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How To Get From Cancun To Isla Holbox 2024

Are you planning a trip from Cancun to Isla Holbox? If so, you are in luck! There are a number of great ways to make the journey from Cancun to Isla Holbox. From private car services to taking the bus, there is something for everyone looking to make the trip from Cancun to Isla Holbox. In this guide, we’ll explore the best ways to make this journey and provide you with all the information you need to make your trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Overview Of Cancun And Isla Holbox

Cancun and Isla Holbox are two popular destinations in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. While Cancun is known for its luxurious resorts, restaurants and bustling nightlife, Isla Holbox offers a more laid-back and relaxed experience with its stunning beaches and charming small town vibe.

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Isla Holbox is a small island located about 40 miles northwest of Cancun. With no cars allowed on the island and only sand streets, visitors can enjoy a true getaway experience with pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, Isla Holbox has something for everyone. And the good news is that there are multiple transportation options available to get you there from Cancun. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best ways to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox.

Transportation Options

If you’re planning a trip to Isla Holbox, one of the biggest questions you might have is how to get there from Cancun. Luckily, there are several transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets.

  • Ferry: This is the most common way to get to Isla Holbox. Ferries run from Chiquila, a small town about a two-hour drive from Cancun. The ride takes about 25-30 minutes, and you can purchase tickets at the dock.
  • Private Boat or Yacht: For those looking for a more luxurious option, you can charter a private boat or yacht to take you to Isla Holbox. This option is more expensive but allows you to travel in style.
  • Private Transfers: Another convenient option is to book a private transfer service that will take you directly from Cancun to Isla Holbox. These transfers are often more comfortable and can be arranged in advance.
  • Public Bus: A cheaper option is to take a public bus from Cancun to Chiquila, where you can catch the ferry to Isla Holbox. The ride takes about 3-4 hours and can be crowded, but it’s a good budget option.
  • Renting a Car: If you prefer to have your own transportation, you can rent a car in Cancun and drive to Chiquila. However, be aware that the roads can be challenging, and you may have to park your car in Chiquila.
  • Colectivo (Shared Shuttle): A colectivo is a shared shuttle that operates from Cancun to Chiquila. These shuttles are a more comfortable option than public buses, and the cost is similar.
  • Taxi or Uber: Finally, you can take a taxi or an Uber from Cancun to Chiquila. This is the most convenient option, but it can also be the most expensive.

When deciding on your transportation option, consider factors such as your budget, comfort level, and how much time you have. No matter which option you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable trip to Isla Holbox!


One of the most popular ways to get to Isla Holbox from Cancun is by ferry. This is an excellent option for travelers who prefer a scenic and enjoyable journey. Ferries run daily, and there are multiple ferry companies to choose from. The ferry ride takes around 2-3 hours, and it is essential to note that it is weather-dependent, and services may be suspended in case of bad weather.

To take the ferry to Isla Holbox, you need to first make your way to the ferry terminal located in the small town of Chiquila, which is about 2.5 hours away from Cancun. Once you arrive, you can purchase your ticket, and then you will be able to board the ferry. Some of the most popular ferry companies are 9 Hermanos and Holbox Express.

The ferry is a convenient and cost-effective option to travel to Isla Holbox from Cancun. It offers beautiful views of the coastline and the surrounding waters. However, it can be time-consuming as it takes around 2-3 hours. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic option for travelers who enjoy the journey and want to take in the views.

If you are traveling with a lot of luggage, keep in mind that the ferry has limited space, and it may not be possible to bring all of your luggage with you. However, you can arrange to leave your luggage at the ferry terminal in Chiquila for a small fee. Overall, taking the ferry to Isla Holbox is a popular option and is highly recommended. However, make sure to check the weather conditions and confirm ferry schedules ahead of time to avoid any disruptions.

Private Boat Or Yacht

For a more luxurious and personalized experience, you can hire a private boat or yacht to take you from Cancun to Isla Holbox. This option is perfect for couples or groups who want to travel in style and comfort. You can book a private boat or yacht through various tour operators, and they will take care of everything for you.

A private boat or yacht will pick you up directly from your hotel in Cancun and take you on a scenic journey through the Caribbean Sea. You will get to enjoy stunning views of the coastline and turquoise waters. Once you arrive at Isla Holbox, your boat will drop you off at the island’s pier, where you can start exploring.

This option can be expensive, but it offers a unique and memorable experience. It’s perfect for those who want to avoid crowded ferries and buses and enjoy a more intimate travel experience. It’s also ideal for those who want to take a detour and explore nearby attractions like the Isla Contoy or the Underwater Museum. Overall, a private boat or yacht is a luxurious way to travel from Cancun to Isla Holbox. It offers exclusivity, comfort, and stunning views. If you have the budget and want to indulge in a unique travel experience, then this is the perfect option for you.

Private Transfers

If you’re looking for a hassle-free and comfortable journey, a private transfer might be the perfect option for you. With a private transfer, you’ll be picked up from your hotel or airport and taken directly to the ferry terminal or port for Isla Holbox. You’ll travel in a private car or van, so you won’t have to worry about sharing your ride with strangers or waiting for other passengers.

Private transfers are available from Cancun and other nearby locations, such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum. They’re especially convenient for larger groups or families traveling with lots of luggage. Prices vary depending on the distance, but expect to pay around $100-$200 USD for a one-way transfer.

To book a private transfer, you can either contact a local travel agency or use an online booking platform. Make sure to book in advance to secure your spot and avoid last-minute stress. Also, remember to confirm your pickup time and location with the provider to avoid any miscommunications. Overall, private transfers are a great option if you want a comfortable and stress-free journey to Isla Holbox. It might not be the cheapest option, but it’s worth it if you value privacy, comfort, and convenience.

Public Bus

If you’re looking for an affordable transportation option to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox, the public bus is a great choice. The bus departs from Cancun’s main bus terminal, which is located near the city center. From there, you’ll need to take a bus to the town of Chiquila, which is the departure point for the ferry to Isla Holbox.

The buses are modern, comfortable, and air-conditioned. They depart regularly from the bus terminal, and the journey to Chiquila takes around 2.5 hours. The cost of a one-way bus ticket is approximately $10-$15 USD. Once you arrive in Chiquila, you’ll need to purchase a ferry ticket to Isla Holbox. The ferry departs from the main pier in Chiquila and takes around 20-30 minutes to reach Isla Holbox. The cost of a one-way ferry ticket is around $10-$15 USD.

While taking the public bus is a great budget-friendly option, it’s important to note that the buses can be crowded, especially during peak tourist season. If you’re traveling with a lot of luggage, this may not be the best option for you. Additionally, the buses have fixed departure times, which may not be the most convenient if you’re on a tight schedule. However, if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind a little bit of a journey, taking the public bus is a great way to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox. Overall, the public bus is a good transportation option for those looking for an affordable way to get from Cancun to Isla Holbox. Just make sure to plan ahead and allow for some extra time to account for any potential delays or wait times.

Renting A Car

If you want to explore the Yucatan Peninsula at your own pace, renting a car might be the best option for you. Several car rental companies offer their services at the Cancun airport and downtown, such as Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, and Budget. Keep in mind that driving in Mexico can be a challenge due to different traffic laws and customs.

To get to Isla Holbox, you need to drive to Chiquila, which is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Cancun. Once you reach Chiquila, you can park your car in a secured parking lot and take the ferry to Isla Holbox. Keep in mind that there is no car rental service on Isla Holbox, so you have to leave your rental car behind in Chiquila.

Renting a car might be more expensive than taking public transportation, especially if you’re traveling solo. However, if you’re traveling with a group or family, renting a car might be a more cost-effective option. Also, renting a car gives you the flexibility to stop at other interesting places along the way.

Before renting a car, make sure you have a valid driver’s license and an international driver’s permit. Check the rental car’s insurance policy and make sure it covers you for any damages or accidents. Most car rental companies require you to be at least 21 years old and have a major credit card for the deposit. In summary, renting a car is a good option if you want more flexibility and privacy when traveling to Isla Holbox from Cancun. Just be sure to consider the additional costs, such as fuel and parking fees, and be prepared for driving in Mexico.

Colectivo (Shared Shuttle)

Another option for getting from Cancun to Isla Holbox is by taking a colectivo, which is a shared shuttle. Colectivos are usually mini-vans that seat around 10-12 passengers and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be found at various points around Cancun, such as at the ADO bus terminal or at Plaza Las Americas.

The colectivo route usually involves a stop in the town of Chiquila, which is the main port for ferries to Isla Holbox. From there, passengers can take a short ferry ride to the island. The cost for a colectivo ride from Cancun to Chiquila is typically around 200-300 MXN ($10-$15 USD), and the ferry ride costs an additional 150 MXN ($7 USD) each way.

Colectivos can be a more affordable option than private transfers or renting a car, but they can also be less comfortable and may take longer to reach your destination as they make multiple stops along the way. It’s also important to note that colectivos may not always operate on a fixed schedule and can be subject to delays.

Overall, colectivos can be a good choice for budget-conscious travelers who don’t mind sharing transportation with other passengers. If you choose this option, it’s recommended to plan for extra time in case of delays and to confirm the colectivo’s departure time in advance.

Taxi Or Uber

If you’re looking for a hassle-free option for getting to Isla Holbox from Cancun, then taking a taxi or Uber might be your best bet. Both options are widely available in Cancun, and you can easily book a ride to take you directly to the ferry terminal in Chiquila.

When it comes to choosing between a taxi or Uber, it really comes down to personal preference. Taxis are regulated in Mexico, which means that the drivers are licensed and the prices are fixed. On the other hand, Uber is often cheaper and can offer a more modern and comfortable ride experience.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to confirm the price before you get in the car. Negotiate with the taxi driver and ensure that you are both on the same page before the ride starts. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to take a taxi or Uber from Cancun airport to the ferry terminal, you should expect to pay a higher fare than if you were traveling from a hotel or hostel in the city. It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for unexpected fees or tolls. Overall, taking a taxi or Uber is a convenient and reliable option for getting to Isla Holbox from Cancun. Just be sure to plan ahead, confirm the price, and sit back and enjoy the ride!

Travel Time And Costs

When it comes to traveling from Cancun to Isla Holbox, it’s important to consider both the time and costs involved in the journey. While there are several transportation options available, each option comes with a different price tag and travel time. The ferry, for instance, takes around 2-3 hours to get to Isla Holbox from Cancun and costs around $12-$14 USD per person. However, private boat or yacht charters can cost anywhere between $150-$300 USD per person, depending on the size of the group and the type of vessel.

Private transfers are another option and can cost around $150-$200 USD for a one-way trip from Cancun to Isla Holbox. This option is ideal for those who want to avoid the crowds and travel in comfort and privacy. The public bus is a budget-friendly option, with fares ranging between $10-$15 USD per person. However, it can take up to 4 hours to reach Isla Holbox from Cancun.

Renting a car is also a possibility, and prices can vary depending on the type of car and rental period. A compact car can cost around $50 USD per day, while a luxury SUV can cost upwards of $100 USD per day. Colectivo, or shared shuttle, is a popular option among backpackers and budget-conscious travelers. Fares can range from $5-$15 USD per person, and travel time can take up to 3-4 hours.

Lastly, taking a taxi or an Uber is the most convenient but expensive option. The trip can cost around $80-$100 USD for a one-way trip and takes approximately 2-3 hours. Overall, the time and cost of travel from Cancun to Isla Holbox can vary significantly depending on the transportation option chosen. It’s important to weigh your options and choose one that fits your budget and travel preferences.

Tips And Recommendations

Before embarking on your journey from Cancun to Isla Holbox, here are some tips and recommendations to help make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible:

  • Book Your Transportation In Advance: Depending on the option you choose, it’s important to book your transportation ahead of time to ensure availability and avoid any last-minute stress.
    Check The Weather: The weather in this region can be unpredictable, so it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast before you go. High winds and rough seas can sometimes cause ferry cancellations, for example.
  • Pack Smart: If you’re traveling by ferry or private boat, pack a small bag with your essentials (sunscreen, water, snacks, etc.) for the journey. If you’re renting a car or taking a colectivo, consider packing a cooler with snacks and drinks for the ride.
  • Plan For Parking: If you’re renting a car, be aware that parking in Holbox can be limited and expensive. Look for a hotel or rental property that offers parking or plan to park outside of town and walk or take a golf cart taxi to your destination.
  • Bring Cash: While there are ATMs and some places that accept credit cards, many restaurants and businesses in Holbox only accept cash. It’s a good idea to have some Mexican pesos on hand.
  • Take It Slow: Holbox is a laid-back, island paradise, so embrace the slower pace of life and enjoy the journey. Whether you’re relaxing on the ferry or driving through the countryside, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

By following these tips and recommendations, you can make the journey from Cancun to Isla Holbox a memorable and stress-free experience. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore one of the most beautiful and unspoiled destinations in Mexico.

How Far Is Isla Holbox From Cancun?

Isla Holbox is located approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Cancun, and the travel time between the two destinations will vary depending on the transportation option you choose. If you opt to take the ferry from Chiquila, it will take around two hours to reach the island. Private boat or yacht rides can take up to an hour and a half. Meanwhile, taking a private transfer or a rental car can get you to Chiquila in about two to three hours, depending on traffic and the route taken. Colectivos or shared shuttles can take anywhere from two and a half to three and a half hours. Taxis or Ubers, on the other hand, can take roughly two to three hours to reach Chiquila.

Regardless of which transportation option you choose, it’s best to factor in some extra time for unforeseen delays or traffic. Additionally, it’s recommended to make travel arrangements ahead of time, especially during peak season, to avoid any last-minute surprises or cancellations. All in all, Isla Holbox may be a bit of a trek from Cancun, but the breathtaking scenery and serene surroundings make it a destination well worth the journey.

The Bottom Line

Getting to Isla Holbox from Cancun can seem daunting, but with a variety of transportation options available, it’s easier than you might think. From the convenient ferry to the luxurious private yacht, there’s a mode of transportation to fit every budget and preference. Renting a car or taking a colectivo are also great options for those looking for flexibility and affordability. No matter which option you choose, make sure to plan ahead, bring plenty of sunscreen and water, and prepare for the tropical weather. With some planning and patience, you’ll soon find yourself lounging on the beautiful beaches of Isla Holbox. Happy travels!

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