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How To Get from Playa del Carmen to Holbox [2023]

Wondering how to get to Holbox from Playa? I got your back! Here you’ll find all the transportation options so you can decide how to get from Playa del Carmen to Holbox.

Holbox is a relaxed and dreamy island on the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. 

It’s a perfect place to take a break from the main tourist spots and recharge your batteries while swimming in its crystal clear waters or enjoying your favorite drink on a rustic beach bar. With its pristine beaches, untamed nature, and slow pace of life, Holbox Island will be hard to leave.

But first things first: how do you get to Holbox from Playa del Carmen? There are several options to make the trip, and they vary in terms of cost and convenience. You can opt for private transfer, shared shuttle or bus to Chiquila + ferry to Holbox, for a tour from Playa del Carmen, or for a flight to Isla Holbox.

MOST CONVENIENT OPTION: Private transfer + ferry
IF YOU JUST WANT TO GO ON A DAY TRIP: Tour from Playa del Carmen

Here you will find all the relevant information about each option so you can decide which one suits your plans and your budget better.


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 Playa del Carmen to Chiquila – private transfer, shared shuttle, or ADO bus. They’re all valid options, you should choose based on your budget and priorities.

Playa del Carmen to Holbox by Private Transfer

Without a doubt, the easiest way to make the trip is to have a private driver pick you up at your hotel in Playa del Carmen and drop you off straight at the ferry terminal in Chiquila. It can also be financially convenient if you are traveling as a group, compared to taking a shared shuttle, where you have to pay per person.

There are different options available for your Holbox transfer 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 Playa del Carmen 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. 

Image of a drivr in front of a van inserted in a post about how to get from Playa del Carmen to Holbox.

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!

➤ With the private transfer from Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island, you’ll travel in a big comfortable vehicle with air conditioning. An English-speaking driver will pick you up at your hotel.

The regular private transfer to Holbox costs $295 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip ($560 for 3 people), with all taxes included in the price. This is a great option if there’s 3 of you, since it will cost you almost the same as the shared shuttle, but this is faster and hassle-free. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Now, if what you want is to travel in style and comfort, check out this luxury transfer service. You’ll be greeted by a bilingual driver at your hotel door, and travel in a suburban type of vehicle with VIP Service.

The luxury transfer price for up to 6 people costs $399 or $720 if you want to add the trip back from Holbox to Playa del Carmen. 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

➤ Traveling with a bigger group of people? No problem. You can book a group private transfer.

This group service is suitable for up to 16 people at a more than affordable price: $420 one-way and $765 round trip for the whole group. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Otherwise, you could get a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Chiquila, although it’s not the option I recommend… especially if you don’t speak Spanish.

Taxi fares are not fixed in Mexico and you’ll have to haggle hard with the driver to get a fair price. If you decide to take a taxi anyway, ask your hotel to book one for you from a company they trust and arrange the price in advance.

⚠️ 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.

Shared Shuttle to Holbox from Playa del Carmen

If you want to save on your trip from Playa del Carmen to Holbox, you can take a shared shuttle instead of a private one. It’s a good in-between option: cheaper than a taxi or a private transfer, but still more expensive than the ADO bus.

➤ You can take this Shared Shuttle from Playa del Carmen to Chiquila, and then get the tickets to Holbox at the Chiquila Port. 

A one-way ticket costs $31 per person. It takes two hours and 30 minutes to arrive at Chiquila and there are two daily departures, one at 8.30 AM and the other one at 3.30 PM. 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 online your ferry tickets to Holbox Island.

Bus from Playa del Carmen to Holbox 

If you’re a budget traveler, you can save money by taking an ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to Chiquila, and then the ferry from there. This is the cheapest option to get to Holbox from Playa del Carmen. The ADO bus is a public bus that has direct routes from Playa to Chiquila on a daily basis. 

ADO is the main bus company in Mexico, so you can stay assured that the quality of the service is good. They have large buses with air conditioning, toilets, and reclining seats, with routes connecting all the major towns in the Yucatan Peninsula.

➤ The ADO Bus from Playa del Carmen to Holbox departs from the ADO Terminal Turistica Playa Del Carmen. 

The first bus leaves at 9:30 AM and the latest departure is at 1:40 PM, with a bus leaving every hour. These are direct buses and take 2h 10m to arrive at Chiquila. A one-way ticket costs $18. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Once in Chiquila, you’ll need to take the ferry. Tickets to the ferry can be bought online and cost only $9 one-way. ➥ BUY IT HERE

➤ You can also buy a shuttle + ferry combo ticket that includes land transportation from Playa del Carmen to Chiquila, plus the ferry to Holbox. It’s a little pricier than buying the journeys individually, but more convenient as you only need to buy one ticket.

There are three daily departures, the first one at 8.30 AM and then at 10.20 AM and 3.30 PM, and the ticket costs between $40 and $44, depending on the bus company you choose. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


To get to Isla Holbox you’ll need to take a ferry. The ferry to Holbox departs from a town called Chiquila, which is around 75.8 miles (122 km) north of Playa del Carmen. The drive takes around 1h 45m.

For the journey by ferry from Chiquila to Holbox, you can pick one of 2 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 from 7:30 AM until 9:30 PM. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the ferries have A/C and toilets. A one-way trip costs around $9.

9 Hermanos is the other ferry company. Even though you’ll see it as “standard” (as opposed to high-speed), the trip from Chiquila to Holbox with this company also takes 20 minutes. They run from 6 AM until 9 PM. A one-way ticket costs around $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. Both are good. A one-way trip costs between $9 and $10.5, depending on which company you choose. ➥ BUY IT HERE


If you want to go to Holbox for just one day, figuring out transportation and arranging the trip might feel like a pain. In that case, a great idea is to book a tour and go to Holbox on a day trip where everything is arranged for you to make the most of your day.

➤ This Holbox Island Tour with Transfer Options takes you on a full-day exploration from Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya to Holbox Island to see some of the most picturesque locations in the area. In fact, you will not only visit Holbox but also two other islands.

On this tour, you’ll get to 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), which has some of the most pristine beaches and clearer waters you’ll ever see. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

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


Would you like to fly over the sea and get a bird’s eye view of Holbox on your way there? A very unique option to get to Holbox Island is taking one of the private flights leaving from Cancun.

For this, you can take a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, and then board a private plane only for you and your group that will drop you off at Isla Holbox in only 30 minutes.

➤ This Private Flight from Cancun to Holbox is by far the most picturesque and unique way to get to the island. Ask your hotel in Playa del Carmen to call a taxi for you (they’ll know which companies are trustworthy) to take you to Cancun Airport FBO, where the plane will be waiting for you.

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. The first flight leaves at 7 AM and the last one departs at 5 PM. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


How long is the drive from Playa del Carmen to Holbox?

This depends on the type of transport you choose. Private transfers are faster and take about 1h45m to get to Chiquila. The shared shuttle takes about 2h, while the trip from Playa del Carmen to Chiquila by bus takes slightly longer: 2h 10m. To all these times, you need to add the 20 minutes of the ferry journey from Chiquila to Holbox.

How much is a taxi from Playa del Carmen to Holbox?

Taxis in Mexico don’t have fixed rates and you’ll have to haggle with the driver to set a price (do it before the trip or chances are you won’t get a fair rate). The best bet here is to take a Private Transfer, which does have a fixed rate and it’s done by serious companies that you can trust. This private transfer, for example, costs $225 for up to 3 people (that’s the price for the whole vehicle, not per person). Make sure to check out the other options on this post.

Is there a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Holbox?

No, there’s no ferry from Playa to Holbox. The ferry that goes to Holbox departs from a small town called Chiquila, which is 122 km (75.8 miles ) and a 1h45m drive from Playa del Carmen.

  • 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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