best beach in huatulco | oaxaca to huatulco mexico

Oaxaca to Huatulco: 4 Best Transport Options in 2022

Traveling from Oaxaca City to Huatulco, Mexico?

You’re in the right place because I live in Mexico, and I’ve done the Oaxaca to Huatulco trip before.

In this article, you’ll learn about the four ways to get from Oaxaca City to Huatulco and all the other beaches in Oaxaca Mexico near Huatulco, like Mazunte and Zipolite.

The best way to get to Huatulco is via private Oaxaca to Huatulco shuttle. It’s the safest, easiest, and most stress-free option, and you can book yours here!

If that’s not for you, you’ll also see how to rent a car and drive from Oaxaca to Huatulco, and get tips for taking the ADO bus to Huatulco.

For those who have the budget, the fourth and fastest way to get from Oaxaca to Huatulco is by taking a flight.

For Oaxaca flights, you have two options — AeroTucan and AeroVega. As I’ve personally done the flight, you’ll get all my Oaxaca travel tips on that below.

Ready to learn how to get to Huatulco from Oaxaca City? Let’s get to it!

OAXACA TO Huatulco mexico

What’s the best way to get from Oaxaca to Huatulco?

For most travelers, the best way to get to Huatulco from Oaxaca will come down to two things: budget and time.

Check out all your options below, with some info on the cost and amount of time each option will take. You can click on any link for more information, or to book.

How do I get from Oaxaca to Huatulco?

OAXACA TO Huatulco Private driver

Oaxaca to Huatulco Private Shuttle

oaxaca to huatulco private shuttle pricing

The safest and easiest option is to hire a private car or van to drive you to Huatulco.

It offers a nice way to see Oaxaca State on this beautiful drive — and you can request breaks to stop and try some local Oaxaca food when you’re hungry, as well as bathroom breaks when needed.

The cost for a one way trip is about $450USD, for up to eight passengers. When traveling with a group, this ends up being the most convenient, comfortable and economical way to get to Huatulco from Oaxaca City.

Tomas, our driver and tour guide, was absolutely wonderful! We had extra time in our day, so he offered several stops along the way… I couldn’t speak more highly of him and his company.

Elizabeth E. (read more reviews)

It takes about 6-7 hours, which is the same as it takes in a rental car — only you don’t have to do the driving! As you’ll see on the map below, many don’t like to drive on the road from Oaxaca to Huatulco Beach because it’s quite curvy.


Rental Car: Oaxaca to Huatulco Drive

woman renting a car in oaxaca mexico

The drive from Oaxaca City to Huatulco is beautiful, but do consider a midsize rental car or SUV. You’ll be on a very curvy mountain road with lots of switchback turns, that’s frankly not well maintained in all areas.

As mentioned, this is a bumpy and curvy road (see image), which is notoriously bad for those prone to carsickness. If you don’t do so well in cars on road trips, remember to pack your non-drowsy dramamine, or whatever helps you on the road.

While I am an avid proponent of Mexico solo travel, this isn’t a drive I recommend doing alone. Since a lot of people have told me they got sick on this drive, you want to have at least two people who can drive.

If this all sounds too risky, book the Oaxaca to Huatulco private shuttle instead.

Find Your Rental Car

What’s the best place for Oaxaca car rentals?

🚙💨 I personally use Discover Cars whenever I rent a car in Mexico. I also opt for their full coverage insurance, which is the cheapest I’ve found at only about $10USD per day!

Note: You are legally required to have Mexico driving insurance when renting a car in Oaxaca.

For the best selection, there are several Oaxaca Airport car rental companies to choose from. Head to Discover Cars and see what’s available, as sometimes you get a better deal on your car rental in Oaxaca in the Centro Historico or Reforma neighborhoods.


Oaxaca to Huatulco Map

map of the oaxaca to huatulco drive
Considering a car rental for your Oaxaca to Huatulco trip? Oaxaca Route 175 is the windy road you’ll take from Oaxaca City to Huatulco.

Use this map when you drive from Oaxaca to Huatulco — but download it so you can access the offline map, as your cell signal will go in and out when driving to Huatulco.

Note that for much of the drive, you’ll be on curvy roads that aren’t well-maintained or well-lit in all areas. For safety, make sure you only drive during daylight hours.

tips for driving your rental car from Oaxaca to Huatulco

1. Start the drive early, so you arrive in Huatulco before the sun goes down, as it’s not always safe to drive at night. The drive can take 6-7 hours, so hit the road by 11am.

2. Consider a full size car or even an SUV, as the roads are bumpy in many areas. If you’re visiting in the Oaxaca rainy season (April to October), a larger car really helps for driving on the muddy roads that can get washed out in some places.

3. Don’t forget to bring non-drowsy Dramamine if you get car sick. There are also homeopathic remedies, like anti-nausea ginger chewables, motion sickness wristbands and motion sickness patch, if you prefer not to take pills.

4. Have at least two drivers in the car, just in case one gets car sick.

5. Double check the fees if you don’t plan to drive back from Huatulco to Oaxaca City. Most Mexico car rental companies charge a hefty fee when you don’t return the car to the same place you rented it from.

Is it safe to drive in Oaxaca?

Yes — For the vast majority of travelers, it is safe to drive in Oaxaca. If you’re also wondering, Is it safe to drive from Oaxaca to Huatulco?, for most travelers this is also a very safe drive.

The one obvious caveat here is that you’ll be driving in a foreign country, where you’re unfamiliar with Mexico driving laws.

Luckily, it’s not too dissimilar than in the United States or Canada, so just have a look at the Mexico driving tips below, and enjoy your trip to Huatulco.

🚗💨 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips

1. Rent with a reputable company! As they say, “you get what you pay for.” For a reliable Oaxaca car rental company, go with Discover Cars.

2. Avoid driving at night. When you live in Mexico long enough, you start to realize many people simply avoid driving at night, if they can. If you do drive at night, stick to only main roads and highways.

3. Always use the couta roads (toll roads). Yes, they cost money, but they are much better maintained and generally considered safer. Mexico travel tip: Bring cash/pesos for the tolls.

4. Download an offline map. Your signal will go in and out as you travel through rural areas of Oaxaca, so download an offline map from Google or Maps.Me. You’ll also want to download some podcasts and music while you’re getting that map.

5. Speed limit signs are in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. You don’t have to worry about conversion math here; just make sure the speed limit sign number matches your car’s speedometer number.

6. Do not use your cell phone while you’re driving. Not only is this unsafe, it is also illegal. In fact, even having your phone in your hand is a ticket-able offense, so try not to even hold your phone while driving.

7. The rumors are true about the cops expecting bribes. If the cops pull you over, and they only will if you give them a reason to, they will expect a cash “payment” in exchange for not ticketing you.

8. Mexican roads are notorious for their abundant amount of topes (speed bumps). Make sure you keep your eyes on the road, as topes don’t always have signs alerting you to them.

9. Mexico’s gas stations are not self-serve. When you stop for gas, an attendant will pump it for you and take your payment. These people don’t actually work for the gas station, and live off tips. When they finish, it’s customary to tip them at least $10-20 pesos ($0.50-$1 USD).

10. Mexico’s traffic lights go from green to yellow, to flashing yellow for a few seconds, to finally, a red light.

11. Make sure you purchase Mexican car insurance. You are generally not covered in any way through your U.S. company when you drive in any other country.

12. Most travel insurance policies cover driving. In case you’re wondering Should I get travel insurance for Mexico? The answer is hell yes! Get a FREE quote for the Explorer Plan with World Nomads, which has the option to include Mexican car insurance.

Bloqueos: Oaxaca Road Protests

Though not common, road protests in Oaxaca do happen from time to time, and can add hours to the trip. These bloqueos, or blockades, happen when locals are protesting and essentially shut down the road that passes through their part of town.

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict these, and really no way to tell how long they will last when they do happen.

As an absolute worst case scenario, I have heard of people having to stay the night in the town the bloqueo is happening in — though this is extremely rare.

OAXACA TO Huatulco flight

Flights from Oaxaca to Huatulco Airport

The Oaxaca to Huatulco flight is the most convenient, quickest, and most expensive option. There are only two companies, AeroTucan and AeroVega, with flights from Oaxaca City to Huatulco.

If you want to fly from Oaxaca to Huatulco, book ASAP as each company offers just one flight per day. With both companies, you’ll take a 6-8 seater plane. If you’ve never been in a small plane before, check out this video to see if it seems comfortable.

From the airport, you can book private transportation to your Huatulco resort, rent a car or take a taxi. 🚕💨 Note: There’s no Uber in Huatulco, and no Lyft in Huatulco.


You’d also fly into Huatulco International Airport, and then pick up a car rental in Huatulco, grab a taxi, or take public transportation to these other Oaxaca beach towns.

You can also take the bus from Oaxaca to San Pedro Pochutla, then a cab or colectivo from there.


AeroTucan Oaxaca to Huatulco Flight

small plane going from oaxaca to huatulco and oaxaca to puerto escondiod mexico
Boarding my AeroTucan flight from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido — just one of the options for travel from Oaxaca City to Huatulco that you have.

I took the AeroTucan Oaxaca flight to Puerto Escondido, and really enjoyed it.

However, this is a small plane, and it’s a lot shakier than a large airplane. If you have claustrophobia, or don’t handle turbulence well, you might want to opt for the private driver or bus.

How do I buy tickets for Aerotucan?

If you want to take the Oaxaca to Huatulco flight with AeroTúcan, you have to book in advance via phone or at the Oaxaca Airport.

Keep in mind you might not get an English-speaking agent via phone, so have a Spanish-speaking friend or acquaintance nearby to help.

You also have the option to buy directly at the airport, as the Oaxaca Airport is just a short cab ride from downtown Oaxaca City. However, know there may or may not be an agent when you arrive, so the phone is a better option.

Buy your tickets in advance

If you want to take the AeroTucan Huatulco flight, you’ll want to get your ticket as far in advance of your flight as possible. As there’s usually just one daily flight from Oaxaca to Huatulco, you’ll want to make sure you can travel on your preferred day.

AeroTucan Flight schedule

oaxaca to huatulco flight schedule on aerotucan airline

Have a look at the image above for the AeroTucan Oaxaca to Huatulco flight schedule. This has been their schedule for some time now, but know they can change it at any time, so also double check the AeroTucan flight schedule online.

How much do tickets cost?

One way flights on AeroTúcan average about $3,000-3,500 pesos ($150-175USD).

Yes, this is a lot more than most other options, but it’s also a lot more convenient as flights are only about 30-45 minutes, whereas the drive takes 6-7 hours by car, and 8-10 hours by bus.

🤑 Oaxaca Travel Tip: AeroTucan offers a 15% discount on all Thursday flights.

Do you have luggage?

The final thing to keep in mind is your luggage weight. You are allowed 33 pounds (15kg) on AeroTucan, about 20 pounds less than larger airlines allow. My luggage was over, and I ended up with a surprise $50USD fee.

Other than that, I loved the flight and will take it again.

OAXACA TO Huatulco flight

AeroVega Oaxaca to Huatulco Flight

Actual AeroVega flight from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido, which is located not far from Huatulco. (Note: Direct flights from Oaxaca to Huatulco would be the same.)

AeroVega is owned and operated by the pilot, Juan Carlos Vega. Much like with AeroTucan, he operates a small plane with just six seats in total.

If you’ve never been on a single-engine plane of this size, check out the YouTube video above of a real experience on this flight.

If it doesn’t seem like it’s for you, and you have the budget, consider hiring a driver and private car. If you’re traveling with a group, splitting this ends up costing about the same as the plane does.

You can also rent a car, or take the ADO bus to Huatulco.

Flight cost & How to book your Aerovega flight

The flight costs about $2,000-$2,500 pesos ($100-125USD), which you will pay in cash (pesos not dollars), and book directly with Juan Vega.

While this may seem unconventional, I have met people who have flown with AeroVega, and it is a legit company — though there’s no website.

AeroVega usually only offers one flight per day, so book as far in advance as you can by calling and/or emailing the Captain Juan Vega using his contact information above.

OAXACA TO Huatulco Bus

ADO Bus from Oaxaca to Huatulco

The ADO bus from Oaxaca to Huatulco Mexico. (Photo: Ted McGrath via Flickr, ADO bus – Oaxaca to Huatulco)

The ADO bus from Oaxaca to Huatulco takes about 8-10 hours. There are daytime and overnight buses on this route, so you can sleep on the bus.

The cost for a one way ticket varies from about $500-800 pesos ($25-40USD), depending on when you’re traveling.

The bus will drop you off at the ADO Bahias de Huatulco station (📍map), located about 20-30 minutes from the beaches.

There’s no Uber in Oaxaca State, but there will be plenty of taxis waiting outside of this bus station at all hours of the day and night; just make sure to have pesos to pay.

You can check the Huatulco ADO schedule on their website, but know it’s not very user-friendly. It glitches a lot and doesn’t take United States credit cards, so I always use GuateGo when I book my Mexico bus tickets.

Is there a Oaxaca to Huatulco Colectivo?

No — While you can take the colectivo from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, there is no van from Oaxaca to Huatulco.

If you’re unfamiliar, colectivos are small shared vans, popular with budget travelers and backpackers because they are the cheapest way to get around in Mexico.

OAXACA TO Huatulco mexico

How to Get From Huatulco to Mazunte

beach town of mazunte oaxaca mexico pueblos magicos

Mazunte is one of the 135 (or so) Mexico pueblos magicos, or magic towns.

It is located about one hour west of Huatulco by rental car or taxi. The easiest and fastest way to get from Huatulco to Mazunte is to drive your rental car, then you can see all the best Oaxaca beaches.

If you don’t have a rental car, you can take a taxi. Rates can vary, but will likely run you about $500-800 pesos ($25-40USD) for the one way trip.

You can always negotiate with a taxi driver for a day rate, but know there is no Uber in Oaxaca State, so Uber isn’t an option.

☀️🏨 Planning to stay the night in Mazunte? Check out all the best hotels in Mazunte!

How to Get From Huatulco to Zipolite (Nude Beach)

beach in zipolite oaxaca mexico

Zipolite is located about 45 minutes west of Huatulco, and 15 minutes east of Mazunte.

It is well known as the only nude beach in Mexico, but there are plenty of beaches for families as well. Much like Mazunte, you can get there by rental car or taxi.

☀️🏨 Planning to stay the night in Zipolite? Check out all the best hotels in Zipolite!

Huatulco Mexico: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Huatulco, Mexico?

Bahías de Huatulco (Bays of Huatulco), usually just called Huatulco, is about two hours east of Puerto Escondido, the most-visited of all Oaxaca beach towns.

When visiting, don’t miss seeing all the best beaches in Huatulco, Oaxaca Mexico, like Playa Orgáno.

Huatulco is a popular resort destination in Mexico, with an incredible 36 beaches and bays, swimming and snorkeling, hikes to the waterfalls, and more.

Many Americans and Canadians have winter homes in Huatulco, so its population increases a lot in the busy season from November to March.

You’ll find direct flights to Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX) in the busy season, and flights from Mexico City International Airport all year.

Bahías de Huatulco Map 🗺️

☀️🏨 Looking into Huatulco hotels? Check out all the best resorts and best hotels in Huatulco!

The map above will give you a visual on where Huatulco is located.

If you’re wondering, How far is Huatulco from Oaxaca City? It’s about 160 miles (258 km), though the drive can take about 6-7 hours — which is why many opt for the private driver from Oaxaca to Huatulco.

What’s the best airport for Huatulco?

Wondering, Is there an airport in Huatulco? Yes There’s Bahías de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX), located about 20-30 minutes from all the best beaches in Huatulco.

To get to your Huatulco resort, you can book a private airport shuttle, rent a car or take a taxi. There is no Huatulco Uber service, and no Huatulco Lyft service.

Huatulco Airport Shuttle

What’s the best time to visit Huatulco?

Weather-wise, the best time to visit any of the Mexico beaches is from November to March, during the dry season.

It can rain quite a bit during the Oaxaca rainy season of April to October, when it’s also quite humid and buggy — so don’t forget your mosquito spray 🦟.

November to March is also the Oaxaca high season, or busy season — so expect larger crowds and higher prices. October and April are considered Mexico shoulder season months, where you’ll likely have nice weather, but also lower price tags.

Best time to see whales in Huatulco 🐳

The Oaxaca whale season runs from about November to April, when several species of whales migrate past the coast of Oaxaca State. The best time to see whales in Oaxaca is from December to March, and you can book this Huatulco boat tour to see them.

What are the best things to do in Huatulco?

Beaches in Huatulco

beautiful lagoon on the beach
Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast. (Photo: Canva, Huatulco Oaxaca Beaches in Mexico)

Huatulco has 36 beaches and 9 bays, so all the best Huatulco things to do and see involve being in, on, or near the Pacific Ocean.

If you just want to laze around, head to the best Huatulco beaches — Bahía Santa Cruz Beach, Bahía Tangolunda Beach and Playa la Entrega. For a truly unique experience, get a mud bath on Playa la Bocana.

The mud on this beach is good for the skin, so you’ll get a nice exfoliating massage. The massages are inexpensive at about $100-200 MXN pesos ($5-10USD), and they are very popular with Huatulco visitors.

Bahías de Huatulco National Park

Huatulco National Park is a massive land and water park that spans 29,000 acres (118 km²).

There are healthy reefs just off-shore, teeming with marine life, fish and sea turtles. In the winter months, you’ll see several species of whales on their annual migration past this Mexico national park.

Copatilito Eco-Park

ruins in oaxaca at Copalita Park, Huatulco Mexico
Don’t miss the Bocana del Río Copalita Archaeological Zone while visiting Huatulco Mexico.

Located in Santa Maria Huatulco, about 20-30 minutes from the beaches, don’t miss the Copalita Eco-Archaeological Park.

Here, you’ll see the only ruins in Huatulco Oaxaca, at Bocana del Río Copalita Archaeological Zone. It’s a smaller site, but has two ancient temples.

🗣 Huatulco Travel Tips: To escape the tourist crowds in Huatulco and see the more locals’ side of life, head to the the charming pueblos of Santa María Huatulco and  La CrucecitaOaxaca.

Best Huatulco Tours

What are the best places to stay in Huatulco?

Huatulco is one of the best Mexico resort towns. It’s not as popular (or crowded) as Cancun, Tulum or Cabo San Lucas, so you get nice resort amenities and smaller crowds.

Here are some of the best hotels and resorts in Huatulco Mexico, all located right on the beach.

Dreams Huatulco ALL INCLUSIVE Resort & Spa

Dreams is one of the best Mexico all inclusive chain resorts, with locations everywhere from Puerto Vallarta to Cancun. (Photo: Expedia, Huatulco Oaxaca hotels)

Located on beautiful Tangolunda Bay, each room at Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa provides a view of the island or Pacific Ocean.

There are six bars, on-site dining options including Italian, seafood, Asian and traditional Mexican cuisine, and much more to enjoy at this all-inclusive resort.

Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa (Adults Only)

Secrets isn’t a Huatulco all inclusive resort, but it does offer an all inclusive upgrade package. (Photo: Expedia, Huatulco hotels on the beach)

Secrets Huatulco is tucked away on the secluded coastline of Bahía Conejos Bay, surrounded by soft, golden sand, unique rock formations, breathtaking views and sapphire waters.

It is a AAA Four Diamond Resort, and a playground for adults to escape into luxury, serenity and romance.

Barcelo Huatulco All-Inclusive Resort

Barcelo is an upscale chain of Mexico all inclusive resorts, perfect for splurging. (Photo: Expedia, Huatulco, Oaxaca Oax.)

Nested on Tangolunda Bay, Barceló Huatulco sits right on the Pacific Ocean.

As an all-inclusive, guests have a variety of on-site dining options, two swimming pools, a fitness center, tennis, beach volleyball, and more! End the day with a relaxing massage in the spa (additional fee).

Final Thoughts: Oaxaca to Huatulco Travel Options

As you now know, there are options for all travel styles and budgets for your Oaxaca City to Huatulco trip. Here is a quick summary, so you can pick the best option for your travel style:

For the luxury traveler

Book a private car with a driver for the Oaxaca to Huatulco trip, or take the Oaxaca City to Huatulco flight. There are only two airlines that do these flights, so if their departure times don’t work for your schedule, the private car is much more flexible.

For the mid-budget traveler

Rent a car and drive! The drive will show you the off the beaten path Oaxaca pueblos few others see.

Driving in Mexico is generally considered safe, and the linked article will walk you through the rental process — Renting A Car in Oaxaca: Everything You Need to Know.

For Oaxaca budget travelers

Take the ADO bus to Huatulco. ADO (pronounced ahh-day-oh) is Mexico’s largest bus company, with a fleet of luxury class buses.

It is the cheapest way to get from Oaxaca to Huatulco, but you’ll want to use GuateGo to book your tickets, as the ADO website isn’t user friendly and doesn’t take United States credit cards.

Oaxaca Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance for Oaxaca?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Oaxaca?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling to Oaxaca. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Oaxaca?

Yes — Renting a car in Oaxaca is one of the best ways to see the state. I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Oaxacan companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Oaxaca?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Oaxaca?

For Oaxaca hotels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Oaxaca Airbnb, also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. For the best Oaxaca hostels, use HostelWorld.

🧳 What do I pack for Oaxaca? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Oaxaca flights? For finding cheap Oaxaca flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Oaxaca?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.