When going from Santa Ana to El Tunco your best option is to route through San Salvador. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true. Don’t worry, you don’t have to head all the way into the Terminal de Occidente – we know a shortcut.
First, in Santa Ana, you need to go to the Metrocentro and take a Red TUDO bus heading to San Salvador (a/c and a gory movie!). We can’t remember the price but it’s about $1.50 and takes about 1hr since it only makes 1 stop along the way.
As the driver to let you off at the Estación Ceiba de Guadalupe. This is basically a spot on the highway where almost all buses leaving the Terminal de Occidente will pass. Get off of the bus and cross the highway on the overhead walkway and on the other side wait for the 102A microbus going to Sunzal. (passing La Libertad and El Tunco along the way). This bus should pass every 20 minutes or so and if you’re scared you won’t see it, just tell a local that you are looking for it and they will help watch with you (Salvadorians are so helpful!).
Going to El Zonte? Here is what you do. Once you get to El Tunco, wait on the side of the highway for the 192 to pass and hop on for $0.25. El Zonte is about 15 minutes further down the road. ** Be sure that if you are headed to El Zonte you are leaving El Salvador before 4:30pm. The last bus passing between 5:30 and 6pm. Important: there is no ATM in Zonte.