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From: Oaxaca to Puerto Angel via Mex 175
Date: December 27, 2000
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van

Note: The route followed in this log is the quickest way to the coast from Oaxaca. Everyone wants to know if big rigs can make this trip. Many do, but they drive very slowly and carefully. Occasional washouts with rough detours may not be passable by big rigs, check with someone who has recently traveled the road before trying it yourself in a large rig, particularly if you have questionable ground clearance. Be prepared to grind along in first gear for many hours to save your brakes if you are descending as we do in this log. A better route for big rigs would be to drive southeast from Oaxaca on Hwy 190 to Tehuantepec and then follow the coastal Hwy 200 to the Oaxaca Coast resorts.

000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- This log begins at the point where the eastern ring road leaves Hwy 190 as it passes north of central Oaxaca. It is the corner of Colegio Militar and Niños Heroes. Drive south on the Periférico.

001.1 Miles (001.8 Km) -- Intersection. Monte Alban to right, Huatulco and airport straight, we go straight.

001.1 Miles (001.8 Km) -- Immediately after the intersection Pemex #0643 on the right. It is medium-sized with magna, premium, and diesel with good access.

002.2 Miles (003.5 Km) -- Gigante supermarket, Sears, McDonalds, and Pizza Hut to the right.

002.7 Miles (004.4 Km) -- Our road intersects Hwy 175 from downtown. We go left. Now we are on a four-lane divided boulevard.

004.9 Miles (007.9 Km) -- Immediately after the intersection Pemex #2861 on the right. It is medium-sized with reasonably good access, but it is mobbed. Why are these people waiting in line when the stations in town have no lines at all? Maybe they're all heading to the beach like us.

005.0 Miles (008.1 Km) -- Airport to the right. Our road becomes two lanes but work is being done to four-lane it for a few more miles.

010.2 Miles (016.5 Km) -- Cutoff to the right for San Sebastian de las Grutas and Puerto Escondido. This is Hwy 135 to the coast. Reportedly it is paved but badly pot-holed with some stretches of gravel. In other words, its condition is not as good as Hwy 175. Some people like it better than the road we are following because it does not climb as high and therefore does not have such a long, steep descent to the coast. It is also not as scenic as Hwy 175.

    After the cutoff our road is narrower than it was and not nearly as busy.

019.8 Miles (031.9 Km) -- Entering the city of Ocotlán. For the next 1.5 miles we are on city streets with sidewalks. There is room to get through but it is often necessary to wait for oncoming traffic in order to get by cars parked in our lane. There are several 90-degree turns as the road winds through town.

020.1 Miles (032.4 Km) -- Pemex #0647 on the right with magna and diesel, it is medium-sized with excellent access.

037.6 Miles (060.6 Km) -- Pemex #0634 on the right. It is medium-sized with excellent access and has magna and diesel.

    After the Pemex we are entering the city of Ejutla (population 7,700). Once again we are on city streets with sidewalks, the road makes several 90-degree turns before leaving town after 1.2 miles.

    After leaving Ejutla the road starts climbing into the mountains and curves back and forth. There are several small towns, but they don't line the road. Instead they are scattered on nearby ridges as if they were built before the road came through.

061.5 Miles (099.2 Km) -- Pemex #0640 on the right. It is medium-sized with good access and stocks magna, premium, and diesel.

    After the Pemex we are on a bypass around the town of Miahuatlán.

    After Miahuatlán the road really begins to climb.

070.4 Miles (113.5 Km) -- The first pine trees begin to appear.

076.9 Miles (124.0 Km) -- Top of the grade. From here we trend down although the road does still climb in places. Mostly it follow the ridge line, sometimes east of the crest and sometimes west. There are several small towns perched along the road, and many more in the valleys below.

081.6 Miles (131.6 Km) -- Impressive roadside chapel to the left.

118.9 Miles (191.8 Km) -- We've been descending for 37 miles. The pines have disappeared and the growth along the road is tropical.

128.8 Miles (207.7 Km) -- Pemex #3233 to the right. It is tiny and has magna and an old nova pump. It probably won't be around much longer because there is no room to expand. Access is bad.

146.5 Miles (236.3 Km) -- Pemex #0639 on the left. It is medium-sized, has good access, and stocks magna, premium, and diesel.

    After the Pemex we are entering the town of Pochutla. The road passes though downtown streets. Normally traffic isn't really bad but today it is terrible. This is the Christmas holiday week and all of the coastal towns will be mobbed. The busy streets only last for about a half-mile.

148.6 Miles (239.7 Km) -- Pemex #0648 is medium-sized with good access and offers magna, premium, and diesel.

148.8 Miles (240.0 Km) -- Intersection with the coastal highway, Mex 200. There are three major resort town along the coast, to the right Puerto Escondido, straight ahead Puerto Angel and Zipolite, and to the left the Cancun wannabe, Bahias de Huatulco.

See our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about campgrounds in these towns.

Copyright © 2001 Mike and Terri Church