holbox pier Mexico

How to get to Isla Holbox

In MEXICO, QUINTANA ROO by Isabella BiavaLeave a Comment

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Isla Holbox is indeed a paradise that needs to be explored at least once in your life and in this post I will tell you all about how to get to Isla Holbox.

Whether you are planning a road trip around the Yucatan Peninsula or a vacation in the Riviera Maya you should include a stop in Holbox and I wrote a thorough guide to visiting Isla Holbox to help you organize your trip, be it a three days stay or a one day tour.


Think about white sand deserted beaches, turquoise waters, unpaved roads, cozy boutique hotels right on the beach, breathtaking sunsets. Holbox Island is all this and much much more.

Getting to Holbox is easy and I will tell you all about it in this post.

holbox beach and hammocks

Getting to Holbox by car

If you are touring around the Yucatan Peninsula, you must absolutely include Holbox in your itinerary, and finding your way to Holbox is easy.

First of all, you need to know that in Holbox you cannot circulate by car, so you will need to reach the fisherman town of Chiquilà where the ferry leaves for Holbox all day long.

Right by the ferry dock, there are different private parking lots where for the price of 120 pesos per day ( about 5/6 USD) you can leave your car and pick it up when you return from Holbox. You would pay only then.

Finding Chiquila’ it’s easy as I am sure you are using google maps or something similar to find your way around. Just include Chiquila’ in your itinerary and the app will show you the way.

To know more about distances

Cancun – Chiquilà: 141 Km 2h drive

Holbox Cancun Map

Holbox Cancun Map

Valladolid – Chiquilà: 161 km 2h drive

Chiquila Valladolid Map

Chiquila Valladolid Map

Playa Del Carmen – Chiquilà: 123 km – 1h 25´drive

Holbox Playa Map

Holbox Playa del Carmen Map

Tulum – Chiquilà: 168 km – 2h 25′ drive

Holbox Tulum map

Holbox Tulum map

Merida – Chiquilà: 308 km – 3h 30´ drive

Holbox Merida Map

Holbox Merida Road Map

Getting to Holbox by bus

If you are not in the mood for driving and you are planning to move around by bus, this is not a problem at all.

ADO bus company service Chiquila’ from all over the Yucatan peninsula. You just need to make sure you know your schedules. Ferries to and from Chiquila’ and Holbox are very frequent so if you miss one you can always get a coffee or something to in one of the restaurants in Chiquila’ and wait for the next ferry.

In case you don’t mind spending extra cash, you can always get private transportation on one of the fisherman boats for about 600 to 800 Mexican Pesos. For a little extra, you get a tour as well.

But anyway, let’s see how to get to Chiquila’ by bus from all the main cities in the Yucatan Peninsula by ADO bus. Although I am including here the schedules, I would suggest you should double-check on the ADO website, as they may change.

flamingos chatting in holbox

Cancun – Chiquilà by bus 

Going from Cancun to Holbox by bus is very easy, although it will take an extra hour or more than going by car. But still very doable.

If you arriving by plane in the afternoon you might want to consider spending one night in Cancun and get the first bus in the morning from the Cancun Bus station. There are nice hotels in the surrounding and in the night you can hang out on the Avenida Nader at one block from the ADO bus station, full of lively restaurants and bars.

Cancun bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Cancun bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Playa Del Carmen – Chiquilà by bus

If you are vacationing in Playa del Carmen your journey to Holbox will be shorter thanks to the new road that takes you straight to Chiquila’. Buses run directly from here as well daily. Please find here below the time schedule.

Playa del Carmen bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Playa del Carmen bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Tulum – Chiquilà by bus

From Tulum, there is only one bus to Chiquilà but to go back you will need to get to Playa Del Carmen and get another bus to Tulum.

Merida Bus schedule from and to Chiquila'

Merida Bus schedule from and to Chiquila’

Tulum bus schedule to Chiquilà

Valladolid – Chiquilà by bus

Valladolid is the first colonial town that you will encounter if you are traveling from Cancun, it’s worth spending a couple of days and explore. And I wrote a detailed guide on Valladolid places to visit, restaurants, and hotels. Here below please find the bus schedule to Chiquila’ from Valladolid.

Valladolid bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Valladolid bus schedule from and to Chiquilà

Merida – Chiquilà by bus

Merida is a spectacular city and the capital of the Yucatan State. If you wish to get on a bus from Merida to Holbox you can, and here below is the schedule. However, I would suggest you break down your journey if you have time as there is so much to see in between.

Merida Bus schedule from and to Chiquila'

Merida Bus schedule from and to Chiquila’

From Chiquila back to any destination

Although I have here included the time from Chiquilà to any other destination, I would suggest you always check the board at the ADO station once you arrive just to make sure times haven’t changed. Here below is what I have found at the time I have traveled.

from Chiquilà to any destination

Getting to Holbox by colectivo/shuttle

If you prefer a faster public service you can check out the minivan that leave from the same destination, Cancun, Playa, Tulum, Valladolid, or Merida.

Unfortunately, I am not sure what are the schedules of those vans but if you ask the drivers of the other colectivos they will let you know for sure.

In Cancun, you can find them in the parking lot of the supermarket Chedraui right opposite the ADO bus station

In Playa del Carmen right on the 2nd street between 10 and 15 av

In Tulum right in front of the ADO bus terminal.

To return from Chiquila’, you can find the boards with the schedules see here below.

shuttle bus from Chiquila

Getting to Holbox by private transportation

You can also organize your own private transportation to Chiquilà and then get the Ferry to Holbox from there or a private boat.

Unless you know some private company you can ask the hotel where you are staying if they can suggest a trustworthy taxi driver. On the way back from Chiquila’ there is a taxi service to take you wherever you wish. Here below I am including the picture I took with the rates, however, make sure you double-check when you are in Chiquilà before booking your transfer.

You can also book your own transfer in advance and here below I am including some options.


How to get to Holbox by plane

It is possible to fly directly to Holbox by private small plane for quite a sum of money.

There are no scheduled flights and no specific time, which means that once you book your flight you will arrange your departure time with the airplane company according to the available slot of the airport.

You can leave from Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.

For more information, you can check out Go Holbox transfers.

Fishing boat Chiquilà

Ferry Chiquilà Holbox and back

Chiquilà is a tiny fishing town with nothing romantic about it. The only interesting thing about Chiquila’ is that’s where you would get the Ferry to go to Holbox and the bus to go back to your next destination.

Some tour to the whale sharks leave from there but there is no much point if you are in Holbox.

There are 2 ferry companies that go to Holbox, 9 Hermanos, and Holbox Express and in the picture below you will see their schedule.

The ticket costs 150 each way per person.

You can purchase the ticket when you know exactly when you are going to board because it’s only valid on that very specific date and time that is in the ticket.

Before boarding, you will need to leave the bags to be checked, but that’s nothing formal, they just grab your bag and load it on the boat. The handbags can go with you.

You will pick it up once on the other side.

The ferry ride is about 20 minutes.

Ferry time Chiquila' to Holbox

Ferry time Chiquila’ to Holbox

Ferry time holbox to chiquila

Ferry time Holbox to Chiquilà

Private boat Chiquilà Holbox and back

Once on the dock, you can ask the local fishermen for a private ride if you wish and, if it’s not too late, with an opportunity for a tour.

If it’s just 4 of you it’s even more convenient to get your own boat.

How to get to your hotel in Holbox

Once you arrive at the port in Holbox you don’t have to worry about transportation. you would be at only 10 minutes’ walk to the center. However, if you have too much luggage or your hotel is farther away you can use the cart/taxis that are waiting in line for their turn.

In Holbox, there are no regular cars, only golf carts that you could also rent if you wish to have your own, or just for fun for a couple of hours.

Your hotel will be able to call a taxi for you if once in the hotel you will need transportation during your stay or to go back to catch the ferry.

palapa on the beach holbox

Where to stay in Holbox

There are many hotels in Holbox for any budget and style.

Here I am sharing my three favorite ones,  one for each different category.

If you want to see more hotels you can check out this other post where I speak about all the hotels that I have seen.

Budget Hotel

Casa del Viento

This lovely hotel is where I have stayed. I was looking for a nice cozy place with personality without having to break the bank and this was perfect. Casa del Viento is an adult-only boutique hotel with spacious white rooms with wooden rustic decorative arts. The hotel has also a palapa where they offer yoga lessons in the morning and evening. The kind receptionists will help you book your bike and any tours besides answering all the questions you have about the island. The hotel is not right on the beach, but at only one block, close enough to walk to the beach any time you want and far enough to make its rates cheaper than others.

Check rates & availability:  Booking.com I Agoda I Hotels.com 
Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Mid-range Hotel

Hotel Mawimbi

This pretty hotel little hotel is located in the heart of Holbox right on the beach on a beautiful stretch of sand and close to all the restaurants and bars. The rooms are beautifully decorated with colorful pieces of art. The beach bar and restaurant provide a cozy corner for your delicious meals on the beach. Beach chairs are available as well for the hotel guests to use.

Check rates & availability:  Booking.com I Agoda 
Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Luxury Hotel

Hotel Spirit Holbox

Hotel spirit is a stunning property on the west coast of the island, at a few hundred mt from Playa Cocos. The large comfortable rooms are elegantly decorated with pastel colors and wooden art pieces to create a cozy and yet sophisticated atmosphere. From the rooftop, you can enjoy spectacular sunsets.

Check rates & availability:  Booking.com Agoda I Hotel.com 
Read reviews on TripAdvisor

To know about all the things you can do in Holbox read: The complete guide to Isla Holbox- paradise found 2 hours from Cancun 

Holbox Map

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