Mérida to Holbox (All 2024 Transport Options)

After spending time immersed in the culture, vibrancy and nightlife, making the journey from Mérida to Holbox to enjoy island life is a great choice.

The journey isn’t short, but the options are simple. And the two best options, depending on your travel preferences and budget are the bus or private transfers. Plus the ferry, of course.

Isla Holbox was one of my favourite places in Mexico, the beaches are so beautiful that I found it hard to leave! So I can say, the journey is absolutely worth it!

Find out all you need to know about the current transport options for getting from Mérida to Chiquilá and Isla Holbox in this complete guide…

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a qualifying purchase.

Once you complete the journey from Merida to Holbox you'll be rewarded with swimming in the warm, calm, clear blue seas, like Zoe is doing here. The sun is out and the sky is blue with just a couple of fluffy white clouds.

How To from Mérida to Holbox? An Overview

Getting to Holbox is pretty easy because from Mérida you don’t have many options.

Importantly, all routes from Mérida to Isla Holbox pass through the port town of Chiquilá. And, from there, you cross the narrow channel to Holbox by boat.

The ferries run every half hour from 6 am to 9.30 pm. And the bus station is just a couple of hundred metres from the dock.

Another important thing to note is the one-hour time difference between the states of Valladolid (where Mérida is) and Quintana Roo (where Holbox is). Holbox is one hour ahead of Mérida.

So, here are the ways you can get to Holbox Mexico:

  • Taxi (+ Ferry)
  • Bus (+ Ferry)
  • Private Transfer (+ Ferry)

This means no plane rides, no shared shuttles and no trains on this route.

TransportCost (one way)Journey time
Taxi + Ferry~250 USD (per taxi) + 220 pesos/13 USD (per person)4 to 5 hours
Bus + Ferry~ 35 USD + 220 pesos/13 USD (both per person)

6 hours
Private Transfer + Ferry265 USD (up to 3 people)
299 USD (up to 6 people)
320 USD (up to 10 people)
+ 220 pesos/13 USD per person

4 to 5 hours
Can you get the Maya Train from Mérida to Holbox?

No, neither Holbox nor Chiquilá are on the Maya Train route.

Is it better to fly to Mérida Airport or Cancun Airport for Holbox?

The closest international airport to the island is Cancun. If you’re flying in, follow this guide on how to get from Cancun to Holbox.

If you fly to Mérida, you’ll first need to get into the centre of the city before embarking on the 5- to 6-hour journey to Holbox.

Zoe stood in the Holbox sign forming the letter L in the word. The letters are large and brightly coloured

Getting a Taxi

A taxi is the easiest way to get most of the way to Isla Holbox. Although you’ll need to get the ferry across from Chiquilá.

But it’s also the most expensive and probably the hardest to organise.

Expect to pay around 250 USD for the 4-hour journey from Mérida to Chiquilá. Plus around 13 USD per person for the ferry.

You’ll need to pre-book a taxi so it’s best to ask around for contacts, such as from your hotel, tour guides or friends.

The famous Monumento a La Patria in the heart of Merida. It's striking stone-like facade is hard to miss.

Mérida to Chiquilá Bus + Ferry to Holbox

Getting the bus is easy, comfortable and great value – for solo travellers and couples, this is the cheapest way. You need to make sure you book at least a few days in advance, as tickets do sell out.

Journey Info

There’s 2 ADO buses each day from Mérida to Chiquilá. One that arrives at 1 pm and another that arrives at 3 pm (with the 1 hour time different jump).

These are large 44-seater coaches with lots of legroom, comfortable seats and under-bus storage for larger pieces of luggage.

Importantly, Mérida has TWO bus stations. And both buses stop at both bus stations, with the departure times 30 minutes apart.

The first is called ADO Mérida. It’s near the historic centre (see the location on Google Maps).

And the second is called ADO Terminal Alterna Paseo 60. It’s just off Paseo de Montejo near the Monumento a la Patria and the Walmart (see location).

The ferry crossing takes around 30 minutes, with boats running every 30 minutes. There’s two companies, one runs on the hour; and the other runs on every half past the hour. Tickets are available from the vendors at the dock.

Booking & Cost

Tickets for the Mérida to Chiquilá bus cost around 35 USD per person.

I recommend booking on Busbud as you get the option to change your date or time online up to 1 hour before departure for free. Which you don’t get if you book through ADO directly (if you can even get their website to work!).

Another option is to book an all-in-one Mérida to Holbox bus plus ferry ticket online, available on select services. This costs 54 USD for the bus to Chiquilá and then the public Holbox ferry.

Booking your tickets this way means you only have to make one purchase. And you’ll get to go straight to the dock from the bus station without having to stop and buy tickets from the ferry vendors, saving you time and energy.

Private Transfer from Mérida + Holbox Ferry

If you’re travelling as a group, private transfers can be excellent value! And it comes with the added benefit of hotel pick-up from wherever you’re staying in Mérida.

As the price is per vehicle, the more of you there are, the better value it gets. This means you could pay as little as 32 USD per person…

  • For 1 to 3 people: 265 USD
  • For 4 to 6 people: 299 USD
  • For 7 to 10 people: 320 USD

Advance booking is required for Mérida to Chiquilá shuttles. And you’ll need to buy a ticket for the ferry at the dock for the last part of the journey.

The large letters spelling out the word Merida in the main plaza of the city. The letters are large and brightly coloured

Mérida to Holbox Shuttle

Currently, there are no shared shuttles running to Holbox or Chiquilá from Mérida.

I think this is mostly due to a lack of demand. Since most people tend to travel first to Valladolid for a day or two, before then making the journey from Valladolid to Holbox Island.

For those who would prefer to travel by shuttle, the ADO bus from Mérida to Chiquilá is the best option. It’s good value, comfortable and only makes one or two stops along the way.

Going the Other Way: How to Get from Holbox to Mérida

The same options apply if you’re travelling from Holbox and Chiquilá to Mérida.

There’s two ADO buses a day from Chiquilá. One departs at 10.45 am and the other at 1.45 pm.

Likewise, you can also book a private transfer from Chiquilá to Mérida and it’ll drop you off at your hotel.

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

Information is correct as of February 2024 but is subject to change in future.

More Mexico Travel Guides…

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

Cancun to Tulum [And The Other Way] (Transport Guide)

Cancun to Caye Caulker: The ADO Bus is Back + Other Options!

NOW OPEN: Tulum Airport – But What Does This Mean for Tourists?

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