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How to get to Holbox Island from Cancun and Playa del Carmen – Guide to Mexico


When traveling to the peninsula of Yucatan One of the places that appears as a paradise not to be missed is the island of Holbox. It certainly is, but there are some things to keep in mind before venturing to include it in our trip.

For starters, although the bird’s eye view on the map appears not far from Cancun (usual place of arrival in the state of Quintana Roo or even Mexico), access from the Riviera Maya is not linear, as for one side of the road follows an “L” path to avoid the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, protected and unspoilt space.

The distance between Cancun and Chiquila is 139 km, with about two hours to go if we go by the toll road (toll) and a little more by the normal road, although there may be more traffic and more peaks to limit traffic in the populations it crosses. It is 144 km from Song Airport and takes 1 hour and 50 minutes by toll road. And give Playa del Carmen there are 122 km away to Chiquila with an approximate journey of 1.40 minutes.

On the other hand there are no exiled ferries from Cancun itself or Isla Mujeres, and although there are some private catamaran and old services there is no reach for all pockets.

So the most common is to arrive by road. However, the options from the rental car (whether sea to the airport or downtown Cancun and its hotel area), for those wishing to save with the ADO bus line, which connects both Cancun and Playa del Puerto Carme con Chiquila, the town from where ferries depart for Holbox Island. It is more expensive, but they are quite cheap shared transfers in combis, vans that make the journey with other passengers.

Finally, the fastest and most comfortable option, but much more expensive are the private transfers, which we do not allow to have a driver that we receive at the airport of Cancun and that we take quickly until Chiquila.

From Platja del Carme there is also ADO buses with exit towards Chiquila, that leaves from the central station (next to the wharf port that goes to the island of Cozumel), not of the Alternate that has buses towards Cancún. From Mérida there are also ADO buses (as well as private and shared transfers) to Chiquila.

ADO buses from Cancun and Playa del Carmen for all to Holbox via Chiquila
ADO buses from Cancun and Playa del Carmen for all to Holbox via Chiquila

Ferries from the port of Chiquila

This small town that has grown thanks to being the port where you board to get to Holbox has some modest restaurants and other basic services such as parking if we choose to leave the car when we visit Holbox. There are two companies that offer the ferry service and that leave alternately every half hour. At the time of the sale of the sale of New Hermanos de Chiquila to the island of Holbox, while in the “and media” the ferry company Holbox Express (with red bars) that connects mainland and island. The price is the same as it is agreed, and we can get a decrease if we are residents of Holbox, or if we are elderly (that if Mexican), presenting the INAPAM certification.

Already in Holbox we will see that to govern most vehicles are golf carts or motorcycles, and maybe a car or small trucks for construction or police use. There are numerous companies that offer private or shared transfers for when our trip to Holbox ends, but unless we want to have it closed we can avoid overlapping commissions by hiring Chiquila directly.


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