Santa Ana to El Tunco (in less than 2hrs and with a/c)

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.

TUDO bus passing the metrocentro in Santa Ana, El Salvador

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!).

Microbus from San Salvador to Sunzal


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.

7 travel tips for Santa Ana to El Tunco (in less than 2hrs and with a/c) - share your tips below!

  1. Joshua

    A heads up my girlfriend and I just completed this route and the buses insisted we paid double because of our large rucksacks. It’s fair enough, but it may be worth noting on here. It was therefore $2 each from Santa Ana to San Salvador and $3 each from San Salvador to El Tunco.

    • H the traveller

      Yeah we found that was a common thing in Nicaragua, I wouldn’t say it’s completely fair as all the locals have so much stuff they take on the bus but they don’t pay anything extra at all. I just think it’s a way of them extracting as much money from tourists as possible, I think it’s disgraceful

      • Oskar

        You’re a cottonheaded minimuggins and i think youre discraceful for thinking $2 is a lot. Grow up.

        • Graham

          Im with oskar on this. You dumb cotton headed ninny muggins.
          Go and make an island and charge tourists less and locals more. Then charge locals to use the toilet as well

          • Grey

            Im with graham on this. Everyone this dumb old cotton headed ninny muggins is chiming up again! They should just charge everyone to go to the toilet if they are this stupid

            • Flippeggs

              Im with grey on this, flip over the eggs love

              • One hundred elefenty one

                Def with the mini nuggets here

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