Once you’ve had enough of lazing on the beach or surfing for hours on end, you can switch things up and head to the city of Oaxaca. If you like wandering around gorgeous buildings, learning about history and taking stunning pictures, then you will love Oaxaca city centre.
Don’t forget to visit the traditional markets for both delicious food and beautiful handicrafts. Oaxaca has plenty of famous sites to visit, including the archaeological ruins of Monte Alban, the Ethnobotanical Garden and the Santo Domingo de Guzman Temple. Oaxaca is also famous for its traditional weaving and embroidery, so make sure you visit the textile museum to get a glimpse of their fabulous work.
New to Oaxaca? Our compact Oaxaca guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Oaxaca!
There are 3 ways to cover the 256km (159 miles) from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca: a 7-hour colectivo, a 10.5-hour bus ride, or a 1-hour-10-minute flight (including transfers). Fares range between 250 MXN ($12) and 2,800 MXN ($135).
Colectivos are the fastest and cheapest option, but not exactly the most comfortable. There is not enough space between seats and you won’t be able to fit a lot of luggage. Colectivos take a direct road to Oaxaca, which is curvy and bumpy, not a great choice if you’re prone to motion sickness. But if you’re fine with that, taking a colectivo can be quite an adventure.
Buses offer a more comfortable journey but do take longer as they are unable to travel on the winding road that the colectivos use. There is an option to take an overnight bus though, so you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up in Oaxaca. Being bigger than colectivos, buses offer more legroom and spacious seats.
If budget is not an issue, then the third option is probably for you. You can actually take a 1-hour-10-minute flight (already including airport transfers) between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca. However, combined rates start from a whopping 2,800 MXN ($135).
That’s because only small airlines with small planes operate on this route. As short-haul flights like this can be very harmful to the environment, we don’t really recommend this option. But if you really prefer to take a small plane, consider paying an emission compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Colectivos take the most direct road to get from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca and the vehicles are usually sprinter type minivans. By direct route, we mean a windy and bumpy road. So definitely not a great option for people with motion sickness.
Some of the most popular companies operating from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca are Villa del Pacífico and Service Express. Both companies offer multiple departures every day, so you can buy your ticket on short notice without the worry of them selling out.
Both companies offer a similar standard of quality, but Villa del Pacifico has a few more departures a day.
Travel time with a colectivo is around 7 hours. You will have at least one chance to stretch your legs during the ride, as the colectivo will stop for about 30 minutes for food and toilet break.
Colectivo schedule from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca
Villa del Pacifico
Every hour from 03:00 to 23:00
250 MXN ($12)
Every 2 hours from 05:00 to 23:00
250 MXN ($12)
There’s no option to buy tickets online. This means the only way to purchase tickets for the colectivo is at through their terminal in Puerto Escondido. The average ticket price is 250 MXN ($12) but can vary a bit depending on demand.
Colectivo departure and arrival points
Both Villa del Pacífico and Service Express depart from Terminal TUR near Puerto Escondido’s main beach. If you are staying nearby, you can walk to the station. Otherwise, you can take a taxi with rates from 50 MXN ($2.45).
The colectivos park at their own terminals in Oaxaca City. Both colectivo stops for Villa Playa and Service Express are within the city centre, meaning most people will be able to walk to their accommodation. If your hotel is along the way, you can also ask the driver to drop you off earlier.
Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca by Bus
Duration: 10.5 hours Cost: From 640 MXN ($31)
If you value having space to stretch your legs, then the bus is a better option. However, buses take the longer route so be prepared to spend 10.5 hours on the road – 3.5 hours more than taking a colectivo. We recommend stocking up on water, snacks, a good book or playlist to make the journey more pleasant.
The company that operates this service is OCC, a sub-branch of ADO Bus (Mexico’s largest bus company). To make the journey a bit more bearable, buses have comfortable reclining seats, an onboard toilet and AC.
There are two buses available daily – one departs in the morning and the other one departs at night. We highly recommend taking the night bus so you can save your day time for exploring and also save a night on accommodation.
A bus ticket costs 640 MXN ($31), but rates may go up during the high season (December to April).
Buses going to Oaxaca depart from the Main Bus Terminal in Puerto Escondido, located just a few blocks from the main beach. The bus station should be within walking distance, but you can also take a short taxi ride if you’re carrying a lot of luggage.
Once you arrive in Oaxaca, you’ll be dropped off at the main station, Central de Autobuses de Oaxaca. This bus terminal is located on the northeast, around 10 to 15 minutes by taxi from the city centre. Taxi fares start from 50 MXN ($2.45).
Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca by Flight
Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes Cost: From 2,800 MXN ($135)
If you check out flight deals on booking platforms like Skyscanner, you’ll notice that there are no direct flights for this route. This is not because they don’t exist, but because they are operated by two small local airlines called Aerotucan and Aerovega.
A direct flight from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca is the fastest way, but also an expensive one.
If you’re staying further away or carrying huge luggage, you can also get a taxi with rates from 50 MXN ($2.45).
Step 2: Flight from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido
Duration: 40 minutes Cost: From 2,500 MXN ($120)
If you choose this option, don’t expect any big jumbo-jet that most of us are used to flying on, the planes from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido are small! If you are not comfortable with single propeller planes, it’s probably better to avoid this and stick to any of the land options or make a layover.
With limited seats, tickets tend to sell out quickly so it’s better to book ahead. Flight prices start from 2,500 MXN ($120).
Booking with Aerotucan
Both airlines offer one departure a day. An Aerotucan flight usually departs in the morning and a ticket costs around 3,300 MXN ($160). You can easily book flights online through the Aerotucan website, or you can go to their ticket counter at Puerto Escondido Airport and book there directly.
Booking with Aerovega
Aerovega is an even smaller airline with just one 6-passenger plane. Their information online is almost non-existent and the pilot does most of the duties including the booking. Don’t worry, Don Vega is a well known and experienced pilot in the area and many travellers recommend flying with him over Aerotucan.
To check availability and prices, you’ll need to send an email to [email protected] or message them on WhatsApp +529545880062. If you don’t succeed, it’s best to call him directly. The pilot speaks English, and his rates are often cheaper than Aerotucan, starting from 2,500 MXN ($120).
Indirect option with a layover in Mexico city
If you still don’t fancy the idea of bumpy roads and a long journey but want to fly on a bigger plane, you can consider a layover in Mexico City. This will increase the travel time to at least six hours. If this sounds ok for you, you can check flights on Skyscanner.
Step 3: Oaxaca Airport to City Centre
Duration: 25 minutes Cost: From 250 MXN ($12)
From Oaxaca International Airport, you’ll need to travel 8km north to get to the city centre. A private transfer is the most convenient option.
You can prepay a taxi from the taxi counter at the airport. Rates depend on where you’re headed, but start at around 250 MXN ($12). Travel time with a taxi is around 25 minutes. Note that Uber and other taxi-hailing apps do not work in Oaxaca.
If you want a cheaper option, there is a service of shared minivans also known as ‘Colectivos’ that depart from the airport and take you straight to your accommodation. The only downside is that they may take a little longer than the taxi, as they will drop off other passengers too. The colectivo ticket office is in the airport’s main hall and a ticket costs 90 MXN ($4.40).
Located at the start of the historic centre, Ayook is housed within the remnants of an 18th century house. It’s interior boasts a warm and cozy feel, thanks to its large wooden features and intricate lighting.
After just a glimpse at the hotel’s pictures, you’re guaranteed to want to stay here!
You’ll feel like you’re staying in the height of luxury, without paying the price for it. The luxury continues with the à la carte breakfast served to you every morning. The beds are huge, with memory foam pillows, perfect for starfishing all night long.
Set within a colonial building, the hotel's interior and design creates a unique blend of the new and the old. The large roof terrace gives you the chance to sit back and reflect over the city of Oaxaca. You’re also only minutes away from some of the biggest attractions in Oaxaca City.
The open central courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy your complimentary breakfast each morning before adventuring through the city. All of the rooms have their own patio, offering you some privacy and a personal place to relax.
Situated minutes from Downtown Oaxaca, the cathedral and the flea market, you’ll be able to see all of this from Casa El Mundo’s rooftop terrace. The Mezcal they serve at the rooftop bar is to-die-for, and if you can’t get enough, they even do a Mezcal tour.
The hosts welcome you like family, offering tips on all of the best places to visit in Oaxaca. The whole hotel is clean and bursting with colour wherever you look.