Oaxaca to Huatulco: 5 Best Transportation Options (2024)

Trying to decide the best way to travel from Oaxaca to Huatulco?

You’ve come to the right place. I live in Oaxaca City and I love to travel to Huatulco when friends and family visit.

There are several transportation options from Oaxaca to Huatulco. The best one for you will depend on your budget and the amount of time you have.

The options include taking a flight from Oaxaca to Huatulco, hiring a private driver, driving to Huatulco, taking an overnight bus, or taking a shared minivan.

Each option is detailed below, listed in roughly the order of most to least expensive. Ready to travel from Oaxaca to Huatulco? Let’s go.

After you travel from Oaxaca to Huatulco, you'll be rewarded with these dramatic, rugged cliffs that drop into the Pacific Ocean as white caps flow into the jagged rocks below.

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How Do I Get From Oaxaca to Huatulco?

There are five main transportation options to get from Oaxaca to Huatulco. The best option for you will depend on your budget and schedule.

I’ve listed each below with a link to book or more details. Keep in mind, times and pricing is estimated and subject to change.

1. Take a Flight From Oaxaca to Huatulco

If you simply searched Google Flights, you’d think all flights from Oaxaca to Huatulco make a stop in Mexico City. However, there are two smaller companies that have direct flights from Oaxaca to Huatulco.

Both are small planes with limited luggage space, so be prepared to pay extra if you have a heavy bag. The most commonly used is AeroTucan which has one flight daily as well as a return from Huatulco to Oaxaca.

How to book a direct flight from Oaxaca to Huatulco with Aerotucan

  • Book a direct flight via their website
  • Walk into the Oaxaca City office to book (see map)
  • Reserve at the ticket counter in the Oaxaca airport
  • Call to book a direct flight over the phone

The other option is to book a Oaxaca to Huatulco flight with Juan Vega who owns and operates Aerovega. Similarly, he also offers just one flight per day. He speaks Spanish and English. You can contact him at +52 951-516-4982.

Transportation From Huatulco Airport

To avoid the hassle of finding transportation when you arrive, book an airport transfer ahead of time. They will wait for your flight to arrive and drop you off at your hotel in Huatulco. You can choose shared or private transportation from the Huatulco airport, both of which I’ve listed below.

This shared shuttle van has air conditioning and room for your luggage. If you are a group, you should book this private luxury transportation which welcomes you in style with beer and soft drinks.

2. Hire a Private Car From Oaxaca to Huatulco

Your Oaxaca to Huatulco transportation will take you to Las Bahias de Huatulco. In the center of it all is Santa Cruz Bay. This overview shot of the marina is full of boats. Just past the buildings on the left is Santa Cruz Bay, one of the most popular beaches in Huatulco, Mexico.

If you prefer to travel from Oaxaca to Huatulco without any worries, you can hire a private driver to take you. While this sounds luxurious and expensive, it is a great option for groups since you can share the cost.

When you book this private driver from Oaxaca to Huatulco, you will have the freedom to make stops along the way which you simply cannot do in the bus or shared minivan. The reviews highlight the driver’s professionalism and knowledge of the area.

Tomas drove us from Oaxaca to Huatulco. He was such a brilliant tour guide, pointing out all the interesting stops and sights along the way, and giving us a rich history of the area… Tomas’ English is perfect and he taught us Spanish too.

-Viator Review (Read More Reviews)

The van fits up to 8 people and the cost starts at $450, depending on your group size. The 6-7 hour drive passes through the mountains of Oaxaca and Pluma Hidalgo (known for coffee) on the way to Huatulco.

3. Driving From Oaxaca to Huatulco

If you want to take the time to explore places along the route, consider driving from Oaxaca to Huatulco. While this twisty mountain road isn’t for the faint-hearted, it can be fun for experienced drivers.

Plus, views of the misty mountains, waterfalls, and coffee farms are all too tempting not to stop. The drive takes about 6 hours via Highway 175, plus factor in time for stops. In fact, I highly recommend stopping in the cute coffee town of Pluma Hidalgo before you get to Huatulco.

When you rent a car in Oaxaca City, you’ll be able to stop wherever your heart desires. The cost of the rental car will depend on what type of car you choose as well as the length of the rental.

After the transport from Oaxaca to Huatulco, you can enjoy this bay of light golden sand, turquoise water, and a cliff with green trees. A red flag anchored in the rocks on a beach in Huatulco indicates it is not safe for swimming.

You will also need to consider the cost of gas and any road trip snacks you decide to bring. Although my suggestion would be to save your appetite for the many comedores you’ll find on the way. Not only do they provide more nutritious food, but you will help support the local economy.

If you have an experienced driver in your group that’s willing to do the work, driving to Huatulco may be your best option because having a car is the most convenient way to see all of the beaches in Huatulco.

While I think they are some of the most beautiful of all the Oaxaca beaches, several require a car or taxi to get there. Just like the drive from Oaxaca to Huatulco, having a car gives you the freedom to go where you want.

4. Overnight Bus From Oaxaca to Huatulco

The overnight ADO bus from Oaxaca to Huatulco is a good option for those that are able to catch some shut-eye on a bus. On the overnight buses, they usually dim the lights by 11 pm and turn off the movies.

With the right equipment, such as a travel pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs, I usually have no trouble sleeping on these buses since the seat reclines.

Tip – If you take a night bus, you MUST keep your valuables on your lap, not on the floor or above the seat. 

These buses are sometimes cold, though I notice that less in Oaxaca. Nonetheless, it’s always more comfortable to bring a jacket or light blanket.

It takes about 8 hours on the bus from Oaxaca to Huatulco since it uses the less curvy highway through Salina Cruz. The cost is 500-700 pesos ($30-40) depending on which level of luxury you choose. And you may find prices closer to 400-600 pesos ($25-35) if you book online 2-3 weeks in advance.

5. Take a Shared Minivan (aka Colectivo)

A shared minivan from Oaxaca to Huatulco is the most economical transport option. For about 300 pesos, you can take a colectivo van from Oaxaca City to Huatulco via Highway 175.

The route is more direct than taking this highway from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. It takes about 6 hours and includes a brief bathroom break in San Jose del Pacifico.

Many travelers end up with motion sickness on this route. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to buy a non-drowsy Dramamine. Or if you aren’t prone to motion sickness, but want something just in case, I also like ginger candies which are known to help as well.

There are at least two companies that travel from Oaxaca to Huatulco. The first is Transportes Huatulco 2000 (see map) and the other is Colombo Huatulco (see map).

How to Get From Huatulco to Oaxaca

On the outside of the building for transportation from Huatulco to Oaxaca, hand painted letters and a boat graphic are painted on the wall. They say Expresos Colombo Huatulco and Salidas a Oaxaca.Above the archway entrances are the painted letters of towns they stop at, including Pluma Hidalgo and San Jose del Pacifico.

Traveling from Huatulco to Oaxaca, there are pretty much the same transportation options (in reverse). If you’ve already rented a car to travel to Huatulco, then it probably makes sense to keep it to return to Oaxaca City. The flights from Huatulco to Oaxaca are also limited to one per day via Aerotucan and Aerovega.

The ADO of course does the same route in reverse. And if you prefer the budget option of a colectivo, both Colombo (map) and Huatulco 2000 (map) have terminals in La Crucecita, Huatulco.

Questions About Traveling Oaxaca to Huatulco

How do I get from Oaxaca to Huatulco?

There are several ways to get from Oaxaca to Huatulco. The best option will depend on your budget and the amount of time you have. Of course, the quickest options tend to be the most expensive, though not always.

How far is Huatulco from downtown Oaxaca?

Huatulco is a 6-hour drive from downtown Oaxaca. It is one of the closest beaches to Oaxaca City. The drive passes through mountains and becomes curvier as you get closer to the coast. You can also opt to take a 45-minute flight to Huatulco from the Oaxaca airport.

Is Huatulco worth visiting?

Huatulco is definitely worth visiting if you love beautiful beaches with bays of turquoise water. The mountains in this area come right up to the coast and create dramatic cliff drops into the ocean. In addition, there are a lot of waterfalls and mountain activities to explore nearby.

How many days do I need in Huatulco?

You could easily spend a week in Huatulco, although 3-5 days should be sufficient. There are 9 bays with over 30 different beaches to explore. In addition, the nearby mountains have wonderful waterfalls and coffee farms to visit.

What is the closest beach to Oaxaca City?

Technically, Puerto Angel is the closest beach to Oaxaca City. But Huatulco comes in a close second (just a few km and about 10 minutes more by car). At that point, the time difference is negligible and you should simply choose which town appeals to you most.