Antigua Guatemala to Santa Ana El Salvador

This route is brought to you by a cool chica named Alicia. She did this route in Feb 2017. Look at the comments below to read other traveler advice and additions/updates.

*Note that the last bus leaving the border is at 6pm. But I always recommend planning for the bus before that. You never know when the last bus time will be the time before!


Antigua to Escuintla -8Q (1-1.5h)
– walk to the “bus station” (a huge unpacked lot) behind the local market and ask around for the buses to Escuintla, and someone will direct you
– I got there at 9am and the bus left 10 mins later. Not sure how often they run but I’m sure they run quite regularly
– I would suggest leaving at 7/8am


Escuintla to Frontera El Salvador – Q45 (2h)
– bus dropped me off right in front of the bus for la frontera. There was a man standing outside of our bus when it arrived directing people to the bus to la frontera
– we stopped for about an hour in Chiquimulilla before continuing onwards
– many places to get food at this stop, and several vendors will come into the bus selling food and drinks


El frontera to Sonsonate ($0.90USD) 1.5-2h
– the bus drops you off directly at Guatemala migration, where you will get “stamped out” of the country
– there is no stamp to get into El Salvador, so you just keep walking along the building, parallel to the main road, until you reach the crossroads. Keep walking straight. Ask people to direct you.
– several Tuktuk drivers will offer you rides and tell you it’s too far to walk. It’s not. Just keep walking across the bridge beside the long lineup of transport trucks. You’ll cross a second bridge where again you keep walking straight. Once you pass all of the buildings, the “bus station” is on the right. It’s just a tiny dirt parking lot.
– Bus 259 arrives every 30 mins or so. Take it to the very end. Sonsonate is the last stop


Sonsonate to Santa Ana
– this is a large bus terminal. From here there are several buses to surrounding towns. I went to Santa Ana ($0.70USD). I took bus 216. The station is very organized and there are always “bus helpers” directing you to your next bus if you don’t see 216 right away.


Help your fellow travellers

If you have done this route and have any info to add or update, please leave it in a comment below!


Thank you to traveller, Dennis for his contribution of this route in reverse: Santa Ana to Antigua

36 travel tips for Antigua Guatemala to Santa Ana El Salvador - share your tips below!

  1. Jan

    Went today (10th January 2024) from Antigua to Ataco:

    8:15 Arrival at Antigua bus terminal

    1/ Antigua – Escuintla – 20 Q
    8:20 – 9:30

    2/ Escuintla to la Frontera – 80 Q
    10 – 13 We needed to change buses in Chiquimulilla.

    – Border crossing and walk to the bus station: 13 – 14

    3/ La Frontera – Sonsonate 0.90$
    14 – 16

    4/ Sonsonate – Ataco 0.90 $
    16.30 – 18

    Was a long way, but instead of 400 GTQ, we just paid in total around 1/4 of it. So really worth to do it as it’s totally safe & easy to do!

  2. Yuli

    Thanks for the info!
    Did this route today.
    From Escuintla to Frontera I was charged 60 gtq! Waited a bit more at the connections. But absolutely doable.
    Walking through the border was long and VERY hot! Rates for currency exchange are not good at the border, but what can you do🤷‍♂️

  3. Rachael

    Thanks for all the info guys, this was so helpful. We did the journey on Thursday 14th December 2023. It was practically perfectly described, and we barely waited between buses. Overall it took us a bit longer than the times stated, but we left early incase this happened.

    Antigua-Escuintla 20Q 8:30-9:50
    Escuintla-La Frontera 70Q 10:00-13:10
    Border 1:10-1:55 including free toilets. We did have to get a stamp into El Salvador, but it was from a kind of portacabin. You can’t miss it as you’ll walk straight past, and officials will point you to it.
    La Frontera-Sonsonate 14:00-15:50
    Sonsonate-Santa Ana 15:55-17:20

  4. Simon

    Did the trip today. Really easy and fun. Make sure to leave early… long day ahead.

    Thanks for sharing your tips – save travels!

  5. Oliver

    Hi, I did the route on 9th November 2023. It is still as described and very easy to navigate.

    8h00: Arrival at Antigua bus terminal

    1/ Antigua – Escuintla – 20 Q
    8h20 – 9h30

    2/ Escuintla to la Frontera – 70 Q
    9h35 – 12h00
    (Including 25′ break here and there) I didnt need to change buses in Chiquimulilla.

    – Border crossing and walk to the bus station: 12h00 – 1245

    3/ La Frontera – Sonsonate – 0.90$
    13h00 – 15h00

    4/ Sonsonate – Santa Ana 0.50$
    15h15 – 16h30

    Very easy and much cheaper than the shuttles! Enjoy!

  6. Nishant prasad

    Still works. Did it early May 2023, same info applies.

  7. Christiaan meij

    18-01-2023 Did the same route as Alexandra. Route is still up to date.
    Still works exactly the same. Really easy and fun.

  8. Alexandra

    Hi, I did the route today, Sunday Nov 6th. Thank you so much for your info & tips.
    Here is my update.

    7h05: Arrival at Antigua bus terminal

    1/ Antigua – Escuintla – 20 Q
    7h15 – 8h25 = 1h10

    2/ Escuintla to la Frontera – 70 Q
    8h33 – 11h25 = 2h52
    (Including 25′ break here and there) I didnt need to change buses in Chiquimulilla.

    – Border crossing and walk to the bus station: 11h25 – 11h55 = 30′

    3/ La Frontera – Sonsonate – 1$
    11h58 – 13h45 = 1h47

    4/ Sonsonate – Santa Ana 0.70$
    13h54 – 15h30 = 1h36

    Total 8h25. 90Q & 1,70$, so much worth compared to the 45$ for a shuttle ticket. It seems long but it was very smooth. I never waited long and people were very helpful. And as a solo female traveller, i never felt insecure!

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