Santa Ana to Copán Ruinas

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

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).

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

  1. Kumar

    I did the reverse last week (Copan Ruinas —>Santa Ana)

    Copan Ruinas to Frontera Anguiatu – 30 minutes, 20 Lempiras
    Immigration (Honduras and Guatemala – now an attractive new building allowing quicker stamping) – 15 minutes
    Frontera to Vado Hando via Jacotan with a minivan transfer (1.30 hours, 16 Quetzals, interestingly three days before on the Chiquimula –> Frontera leg, there was no van transfer at Jacotan, the same van simply continued on to the frontera after a 15 min halt at Jacotan)

    Vado Hando —> Quezaltepec 30 minutes [the collectivo I boarded was going only upto Quezaltepec, 7 Quetzals)

    At Quezaltepec I had an annoying 30 minute wait on the roadside for a collectivo to Frontera Salvador (it’s not a busy route). I finally got one and promptly had another 20 minute wait at Quezaltepec while it filled up. Cost 8 Quetzals.

    Immigration at Frontera Salvador was a bit different. Guatemalan immigration is in a building with windows facing the road, this was the first border where they ask you to fill up a customs form. After stamping me out they gave me a small paper ticket which was collected by the Salvador immigration guard on the other side of the bridge. He just waved me through, no stamping or much else.

    On the Salvador side there was a chicken bus to Metapan for $0.55, I was told it leaves hourly. Time 40 minutes.

    At Metapan I disembarked and immediately found a bus to Santa Ana for $0.90. It took 1.2 hours to Santa Ana.

    Overall about 7.30 hours, well worth the massive saving in cost over taking a $45-50 shuttle from Copan to Santa Ana.

    • Patrícia

      It is not 45/50. It is 25 dolares

  2. Bartosz

    We traveled this route 2 days ago. Took us 6.5 hours. We started from El Tunco and traveled to Sonsonate, then Santa Ana and onwards with the directions from here, which took us around 12 hours total and $9 per person. Prices are right except that we paid 18 quetzals each from Vado Hondo to the border. Worth it for sure!

  3. Steven

    #1 bus 235 from Santa Ana to Metapan is still $0.90
    #2 the bus from Metapan to the border is $0.55
    #3 the bus from the border to the Vado Hondo stop is Q15
    #4 the bus from the Vado Hondo stop to Florido is Q25
    # Entering Honduras costs $3.00 / Q30
    #5 from the Honduras border to Copan is 20 lempiras

    We took the bus in Santa Ana at 8:00 and arrived in Copan at 15:00 (7 hours travel including border crossing and waiting for busses). We think this trip is totally worth it, we saved a lot of money compared to the shuttles.

    • Bartosz

      Great updated direcions! We dallowed it and it was all on point except the bus from Cado Honfo to the border was little cheaper at 18 quetzals. Thank you!

  4. Rebecca

    I second what Josef said. We did the journey today from Santa Ana to Copan.
    #1- Santa Ana to Metapan: we took bus 235. It said Anguaiatu on the front but only went as far as Metapan. 7:50-9:10 cost $.90
    #2 – Metapan to Anguaiatu/frontera: 9:20-9:50 cost $.55
    #3 – Shuttle to Chiquimula: we told driver we wanted to get off at Vado Hondo to go to Copan. 10:15-12:20 Cost 15 GTQ. We paid in dollars: $5 for two people
    #4 – Vado Hondo to El Florido/frontera: change of bus in Jocotan, no extra charge if you have your ticket. (Note: although we tried to get on the right bus, some guy steered us away and onto another bus. Only after about 5 minutes, I realized we were heading the wrong direction, back to Chiquimula. They waved down another bus that took us back to Jocotan, and we’re able to get on the correct bus to the border. We didn’t have to pay for an extra ticket, but worth verifying as it was a big waste of time) 12:25-13:00, 13:30-14:20 Cost 25 GTQ. We paid in dollars: $10 for 2 people.
    #5 Border fee for Honduras: we were told we could only pay in Lempiras, however I heard a different immigration officer allowing payment in dollars, so we insisted. Cost was $4 per person in exact change, no coins accepted.
    #6 Shuttle to Copan Ruins 14:40-14:55 Cost 20 Lempiras. We paid $1 per person.
    It took us about 7 hours in total, which would have been less if we hadn’t gotten on the wrong bus. Very easy.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks for giving us an update on the trip and times and details. Super helpful!

  5. Josef

    Hi, I’ve made the trip in both directions and here are my notes:
    From Santa Ana to Copan it took exactly 7 hours, back 6 hours. The main reason for the difference seems that in Guate – as written by other – the bus passes every village, but by way back it only have a few steps. 🙂
    Details: 11.00 to 13:00 Bus 235 Santa Ana to Anguita (there are leaving buses Santa Ana with sign “directo Anguita” but you also have to change at Metapan to another 235) U$ 0,90 + 0,55
    passed the border within 10 minutes
    waiting on right side in front of “Comedor Chayito” for Bus in Guate
    13:35 to 15:30 trip from border to Vado Hondo (tell this by paying) – Quetzal 15
    15:35 to 17:15 trip from Vado Hondo to border El Florido (with bus-change in Jocotán, but no extra-fee ==> beware your ticket!) Quetzal 15
    passed this border in 10 minutes too; entrance fee for Honduras U$ 3
    shuttle on the Hondurian side was waiting, but there is still every 10 minutes one
    17:25 to 18:00 trip to Copan Ruinas Lempiras 20 – if you don’t have Lempiras, U$ 1
    If you want to change money at the border, note that the money-guys not standing on the Hondurian side but between the exit of Guate and the imigration of Honduras. 😉
    Two thing to notice by going back:
    The bus station in Copan Ruinas is for the border-transport a five-minute-walk away from Central-Parque on the other side of the cemetery. At Vado Hondo you have to cross the street to go in the other direction but don’t go on a bus to Esquipulas; there are many passing, but it’s the wrong one. Wait for a bus where is no Destination written on and ask for “frontera a El Salvador”. The right one will ask you to get on. Also the locals have to ask and cann’t guess which is the right one. 😉
    BTW: the offered me in Copán Ruinas a shuttle back to Santa Ana – U$ 40 🙂 🙂

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Josef! Great info and super helpful to everyone!

    • Patrícia

      Isn’t it “Frontera a Honduras”, is it?

      • Josef

        not on the way back 😉

  6. Irma

    Hi! I did this trip and this was very valuable info 😉 my itinerary is below, in metapan change busses at the same place, there is also a nice pupuseria. Entering Honduras they only charged me 30 quetzal. And the bus to Copán charged me 10 quetzal as I did not have any lempiras. (I did not see men on the road changing money here)
    Hope this helps people!

    08:00 bus to metapan
    09:20 in metapan
    10:00 bus to frontera
    10:35 at border
    11:00 through border
    11:15 bus to chiquimula
    13:30 rio dondo
    13:35 bus to florido
    14:55 arrived at border
    15:10 through border
    15:30 bus to copan
    15:50 arrival

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you so much for helping, Irma! This information is definitely helpful to others.

  7. Belinda

    Just took this route and everything is as described (Aug 2017). Couple of notes:
    #2 we were charged $0.65 not sure if this was foreigner fee or if price has gone up
    #3 as per above we were charged 20q. Also we got off at the intersection which was easy
    #4 because we got off at intersection it only cost us 15q each to the border
    #5 we were not able to pay in usd only quetzals or lempira accepted
    #6 we only had usd so they charged $1 usd each and arrived approximately one hour earlier by not going all the way to Chiquimula
    Hope this helps anyone 🙂

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you for helping, Belinda! I have updated the prices. Hope the rest of your trip is awesome 🙂

  8. mariana

    Is there any alternative way to go from Santa Ana, El Salvador to Copan, Honduras?

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Mariana, I suspect there is an alternative to this route listed above, however this is the only information I have for now. This traveller did the trip and then sent me the details.

      If you choose a different route, would you be willing to share your trip so I can make a second route options here? You can submit the information to


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