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How To Get from Cancun to Holbox [2023]

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.

With pristine beaches, untamed nature, and slow pace of life, Isla Holbox is a perfect spot to take a break from the resort towns of Mexico, and to 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 Holbox inserted in a post about 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.

➤ MOST CONVENIENT OPTION: Private transfer + ferry


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

Here below you’ll find 3 transportation options from Cancun to Chiquila – private transfer, shared shuttle, or ADO bus. They’re all valid options, you should choose based on your budget and priorities.

Cancun to Holbox by Private Transfer + Ferry

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.

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. 

We recently traveled with this company 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 that will be waiting for you right at the airport or at your hotel. 

The regular private transfer to Holbox costs $264 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip ($500 for 3 people), with all taxes included in the price. This is a great option if there are 3 of you, since it’s only slightly more expensive than the shared shuttle, but this is faster and hassle-free. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Now, if what you want is to travel in style and as comfortably as you can get in 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.

The luxury transfer price for up to 6 people costs $369 or $670 if you want to add the trip back from Holbox to Cancun too. If you’re in a group of 5 or 6 people, you could even travel in luxury for less money than with the standard private transfer, which is a great deal if you ask me! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ If you’re with a bigger group of people, there’s no problem. You can also get a group private transfer all together without having to split the group.

This group service is suitable for up to 16 people at a more than affordable price: only $369 one-way and $670 round trip… for the whole group! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

⚠️ 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.

➤ 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).

The price for the private transfer is the same whether you depart from Cancun city or Cancun Airport to Holbox Island (or on the way back from Holbox to Cancun Airport if you’re catching a flight home).

Shared Shuttle from Cancun to Holbox

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.

➤ 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.

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

Bus from Cancun to Holbox 

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. 

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, there are no buses 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 98 MXN (around USD 4.7) and takes 25 minutes. The exact time of departure for the ADO buses can vary depending on the terminal, though, so be sure to check this information beforehand.

➤ If you need to get to the ADO bus station from the Cancun Hotel Zone, you can take a taxi or a bus. Buses R1 and R2 will do the job. It’s a 30-minute ride and the ticket costs 10.5 MXN (0.5 USD).

➤ From the ADO bus station, you can take the bus to Chiquila. There are buses departing almost every hour. The trip costs around $18 and takes 2h 20m (except for the 12 PM bus, which takes 3 hours). Here are the times of the 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 AM
• 10 AM
• 11 AM
• 12 PM
• 1 PM
• 3:15 PM

➤ 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 $9 for a one-way trip on a high-speed ferry at the time of writing. ➥ BUY IT HERE


There are 2 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 USD 9.

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 around USD 10.5 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 tickets to the ferry 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. A one-way trip costs between $9 and $10.5, depending on which company you choose. ➤ BUY IT HERE


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.

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 other two 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.


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 picturesque and unique way to get to the island. And the fastest too. The Cancun to Holbox flight takes only 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 $810 one-way. You will board a private plane with A/C and will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide the whole way.

Food and drinks are also part of the deal. Departure is from the Cancun Airport, with the first flight leaving at 7 AM and the last at 5 PM. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


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 2h30m depending on traffic conditions. Both the shared Cancun to Holbox shuttle and the ADO bus takes about 2h30m 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.

How much is the Holbox ferry?

The ferry to Holbox starts at USD 9 for a one-way ticket.

  • 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.

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