There are two main terminals in Santa Ana:
The first is the Terminal de buses Franciso Lara Pineda, a large station which services several destinations including San Cristobal border crossing, Ahuachapán, Juayuá, Sonsonate and many more. If you are running late, walk past the gas station outside of the market area as many of the buses will pass by here as they leave.
The other terminal is the Empresa de Buses Vencedora, which has buses to Cerro Verde and Sonsonate.
Chances are if you are coming to Santa Ana you are staying at the legendary Casa Verde hostel. I don’t normally mention hostels but this one is really quite spectacular and the owner, Carlos, is one of the friendliest hostel owners around. The two main bus stations are within walking distance of this hostel.
Santa Ana to San Salvador
You need bus 201. There are two companies that will get you there:
The TUDO (Transportes Unidos de Occidente) and SEISABUS. The trip is about 1 hour with both regular and especial buses available. The TUDO travels the Panamerican highway and doesn’t stop except for Santa Tecla. There is an actual TUDO terminal on the edge of the city, but you don’t have to go all the way out there to grab the bus. The bus will pass a number of locations on the way out of town with the two most recognizable locations, the INSA and the Metrocentro (see map). You can get to the Metrocentro by city bus, ask your host where to get it.
The SEISABUS passes Santa Tecla, Santa Lucia, Ciudad Arce, and Coatepeque on its way to San Salvador. To catch this bus you can wait along Calle 9 and it eventually heads towards Parque Colon. It will also pass right in front of the Empresa de Buses Vencedora (see photos and map). These buses take you to the Terminal de Occidente in San Salvador.
Santa Ana to Sonsonate
To Sonsonate you have two choices. Bus 216 leaves the Terminal buses Franciso Lara Pineda for Sonsonate via Los Naranjos, it takes about 1.25hrs and costs $0.70.
The Empresa de Buses Vencedora also has buses that leave regularly to Sonsonate via bus 209 which passes El Congo.
Santa Ana to Juayuá
Bus 238 heads to Juayuá several times per day from the Terminal Francisco Lara PinedaThe trip is about one hour.
A big thanks to your fellow traveller named Marc for sending in a shot of an updated schedule (Sept 2018). This schedule seems to change fairly often so if you see any new changes let us know in the comments below!
Santa Ana to Cerro Verde
Head to the Vencedora terminal. Take bus 248. If you want to join the tour you need to be there before 11am and so you need to take the bus that leaves at 7:30am. There is another bus at 10am then 1pm of you aren’t looking for the guided tour. Afternoon buses return at 3pm and 4pm.
Santa Ana to Auachapán
Bus 210 to Auachapán from Terminal Franciso Lara Pineda will get you there. Bus leaves about every 20 minutes and the trip is between 1-1.5hrs.
Santa Ana to Tacuba
Head to Auachapán then take bus 264 to Tacuba. We aren’t 100% sure where this bus leaves from but it is likely from the Parque Central.
Santa Ana to Metapan
Bus 235 leaves a station near the Urb Jardines de Barcelona park where the Calle Aldea San Antonio meets 25 Calle Pte, but it passes close to Casa Verde (open in Google Maps) from a stop that is near the corner of Avenida José Matías Delgado and 5a Calle Poniente – just around the corner from the Scotia bank (see map). The trip is about 1.5hrs+ and leaves every 20 minutes.
Santa Ana to Suchitoto
Take the 201 to San Salvador, you will arrive at the Terminal de Occidente. Switch to the Terminal de Oriente. Take bus 7-C, 34-A or 34-B to go between terminals. Make sure it says Oriente and confirm with the driver he is going there. Heads up, the Terminal de Oriente isn’t in a great area of San Salvador and the 34 takes you right through the centre of the city. Keep your eyes open and your phone/valuables hidden.
You have two bus options. You can take bus 129 for $1 which is a full size bus with a/c, or in microbus 140 which costs $0.90. Both buses take about the same time. Important: if you take the microbus make sure you get on the correct 140. There are several 140 buses and some go to not so safe areas. The one going to Suchitoto will be clearly labeled Suchitoto. Also, important to note that the bus no longer leaves from inside the terminal, instead it passes on the highway in front. Read more about it here on the Suchitoto page.
We haven’t done this but are told you can do this: Take bus 213 to Tacachico. Bus leaves at 9:30am ($1.25) and takes 1.25hrs. From Tacachico take bus 465 to Aguilares. Bus departs at 12pm ($0.70) and takes about 1hr. From Aguilares you can head to Sushitoto on bus 163. This bus departs at 1:20pm ($0.75) and takes about 1hr.
Going the other way, the lovely girl at the tourist information centre in Suchitoto mapped out the route. She claimed you can’t go via Tacachico and had to go via Apopa so not sure what service exists there). I have not done this route either but here it is:
First you need to get the 163 from Suchitoto to Aguilares. This bus leaves every 40 minutes and costs $0.70. Tell the driver you are going to Apopa and need to get off at the Texaco gas station. You can then grab the 119 or the 125 heading to the POMA last station in Apopa. From there grab the 276 to Santa Ana. This bus passes every 2hrs and starts at 7am. Sorry not sure when the last bus is but my guess would be around 5pm.
If you do this route, drop us a comment below and let us know how it went. Or, better yet, send us the route and we can publish it here and in our routes section! Travellers helping travellers 🙂
Santa Ana to El Congo
Grab bus 59 and it will get you there in about 45 minutes. You can grab this bus from many street locations including the street on the south side of the park. As around for the nearest stop.
Santa Ana to Guatemala
Bus 236 (ordinary service) heads to the San Cristobal border. Every 20 mins and the trip is about 1hr.
Bus 282 heads to El Panojel in Guatemala from the Terminal buses Franciso Lara Pineda – I was told this is not the best option and you should take the San Cristobal border crossing.
Bus 402 with Transportes Mendez Express also departs at 11:30 from Terminal buses Francisco Lara Pineda and heads to Jutiapa and Jalapa Guatemala. From here you can take a bus to Guatemala City.
There are also nicer and faster international service providers which don’t come directly into Santa Ana but pass on the highway in front of the Mc Donalds near the Metrocentro. This includes buses like Tica Bus, Platinum, etc. When you book your ticket you can confirm the pickup location.
The nice a/c with bathrooms bus heading to Guatemala’s terminal Pezzarossi and passes near the Hospital Materno Infantile San Antonio at the intersection of the Main road Calle Aldea San Antonio and the side street Pasaje Memito (see map). 6am, 8am, 10am. There are likely later buses but these are the only confirmed times we have at the moment.
**One very helpful traveller wrote us a route for Santa Ana to Antigua. Feb 2018. Check this post out as an update to what is above.
Antigua to Santa Ana
Coming from Antigua? Traveller, Alicia has sent us this route to help you along your way: Antigua to Santa Ana.
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!