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)
#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
#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)
#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).
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).