The Best Way to Get from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

(See “practicalities” at the bottom of this post to skip the story and go straight to contact, booking & price info for the AeroVega flight)

When Tom and I started to look for ways to get from the Pacific beach town of Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca I found that the choices were: a 10-hour bus, a 6-hour, vomit-inducing, mini bus or a flight with AeroTucan or AeroVega. We do not love long bus rides, and I get carsick pretty easily so though the bus is obviously cheaper at $30/ticket, we thought we’d rather fly. When we found out that the flight is a mere 30 minutes (with delays the bus can take up to 11 hours!!) we were certain.

Flying over the clouds in a propeller plane from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

Information for AeroTucan was sparse on the internet, and basically non-existent for AeroVega. I asked around town and easily discovered that AeroTucan flys a 12-seater plane daily from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca and back for $130 USD each way, but I had a difficult time learning more about AeroVega.

I was intrigued by this mysterious 6-8 seater plane that supposedly flew daily between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca for much less than AeroTucan, who wouldn’t be, right? I went on a mission to learn more and after some false leads, I finally found a phone number and tried giving the airline a call.

I had a feeling that this was the airline for us when the man answered the phone with a simple “Bueno” and then when I told him I was looking for AeroVega said “Yes, I am Juan Carlos Vega, but I can’t talk right now, I just loaded up the plane and am about to fly back to Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca.” There are not many airlines in the world that you call and talk directly with the pilot on his cell before he takes off.

Don Vega the pilot from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

Aerovega is certainly not like any other airline. Juan Carlos Vega is the CEO, Pilot, Phone Operator and I imagine, wears any other hat that needs wearing. He even gallantly carried my bag to and from the plane and loaded it into the front luggage compartment.

You won’t find a ticket counter for his airline in any airport. Flying with him feels more like being a VIP just riding in a friend’s (TINY) plane than flying a commercial flight. I loved following him at both the Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca airports, “we’re with him” our eyes said as we bypassed metal detectors and slipped through unmarked doors. And I really loved that he let me take a few pics in the pilot’s seat after the flight!

Don Vega estimated that he has made the flight over 15,000 times in the thirty years that he has been flying this route. If you are worried about safety, those are damn good odds and I imagine there have been quite a few bus crashes in that time. If you have a weak stomach the flight over the mountains is also a much better option than the bus along twisty roads. I felt fine the entire flight and when we landed I barely felt the touchdown. To quote one of the other passengers, it was “como mantequilla.”

The best way to get from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca

If you are looking for a way to travel from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido or vice versa, I cannot imagine a more fun experience. Not only do you save a day and your stomach for an extra $67, but as an activity, it is much cheaper than a helicopter tour in Hawaii. Our tickets were 1500 MXN pesos (at the time of writing that was $96.86) paid in cash at the end of our flight to Don Vega himself.

If you are looking to travel between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca; AeroVega is unquestionably the most awesome choice.


Don Vega speaks English and Spanish, and you can book one of his daily flights or find out flight times by phone (either call or text) Cel: 0449545880062 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Flights are 1500 MXN pesos (about $97 USD) paid in cash to Don Vega.


I think of California as officially "home" but can usually be found a lot closer to the equatorial belt. After finishing a Masters program in 2011 I found myself trying to decide between a couple of different high-powered career options. I decided I wasn't quite ready to "grow up" and went with an entirely different plan which involved selling off everything I owned with my partner Tom and buying a one-way ticket to Colombia. Our plan was to travel "Till The Money Ran Out" and then go home to start our grown-up lives. Instead, we started our own app development company on the road and have been criss-crossing the globe, traveling, working, eating spicy food and refusing to "grow up" ever since. You can find me on Twitter, , Facebook or send me a message using our About Us page.

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37 Responses

  1. Aunt Ann says:

    i can see it now: “JennyAire”. Your Aunt Nancy’s high school boyfriend is a flight instructor in Florida.

  2. I swear my backpack was behind the seat during the flight.

    Great post guys!

    Yes I agree, flying with Capi Vega is the best way to get from Puerto to Oaxaca and back.

  3. stephanie says:

    Thanks for the info! My boyfriend and I are traveling to Oaxaca in 3 weeks and will definitely be hitting up Mr. Vega for a ride to the beach.

    • Jenny says:

      Great! Hope you have a good time and do not miss the baja fish tacos from El Nene – best fish tacos we have ever had!

  4. Rebecka says:

    Finally some useful info! Thanks a lot!!

  5. Sharon says:

    Muchas Gracias Jenny!
    7 of us are traveling from Oaxaca to PE in February. Some want to take the bus but I’m all over the small plane. With only 3 days in PE I don’t want to miss a minute on the beach.
    I will contact Señor Vega after the holidays.

    • Jenny says:

      De nada Sharon! Please tell Señor Vega that Tom and I say “hello.” Also, the baja fish tacos from El Nene are the best fish tacos we have ever had and we are still dreaming of them. Make sure to check them out if you eat fish 🙂

  6. Julia says:

    Thank you Jenny for the helpful advice. A group of us are headed to PE in Feb and we were looking for an efficient way to get there from Oaxaca. This sounds both efficient and full of adventure. Thank you!! And fish tacos??? Yes. Please!

  7. Lauren says:

    Hi Jenny!

    My boyfriend and I are traveling from Oaxaca to PE on the 24th Dec. I rang the number I was given after contacting the email you provided above, it was the Hotel Monte Alban and they only took our name and told us to come to the hotel and pay, no other detail was given. We are just curious as to where you met to catch this flight etc. If you could give us any other details it would be greatly appreciated.

    Lauren & Colin

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Lauren and Colin! We met Sr. Vega at the airport. We showed up about 5 minutes before the flight and waited nervously in the waiting room since we had no idea what was going on either. I think we asked someone there about “AeroVega” and they told us to just sit down and wait. Sr. Vega came in and saw us sitting there waiting and came to introduce himself. Then he took out outside and to his plane. I also felt nervous about the lack of details, confirmation or info (which is one of the reasons I wrote this post) but it all turned out really well. Have a great flight and enjoy Puerto Escondido!

  8. A friend and I will be arriving from the UK at 8.30am Feb 7th and want to fly down to Puerto Escondido. Would we be able to get the flight that day and pay cash or would we not make it in time? Thinking of calling Senor Vega, however my spanish is pretty hopeless. I am actually terrified of flying but really need an adventure and your blog is so cool so I am gonna conquer my fears eek.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Karin, I would imagine that you could still make it that day! Sr. Vega’s English is quite good, so I don’t think calling will be an issue. You can also e-mail him to see if he has availability and will be flying that day. Congrats on taking the trip even though you are nervous, I am sure you will love it as much as we did!

  9. Nanci says:

    Hey Jenny, my hubby and I have flown Aerotucan several times back and forth Oaxaca to Puerto – as another alternative to add to the conversation. They run promotions on their website with competitive rates to AeroVega. Aerotucan flies to PE most every morning at 7:00 am, arriving around 7:40 or so, before the wind picks up. And yes, the fish tacos at El Nene rock, and say ‘hey’ to Arturo, the chef!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Hi Jenny! This post is incredibly useful, thank you for writing it! I am a chronic planner…do you happen to know how far in advance Sr Vega takes reservations?
    Thanks, and happy travels!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Rebecca, thanks! I know what you mean about liking to have things sorted out. I am not sure how far in advance he takes reservations but you could e-mail him or call him to find out 🙂

  11. Thanks Jenny, we are all booked in with Senor Vega on the 8th Feb! Can’t wait and will defo be trying the fish tacos 🙂 Will be taking pesos and a credit card but is it easy enough to find atm’s if we need to draw cash? Your blog has definitely made planning our trip so much easier and way more exciting !!

    • Jenny says:

      Wonderful! We did not have a problem finding an ATM, we usually used one just a blck doen from the central market. We stayed out in the little neighborhood of La Punta, where there was not an ATM, but there are several ATMS and banks in Puerto Escondido proper.

  12. Janet says:

    Had a wonderful flight with Senor Vega this morning. Highly recommend it. He was very accommodating every ‘step of the way’.

  13. Jerry Kerwin says:

    Spent 5 weeks in Puerto Escondido in 1979. Very primitive fishing village then with next to zero tourist traffic and was an absolute paradise then. Cabana on the beach was $1.50 American per day. Took a private airline (can’t remember who it was) over the mountains from Oaxaca and if I remember right it was $23.00 American for the flight. Very old plane, the pilot, co-pilot and male steward on the plane were drunk and the steward was trying to sell me some weed. Fabulous adventure although the plane ride was a little scary. They didn’t fly over the mountains, we fly through them. Haven’t been back there since and I know it has changed completely but it was a real paradise then. I’ll never forget that place and area. It cost the two of us a little over $800.00 to stay there 5 weeks. We ate out almost every day and night, fresh seafood, pork and chicken mostly. Lots of seafood caught the same day. I think we only cooked twice the whole time we were there.
    Memories for a lifetime!

    • Jenny says:

      Sounds like a wonderful trip! I know Sr. Vega has been flying the same route for decades, I wonder if that was him during his wild youth?

  14. Laila says:

    Hello Jenny!

    This article feels like a God-sent! My husband did a bit of boo-boo with the flights booking and now we desperately need to fly in to Oaxaca from Puerto Escondido.

    Sent Mr Vega an e-mail that you provided and still no response. And the number seems to be not in use. I am praying that he is still flying!

  15. Kathy says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I too sent Mr. Vega an email that you provided an no response. We are going to Puerto in late November and wanted to go over to Oaxaca for the day and loved the idea of a small plane. Have you any additional information or should I just make a jaunt to the airport and see if I can meet up with him there?

  16. Kathy DeTuerk says:

    I too have not received an acknowledgement from an email I sent. If I go our to the airport do you think I can be able to get information about Mr Vega or his airline?

  17. Denise Semrow says:

    Hi Jenny I am a travel agent trying to make connections for a client to fly from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. My questions are does he still do this and his schedule flexible or fix? Is there a site I can look at his schedule so I am able to make the arrangements from Nashville to Oaxaca?
    Your blog is great info and I thank you for all the info.
    I appreciate any other info you can pass on.
    Thank you Denise Semrow

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Denise, I got in touch with him via the phone number I put in the post. I don’t know of any other way to get in touch with Sr. Vega. Good luck!

  18. Carlos Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for post it was very useful
    we’re traveling to puerto escondido on 8-17-17
    And am going to contact mr Vega

  19. Dani says:

    Hi! I stumbled upon this site. Possible planning a trip there in late October with 3 kids, aged 6, 8, 10. We have 9 days. Would you split them evenly between Oaxaco and Huatulco? Thanks for the flight info and your travels look amazing. This is our first big family trip and we couldn’t decide between Mexico and Hawaii.

  20. Kelly Vanpraet says:

    Yesterday we had a fly with mr. Vega.

  21. Laurey says:

    Hi are there any baggage limitations on these flights?

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