Ready to live the island life? Find out how to get to Holbox in this comprehensive guide. Isla Holbox is a small paradise island located just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. With white sand beaches, bioluminescent plankton and groups of flamingos chilling and doing their thing, this sleepy island is a great place to experience when in Mexico.
In This Post:
Holbox is a dreamy little island with a quieter pace of life than nearby locations like Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. No cars are allowed here, so there’s no chance in the island pace of life here being disturbed. The Yalahau Lagoon is home to flamingos and pelicans, perfect for a spot of birdwatching. Isla Holbox is surrounded by rich marine life such as sea turtles and whale sharks, giving visitors the perfect excuse to go diving. All of the above are fantastic reasons to go to Holbox.
How to get to Isla Holbox
When thinking about how to get to Holbox, there are several easy options to consider. Some options are cheaper and more convenient than others. When I visited the Island I took an ADO bus and public ferry over from the mainland. Below I will outline the options you have to get to paradise, so you can enjoy the beach in no time.
Image from Google maps
Getting the bus to Isla Holbox
Getting to Holbox by bus is an easy feat from all over the Yucatan Peninsula. The best service to use is ADO which is a premium bus service. I recommend them as the buses are spacious, with air conditioning, allocated seats and Mexcian TV, and the costs are still affordable.
You can book tickets through the ADO website, or at kiosks at bus stations and airports throughout Mexico.
There are second class bus services available, but unless you are a Mexican citizen, you cannot book these tickets online. Oriente and Noreste are services who offer this route.
Second-class buses also tend to stop more often, so it may take a little longer, but they can be at least 10% cheaper and less crowded. You can purchase tickets for these services at bus terminals.
When getting to Holbox by bus, you will have to get off at stop Chiquila in Quintana Roo to then take the ferry over from there.
The bus from Cancun to Isla Holbox
Cancun is a transport hub, so getting anywhere from here is easy. To get to Holbox from Cancun there are two ADO buses a day to Chiquila. The journey takes roughly 3 hours 20 minutes and costs 266 peso which is 14 dollars, or 11 pounds.
The bus from Tulum to Isla Holbox
From the beach town of Tulum, there is just one ADO bus a day to Chiquila. The journey will take 3 hours and 25 minutes and costs 360 peso, which is 18.85 dollars, or 14.25 pounds.
The bus from Playa Del Carmen to Isla Holbox
Upbeat Play Del Carmen has several buses leaving for Chiquila each day, making getting to Holbox even easier. The journey takes from 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes. A ticket costs 276 peso, which is 14.45 dollars or 10.93 pounds.
The bus from Valladolid to Isla Holbox
There is only one ADO bus a day from Valladolid to Chiquila, with a journey that takes roughly 2 hours 25 minutes. A ticket will cost 198 peso, which is 10.37 dollars, or 7.84 pounds.
The bus from Merida to Isla Holbox
The bus from Merida to Chiquila takes a little longer than from the other main destinations around the Yucatan. Taking the bus journey will take between 5 and 5 and a half hours. A ticket will cost roughly 430 peso, which is 22.52 dollars, or 17.04 pounds.
Just note that the above bus times and prices are given as guidance only. All were correct at the time of writing, but check the ADO website for up-to-date information for the days you want to travel.
Driving to Isla Holbox
Hiring a car and driving from your location to Holbox is another option, but keep in mind, you will have to leave your car in Chiquila as Holbox is a car-free island. It is best to leave your car is Chiquila at one of the secure parking lots. They charge about 6 dollars per day.
In Mexico, hiring a car is easy in most destinations you go to. If you do drive and don’t have a sat nav or data, just download a map of the Yucatan from Google Maps when you have WiFi and plan your journey to Chiquila that way. That way you can use the map even when you have no internet.
There are also some companies that offer private shuttles from airports to Holbox. For more information about shuttle bus services, click here.
The ferry to Isla Holbox
So once you have reached Chiquila, either by bus or by car, it’s time to take the ferry over to the island. There are two service providers running a ferry from Chiquila to Holbox, Express and 9 Hermanos. When you arrive at the port, visit one of the ticket kiosks and they will advise you on which ticket to purchase, which will be for whatever ferry is departing first. Chances are you won’t have to wait around for long as every half an hour, one of the ferries departs. The journey over to the island lasts about 20-30 minutes, and the crossing costs about 100 pesos (about £4 or $5.30) per person.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ferry ride both there and back. On the way there I sat on the outside of the top deck on a particularly hot day and cooled off with the sea spray whilst enjoying the crystal blue views over the water. During the journey back to Chiquila, there was a man signing Desposito on Karaoke on board, but his speaker kept breaking and I felt so bad he couldn’t get through the song all the way to the end. Poor Desposito man.
Can you fly to Isla Holbox?
The answer is yes, but only by chartered flights which are a lot more costly than the above options. To find out more about private flights, click here.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay on Isla Holbox, click here to find the best deals.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico, make sure you check out my guide to Tulum here.
Don’t forget your insurance, one of the most important parts of travel planning. Get a quote from World Nomads now to put your mind at ease before you go.
If you liked this post, don’t forget to fin it to help others find it too:
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about getting to Isla Holbox in Mexico.
If you want to keep track of your travel adventures creatively and mindfully, I’ve created a travel journal that will be perfect for you. Check out my blog post here all about the Creative Travel Journal, which is available worldwide on Amazon.
Don’t forget to connect with me on social media, as I love hearing about your adventures.
Connect with me on facebook to keep up to date with new content.
You can follow my travels on Twitter.
Be inspired by my travel photography over on Instagram.
And get pinning some travel inspo over on Pinterest.
You can also sign up to my mailing list:
Want free printable’s to help plan your trip? Sign up to our mailing list below:
Lots of love,