San Jose del Pacifico: The Most Magical Pueblito in Oaxaca, México

San Jose del Pacifico (SJDP) is a small town located in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico and is known as one of the most magical and picturesque small towns, or ‘pueblitos’ in all of Mexico. It’s also a town that has been around since pre-Columbian times.

The locals who were born and raised in San Jose del Pacifico are proud and oftentimes attribute their happiness to their ancestors who came long before them.

The beauty of this quaint village lies not only in its visual aesthetics but also within its people. They keep age-old traditions alive, such as handcrafting colorful Oaxacan Folk Art or making delicious tamales. All of these can be found being sold throughout the streets at any time during your visit. 

The forests nestled everywhere on the mountains make it a wonderful place for adventure activities. These include zip-lining, mountain climbing, hiking, biking, picnics and so much more. 

If you’re feeling adventurous and you’re in the right headspace, San Jose del Pacifico could very well treat you with an experience to remember. Magic mushrooms are the reason why most people visit SJDP in the first place.

Upon arriving to San Jose del Pacifico, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals – many of which will offer you hongos frescos (fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms), mota (marijuana), and a variety of things that locals believe will help enhance your trip to San Jose.

San Jose del Pacifico Oaxaca

How to Get to San Jose del Pacifico

There are three main ways to get to San Jose del Pacifico (SJDP), all of which require getting to Oaxaca first. 

The following ways are the easiest and most favored routes for traveling to SJDP, whether you’re flying in to Oaxaca first, or continuing your journey from Oaxaca to SJDP: 

1. Fly to Oaxaca

Unfortunately, there aren’t any airports directly serving San Jose del Pacifico. However, flying into one of the three nearby airports can be helpful while trying to reach destinations farther South.

You can reach San Jose del Pacifico by flying to one of the following three airports listed below:

Oaxaca Airport is the closest, and most common way to reach San Jose del Pacifico. It is approximately a 2 hours and 47 minute drive from Oaxaca Airport to San Jose del Pacifico by taxi, and a little over three hours by colectivo.

Note: Colectivos are group taxis that make stops to pick up and drop off other passengers along a specific route.

Huatulco Airport is just under 3 hours away from San Jose del Pacifico. It is definitely possible to find a local taxi that will take you to San Jose del Pacifico, but it won’t be cheap according to Mexico standards. Reports state that it’s possible to travel from Huatulco to San Jose del Pacifico for approximately $1000 MXN which is equal to $50 USD.

Puerto Escondido Airport to San Jose del Pacifico takes approximately 3-4 hours by taxi, which is the longest of the three routes. A one-way taxi from Puerto Escondido to San Jose del Pacifico will likely start at $1500 MXN ($75 USD).

2. Drive

San Jose del Pacifico is located about 3-4 hours away from Oaxaca by car. This depends on traffic and the route you take so the time can vary.

Please note that the route is very windy and is not ideal for those who experience car sickness. That said, driving to San Jose del Pacifico in a rental car will allow you to take things at your own pace.

When it comes to renting a car in Oaxaca and driving to San Jose del Pacifico, we recommend booking through Discover Cars as they offer the best rates on fully insured cars without having to deal with all the hassles that normally come with renting a car in México.

3. Colectivo

There is a regular colectivo service that runs between Oaxaca City and San Jose del Pacifico at all hours of the day, making this an economical way of getting there as well.

This is the most budget friendly way to get to San Jose del Pacifico, but you should know that the drivers drive fast and the route is extremely long and windy so if you’re not fully comfortable with swaying back and forth in the back of a packed van full of people, this is probably not the most ideal option to get to San Jose del Pacifico.

Where to Stay in San Jose del Pacifico

Visitors planning on spending a couple days in San Jose can rent fully equipped cabañas with fireplaces for cold nights and enjoy the views from above the clouds as they roll over the sierra mountains in the distance.

We recommend staying at Puesta del Sol (Map), Casa Elba – Cabañas & Bistro (Map), Cabañas la Cumbre (Map).

Out of the three, we would say Puesta del Sol is the best overall stay as they provide comfy cabins with a fireplace and a private front porch where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the views of San Jose del Pacifico.

If you’re a backpacker on a budget and you want the best views in all of San Jose del Pacifico, your best bet would be to book a stay up at Cabañas la Cumbre. While the accommodations aren’t top quality, they do offer basic rooms and magic mushrooms for guests who request them.

Happy travels!

You might also enjoy: 7 Top Destinations to Visit in Michoacán, México

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.