Santa Ana

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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.


Looking for something to do in Santa Ana? Check out the Cafe Cadek for a really really good cup of coffee and delicious pastries. It isn’t well marked on the street but here it is on Google Maps.


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!

Bus schedule from Santa Ana to Juayua

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 one traveller has told us:  “You can take the R15 bus or the 264, they both follow the same route. Both leave from the same location, on Calle Capuco, near the intersection with 12a Calle Oriente. When I took it, there were 3 or 4 buses lined up here waiting, so it’s easy to spot”.


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!


Add your comments in an update below
Check the comments from other travellers for updates
Share your travel knowledge with others in the comment section below


We do note 100% guarantee accurate information. 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!



Ahuachapán Sonsonate San Salvador – Terminal de Occidente Metapan

San Cristobal , Cerroverde,  Guatemala,  many more


The Vencedora terminal - buses to Cerro Verde leave from here

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

The Vencedora terminal - view from the street

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Inside the Vencedora terminal

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Inside of the Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Streets outside of the Terminal de Buses Francisco Lara Pineda

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Bus stop in front of Metrocentro where you can get the TUDO to San Salvador.

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Metrocentro in Santa Ana

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

In the distance you can see the McDonalds where international buses such as the Tica Bus will pass.

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

The red TUDO bus passing on front of the Metrocentro

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

Inside the TUDO bus - movie and a/c

Photo taken: April 6, 2016

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27 travel tips for Santa Ana - share your tips below!

  1. Alexandra

    We left our bags in Santa Ana and travelled to Suchitoto to spend one night and after looking at the buses didn’t know if it would be worth it but it wasn’t nearly as complicated as it first looked! We took the 201 from Santa Ana to San Salvador which leaves regularly and only took 2 hours. It stopped at Terminal de Occidente and we took an Uber to the Terminal Nuevo Amanecer. From there we hopped on the 129 to Suchitoto which only took an hour. Really easy trip on the way back too.

  2. Gabriela

    Updated Antigua – Santa Ana via public bus report!! 🇬🇹-🇸🇻

    Hi everyone,

    Just doing an update journey report of getting the 4 public buses from Antigua to Santa Ana as it was super easy and much cheaper than the shuttle! (We also did public buses from San Pedro-Antigua the day before so feel free to ask about that if interested).

    Also…yes the buses in Guatemala can add a Gringo tax. Beat this by just knowing the rough price based on online reports, and just hand it to them rather than asking the price of the journey (this is where they charge more as they think you are clueless!)

    So we left our hotel to walk to the Antigua Bus Terminal at 8:00am ✅

    Bus to Escuintla
    * 8:20am-9:40am
    * Online people have reported paying Q. 20-30 (We paid Q.20 pp).

    Bus to La Frontera: 9:55am-12:40pm (10:10am actually left as we sat on the bus for 15 minutes whilst vendors sold food. We also stopped at Chiquimulila for 15/20 mins so you can get food/drinks here also)
    * Online people have reported paying Q. 80-90 (we paid Q.80).

    * We had lunch at the border (there are lots of comedors and shops where you can spend your last Quetzales).

    1:26- 1:40pm Exited Guatemalan side and walked across (tiring and HOT walk) to El Salvadorian side.

    (Border crossing was easy, no fees and no forms needed for either immigration office on a British passport. I believe USA, Australians, and about 20 other countries need to pay $12 to enter El Salvador).

    La Frontera to Sonsonate (1.57pm-4:05) We were stuck in lots of traffic.
    * Online people have reported paying $1.25 ish (we paid $0.90)

    Sonsonate to Santa Ana: (4:15:6:15pm)
    * Online people have reported paying $1.75 ish (We paid $0.70)

    Hope that explains it in detail! We only paid about £11.50 each for the whole journey as opposed to the £35 each for the shuttle. Everywhere the locals at the bus stations are very eager to help you find the right bus – you will have no problems! 😁

  3. Mia

    There is a new terminal called terminal Nuevo that buses to Suchitoto leave from. Other than that, I used the 201 to get from Santa Ana to San Salvador, took a taxi between the two terminals, and then took the 140 to Suchitoto. It’s $1 per seat and they’ll try to charge you for your bag unless you can get it out of the way. I used mine as a footrest. Not a comfortable one, but I saved that extra dollar.

  4. Berend

    Apparently the schedule of the busses from Santa Ana to suchitoto changed. Here is how we did it on the 22nd of February 2022.

    Take the 201 from Santa Ana to San Salvador. It leaves from station Metrocentro. Roughly 1.5 hours.

    The 201 drives to bus station “bus terminal Occidente.” From here you cross the street by the walking bridge, and take bus nr 34b in the direction of Bus Terminal Oriente.

    Here it comes. Google maps and are off. They suggest that the bus 129 to suchitoto leaves a bit south of terminal Occidente. This apparently changed!

    So, take the 34b in the direction of Terminal Occidente. Ask the bus driver to drop you off before (Terminal Occidente) to catch bus nr 29 in the direction of Nuevo Terminal. On it’s called: terminal de Oriente Plaza Amanecer.
    On bus 29 “Nuevo Terminal” is written on the window. 25 cents.

    Get off at Nuevo Terminal and walk in. The busses are around the right corner at the end. Google a photo of the 129 bus, and you’ll find it on Facebook. Busride to suchitoto costs 1 dollar and takes 1.5-2 hours.

  5. Tom Grace

    Went from Santa Ana to Suchitoto it was easy!

    Santa ana to Apopa on the 276 took about 2 hours and get off at the petrol station which is the last stop. It cost $1 each.

    Apopa to Aguilares. Get the 119 from the opposite side to the petrol station. It took 30 mins and cost 50 cent. Make sure you tell the driver you want to get off at the crossroads!

    Aguilares to Suchitoto on the 163. The bus stop is just the side of the main road. It cost 75 cents and took an hour as it has numerous stops.

    Overall it took roughly 4 hours door to door and it was all rather easy!

  6. Joanna Robles

    Hi, Can the Santa Ana to San Salvador be booked online? or we can just go to the bus station and buy the tickets there? Is the frequency a lot? thank you,

  7. Rita

    When I was in Santa Ana, the 248 to Cerro Verde was not working. It was replaced by the 209 that went through Cerro Verde on its way to Sonsonate. If you want to climb the Santa Ana volcano, be aware that there are no buses running between 1 and 4pm in order to get back to Santa Ana.

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