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Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido – Costs and Travel Times By Bus and Planes

How to Go From Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido by Bus and Plane

If you’re reading this post you’re probably planning on going from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido (or in reverse – Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca). If so, you’re in luck. I just did this trip both by bus and by plane.

playa zicatela puerto escondido

Playa Zicatela Puerto Escondido

I’m sure that you’ve already done your preliminary research but just to be clear, Oaxaca is the state and Oaxaca City is the capital of the state. In this post, when I say ‘Oaxaca’, I am actually referring to the Oaxaca City. The small coastal/beach town Puerto Escondido is 256km south-west of Oaxaca City.

Please note that the information and prices in this post are based on my trip from December 27th 2016 to January 6th, 2017. The post gives you my experience traveling between the two cities and my personal recommendation on how to do it based on your budget.

Now let’s get down to the real information…

There are a few options if you want to travel between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido. My preference is flying, but let’s go through your options. The summary below is a bit of a spoiler, but it shows the cost and time of each transport option.

Video of flight from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca City with AeroVega

How long does it take to go from Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido? And how much does it cost to go from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido?

 

  1. ADO Buses – Minimum Cost 250 pesos ($25USD); Time 10 hrs
  2. Camionetas (Small Minibuses) – Minimum cost $200 pesos ($20USD); Time 7 hrs
  3. Small Planes – Minimum cost $1700 pesos ($85USD); Time 25 minutes

 

 

  Taking a Bus from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido

 

There are basically two options if you want to take a bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. You can take the big comfortable ADO buses or the smaller camionetas (mini-buses). They both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the time and money you have budgeted for your trip.

A word of caution: If you’re taking a bus, whether it’s the deluxe ADO or a basic camioneta, expect the unexpected. By that I mean give yourself a buffer of time just in case something happens on the highway (especially if you’re on the way back to Oaxaca to catch a flight).

 

Taking the ADO bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

The big ADO buses take about 10 hours to get from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. Most travellers take the overnight bus. They leave at 9:30pm and arrive to the beach the next morning around 7am. The main advantages of taking the big ADO bus is that they are much more comfortable, they have bathrooms on board, and you can save money that you would otherwise spend on a hotel room by travelling overnight.

Although I didn’t take the ADO bus on this trip, from past trips I can say that they are very modern and comfortable. Based on a search I did on the ADO website, it appears that there are 4 departures daily.  The cost of the ADO bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is between $266 pesos to $355pesos depending on your departure time. As mentioned earlier, most people tend to take the 9:30pm bus because it doubles as a hotel room since you travel by night. For that reason this time slot is the most expensive and sells out pretty quickly. I recommend buying your ticket at least 24 hours before to avoid disappointment.

The ADO website allows you to prebook your seat using debit or credit card. However, if the online booking doesn’t work, just ask where the ADO bus station is and buy your ticket directly from them.

ado bus oaxaca to puerto escondido

Bus schedule Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

 

Taking a Camioneta Bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

Taking a smaller mini-bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is your second option. The advantage of taking these buses is that you can arrive faster and they give you more departure times than the ADO buses. The trip from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido by camioneta will take you approximately 6-7 hours depending on traffic.

The obvious disadvantages are: there is no bathroom on board and they can get pretty crowded and stuffy.

Transportes Villa del Pacifico Bus Schedule: This company has camionetas (mini-buses) that leave from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido once an hour. The first bus leaves at 3:30 am and the last bus leaves at 11:00pm. The bus schedule from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca is the same. See a photo of the bus schedule I took on December 29th, 2016.

Address: Galeana 322, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca

bus schedule oaxaca to puerto escondido

Transportes Villa del Pacifico – Bus Schedule Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

I decided to take this option since I was told that it would take about 3-4 hours less than the ADO bus. As luck would have it, I traveled on a day when there was a religious procession taking place. People were doing a religious pilgrimage along the highway – some running and others biking. Every time our bus came up behind a group we had to come to a near complete crawl before carefully passing them.

oaxaca to puerto escondido buses

Waiting for the camioneta to Puerto Escondido

The Transportes Villa del Pacifico waiting area is very basic – blue plastic chairs, a flat screen TV and two ticket booths. If you need to get water or snacks for your trip, there is a small pharmacy and variety store across the street.

Transportes Villa Del Pacifico

Villa del pacifico window

We made a few stops along the way to drop off and pick up passengers. Additionally, we made one 30-minute stop to use the bathroom and to buy food and snacks. After the food stop I drifted off and fell asleep for the first time. When I woke up we were stopped at a roadside vulcanizing shop where the bus was being jacked up. According to the driver, the bus’s handbrake was failing. Although I wasn’t happy that we were losing time, I was very thankful that were stopped to fix the brakes. 45 minutes later we were back on our way…

mechanic in mexico

The mechanic who fixed our hand brake

Instead of taking the promised 6 hours, we ended up taking about 9 hours. We basically wasted a complete day of our trip sitting on a bus. If you’re on a long trip then 9 hours probably isn’t a big deal, but if you’re on a 1 or 2 week vacation, 9 hours can be an eternity.

If you get motion sickness, I suggest that you take a Dramamine or Gravol pill since the journey is quite bumpy with twists and turns as you go through the mountains.

Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido by Car

Driving from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

Had I known that flying from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido was so easy, I would have avoided taking the bus altogether.

Flights from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

Flying from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido can be a bit complicated and expensive if you use the popular search sites like Expedia, Sky Scanner and CheapOAir. Expect to pay anywhere from $200-$500USD to fly on airlines like InterJet and AeroMexico.

Once you do a search you will notice that most major airlines that fly this route go through Mexico City to get to Puerto Escondido. If you look at a map of Mexico you will see that by going through Mexico City, you will be backtracking up North from Oaxaca City instead of going a short distance south to Puerto Escondido.

With that being said, if you have the budget for a flight, it sure beats sitting on a bus for anywhere from 6.5 hours to 12 hours – especially if you suffer from motion sickness or stomach problems.

 

mexico city to oaxaca flight

 

Cheap flights from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido – Cessna Planes and Beautiful Scenery

 

After going through the torture of sitting in a mini-bus for 9 hours, I decided that once my stint on the beach was over, I needed to take a flight back to Oaxaca. I found out that are cheaper and faster options to fly between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido. There are a few small airlines and private individuals who make daily flights between the cities using small Cessna planes. The most popular of these airlines is AeroTucan. AeroTucan has a counter in the Oaxaca City Airport and the Puerto Escondido Airport. You can purchase your tickets directly at these counters anytime before your flight.

Although flight prices with AeroTucan may change depending on the time of year, I was quoted $2095 pesos for a one way flight from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca City. That is just about $110USD for the one-way trip.

Because these planes are small, seats sell out quickly during high season – trust me I couldn’t get a flights for 3 days.  So once again to avoid disappointment, I suggest pre-booking your flight a few days in advance.

AeroTucan has a website that shows availability and prices, however, it is best to call them directly or go to their counter at the airport for more reliable information. When I checked online, the website said that there were zero seats available, but when I called them, they said they had 2 seats available for the same date.

 

 

 

aero tucan flight schedule oaxaca to puertoescondido

AeroTucan Flight Schedule Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

AeroTucan flies once a day from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido and once a day from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca.

Aero Tucan Flights From Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido

Monday to Saturday: 7am
Sunday: 12pm

Aero Tucan Flights from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

Monday to Saturday: 8am daily
Sundays: 1pm daily

 

Flying from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca with AeroVega ( Don Vega) – My Personal Recommendation

 

Cost of Cessna Flight with AeroVega: $1700 pesos ($85 USD)

Contact Don Vega in Puerto Escondido: aerovegapto@gmail.com or +1 044 954 588 0062

 

Captain Vega flying from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

 

Since all the AeroTucan flights were sold out, I decided to dig a little deeper online. Consequently, I found a blog written by a travel blogger who had taken a private Cessna plane with a guy called Captain Vega. She claimed to have had a great, stress free experience flying with the captain on his 6-passenger plane. I followed her guidance and did exactly as she said. I ended up flying with CapiVega from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca.

 

My Experience with Don Vega and his Cessna Plane

 

I contacted Don Vega using the phone number provided on the blog. Much to my surprise, it was his real cell phone number and it was still in use.

Although I spoke to the captain in Spanish, he also speaks great english, so if you don’t speak Spanish, this isn’t a problem. I asked him if he had any availability for January 3rd and he said he was fully booked. However, he had 3 spots left for January 4th and the cost was $1700 pesos ($80USD). Without hesitation I said I would take two spots on that flight (since I was traveling with a friend of mine).

CapiVega Puerto Escondido

The captain took my name, my friend’s name and the name of the hotel where we were staying. He instructed us to be at the Puerto Escondido Airport at 7:30am on the 4th. He didn’t ask for a deposit or a copy of our identification. All he asked was that we show up. This made a bit nervous because I didn’t have a confirmation number or reservation code – just the word of a guy on the phone.

In the spirit of being a true Canadian, I took some additionally cautionary steps. I went to the airport the day before my flights to ask the airport staff if they had ever met the captain and where he usually meets his passengers. They all told me not to worry because the captain always shows up and meets his passengers in front of the little cafe/eatery in the airport. To push things a little further, I asked someone from ticket sales at the airport to call the captain – just to confirm my booking. Everything checked out – the captain answered the phone and said that he had two spots reserved in my name.

Just to be absolutely anal, I sent the captain an email (aerovegapto@gmail.com) with my details and confirmed that I would be there on Wednesday 🙂

 

On the morning of the 4th we showed up at 7am to wait for the captain. He walked into the airport at 7:20 and approached us with a clipboard in his hands. He asked “Eres Joel?” (are you Joel). I shook his hand and introduced myself. He asked me to write my name on a form that he had attached to the clipboard. He didn’t ask for ID or payment. Instead he instructed us to wait in front of a little door while he rounded up the other 3 passengers. 10 minutes later he returned with an elderly couple and a woman in her 40’s. From the way they were chatting, it seemed as though they had traveled with Capi Vega before.

plane from puerto escondido to oaxaca

Minutes after, we walked through a small door labeled “C” with all of our bags. A guard gave everyone a quick pat down but didn’t check or scan our luggage. We then walked onto the tarmac and headed right to Mr. Vega’s green and white Cessna.

I told the captain that I am a photographer and he asked me if I wanted to sit upfront with him in the other pilot’s seat. Naturally I obliged and took my place beside him, happy as a kid in a candy shot.

At 7:50 we were racing down the runway headed for Oaxaca City.

Cessna Interior Oaxaca

Inside CapiVega’s Cessna Plane before takeoff

Don Vega we nice enough to fly over Playa Zicatela so we could get a view from above, then he did a little circle around Puerto Escondido. After that was headed towards the mountains. I was able to snap a few really nice photos from the window of the mountains and dramatic sky.

If you’ve never been on a small plane this will be quite the adventure and experience. Most of the flight is very smooth, but there are points where the plane hits air pockets. We hit about 2 minutes of turbulence where the plane made some small dips and shifts from left to right. If you are really afraid of flying, this might not be the best option from you.

 

view of mountains in oaxaca

View from the cockpit of CapiVega’s Cessna

As promised, we touched down 25 minutes later at the Oaxaca City airport. We took our bags off the plane, walked into the airport, paid the captain $1700 pesos each and said our farewells.

If you have the additional 1700 pesos ($85) dollars to spend on a flight, I highly recommend flying from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca with Don Vega. You will save valuable hours of your life and avoid the discomforts that come with taking a bus through the mountains.

Have you done this trip recently? If so, please feel free to share your experience and opinions in a comment below.

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the fantastic, detailed information. This is extremely helpful! I’ll be making the trip from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido soon and will definitely give Don Vega a call. 🙂

    • Laura. I am happy that you found it helpful. It’s much more helpful when you’re on that plane avoiding the longggg bus ride. Let me know how it goes when you make the trip. I would love to hear about your experience and I am sure others would too.

  2. What is Capi Vega’s phone number? I want to do this option. Thank you.

  3. Hey Joel.

    I’m glad you posted this info!

    I’m a long time friend of Capi Juan Carlos.

    Nice video too.

    I’ll share this and put a link up on my website https://themexykan.com

    Tony aka The Mexykan

  4. Thanks I am in Oaxaca now and that’ information is priceless

  5. Thank yo so much for this analysis! I have spent so much time trying to figure out the best way to do this. Sold on Don Vega.

  6. I will be going from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca on May 16. I emailed Captain Vega and he responded with the price (1800) but no reservation time or commitment. Should I consider this a firm booking?

    • Roy. Firstly, what email address did you use? Jacques said that his email to Capi Vega didn’t go through. Perhaps you can respond to his question. Secondly, the captain is pretty lax when it comes to confirmation but apparently he always shows up. As in my case. However, I would get on skype or just call him from your phone. He speaks perfect english. He will take your name and confirm the reservation. But I do warn you that the confirmation is very very casual. I was freaking out because he just said to show up and I didn’t have a reservation number or anything. Just his word. I think that the phone call is the best way to go.

  7. Hey this information is great me and girlfriend want to take this route in a couple of days. But the email given here doesn’t seem to work ? Is there another way of contacting him through email we don’t have SIM cards for Mexico yet

    • Jacques. I have no idea. Perhaps his email is full. It worked for me when I used it in December. Does anyone else on this thread know of another email?

    • I recommend calling him. If you are in Oaxaca city you can go to the front desk of the Hotel Monte Alban right next to the post office in front of the church on the zocalo. You can make a reservation there. Capi Juan Carlos is very laid back and professional. I’ve known him for about 16 years. He’s flown this route about 15,000 times he estimates over the last 30 years or so.

      • Hey guys I figured out I spelt the email wrong ! Haha but I have sent an email waiting on a reply, I think I’ll do what tony said today and go to the front desk of the hotel and also find out some more information we only got in here late last night so we have some looking around to do for the next 3 or so days thanks 🙂

        • Human error. It happens to us all. Good luck on your trip. Let us know how it goes – Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido are very special places.

      • Thanks Tony. Make sure you say hi to the captain for me.

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