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How To Get from Tulum to Holbox [2023]

Wondering how to get to Holbox Island from Tulum? Check out this post with all the options available to make the trip, so you can pick the best option to get from Tulum to Holbox.

Holbox is a dream of an island located off the northern coast of Quintana Roo. With its sublime beaches, untamed nature, and slow pace of life, it’s a perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries.

Swimming in its turquoise waters, snorkeling with whale sharks, or reading your favorite book on powdery white-sand beaches are just a few of the things you can do in Holbox.

So how do you get to Holbox from Tulum? There are several options to make the trip, and they vary in terms of cost and convenience.

Here I give you all the relevant information about each option so you can decide which one suits your plans and your budget better. Making the trip from Tulum to Holbox is actually pretty easy. Read on!

➤ MOST CONVENIENT OPTION: Private transfer + ferry
➤ BEST BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: ADO bus + ferry
➤ IF YOU JUST WANT TO GO ON A DAY TRIP: Tour from Tulum

TULUM TO HOLBOX

If you’re visiting Holbox on your own, your trip will be divided into two journeys. You’ll first need to get to Chiquila Port, and from there hop on a ferry to get to Holbox.

Chiquila is a small town 115 miles (185 km) north of Tulum, and the drive to get there takes around 2.5 hours. Below you’ll find the different transportation options to make the trip from Tulum to Chiquila Port. They’re all good alternatives, and your choice should depend on your budget and preferences.

Tulum to Holbox by Private Transfer

Without a doubt, the most convenient way to make the trip is to have a private driver pick you up at your hotel. You’ll be driven hassle-free and dropped off at the ferry terminal in Chiquila.

When booking a private transfer, you pay per vehicle instead of per person, so if you’re traveling with a group, it can be a really good value for money.

To make the trip to Holbox from Tulum via private driver you can choose to take a taxi, pre-book a private driver, luxury transportation, or group transfer.

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

▶️ Your first option is getting a taxi from Tulum to Chiquila. However, I don’t recommend it at all. Taxi fares are not fixed in Mexico and you’ll have to haggle hard with the driver.

You will most likely end up paying more than with a private transfer. If you decide to take a taxi anyway, ask your hotel to book one for you from a company they trust, and always arrange the price in advance.

▶️ If you want comfort and efficiency, I recommend pre-booking a private transfer from Tulum to Isla Holbox. It’s hassle-free and done by a reputable company, so you can travel knowing that you’re in good hands. 

With the Private Transfer from Tulum 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 private Tulum-Holbox transfer costs $345 for up to 3 people, and you can save a bit if you book a round-trip ($660 for 3 people), with all taxes included in the price. This is a great option if there are 3 of you, so you can split the cost, it’s fast and hassle-free. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ If you want to add some class and style to your trip, check out this Luxury Transfer Service. With this option, a bilingual driver will be waiting for you at your hotel door, and take you to Chiquila in a suburban type of vehicle with VIP Service.

The luxury transfer price for up to 6 people costs $520 or $944 if you want to add the trip back from Holbox to Tulum. If you’re in a group of 5 or 6 people, you could travel in luxury for less money than with the standard private transfer, which I think is a great deal! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ If you’re with a bigger group of people, don’t worry. You can also get a Group Private Transfer without having to split the group.

This group transfer service is suitable for up to 16 people, and comes with a really good price: $520 one-way and $944 for a round trip. That’s for the whole group! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Bus from Tulum to Holbox 

If you’re wondering how to get to Holbox from Tulum spending as little money as possible, then this is the answer. You can save money by going from Tulum to Isla Holbox by bus.

Image of a grey bus driving on a road with vividly green trees to the side. It's the ADO bus to get from Tulum to Holbox.

ADO is the main bus company in Mexico, and you can rest assured that the quality of the service is good. They have large buses with air conditioning, toilets, and reclining seats.

You can take a direct bus from Tulum to Chiquila, where you’ll board the ferry to Holbox.

➤ The ADO bus from Tulum to Holbox departs from the ADO Bus Stop in Tulum Downtown. 

The bus leaves at 8.10 AM and takes 3h 20m to arrive at Chiquila. A one-way ticket costs $34. ➥ BUY IT HERE

FERRY TO ISLA HOLBOX

Holbox is a car-free island, so to get there you’ll need to take a ferry. The ferry to Holbox departs from Chiquila, a small town 115 miles (185 km) north of Tulum. The drive to Chiquila takes around 2.5 hours.

From Chiquila you’ll be taking a ferry, and there are 2 companies offering the journey: Holbox Express and 9 Hermanos. They are both quite similar in terms of quality and the service they offer, but there are some differences.

Image of a white and red ferry at Chiquila Port, the means of transportation to get from Tulum to Holbox.

Holbox Express runs high-speed ferries from Chiquila Port to Holbox on a daily basis, from 7.30 AM until 9.30 PM. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the ferries are equipped with A/C and toilets. One-way trip costs around $9.

9 Hermanos lists the ferry trips as standard as opposed to high-speed. Nevertheless, the journey also takes 20 minutes, so don’t let that deter you. The ferries run from 6 AM until 9 PM daily, and tickets cost around $10.5. The cool thing is that the ticket is valid for the whole day, so it doesn’t matter at what time you board the ferry, as long as you travel on the same day.

You can buy your Ferry to Holbox tickets online to save you time when you get to Chiquila.

You can buy from any of the companies, and tickets will cost between $9 and $10.5. The journey takes 20 minutes regardless of which ferry you go with. ➥ BUY IT HERE

TOUR TO HOLBOX FROM TULUM

If you want to go to Holbox for just one day, figuring out transportation and arranging the trip on your own could be a pain, considering the distance and the time it takes to get there. 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 best of your day. It’s a great way to see as much of Holbox as possible and enjoy the best activities there.

➤ This Holbox Full-Day Tour with Lunch from Tulum takes you to three islands and even a cenote!

On this tour, you’ll get to swim in the clear waters of Yalahau Island and visit a cenote surrounded by nature, explore the best of Holbox Island with free time to roam its picturesque streets and enjoy the sand bars at Secret Beach, and you’ll get to walk the pristine beaches of Isla Pasion, which has some of the most turquoise waters you’ve ever seen. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

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

TULUM TO HOLBOX FAQ

Is Holbox near Tulum?

Holbox is on the northern end of the Yucatan Peninsula, so it’s not super close to Tulum, but the distance can be covered on a day trip. For you to have an idea, the drive to the ferry takes around two and a half hours, which is not much considering how big Mexico is.

How far is Tulum to Holbox?

Tulum is 115 miles (185 km) south of the island. The Tulum to Holbox drive takes about 2.5 hours (plus the 20-minute ferry ride).

How long does it take to get to Holbox from Tulum?

This depends on the type of transport you choose. Private transfers are faster and take about 2h30m to get to Chiquila. The trip from Tulum to Chiquila by bus takes about 3 hours. To all these times, you need to add the 20 minutes of the ferry journey from Chiquila to Holbox.

Is Holbox worth visiting?

Absolutely! It’s a miracle that Holbox has managed to stay quiet and away from mass tourism considering how amazing it is! It has some of the clearest waters and most beautiful beaches, and its car-free policy makes it a great place to take a breather from the crowds on the mainland.