Located at Km 53, El Zonte is pretty easy to come and go from by bus. Basically will wait on the side of the highway at the entrance to town. There are so many people coming and going from this area that it’s unlikely you will be standing alone. Buses essentially stop running near sunset. If you plan on taking a bus later in the day, always ask a local when the last bus passes. There is a good chance you’ll get an uncertain answer and told that the schedule is loco.
To San Salvador
Option 1: Take an ordinary bus. Wait on the highway and grab a bus going to La Libertad. In La Libertad (80 or 192 or anything heading to La libertad). Switch to the 102 (regular) bus. This bus arrives at the Terminal de Occidente. Total cost ~$1.25
Option 2: Get the bus to El Tunco or Sunzal and from there take a nice A/C microbus (102A). The microbus goes between Sunzal and San Salvador and passes El Tunco and La Libertad on the way. In El Tunco, wait on the highway and every 20-30 minutes from 6am until ~7pm the 102A will pass. The cost is $1.50 and takes about 1hr. In San Salvador they leave from the Punto de microbuses ruta 102 and pass the Terminal de Occidente and the Estación Ceiba de Guadalupe** in the San Benito area. The trip takes about 45 minutes.
**The Estación Ceiba de Guadalupe is a great spot to know if you don’t want to head all the way into the Terminal de Occidente to change buses. Basically most of the buses departing from the Terminal de Occidente pass this spot. It is also located very close to the Tica Bus station in San Benito.
From San Salvador
Same as above but in reverse! If you are staying in the San Benito area (ie Tica Bus area) then your best option is to grab a taxi to the Cieba de Guadeloupe and get the 102A. Take it all the way to Tunco or Sunzal and then wait on the highway for the bus to pass heading to El Zonte.
To/from La Libertad (Sunzal, El Tunco)
Take the 192, 192A, 192B if it passes. These buses go between La Libertad and La Perla, Chiltiupan and Teotepeque, respectively and all of them pass El Zonte along the way. Essentially almost every bus that passes gets you to/from La Libertad but ask the driver just to be sure before you get on. From the highway it’s about a 300 meter walk to the beach and hotels. ** note that the 80 only goes between La Libertad and Sunzal so don’t get on this one or you’ll have to switch to the 192 anyway.
There are two buses per day (287) that go from La Libertad all the way to Sonsonate: 6am and 1:30pm. This bus takes about 30min to get to El Zonte from La Libertad so you can factor in that time, however the bus sometimes leaves early, so it is best to be waiting a bit early. Going the other way, bus 287 leaves Sonsonate for La Libertad at 5:50am and 3:30pm.
You can catch the 192 which heads to La Perla and then arrange a taxi the rest of the way (or wait for a another bus). Your best bet to get to here is to take the 287 which runs twice a day to Sonsonate (as described above) as it will go right past Mizata.
To the Airport
Get yourself to La Libertad. Take the 187 that is heading to Comalapa. Let the money guy know you want to get off and switch to the airport bus. From there you will need to get to the spot to stand on the highway headed to the airport. Ask a local to point you in the right direction. From there take the 138 microbus to the Airport. We will be updating this very soon with more detailed information! Have a look at the El Salvador International Airport page for photos and more info.
To El Cuco
Going from El Cuco to El Zonte is a long journey and requires a few bus changes. The awesome duo at Don’t Forget to Move wrote a good blog post about the fastest way to do go from El Tunco . It was confirmed accurate in 2105. We will be testing this route soon to see how it goes.