Isla Holbox to Chichén Itzá (for 30 USD by Public Transport)

You’d think it’d be easy to get from Holbox to Chichén Itzá. One is an ever more popular island with beautiful beaches like Punta Mosquito. And the other is one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

But, despite this, it’s not a straightforward journey. If you’re travelling by public transport, there’s 3 legs. And even with private transport, you’ll still need two different forms of transportation.

Generally, this is a mix of the ferry plus buses, shuttles, colectivos and taxis. It might sound confusing but this complete guide breaks down your options for each leg of the journey.

Find out how long the journey takes, the costs, how to book and more…

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Chichen Itza is North America's World Wonder, once home to the Mayans. The large Chichen Itza temple stands restored

How do I get from Holbox to Chichén Itzá?

Despite there being less than 100 miles between them, getting to Chichén Itzá is a bit of a pain from Isla Holbox. Unless you opt for private transport, you’ll need to do the journey in 3 legs.

First, you’ll need to take the ferry from Holbox Port to Chiquilá. Then it’s a bus or shuttle to Valladolid – the nearest main town to the Mayan Ruins.

Finally, you’ll need to take a second bus or a colectivo (minivan) to get to Chichén Itzá. But, given it’s one of the 7 Wonders of the World, it’s worth it.

You can see your public transport options for each leg of the journey from Holbox to Chichén Itzá in the table below…

Holbox to ChiquiláFerry30 minutes
220 pesos (13 USD)
Chiquilá to ValladolidADO bus2.5 hours
269 pesos (16 USD)
Shared shuttle2-2.5 hours
350 pesos (21 USD)
Private vehicle/taxi2-2.5 hours
220+ USD
Valladolid to Chichén ItzáADO bus50 minutes
150 pesos (9 USD)
Colectivo50 minutes
40 pesos (2 USD)
Taxi40 minutes
600 pesos (35 USD)
A smaller temple at Chichen Itza that is less restored and has grass growing through the temple steps

Ferry from Holbox to Chiquilá

To cross back to the mainland, two companies run a ferry – both taking 30 minutes.

9 Hermanos leave on the hour (eg, 6.00, 7.00, 8.00) starting at 5 am with the last service at 8 pm.

And Holbox Express ferries leave at half past the hour (eg 6.30, 7.30, 8.30) starting at 6.30 am with the last service at 8.30 pm.

Tickets for both companies cost 220 pesos each way (180 pesos for children).

You can buy a ticket at the port or online. If you’re not sure when you’re travelling, it’s best to buy in person as you’ll be able to get a ticket for the next service since they alternate.

To save time, it’s also possible to book your ferry ticket from Holbox and ADO bus to Valladolid in one go. More on the bus option in the next section…

> > > RELATED POST: How to get from Cancun and Cancun Airport to Isla Holbox

The colourful streets of Valladolid, the town you pass through from Holbox to Chichen Itza. A green and red building are pictured

Chiquilá to Valladolid

This is the longest leg of the journey between Holbox and Chichén Itzá – and it also means navigating a change in time zone! Holbox is one hour ahead of Valladolid and Chichén Itzá – so the clock goes back.

But, you do have a few options for getting to Valladolid once you’ve got off the Holbox ferry. So whether you prioritise comfort, cost or convenience, there’s an option for you…


A safe and reliable option, ADO is one of the most well-known and used bus companies in Mexico. And they run two services each day from Chiquilá to Valladolid.

Buses leave from the ADO terminal on the main street, about 200 metres from the port entrance/exit.

The first bus leaves Chiquilá at 10.45 am (you’ll need to get the 9.30 am or 10 am ferry). And the second leaves at 1.45 pm (get the 12.30 pm or 1 pm ferry).

You’ll arrive in Valladolid 2.5 hours later and the bus doesn’t even stop anywhere along the way. The journey time may look like it’s 1.5 hours, but that’s because Valladolid and the state of Yucatan are an hour behind Holbox Island and Quintana Roo.

Tickets can be booked through the ADO website (have patience, it’s quite unreliable when processing bookings!).

Or, you can book your ferry ticket and ADO bus in one transaction, saving you time and effort. And meaning you can get back to enjoying your trip sooner.

Shared Shuttle

This is a good option if the times above don’t work for you. Daily shared shuttles from Chiquilá to Valladolid are run by the company Holbox Shuttle.

There’s 3 departures a day: 7.30 am, 10.30 am and 2.00 pm. With those times, I would get the ferry an hour beforehand.

The cost is 350 pesos and you can book in a lot of places across Holbox. Just look out for their sign or contact them through their website.

> > > RELATED POST: How to get from Cancun and Cancun Airport to Isla Holbox

Private Shuttle or Taxi

To find out the current price for a taxi to Valladolid, it’s best to ask at your hotel or hostel in Holbox. The staff will likely also have someone they can recommend.

Expect to pay at least 100 USD from Chiquilá to Valladolid. This is a 2-hour journey after all.

For a private shuttle, prices are generally around 300 USD for 7-seater vehicles. And about 450 USD for a 14-seater minivan.

So, unless you’re travelling with a group that will fill or almost fill a minivan, it’s not really a cost-effective option.

If you’re getting private transport, you might want to consider travelling straight from Chiquilá to Chichén Itzá. The cost won’t be that much more and it’ll be a lot more convenient than getting another taxi in Valladolid.

> > > RELATED POST: Mérida to Holbox (All 2024 Transport Options)

A nun walking into a church in Valladolid under the cover of colourful bunting and blue sky

Valladolid to Chichén Itzá

Your final leg to see Mexico’s Modern World Wonder… And again, you have a few options for this: colectivo, bus or taxi.

Chichén Itzá Archaeological Site opens at 8 am each day. And the first hour is the quietest before tour groups from across the Riviera Maya start arriving.

So, you might want to consider staying overnight in Valladolid to get to Chichén Itzá when it opens. You’ll need 2-3 hours to see the whole site but you can easily be back in Valladolid by midday.

Colectivo to Chichén Itzá

Conveniently, the colectivo station is about 50 feet from the main bus station in Valladolid. Check out the location on Google Maps.

This is a shared minivan, mostly used by locals to travel short distances from town to town. The colectivos leave once they’re full throughout the day.

The first colectivo leaves as soon as it’s full after 7 am. So, yeah, this could be within 10 minutes or it could take 45 minutes.

It costs 40 pesos for the colectivo from Valladolid to Chichén Itzá. And it drops you off right by the entrance where you can buy your ticket for the ruins.

ADO bus to Chichén Itzá

The ADO bus runs from the main bus terminal in Valladolid to the front entrance of Chichén Itzá. Tickets cost 150 pesos, although you can get a slight discount if booking in advance.

How often the buses run varies throughout the week.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (as well as some Mondays and Fridays), the only ADO bus to Chichén Itzá is:

  • Departs Valladolid at 10.27 am, arriving at 11.17 am

Then on Saturdays and Sundays (plus some Mondays and Fridays), there are 3 services each day.

  • 10.10 am departs Valladolid, arrives 11 am at Chichén Itzá
  • 10.27 am leaves Valladolid, arrives at 11.17 am at Chichén Itzá
  • 3.30 pm leaves Valladolid, arriving at 4.20 pm at Chichén Itzá

The times may not work for everyone and the price is a lot more than the colectivo. So while the bus offers more comfort, for a short journey like this, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

But, if the times work for you, you’ll get the best price by booking on the ADO website or app. You can also book in person at the bus station – try to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand to do this.

Cylinder stone statues at Mexico's world wonder


A taxi is the quickest way to get from Valladolid to Chichén Itzá. But, it only saves you about 10 minutes compared with the bus and colectivo.

Expect to pay about 600 pesos one-way. Although, you should also expect the first quoted price to be much higher.

Unfortunately, taxi drivers often quote tourists high prices assuming they don’t know the going rate and will just pay it. However, it’s important to haggle to get a fair price.

Even more importantly, always agree on a price before getting in the taxi. You can’t haggle at the end of the journey.

A Mayan Temple at the most famous archaeological site in Mexico

Can you go to Chichén Itzá as a day trip from Holbox?

In all honestly, it’s pretty difficult to visit Chichén Itzá and get back to Holbox the same day using public transport. Most of the buses run in the morning or early afternoon, and there’s only a small number of services.

If you only have one day, taking an organised day tour with private transport from Holbox is a good option. As is getting private transport from Chiquilá to Chichén Itzá and back.

For those that have the time, staying a night or two in Valladolid will mean you don’t have to rush as much. And you’ll get to spend time in this beautiful colonial city – which is well worth visiting.

An orange building in Valladolid with two doors and two plants outside

If you have any questions or want any more information, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Information is correct to the best of my knowledge as of August 2023 but is subject to change.

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