A lot of information online about the travel routes between Oacaca City and the Oaxacan coast is no longer correct! Much has changed in 2024, which is why I decided to summarize the current situation here.

In January 2024, a new expressway finally opened between Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido. This has shortened the journey to about 3 hours.

It used to take about 10 hours and went along some windy mountain passes notorious for inducing car sickness. While the old mountain routes are still being serviced by some bus companies, the new route is clearly the way to go now for fast direct transport to/from the coast.

As a result, you can ignore suggestions to take small propellor flights or private transfers across the mountains, which no longer offer any clear benefits. Travel to destinations like Mazunte or Puerto Angel has also been greatly simplified.

I’ll quickly share the details below.

You can use this information to…

  • Travel between Mazunte and Oaxaca City
  • Travel between Zipolite and Oaxaca City
  • Travel between San Agustinillo and Oaxaca City
  • Travel between Puerto Ángel and Oaxaca City
  • Travel between Huatalco and Oaxaca City

(Hey, Google! You got that?)

Alright, let’s go.

Oaxaca City ↔ Puerto Escondido

Coach buses are now by far the easiest travel method on this route. Check the ADO coach bus website for options (ADO also owns other brands like OCC).

The direct route will take about 3 hours and should cost around 300 MXN one-way (which is approximately 18 USD or EUR). For example, you can depart Oaxaca City at 7.15AM, 9AM, or 10.15AM and still spend the afternoon in Puerto Escondido.

Pay attention as a few of the buses still go the long way round! The old road will take 10 hours instead of 3.

In Oaxaca City, coach buses depart from the first-class bus terminal.
In Puerto Escondido, you’ll want to head to the ADO bus terminal here.

Oaxaca City ↔ Mazunte, Zipolite, Puerto Angel, Huatalco

The one thing to know is that there are no direct bus services between Oaxaca City and these coastal destinations. You’ll need to make one change in either Puerto Escondido or Pochutla.

Option 1: Going via Puerto Escondido

From Oaxaca City, make your way to Puerto Escondido. Travel between Puerto Escondido and all the other towns further east is quite simple, with local colectivos (minibus services) and larger buses departing on a roughly hourly basis.

Many of them stop just across the street from the ADO coach bus terminal in Puerto Escondido. If you use the local colectivo transport, it might cost you just $2 or so.

Option 2: Going via Pochutla

Pochutla is the biggest city and transport hub near Mazunte, Zipolite, Puerto Angel, and Huatalco.

Twice a day there is a direct coach bus by ADO from Oaxaca City to Pochutla, at 9AM and 16.30PM. This takes about 4 hours. From Pochutla to Oaxaca City there are coaches at 8.30AM and 18.10PM.

Because there are limited services, you may wish to buy your ticket online in advance. You can use the ADO app or website to book tickets (the same way as anywhere else in Mexico).

In Pochutla, you’ll find multiple options for this local transportation to your final destination:

  1. You can hop on a camioneta, a pickup truck that serves as a form of cheap public transportation.
  2. There are also collectivos — shared van services. They go at random times so you just have to catch one.
  3. Grab a taxi. In the case of Pochutla to Mazunte, this will cost about 200 MXN and takes about 10-15 minutes.

Minibus services

Besides the larger coach buses from companies like ADO, there are also various local minibus companies travelling between the Oaxacan coast and Oaxaca City.

Eclipse 70 goes every half hour to/from Pochutla. You can find their terminal here in Pochutla. They mostly operate smaller minivans.

Lineas Unidas seems to go whenever a bus is full. You can find their terminal here in Pochutla, across the street. They mostly operate larger minibuses with 18 seats. The cost in 2023 was 300 MXN to Oaxaca and you can also select your seat.

Rapidos de Pochutla is another transport company. I wasn’t able to gather more information on them but they’re right across the street from Lineas Unidas.

As far as I’m aware, these still use the windy mountain roads rather than the highway. The journey from Oaxaca City to Pochutla takes about 6 hours, still making it competitive with the infrequent 4-hour coach service. If you miss the twice-a-day ADO service between Oaxaca City and Pochutla, the minibuses are a good alternative.

You generally do not need to buy tickets in advance as these minibus services go all the time.

Traveling via San Jose del Pacifico

One reason to still travel via the mountain road is to make a stop at the town of San Jose del Pacifico.

It’s a small mountain town favored by hippie types and backpackers in particular, with lots of nature and delicious food. You can stay here in wooden eco-hotels, such as Alto de La Sierra or the backpacker hostel of Bostel Rancho Viejo.

In this case, you’ll want to take the minibus service between Oaxaca City and Pochutla, for instance with Eclipse 70, and stop at San Jose del Pacifico.

And that’s it!

If you’re travelling to/from Puerto Escondido, just take the coach bus. If your destination or starting point is Mazunte, Zipolite, Puerto Angel, or elsewhere on the coast, you should travel via Pochutla.

My first time travelling to Mazunte it actually took me several days to find this information, as it wasn’t that clearly stated, which motivated me to share the details here.

Many blogs offer car rental service, though I doubt it makes sense for a point-to-point trip, unless you are maybe planning some kind of circular road trip through Oaxaca state. There are also propellor plane services between the coast and Oaxaca, but these are expensive and no longer competitive since the opening of the new road.

I hope this post has helped you on your trip! Don’t miss my travel guide to Oaxaca as well as these best things to do in Oaxaca City.

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