Santa Ana to Copán Ruinas

Santa Ana to Copán Ruinas. This route comes from an adventurous traveller named Alex at atewasabi.com.

Update: since we first posted this route we have had several great comments by other travellers on their experience and how to do it with prices and details updated (2018). Check the comments below to find updated times and prices and to read others’ experiences. 

 

#1 – to Metapan 0.9$ 9:28 to 10:40 bus 457 / 201A/ 235 (235 is the main bus, but the buses run every 20min – just take the first that reads: Metapan)
Santa Ana to Metapan bus

#2 – to Anguaiatu (the border) 0.65$, 10:57-11:30. The bus stops meters from the border. At 11:50 I was out of El Salvador at 11:55 entering Guatemala

Bus to Chiquimula

#3 – shuttle to Chiquimula 20 GTQ, 12:52-14:25 (shuttle leaves when full). There is an option to get down before Chiquimula at Rio Dondo, where the road turns right and to the valley (this saves about 20km in total, and some trouble – the shuttle/bus gets full at the bus stop and many get off before this turn/stop)

Bus to Anguitatu border

#4 – leave to Florido. The bus leaves from the central station – can’t miss it with 20 people screaming “Florido/frontera” even before you get off the previous bus. Fixed price 30GTQ – takes you to many villages, goes round and round to pick up more people before heading to the border. 14:25 – 16:12

#5– at 16:20 I entered the GT border by foot, exit to Honduras at 16:35. Border fee: 3USD/70 Lempiras/40GTQ. If paid in USD, must pay 4USD. But you may not be able to pay in USD so best to have GTQ or Lempiras. 

#6 – shuttle from right outside the Honduran border to Copan Ruinas. Leaves when full. 16:50-17:07, cost 15 Lempiras (about 10km).

36 travel tips for Santa Ana to Copán Ruinas - share your tips below!

  1. Matt

    Update March ’24

    Took the trip as per Inke’s comment. Generally had the same experiences, apart from a little less luck with transfers. Note that some drivers are now trying to charge tourists 50Q for the trip from Anguiatu to Vado Hondo. I only had 50Q in cash for the entire trip following the comments on here so I argued with the guy, and a couple of local passengers got involved too to say it was unfair. They stopped the bus twice to tell me to get off but in the end I paid only 30Q. Reports from fellow travellers in Copan who did the route were mixed with some asked to pay 30 and others 50.

    Safe travels.

    https://www.gowanderwise.com/

  2. Inke

    Update february ’24 Santa Ana to Copan.

    The route worked still perfectly and same as described! Took us 7 hours to complete, including border crossings and waiting time (Guess we were quit lucky as we had almost no waiting time at all)

    > Santa Ana- Metapan 7.38 – 9.00
    Take bus 235 although we took bus 247 to Metapan and it went directly as well. Maps.me pinpoints 2 places in Santa Ana were it leaves and both were on the route (checked also with the locals waiting) costs: 0.80 $ pp

    > Metapan- Frontera Anguiatu 9.03-9.30
    Just around the corner, ask for “La Frontera”. Can buy snacks here and there’s a bathroom.
    Costs: 0.56$ pp

    Border crossing went smoothly, changed 10 dollars per person for 120 quetzales (20 dollars for 240 quetzales) on the street and was enough for the buses in Guatemala and a coffee 😉

    > Frontera Anguiata – Vado Hondo 10.10- 12.20
    Take the bus heading to “Chiquimula” driver knows where to get you off when travelling to Copan. Took us somewhat longer because bus was driving 30km/hr but good vibes so nothing to complain really 😉 Costs: 30qtz pp

    > Vado hondo – Jocotan 12.25- 12.55
    Bus was already waiting again and we bought tickets directly to Frontera El Florido. Costs: They charged us only 20qtz pp to El Florido

    Jocotan- Frontera El florido 13.03-13.49
    Still had to change buses here

    Border crossing smoothly again. Changed some dollars for Lempiras. Paid 3 dollar entrance to enter Honduras (only notes no coins, otherwise 30quetzales or Lempiras also fine)

    Frontera El florido – Copan 14.15-14.34
    Mini van was already waiting, didnt wait to be filled up in our case. Costs: 25 Lempiras pp

    Total cost around 10 dollar pp and felt very safe/chill all the time. Bus drivers all friendly and helping with bags etc. Would recommend 🙂 Also, theres a hostel in Metapan if you would like to start closer to the border, cutting of 1.5hrs, although Santa Ana is more fun to stay.

    Thanks for this very helpful blog and good luck for those planning to do the trip 🙂

  3. kat

    hello! planning a trip around Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and coming across these bloggs has been very helpful! i have a question tho, im gonna have a carry on bag, plus a huge backpack, is it allowed to travel on those buses with that many luggage? is there enough space for those things? thank you!

  4. Rhendrickson

    Did the route Copan – Santa Ana on Saturday 5/13.

    Copan Ruinas – El Florido

    Tuk tuk, 300 lempiras for 2 ppl, we knew it wasn’t the best but couldn’t get a good info on the bus so bit the billet.

    Left around 7:50AM
    Arrived at the border at 8:10AM

    Honduras immigration was slow, got out at 9AM

    El Florido – Vado Hondo

    Bus was already there when we crossed the border. It was the only bus there so it was obvious and the driver was asking everyone if they were going to Chiquimula. Just ask to make sure if they’ll stop at Vado Hondo. The bus took a 20 min stop at Jocotan just looking for more passengers. 25 GTQ per person.

    Left 9:15AM
    Arrived 10:50AM

    Vado Hondo – Anguiatu

    Right as our bus stopped at Vado Hondo, another bus stopped in front of us and I asked if it was going to Anguiatu & Frontera El Salvador and the person said yes so we got on and the bus left soon after. We had about a 15 min stop at Quetzaltepeque. Fare was 30 GTQ, but I wasn’t thinking beforehand and I didn’t have enough GTQ. The fare collector was kind enough to take 5 USD and gave me 5 GTQ in change. Wouldn’t recommend doing this though.

    Left 10:55AM
    Arrived 12:20PM

    Anguiatu – Metapan

    This was probably the most frustrating and the least efficient part of the trip as we got on the chicken bus but the bus didn’t leave for another 30min in the blazing heat despite it being a short ride. Easy to spot the bus as it’s the only one. Cost 0.56 USD

    Left 1:15PM
    Arrived 1:45PM

    Metapan – Santa Ana

    We arrived at the Metapan bus terminal and the bus to Santa Ana came maybe after 10 mins. After about another 5 mins the bus departed. The bus was packed and it was super hot, with very little leg room for somebody 6’4”. The bus was quite fast, and there were vendors with cold drinks coming in and out of the bus. The bus cost $0.80

    Left 2PM
    Arrived 3:20PM

    overall an incredibly efficient trip considering the amount of transfers required. We actually had a Salvadorean man who spoke perfect English offer us a ride from Anguiatu to Santa Ana, which we turned down because we were being extra cautious but in retrospect should have taken up the offer. On the way to Copan, we took a shuttle from Go tours El Salvador from San Salvador which was super nice – basically a private car as there appeared to be little demand at this moment. However I enjoyed this ride back more as we crossed through small villages in the mountains of Guatemala and saw a glimpse of what life is like based on the sceneries and the passengers. It’s also worth noting that none of the drivers/fare collectors tried to hustle us for being foreigners and they were helpful when we had questions despite my terrible Spanish.

  5. Emil

    February 2023!

    Did this trip a few days ago and it went smoothly.

    – 08:47. Bus 235, Santa Ana -> Metapan. $0,8. 1h 20 min. Bus was easy to find by asking around at the Santa Ana bus station. It drops you off next to the next bus.
    – 11:00. Bus 211, Metapan -> Anguiatu. $0,56. 45 min. We had to wait for an hour before it departed.

    The above buses have their prices clearly shown on a big paper above the driver inside the bus, so you know you’re paying the official price.

    Guatemalan border was super smooth. There’s people exchanging 1 USD for 7 quetzales, which is an okay deal (1 USD = 7,8 quetzales).

    – 12:05. Shuttle/mini bus, Anguiatu -> Vado Hondo. 30Q. 1h 30 min. Drops you next to the next bus.
    – 13:37. Vado Hondo -> El Florido. 30Q. 1h 20 min in total, changing busses in Jocotan after 30 minutes (you buy both tickets together at Vado Hondo).

    Honduran border also smooth. Exchange rates at 1 USD -> 22 Lempira as well as 1 GTQ -> 3 Lempira.

    Border fee 75 Lempira, which was NOT payable in USD.

    – 15:35. Shuttle/mini van, Florido -> Copán. 25L. 20 minutes. Had to wait for it to be filled up before it departed. We arrived at about 15:55.

    All in all pretty smooth with minor hiccups. 7 hours and $14,74 per person, including the cost of exchanging 20 USD for 140 GTQ at Anguiatu, as well as 10 USD for 220 HNL at El Florido (enough for 2 people).

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