For those people
interested in saving some money (RT bus about $60-100, RT air about $220-320)
and/or in seeing a bit more of Mexico and having some adventure, the bus
from Mexico City to Oaxaca is a good option. These 1st class buses are
not the stereotypical chicken buses of our Mexican folklore, but rather
state of the art, modern buses that are better than anything you see on
the roads north of the border. The seats are comfortable, there is a bathroom
in the bus and the drivers are professional and do not speed.
To get to the
bus station in Mexico City from the airport first locate the booth
that sells tickets for the official taxis in the airport (there are info
booths in the airport who can tell you where the tickets are sold- or,
out on the curb, the taxi drivers themselves will show you where to buy
a ticket. BE WARNED: it is not advisable to flag taxi cabs off the street
in Mexico city. Only get in a taxi that you've first purchased a ticket
for in the airport or bus station, or that your hotel has called for you).
At the ticket booth you will want to let them know that you are going
to Terminal La Tapo. Prices are set and standard based on distance from
the airport. The taxi will take you on an exiting ride through Mexico
city (about 15 minutes) and you will be dropped off at the entry to the
large La TAPO bus station. (Note: this is one of 4 large bus stations
in Mexico city and serves destinations in Southern Mexico). There will
be men with dollies where you get off the taxi offering to carry your
luggage. I highly recommend using their services as it is a ways to the
interior of the station and can be a bit confusing if you don't know the
way. So they will both haul your bags and serve as your guide (they work
on tips usually and about 20 pesos or $2 is a good amount to offer). Tell
them the name of the line you are looking for- or better still, show the
name written on a piece of paper. They will lead you to the center of
this bagel shaped bus station and you will see the names of about 20 bus
lines listed above you. Find yours (of follow your guide) and get your
The first class
bus lines to Oaxaca are ADO, OCC or UNO. If you have not already reserved
a ticket or consulted the departures schedule online (see below) then
you will want to visit all three of these lines to see who has the next
departure. Start with ADO which has the most departures by far. Between
the three lines there are departures for Oaxaca about every hour and you
can usually get on a bus without a previous reservation though you sometimes
have to wait for the next bus (the big exceptions are during Christmas
and Easter holidays and Friday afternoons when reservations are recommended).
UNO is an ultra first class line with super reclining, extra wide seats,
but limited departures which, last I checked where all nocturnal except
for a morning and afternoon run. ADO GL is a slightly fancier version
of standard ADO first class where you are given soda and cookies and there
is a coffee pot in the back of the bus. Luggage is usually checked at
the side of the bus before you board though UNO may offer pre-check service
and has a private waiting room.
Seats are assigned
on all lines. I prefer front to mid-bus. Note that the very front seats
face a wall and will have a bit less leg room.
The bus ride from
Mexico City to Oaxaca and visaversa is 6 to 6.5 hours on an excellent
highway with good scenery (Mex City to Morelia, Michoacan is about 4 hours
and about 2 hours to Puebla).
You can view the
current bus schedules, reserve or even purchase your ticket online by
going to https://www.ticketbus.com.mx/ticketbus/inicio.jsp . There is a column on the left side of the page with boxes to fill in
to get schedules. First box is Origin, select Mexico Tapo,
D.F. Second box is Destino "destination", select Oaxaca.
Third box is Linea or "bus line", leave it at Todos.
Final box is Fecha, "date". Then click Consultar and the schedule will show up.
The schedule is in
several columns. The first is Reserva y Compra- reserve
or buy. Second is Hora- time on the 24 hour clock. Third
is Recorrido with the options of Directo-direct,or
2 escalas- 2 stops. Fourth column is Tarifa-
price listed in pesos. Fifth is Tiempo Recorr-length of
You may reserve
a ticket by clicking the "R" under Reserva y Compra.
Step 1 will be filling in the boxes with your Correo Electronico-
e-mail, and Nombre Completo- complete name. Step 2 will
be selecting your seats buy indicating the number of Adultos and ninos- adults and children, who will be traveling, and
then click once on the seat of your choice shown on the bus map. Seats
with a brown figure are taken. The green figure means you got that seat.
Click the green figure twice to remove that choice. Step 3 is your reservation
info which shows your reservation # (this is important as you will need
it to request your ticket), cost of ticket, your name, date, departure
time, origin, destination, bus line (Be sure to note which bus company
you are riding with) and your seat number. You might want to print
this last page out and keep it to show when you go to buy your ticket.
You will also be sent a confirmation of your reservation via e-mail.
WILL BE CANCELLED IF YOU DON'T PAY FOR IT AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE.
If you'd like to purchase your ticket online follow steps 1 and 2 as described above.
When you get to step 3, or screen 3, there will be a pop-up box that says there is a $40 peso service fee for buying your ticket online and only
the person whose name is on the credit card may pick up the ticket, and
s/he will need an ID. Click acepto on this box and you
will be on the credit card information sheet where the boxes to be filled
out are, from top to bottom: Nombre del titular- name of
card holder, Numero de Tarjeta-credit card #, Tipo-type
(Master Card or Visa only options), Ultimo 3 digitos…-last
3 digits on backside of your credit card, acepto condiciones-
accept terms, acepto cargo de…-accept charges. Click Efectuar
Compra to purchase or Cancelar Compra to cancel.
If you accept you will be given a number which you will use to pick up
your ticket at the bus station or at a Ticket Bus outlet.