How to Get to Isla Holbox

The best way getting to Holbox

The Best Way to Get to Holbox Island

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You are looking forward to your vacation and want to get to Holbox as soon as possible. However, the island is not only far away, but also a bit isolated from the tourist centers and therefore not so easy to reach. In recent years, it has become much easier, and with our tips on how to get there, it is certainly much better.

But the journey to the vacation takes a long time. With good preparation and the right travel option, depending on your starting point, you can make it from the United States in about 6-12 hours, from Canada in 9-12 hours, and from the United Kingdom or Europe in 16-22 hours at reasonable cost, ideally even the same day.

Wherever your trip begins, the journey is usually as follows: First you fly to Cancún in Mexico, then travel to the port of Chiquilá on the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and take a ferry to Holbox Island. Voila! Now all you have to do is get chauffeured to your accommodation in one of the usual golf cart taxis and enjoy your vacation.

To help you plan your journey, we have summarized the most important information for each stage. If you are looking for a small and exquisite adventure, you can also fly directly from Cancun or Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island in a small plane.

The Typical Journey to Holbox

If you are already in Yucatán, you can go directly to Holbox from there. Chiquilá is easily accessible from Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Mérida. You can find an overview of the distances and driving times in this table.

Return Trip

It’s the same way back, but hardly anyone wants to think about the return trip now. Once you arrive on the island of Holbox, it is easy to get back to Cancún.

From Holbox to Cancun

The ferries from Holbox to Chiquilá depart every 30 minutes from morning to night and can be booked online to avoid long waits at the ticket counter.

If you haven’t already organized your return transfer to Cancun, you can usually book it at your hotel or accommodation. The numerous tourist booths in the main square also offer transfers. However, be careful about what exactly you are being offered. It has happened that a seemingly cheap private transfer turned out to be a ride in an overcrowded colectivo (local minibus, mainly used by locals).

The most convenient way to book a return transfer is online. There are several options from ADO bus to private transfer to Cancún.

Cancún airport shopping

If you arrive at the airport in Cancún on time, which currently (March 2023) should be 3-4 hours before departure due to a construction site at the airport, you will have plenty of time to go shopping. After check-in and security, a true shopping paradise opens up.

Shop Los Cinco Soles at Cancun Airport in Mexico
Mexican jewelry and souvenirs at Los Cinco Soles store

Here you will find everything you can imagine: international and Mexican fashion stores, jewelry, souvenirs, food and duty free goods of all kinds.

Shopping at Cancun airport
Shops at Cancun airport

Especially after the meager shopping on Holbox Island, you will feel like you are in another world. And although prices are higher here, many items are fairly priced.

Tequila Shopping at Cancun Airport in Mexico
Tequila in the duty free shop at the airport of Cancun

With so many stores to choose from, the time it takes to get to your flight usually goes by quickly. And before you know it, you are on your way home.

Sunset at the return flight from Cancun to Europe
Return flight at sunset


Here we have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions about getting to Holbox:

Fly to Cancun, Mexico, then get to the port of Chiquilá on the Yucatán Peninsula and take the ferry to Holbox Island.

Depending on the point of departure, the journey from the USA takes 6-12 hours, from Canada 9-12 hours, and from the UK or Europe 16-22 hours.

From Playa del Carmen you can take a bus, taxi or shuttle to Chiquilá in about 2 hours and from there take the ferry to Holbox Island in 30 minutes.

From Tulum to Chiquilá it takes about 3 to 3.5 hours by bus, shuttle or taxi. The ferry to Holbox takes another 30 minutes.

As a tourist, it is best to park your car in Chiquilá, where the ferries to Holbox depart. On the access road to the port, there are plenty of safe parking lots at reasonable prices. There is a car ferry to Holbox. However, this is mainly used by suppliers to transport heavy loads.