Getting There & Departing

By Plane -- The airport (airport code: OAX) gets limited international service. Continental ExpressJet (tel. 800/523-3273 in the U.S., or 01-800/900-5000 in Mexico) has nonstop service to and from Houston. Volaris (tel. 01-800/122-8000 in Mexico) flies to and from Tijuana. Aeroméxico (tel. 800/237-6639 in the U.S., or 951/516-1066) offers flights daily to and from Mexico City through Aeroméxico Connect, its regional carrier. Aerovega (tel. 951/516-4982 in Mexico) flies a seven-passenger twin-engine Aero-Commander to and from Puerto Escondido and Bahías de Huatulco once daily (twice if there are enough passengers). Make arrangements for Aerovega at the Monte Albán Hotel facing the Alameda (next to the zócalo, or town square). The cost is 1,100 pesos.

By Car -- It's a 5 1/2-hour drive from Mexico City via the toll roads. Take Hwy. 150D east toward Veracruz to Cuacnoapalan, 80km (50 miles) beyond Puebla (250 pesos in tolls), and then south on Hwy. 150D to Oaxaca (270 pesos in tolls).

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By Bus -- First-class and deluxe buses to and from Mexico City use the toll road, or autopista, and take 6 to 7 hours. A few make a short stop in Nochistlán, which isn't much of a delay. Most buses leave from Mexico City's TAPO (east) bus station. There is infrequent service to and from Mexico City's Central del Norte (north), and the Central del Sur (south, also called Taxqueña). No service runs from the Mexico City airport. The main bus station in Oaxaca is on Calzada Niños Héroes.

ADO (Autobuses del Oriente) and its affiliates handle the first-class and deluxe bus service. Your options are primera clase (ADO), with almost hourly departures and a one-way fare of 426 pesos; de lujo (ADO GL), with between three and five departures per day for 510 pesos one-way; and servicio ejecutivo (ADO Platino, which used to be called UNO and is still going through rebranding changes), with one to five departures per day for 726 pesos one-way. De lujo has the same seats as first class, but more legroom, free soda and bottled water, and separate bathrooms for men and women. Servicio ejecutivo has all this plus superwide seats that recline far back. During holidays, you need to reserve a seat. Native Oaxaqueños living outside the state fill the buses for the Day of the Dead, Holy Week, and Christmas. It's possible to reserve seats over the Internet for the higher levels of service, and to check departure times and prices at www.adogl.com.mx and www.uno.com.mx.

Buses serve Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de las Casas (four overnight buses); Puebla (10 a day); Veracruz (three a day); Villahermosa (two a day); and Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, on the coast (two a day). It takes 10 hours to reach Puerto Escondido by bus because they go by way of Huatulco.

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You can buy your tickets ahead of time at one of the downtown offices of Ticket Bus. One is across from the northeast corner of the zócalo, at the intersection of Hidalgo and Valdivieso (tel. 915/516-3820). There's also one at Porfirio Díaz 102-A, just north of calle Independencia (no phone). Office hours are 9am to 9pm, except Sundays, when they open from 11am to 7pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.