By: Rebekah Mullinix
Holbox is an incredible place with protected land allowing visitors to see spectacular birds and other animals. This is haven for those interested in animals of the sea and air. Plan your trip to Holbox with confidence using our suggested itineraries.
Driving from Cancun to Holbox requires a two-hour drive to Chiquila and then a short ferry ride to the Island Holbox. Ferries run every half hour, so you don’t have to worry about what time you will arrive in Chiquila.
Don’t Forget to Gas Up Before Your Trip
Leaving Cancun, You will drive about 14 kilometers away from the city, before veering left towards Holbox. Make sure to get gas before you take this turn off because the next gas station isn’t for about 40km. Once you veer left, there probably won’t be much traffic. The road is a very straight two-lane road surrounded by trees and bushes. Once you start seeing signs for the Cuota (toll road), pay close attention, because the signs can get very confusing. Make sure to continue following the signs for Holbox. After going through the toll you will again be on a two-lane road with trees and bushes on each side. You will eventually come upon a town called Kantunilkín. There are a couple of gas stations here as well as small restaurants and artisan shops along the road. Pass through this town and be mindful of the topes (speedbumps) because they are often unmarked and hard to see. After this town, the road becomes less taken care of. Go slower on this road and be mindful of potholes. Once you get to Chiquila, go to the very end of the road, towards the dock.
The Toll Road
When you come up to the first ticket booth, you will press a button and it will give you a ticket. Only a short distance later you will come upon another ticket booth where you will pay. In my pickup truck, I paid 176 pesos, which is about $9. You will need cash for this transaction and if you are returning to Cancun after your visit, you will need to pay this again upon your return. After you pay your toll, you will be given another ticket. This ticket is very important because it is your insurance in case you are in an accident on the toll road.
Where to Park At the Chiquila Dock?
There will be many places to park, and you will start seeing small parking lots available quite far from the dock. I found a small parking lot all the way down the road by the dock and to the left. At the parking lot they gave me a ticket for the day I parked and I paid once I returned to leave. It costs about 100 pesos, or 5 USD, a day to park. They also have hourly rates if you are only spending the day in Holbox. Once you park and get to the dock, there are people with carts that can help you with your luggage for a tip.
The Ferry Ride
There are two places to buy tickets. From my experience, the prices were the same. I chose based on which boat would be leaving the soonest. One company left every hour on the hour, while the other company left every hour on the half-hour. Once I purchased my ticket I sat in a designated waiting area. Thankfully there is a little snack shop by the waiting area so I was able to get a drink while I waited for the boat to arrive.
The boat has a bottom air-conditioned section and a roof top section. I had to ride in the rooftop section because pets are not allowed in the cabin. If you want to sit in the air-conditioned section, be sure to get in the front of the line because those seats go first. The ride is only about 15 minutes. Our boat was supposed to leave at 3:30 and we got off the boat by 4 pm. If you have big luggage, the workers will ask you for it and they will load it onto the boat in a storage area and offload it once you arrive in Holbox.