Airport – El Salvador International

Here comes the answer to the million dollar question: how do I get to and from the El Salvador International Airport by bus? It’s really pretty easy.

San Salvador to the Airport

You have two options from San Salvador:

Option 1: Microbus #138 which leaves from the city centre and takes you all the way to the airport for $0.60. It takes about 50 minutes, depending on time of day it could be a bit longer. The main station for this bus is here (see photo below). A taxi to this station from the San Bentio area (Tica Bus Station) is about $7.

Here is where the 138 is located (open in Google Maps). You can see Terminal de Oriente off to the right.

Terminal de Microbuses Ruta 138 San Salvador

See below for more photos of the terminal 138.

 

Option 2: If you are in San Benito area you can leave from a closer location on bus #8-A and go to the Terminal del Sur first (30 minutes). There are both regular buses ($0.20) and microbuses ($0.60) leaving from the spot below (see map). When you arrive at the Terminal del Sur, get off the bus and cross to the other side of the highway. (see photos below) The 138 microbus from option 1 is going to pass here. Make sure you get on the correct 138, there are two and one doesn’t go all the way there. If it says ARCO, it’s not the one you want.  The rest of the journey will take about 45 minutes and cost $0.60.

Here is where the 8-A is located (open in Google Maps) You can see Terminal de Occidente to the right.

Ruta de Microbuses 8-A San Salvador

If you are staying at the Tica Bus station in San Benito or staying at La Zona hostel across the street then the map below shows the route to walk to the 8A. Or, you can grab the city bus #30-B from in front of the Pizza Hut at the main rotunda (Plaza Italia) at the intersection of Avenida de La Revolución and Bulevar Del Hipodromo. This bus will pass by parada 8-A.

Walking route from Tica Bus San Benito to Ruta 8A bus San Salvador

See below for more photos of the stop for bus 8A.

 

**READ ME**

A taxi to the airport from San Salvador will cost about $30, and by bus it’s less than a $1. BUT, before you choose the bus consider this: how much luggage do you have? The microbus is FULL of people. If you have a huge backpack or several bags then this may not be the best option for you. If you can hold your bag on you lap, then this option may be good for you, if you have several pieces then you’ll have to ask yourself if you feel comfortable purchasing a seat for your luggage instead of it being available for a local to sit in.

 

Airport to San Salvador

Walk out of the airport, walk over the crosswalk to the parking lot and continue on towards a building with a brown(ish) roof about 100 meters in the distance. On the other side of this building is a bus stop where the 138 will pass heading to San Salvador. It takes 50minutes in light traffic and costs $0.60. This bus is going all the way to the final terminal in the centre (see map). We didn’t do it but we are told that you can hop on a bus not too far away that takes you to San Benito. We will update this when we can. But a taxi should cost about $7.

 

El Tunco to the Airport

To get to El Tunco, take the bus to La Libertad. This will be the #80 (usually blue) but also any bus (192, 192A, 192B, 347, etc) will get you to La Libertad if it is going in that direction. Switch to the bus going to Comalapa. Let the driver know you are switching to the bus going to the airport. When you get off ask a local to point you in the direction to the 138 heading to the Airport. You will need to get to the other highway going to the Airport (more details and photos coming soon)

 

Airport to El Tunco

Walk out of the airport, walk over the crosswalk to the parking lot and continue on towards a building with a brown(ish) roof about 100 meters in the distance. On the other side of this building is a bus stop where the 138 will pass heading to San Salvador. The last microbus is at 5:30pm. Tell the driver to drop you off in Comalapa. From here, get off the bus and ask a local where you need to go to switch to the 187 going to La Libertad. You will need to get to the other highway going to La Libertad (more details and photos coming soon). Once in La Libertad take bus 80. This bus goes back and forth between Sunzal and La Libertad passing El Tunco and runs every 15 to 20 minutes from 4:30am -6pm. The cost is $0.25. Alternately, you can take the 192, 192A, 192B which passes La Libertad and continues on to Zonte.

 

**Alternate (and maybe better) option: The last time I did this, the microbus driver dropped me near what I think was San Luis Talpa on the side of the road on the main highway heading towards La Libertad. My guess is that some buses leave the airport and go one direction towards Comalapa and other towards San Luis Talpa. From there I waited for another bus to pass heading for La Libertad. There were several other people waiting with me and the bus came soon after being dropped off. I lost the photos for this, sorry!!

 

Airport to Cuco

Coming soon.

 

El Cuco to the Airport

Coming soon.

 

Help your fellow traveller

If you have taken any of the buses on this page, please drop us a comment below about how the trip went, what time you left, how long it took and what it cost. And, definitely let us know if we have anything wrong.

Lets help each other in our travels!

FIND A PLACE TO SLEEP

Booking.com

Help us fill in any missing information
Let us know if we have something wrong
Share your knowledge in a comment below

FINE PRINT

In general the majority of buses operate between just before sunrise until sunset. Times are listed when we have them, but remember, you are in El Salvador and even the locals say the schedules are 'loco' sometimes. Always plan enough time in your day for travel and plan to be at your destination before the sun sets. Avoid arriving when it's getting dark. Short distance buses will cost between $0.25 and $1.50 and longer distance buses $1.50-$3.00. Some routes offer more than one class of travel: regular class and especial which often has a/c and makes fewer stops but cost a little more. Also, know that you and only you are responsible for your own health and safety in your travels and the choices you make. Travel safe and travel smart - and have fun!

CONNECTING STATIONS

PHOTOS TO SHOW YOU THE WAY

At the airport outside the front doors
Photo: March 2017

At the airport, walk outside and cross the crosswalk and keep walking
Photo: March 2017

Outside of the airport after crossing the crosswalk keep walking towards the building with the brown(ish) roof
Photo: March 2017

Outside of the airport here is where the 138 microbus to the city comes and goes from. It also passes Terminal del Sur on the way to the city.
Photo: 2017

In San Salvador at Ruta 8A stop. Bus takes you to the Terminal del Sur and from there you change to the 138 to the airport
Photo: March 2017

Terminal for microbus ruta 138 to the Airport
Photo: March 2017

In front of Terminal del Sur. Bus 8A will bring you here and you need to walk over the overpass and wait for microbus 138 to take you the rest of the way to the airport
Photo: March 2017

In front of the Terminal del Sur on the other side of the highway, microbus 138 passes to take you to the airport (don't get on 138 labeled ARCO, wrong bus)
Photo: March 2017

14 travel tips for Airport – El Salvador International - share your tips below!

  1. Helen

    Hi,
    I had a quick question. Where does the 138 stop in San Salvador?! Is it close to La Plaza Libertad?! I’m just trying to figure out the distance. Thanks very much.

    Helen Hyde

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Helen, I believe the fist photo up in the text is the 138 stop. You can check Google Maps for distance to La Plaza. It’s way over by Terminal de Oriente.

  2. Sandrine

    Hi! This is an awesome website! I am staying in El Cuco and need to get to the SAN airport on Sunday. I see on the website that this is ‘coming soon’ but any preliminary advice would be awesome!
    Muchas gracias!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Sandrine! I still haven’t done this full route, but I can give you some preliminary ideas on how to get it done. It’s not a convenient trip from Cuco to the Airport. You have two options. #1) Go back via San Miguel, then San Miguel to San Salvador Terminal de Oriente (take super especial bus), then taxi to the microbus station (indicated in one of the photos above) and get a microbus that heads all the way to the airport. #2) Go El Cuco to El Delirio, then El Dilirio to Usulutan or Zacatecalouca. The stretch to Zacatecalouca is seriously slow and hot (at least it was when I did it) if you can get a bus heading that way going all the way there. Then get the bus headed to San Salvador and ask the driver to drop you at the spot to pick up the microbus headed to the airport (this is the part I have never done). There may also be a bus headed to La Libertad from Zacatecalouca you could try. This is a really long trip either direction and honestly I like the Idea of option #1. It’s a bit out of the way heading back to San Miguel, but this way you aren’t taking a guess at where to get off to meet the microbus to the airport, which I have no advice on and you can do at your own risk/judgement. And, it’s maybe not really that much longer to go via San Miguel (could be quicker even!). If you do the super especial bus from San Miguel to San Salvador ($5) then it makes things quick and comfortable also, and then you are on the microbus all the way to the airport from the city. Good luck, and let us know how the trip goes!

  3. David

    Hi,

    A group of us are going on a mission trip in Guatemala, then coming back to stay one night in San Salvador before heading home from SAL. What area(s) would you recommend we stay in that’s inexpensive and how would we get from there to the airport to catch a noon flight? I’d prefer something like Microbus 138 or similar. I work for an airline and so am an experienced traveler and know not to do something stupid but will have some nervous travelers with me.

    • centrocoasting

      Hi David, I would recommend staying in the San Benito area. The hostel (La Zona) mentioned on this page is probably your most inexpensive option in the area, though I haven’t stayed in many places. I have also stayed at the Maison de Maria across the street which is attached to the Tica Bus station. Nice simple private rooms for $25 I believe. The San Benito area is safe and nice and has all you need. Pretty much all of the bus information that I have is on this page in terms of which buses to take and how. If you are a group then I would maybe recommend just hiring a private transfer to the airport or getting on a shuttle service. It will cost more than a couple of dollars each (maybe $5?), but it’s important to note that the microbuses are pretty full so if you are a bigger group it may not be super convenient to get everyone on the same bus. La Zona can organize a transfer for you if you choose this. Also, you will be right across the street from the international bus stations and if you haven’t booked you flight already I think its not too long by bus https://centrocoasting.com/elsalvador/san-salvador-tica-bus/. Have a great trip!

      • David

        What are some of the shuttle services’ names to check them out?

        • centrocoasting

          I have never taken a shuttle. I only know they exist. I’d just be googling the same as you. The staff at La Zona speak English and you could call them to inquire.

  4. Alex G

    Hello,
    do you have any updates on the Airport to El Cuco route, potentially also just to San Miguel? Or will we have to get into SS first and then take the bus from there?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • centrocoasting

      Hi there. No updates as of right now, Sorry. I had planned to test out the route that heads that direction via Zacatecoluca -> Usulutan -> El Dilirio -> El Cuco but haven’t had a chance to yet! I met a gal who did it this way and she said it went quite smooth. I did come the other direction to San Salvador and I the buses were definitely hot and slow through Usulutan and Zacatecolouca and both spots are just cities jammed with traffic and not really awesome spots. So, it made me wonder if it was better to just go to San Salvador first (taxi to Terminal de Oriente) and get the Super Especial bus to San Miguel ($5 but fast and a/c) and then the bus down to El Cuco from there. Both options actually may be somewhat close in time since going Via San Salvador is an express microbus to the city another fast bus with the super especial to San Miguel and then there is only one bus option from San Miguel to El Cuco. If you decide to go via Zacatecolouca (which is just one long main road full of traffic from a bus travellers perspective) let us know! We’d love to have your experience be added as a ‘route’ 🙂

      • Alex G

        Thanks for the fast reply… We will be arriving about 6pm on a sunday, so there probably aren’t buses running anyways anymore, but maybe it could be an idea to take the taxi to Zacatecoluca and then get the bus from there the next day… Will have a ponder and let you know how it all went and what we chose to do in the end.

        • centrocoasting

          Hey Alex! Hm, you could do this. I haven’t stayed in Zacatecolouca before. My first impression of the place passing through is that it wouldn’t be a place I’d like to spend the night. I have no idea about safety etc since you’ll be arriving by taxi quite late. I personally would get a taxi to San Salvador and then go stay at La Zona hostel in San Salvador. (Tell them I say hi!) That trip should be about $25. If you check this page it will explain how to get to the Terminal de Oriente by city bus in the morning. (note that the city bus goes through the centre and so if you do it, keep your valuables hidden and be aware you are passing through a less safe area of San Salvador, your decision, ask La Zona about it) https://centrocoasting.com/elsalvador/san-salvador-terminal-de-oriente/ Or a taxi is about $8 maybe. The San Benito area of San Salvador is pretty nice and it would be a nicer intro to El Salvador. From the Terminal de Oriente you can get the super especial bus and be at the San Miguel station quite quick. If you do stay in Zacatecolouca just make sure you have a place booked and you know where you’re going etc. Obviously 🙂 Either way, check back in and let me know how it all goes!

  5. Luis Carlos

    Hi

    How dangerous is this travel ??

    I am go to Guatemala from San Salvador Airport the next weekend and i think use this information, but some people tell me that is some dangerous , is really this???

    • centrocoasting

      Sorry for the slow reply, I somehow missed seeing this question! This is a really hard question to answer. El Salvador has some un-safe areas and it is possible to be in the wrong place a the wrong time like any other country. I felt safe my whole time in El Salvador. I also felt safe on the bus from the Airport to the beach. You have to decide for yourself. Buses only run until it is dark, so if you are arriving at the airport after 4:30pm then I would take a taxi. This way you wont arrive at your destination after dark! Have a great trip!

Leave a Comment