You don’t need to fly between Mexico City and Oaxaca. You can luxury bus it! Below are all the details on taking the ADO Gl bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca, including where to find the ADO bus terminal(s) at Mexico City Airport (because there is more than one).
There are affiliate links for Busbud on this page because it’s what I’ve been using to book bus tickets around Mexico so I have them all in one place. Otherwise you’ve got to go on multiple different bus company websites to book. Busbud has been useful.
Where is the bus terminal at Benito Juarez Int'l?
Early in the morning this summer, I grabbed an Uber from my Airbnb on the edge of Roma Norte and headed for the ADO Aeropuerto bus station. As we got close to the drop-off zone of the airport’s Terminal 1, however, my Uber driver told me the bus station was above Puerta 7 of the terminal, that the destination I’d input into Uber was incorrect.
So I hopped out, went into the terminal, and up the stairs over the check-in desks. Bus icons directed me along a walkway and, sure enough, after crossing a walkway by the Krispy Kreme, there was a bus station.
But I did not realize this was not the bus station I needed. I was early, so I waited an hour by this Wrong Bus Station.
Following the bus icon signs around T1 brings you to a walkway between Krispy Kreme and a 7-11 (as of July 2022). When you cross the walkway, you’ll find a few bus company desks and a security gate. You may see “Oaxaca” listed on the digital signs BUT if you look closely, you’ll see it says: “Terminal junto a Camino Real”. The terminal is next to the Camino Real.
How to get to the Camino Real bus terminal
The Camino Real Aeropuerto Mexico is connected to the airport by a walkway. If you need to stay at a hotel close to the airport for an early morning departure, I’d recommend the Camino Real over the Hilton: (Review: Mexico City Airport Hilton)
The walkway across is between Puerta 3 and 4. As you cross towards the Camino Real, the walkway will split and there will be a sign indicating the right-hand branch of the walkway takes you to the bus station.
I did not see any other signs indicating there was a bus station down the walkway. Just look for the Camino Real signs and you’ll find it.
Luggage and boarding ADO GL
For all of the buses I’ve taken in Mexico, they’ve always been on time and always boarded and sorted luggage just a few minutes before departure. If you arrive 30 minutes ahead of time and you’ve already got tickets, you’ll probably be waiting for 20 minutes before somebody announces your bus destination. I’d asked the attendant behind the desk if I was in the right place when I arrived, so when it came time to board, they came and told me.
I’ve heard there’s no limit on luggage. I haven’t tested that. But the luggage compartment is large and it could hold much more than our full bus was carrying. Luggage gets tagged and you’ll receive tickets for your baggage.
There’s not much space on the bus for bags. You can put something like a laptop bag at your feet because you have a lot of legroom. But prepare to put most of your bags under the bus.
Don’t lose those baggage tickets. It’s not like airport baggage. You’ll actually need to show those tickets at the destination to get your bags.
That photo above is the baggage pickup on arrival in Oaxaca. The bags are fenced off, there are several attendants around, and everybody will form a line to show their baggage tickets.
How much does the bus cost from CDMX to Oaxaca?
I used Busbud to book the tickets and they cost $942.00 MXN.
If you look back at the ADO digital sign in the bus station, $942 is the same price the ticket costs if you buy them in-person at the terminal.
The ADO Platino buses are more expensive. But when I was looking at the schedule, the GL buses were the only ones that worked well coming from CDMX. The Platino buses were later in the day or overnight. But returning from Oaxaca to CDMX, the Platino buses were more convenient. Check out the schedule on Busbud, including other bus companies with cheaper tickets: Bus schedules from Mexico City to Oaxaca
How is the bus ride to Oaxaca?
Mexico’s countryside is massive and beautiful. You really get a feel for the terrain traveling six hours to Oaxaca.
There are toilets on the bus and the bus will also stop a couple of times. On the trip down, nobody got off at these stops to stretch, get food, etc. But on the way back, a couple of people hopped off for a break each time.
There are no snacks for sale on board. They do give you a water bottle and headphones when you get on the bus.
On ADO GL, you’ve got a two by two seat configuration. Movies play on overhead screens. The ADO Platino is a step up, with well-stocked personal entertainment systems.
There’s plenty of leg-room. I’m 6’3″ and there was no issue having a bag at my feet and stretching them out.
The ADO terminal in Oaxaca
The bus terminal in Oaxaca is conveniently located on the top edge of Jalatlaco, on the highway to Mitla and Matatlan that splits Centro from Reforma. You can hop off at the bus station and you’re a short walk from hotels like El Callejon or Pug Seal. When I needed a taxi, I’d often walk over to the bus terminal and it was easy to grab one.
The bus terminal is a big, airy, well-lit building with some restaurants and souvenir shops. There’s plenty of seating.
There is a Subway sandwich shop but I’m pretty sure it’s a test. If you come to Oaxaca–arguably the best, most sophisticated place to eat Mexican food (which is one of the world’s finest cuisines)–and you then order at Subway?! You’ll immediately be thrown on the next bus out of town and people will line up to pelt you with crickets and corn smut.