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Oaxaca, Mexico: Explore Its Wonders Without Getting Lost

Getting to Oaxaca is an important part of planning your trip to the city. So, how to get to Oaxaca? You can get to the city either by plane, by bus, or by car.

By plane

Getting to the city by plane can be the most costly part of your visit. There is only one direct flight from the United States, via Continental. But you can reach Mexico City airport from many cities around the world. Search the major search engines and airline websites to get the best deals. The airlines below fly in and fly out of Oaxaca:

Aerocaribe: (951) 516.0229 & 516.0266
Aeromexico: (951)516.1066 & 516.3765
Aerotucan: (951) 501.0532 & 501.0530
Aviacsa: (951) 518.4555 & 518.4566
Avolar: Mexico 01 800 21-AVOLAR (286527), USA 1 888 3-AVOLAR (286527)
Continental: (951) 503 3414 & 503 3415
Mexicana: (951) 516.7352 & 516.8414

By bus

You can also get to the city by bus. Getting to Oaxaca by bus is a great choice if you want to see the breathtaking sceneries on the way to Oaxaca. The bus line ADO offers different classes of buses: UNO (executive line), PLUS (luxury line), OCC (first class), and SUR (economy class). We highly recommend that you take either UNO or PLUS as it is worth your few extra money.

You can book your reservation at the bus terminal an hour before the bus departs. You can also reserve tickets using your credit card. If you are in Mexico City, call (55) 5133.2424. Or if you are anywhere in the country, call 01.800.702.8000.

By car

Getting to Oaxaca by car is also a great way to see the beautiful sights that Mexico has to offer. Traveling by car is incredibly efficient with a high-speed toll road. Many roads are in good condition, making your travel bliss. There are few gas stations outside Mexico City, so make sure to gas up  Here are some of the routes to the city:

From Mexico City take Highway 150 (takes about 5 hours)
From Huatulco take Highway 175 (takes about 6 hours)
From Puebla take Highway 150 (takes about 4 hours).
From Puerto Escondido take Highway 175 (takes 7 hours)

Transportation

Getting around Oaxaca is an enjoyable experience as the city has an affordable and fairly efficient urban transport system. You can explore the city by taxi, by hired car, or by bus. You can also get around the city on foot to give you a close look at Oaxaca’s exceptional character.

By taxi

If you are itching to see any of the small villages and great archaeological sites around Oaxaca, you can take a taxi for around $100 pesos per hour. You have to negotiate the price before you take off to avoid any confusion and misunderstanding later in your tour. If you have an adventurer inside you, go for Colectivo Taxis that pass by various villages. These taxis are scattered around the Central de Abastos.

If you are staying in a hotel, request the front desk to hail a cab for you. When getting around Oaxaca, you should only take radio taxis (Tel 954/582-0990) or “sitios” or taxis that are based at designated stands (Tel 958/587-0712). Always take note of the taxi driver’s name and the cab’s license plate number.

By car

If you prefer to hire a car and drive all by yourself, Oaxaca has a lot of car rental companies that offer competitive prices. Contact the following:

Alamo – Nº 203, 5 de Mayo St., Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City. (Tel 951/514-8534)

Budget – Nº 315, 5 de Mayo St., across from the Camino Real Oaxaca, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City. (Tel 951/515-4445; 951/511-5252 at the airport)

Hertz – Plaza Labastida 115-49, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City. (Tel 951/516-2434; 951/511-5478 at the airport)

By bus

Buses to Guelatao, Mitla, Teotitlan de Valle, and Tlacolula leave from the Second Class Bus Station across the Central de Abastos. Collectivo buses also leave from the streets surrounding the Central de Abastos. On the other hand, buses to Monte Alban leave the station every 30 minutes from 8 am until 3:30 pm from the Hotel Rivera de Angel, 518 Mina.

Flights

There are several airlines that provide services going to Oaxaca City in Mexico. Among them are Continental ExpressJet offering flights from Houston, Volaris from Tijuana, Aeroméxico with daily flights from Mexico City, and Aerovega featuring Aero-Commander, which is a seven-passenger twin-engine flying from Puerto Escondido and Bahías de Huatulco.

Airport

Xoxocotlán International Airport is Oaxaca’s international airport, which thus follows to say that it is the facility that caters to international flights going to and from and the city. It is just 15 minutes south of Oaxaca City. It is good to note that the airport has a restaurant that is renowned to be one of the best in the country. Additionally, it provides travelers with free wireless internet service you can use while waiting for your flight.

Travel Tips

For your convenience, you will need to get to the airport 2 hours before your departure time for domestic flights and 3 hours before for international flights. To check-in, you will need a ticket and a valid photo for domestic flights, while you’ll need a ticket, a passport, and a visa to be checked in for international flights.

Below is a list of items that are prohibited to be carried into the departure lounges:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Blades and knives
  • Cutting instruments
  • Sharp and pointed items
  • Sports equipment
  • Toxins and other hazardous materials
  • Toy weapons
  • Metal nail files
  • Lighter
  • Liquids

For your safety, it is advised for you to not leave your baggage unattended. It’s also wise not to agree to carry any package that belongs to other people.

Buses

Traveling by bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca would mean sitting back in a comfortable seat and watching good movies over-air-conditioned environment. First-class buses going to the city offer affordable fare rates, which makes it convenient to take when traveling from Mexico City. However, because the city is 325 miles away from Oaxaca, taking a bus may require some effort, but nonetheless will save time and money.

To find a departure schedule, it’s best to check at the websites of the major bus companies in Oaxaca or Mexico cities. While there, also find the nearest Metro station from the bus station you will be departing. It is always advised that you go to the bus station a day before your departure date to avoid any inconvenience. Prices of bus tickets usually vary depending on the time you purchased it – so buy them ahead of time to save some cash.

Bus Stations in Oaxaca

When in Oaxaca, you will learn that the city has two major bus stations. These are ADO Terminal for first-class buses, and Terminal Terrestre for second-class buses. The ADO Terminal usually caters to bus routes from and to Mexico City. It also provides services to Veracruz City, Villahermosa, Tuxtepec and Palenque cities. The station is located just west of the city’s baseball stadium.

Sandy

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