Airport – El Salvador International

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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.



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!

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


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!



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

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

  1. James Reid

    Sept 1 2021
    The microbus #138 leaves El Centro from the terminal de microbuses 1A as shown on the inset map 2 blocks from the original point. The return from the airport is still in the same spot and those directions are still good.

  2. Sandra P.Alas Steward

    Mr.Steward is in San El Salavordor

    • Sandra P.Alas Steward

      She is trying to get back to kids an family

  3. Florian

    There’s an alternative to bus #138 now, it’s bus #400. I took it from the airport to Terminal del Sur but it continues somewhere in the centro.

    Unfortunately bus 8A doesn’t work when coming from the airport. They won’t let you get on at Terminal de Sur and they don’t seem to continue on the main road but they turn right after the bus stop.

    After 2 unsuccesful 8As, I ended up taking a taxi to Terminal Occidente from one of the taxi guys at Terminal del Sur for $5.

  4. Kumar

    I did Santa Ana –> SAL Airport two days ago in the morning for an 8.10 am outbound flight. I walked to the MetroCentre stop in Santa Ana at 3.45am and at 4.00 am a TUDO direct bus came by, depositing me at San Salvador Terminal Occidente at 5.00am for $1.35. From the terminal I walked a few metres to the road, crossed over and got a bus 8A in ten minutes to Terminal Del Sur which I reached at 5.25am. Once again I crossed using the overbridge and waited at a stand for collectivo minivans to the airport. After two ARCO #138 vans (NOT the ones to the airport) a van numbered #200 came up at 5.40am which was heading to the airport. It was full but not unbearably so and it reached me to the airport in 30 minutes flat, straight along the highway, no detours etc (Fare was $0.60). I reached the airport at 6.10am, well in time for my flight. Overall a great inexpensive way to beat the $60-75 shuttles from Santa Ana. The trickiest part was actually getting the 8A from Occidente to Sur (I would recommend a $3-4 taxi for that leg).

  5. William Waters

    You can update this to say the bus 8a passes in front of estación occidente, no need to walk all the way to the pinned location you have here.

  6. Ivette

    Does any one know if they go from SAL- Santa ana -?? or do they not go that route ?

    • centrocoasting

      You will have to get a different bus to Santa Ana. There are no buses from the Airport to Santa Ana. Check the pages of the website for Santa Ana page for more information.

  7. Bill Lawrence

    Hi Centrocoasting,
    Quick question. Does the 138 bus from the airport stop at Terminal del Sur on its way north? If so, can I get off there, then take bus 8A up to the San Benito area? It seems Terminal del Sur is much safer looking than the final stop in downtown for the 138 bus. Thanks so much for any help.

    • centrocoasting

      It will stop in front yes. I have only done this trip as outlined above – which is the reverse of what you’re wanting. My memory is failing me now as to whether I chose to go all the way to the 138 station rather than switching to the 8A just to check it out or if there was a reason I didnt switch. My guess is I went to the 138 out of curiosity! I can’t say for sure but I suspect your plan will work out. Good luck, and report back if it all went smooth.

      • Bill lawrence

        Yes, I was able to pick up an 8A bus near, but not in the terminal Del Sur bus stop. I had to walk east and north a block from the bus station to find the 8A bus. People at the bus stop were very friendly and let me know where to find it, but knowing some Spanish definitely helps. Note that the 138 from the airport was extremely crowded, standing room only. And zero personal space. They packed people in like sardines. Also note that the 8a bus makes lots of turns into neighborhoods on its way to the aforementioned bus stop.

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