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.
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.
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.
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
El Cuco to the Airport
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!