommend spending at least a couple of nights on the island.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.