Grabbing a taxi from Oaxaca Airport into Oaxaca is a super simple process. Like many airports in Mexico, the taxis allowed to use the airport are regulated and you pay a set rate for your destination before you get in the taxi. So you will pay more than your typical taxi you’d hail on the street, but you might save some headaches, and for the length of the trip from Oaxaca Airport to Centro, the rate is totally reasonable.
Where to Hire a Taxi at Oaxaca Airport
First off, you’ll deboard the plane on the tarmac, and during the day time, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful view of Oaxaca de Juarez up the valley from the airport. This is such a magnificent area, with its fertile fields and valleys of white flowering trees. Appreciate for a moment. Then inside the airport…
After you’ve picked up your luggage, if you’re not on Team No Checked Bags, as soon as you come out of the arrivals gate, just ahead and off to your left, look for a sign that says TAXI.
Taxi Prices from Oaxaca Airport to the City
You’ll have two taxi options: Colectivo or Especial. And then there are two fares: Zona 1 or Zona 2.
Colectivo is shared transportation. They’re big vans. The kind you’ll often see hotel shuttles using. If you select Colectivo, you might need to wait until the van is full. Or you might be the passenger everybody has been waiting for and it’ll leave as soon as you hop in. Colectivo for Zona 1 is $100 MXN (~$5 USD). $160 MXN (~$8) for Zona 2.
Zona 1 is basically all of central Oaxaca (Centro) and the area between Centro and the airport. The Reforma neighbourhood is in Zona 2, as is La Calera. A hotel like the Quinta Real is Zona 1.
The Especial option is your own vehicle. So if you’ve got a couple of people and you can fill a vehicle, the Especial option becomes much more affordable because there you’re paying per car, not per person. But if there are many of you, they’ll have you all just take a Colectivo just for your group.
Especial for Zona 1 is $390 MXN (~$18 USD) and for Zona 2 is $520 MXN (~$25 USD)
Tell the attendant your address and how many people. They’ll tell you how much. You can pay with cash or credit card. They’ll give you a ticket which you then present to the attendants outside in the official taxi area. Look for the same white and two-toned blue branding as the taxi kiosk inside. The taxis will be clearly marked as being the airport taxis.
And then enjoy your long afternoons on rooftop terraces sipping mezcal!
How long will it take to get from Oaxaca Airport to Centro?
I’ve taken the trip a couple of times, in both directions, and it’s never been under 30 minutes. There’s always something that comes up. You’re taking an important road, so there’s almost always heavy traffic on it. If it’s the morning or evening, you’ll get caught in rush-hour. But at any time during the day, because those Centro streets are narrow and there are many one-way streets, you can move very slowly as you navigate the jigsaw puzzle en route to your hotel. This Google Maps estimation below, at noon on a Tuesday, from Oaxaca Airport to the Quinta Real Oaxaca, suggests a 25 minute drive. Budget for a bit longer.