Everything you need to know about the Holbox Ferry (From Cancun)
Almost everyone going to Holbox comes from Cancun. If you are coming from the main Cancun airport it will take you about two hours to drive to Chiquila, which is the small town at the end of the road.
Chiquila is close enough that you can see the island of Holbox. There aren’t even roads for cars on the island of Holbox, much less a bridge to drive yourself there from Chiquila.
To get to the small island of Holbox you almost always have to take a ferry the rest of the way (limited exceptions discussed below). Thankfully, the process of getting on a ferry is quite simple, even for those that don’t speak a word of Spanish!
Ferry from Chiquila to Holbox
There are 2 different ferry options that will get you from Chiquila to Holbox, but they are almost EXACTLY the same. Seriously, knowing this will help clear up so many of the misconceptions. It doesn’t matter which of the companies you book!
Ferry Companies – How To Decide Which To Book
As previously mentioned, there are two different companies operating ferries between the mainland (Chiquila) and the island of Holbox. Both ferries have boats that are almost the exact same, cost the same, leave and arrive from the same port, and take the same amount of time to get there.
Basically the only difference between the two companies is when the ferries leave. Generally, each company has a boat that leaves each hour. Thankfully each company staggers the departures so there is one leaving every 30 minutes.
To choose between the two boat companies, you should choose the one that leaves soonest after you get to Chiquila!
Option 1 – Holbox Express Ferry (More info here)
Option 2 – 9 Hermanos – Holbox Ferry
How much does the Holbox ferry cost?
Tourist price – $11 USD one way (220 pesos) for both companies.
Locals price – For locals it will only cost $4 USD or $80 pesos.
Can I buy the ferry tickets to Holbox at the port in Chiquila or do I need to pre-book them?
You do not need to book ferry tickets in advance. You can buy the ferry tickets to Holbox at the port in Chiquila. In fact, unless you purchase some sort of tour or transportation to get you the entire way there from Cancun, I actually recommend not purchasing your tickets in advance.
I recommend not purchasing in advance so that you can go with whatever company has the soonest departure after you arrive. Generally there is a different company with a departure every 30 minutes. Both companies prominently display the departure times in front of the ticket offices to make the decision process easy.
Should I be worried about the ferries selling out?
The ferries are each really big. They feature an upper deck as well as an interior cabin. I’ve taken the ferry 6 times at all different times of day at it has never been more than 50% full. If you are still petrified of not getting a seat at your desired time there are alternative transfer options discussed below you can book to alleviate stress.
At the ticket office you can see the times of the scheduled departures. Choose the one that has the time soonest after you arrive. The other ticket office is directly across the street so it is super easy to compare the two timeframes.
Can You Pay With Credit Card?
I’ve seen other reports that you cannot pay with credit card. This isn’t true as I’ve paid for both ferries with a credit card. The catch is that they charge an extra fee for using the credit card. The fee was an extra 50 pesos (approximately $2.70) so it was a bit annoying, but wasn’t a deal breaker since I didn’t have enough cash.
After purchasing your ticket there is a covered waiting area you can wait in until they start boarding the ship. If you have extra time there are a few shops and restaurants around, but most people opt to sit under the covered awning until the ships begin boarding.
It is pretty easy to tell when they are about to board because you will see the large ferry come in and passengers get off.
Covered waiting area
Due to the frequent rainstorms in the area it is nice that the waiting area is covered. It is also nice that once on the ferry you can sit on top exposed to the sun, or you can sit below in the interior cabin away from the elements. The interior cabin is also air conditioned for the super hot days!
How long is the ferry to Holbox
The ferry will take 20-30 min. On our way there our ferry ride was exactly 30 minutes (we timed it).
On the way back the ferry ride took 22 minutes. Both companies cross at the same speeds.
Check out our most popular guides on visiting Isla Holbox
I visited Holbox twice in 2022 and I was completely blown away by how much I liked it. In my opinion, its the best beach in Mexico!
20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN HOLBOX – The best things to do in Holbox.
HOW TO GET TO HOLBOX – A full, comprehensive guide detailing every option you have for getting to Holbox.
HOLBOX WHALE SHARKS: BEST TOURS AVAILABLE – You can’t miss the whale shark tours in Holbox. Incredible, once in a lifetime experience.
BIOLUMINESCENCE IN HOLBOX (COOLEST EXPERIENCE IN HOLBOX!) – If you have never seen the Bioluminescence it is amazing! Read all about it in our post.
PLAYA PUNTA COCOS (INCREDIBLE BEACH IN HOLBOX) – Must see!!