How to travel El Salvador: Transportation Tips

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Travel El Salvador: How to get around?

If you know where and how it’s pretty easy to travel El Salvador. Depending how much money you want to spend and how much time you have there are different ways to get where you want. There are five options that we can recommend to you:

  • Use public transport (cheap but sometimes unreliable and less comfortable)
  • Get a rental car (expensive & comfortable, but you’re fully flexible)
  • Travel with tour operators (full comfort, no stress but more costly than the public transport)
  • Rent a scooter for short distances.
  • Get an UBER especially if you need a spontaneous ride in the capital San Salvador.
Travel in El Salvador
Travel El Salvador with public transport can be a special experience, but also it's not very comfortable.

Travel El Salvador with public transport

If you use public transport, we can recommend the following site: www.centrocoasting.com/elsalvador. They offer accurate information about bus stations and bus schedules in Central America. If you want to go from El Tunco to El Zonte, for example, public buses are leaving almost every 20min. You pay about US$ 0.75 -1.00 one way. It is the cheapest way to get around in El Salvador, but also it’s not very comfortable sometimes, especially when you travel with a surfboard or a lot of luggage. Also the bus drivers seem to be in a rush always: time is money – or driving fast is cool. 

If you travel to Guatemala, Nicaragua or Honduras www.ticabus.com is the best option. We can recommend Surfo’s & Tiki Travel in El Tunco. “Patiño” in El Tunco can arrange your tickets from www.ticabus.com to almost every place in Central America.

Travel in El Salvador
Travel from El Salvador to other destinations in Central America: "Patiño" has an official office to buy tickets in El Tunco.

Car Rental in El Salvador

You can get a rental car directly at the airport, or you try one of the companies in San Salvador. Be sure to have a valid driver’s license and that your rental contract covers insurance. If you have an accident and the car hasn’t any insurance you might get in trouble. So don’t pick the cheapest offer, ask first. Best option is to rent a car from an official company you know, a hotel or person you trust.

Prices vary a lot, also depending on the car you rent. Better don’t rent a car from a private person that you don’t know. Prices at the airport start around $30 per day (but you won’t fit a surfboard in it). ​Driving in El Salvador can get a bit tricky, especially when it’s dark and your car hasn’t a proper lighting. 

Travel El Salvador with tour operators

The easiest and most comfortable way to travel El Salvador are tour operators. We often work together with Tunco Life, a reliable and professional tour operator in El Tunco. You can find the shop from Tunco Life right at the end of the mail Street in El Tunco. There’re also other tour operators also that have good services and most of them offer the usual destinations in El Salvador. Prices vary sometimes, also the service. If you don’t speak Spanish and you want to learn more about the place you visit you should ask first if they offer an english speaking guide.

Travel in El Salvador
Travel El Salvador with Salvatore from "Tunco Life", a reliable and professional tour operator in El Salvador.

Scooter Rental in El Salvador

Scooter rental are not that common in El Salvador as in other countries. They are useful if you need to get from one surf spot to another.  We don’t recommend them for longer distances. Also the driver’s here in El Salvador, especially the bus driver, don’t seem to accept “weaker” people in the traffic sometimes. Be careful!

Greg and Vane in El Tunco rent scooters for affordable money. They also can bring you the scooter to your place if you don’t stay in El Tunco. You need to fill out a contract and leave your passport as a deposit. 

Prices are US$ 10 for one hour, US$ 15 for half a day and US$ 25 for 24 hours. You can also ask for special a discount if you rent a scooter for more than one day. Opening times are from 10 am to 6 pm every day and on Saturdays until 11 pm. You can find Vane & Greg’s place at the main road in El Tunco.

Travel in El Salvador
Travel El Salvador with a Scooter: A good option for shorter distances, but not that common yet.

Travel El Salvador with Uber

Yes, there’s Uber in El Salvador – and it works! We don’t recommend it for longer distances. But it’s a good option if you want to get from A to B in San Salvador, especially if you don’t want to use to public transport, which is slow and unreliable sometimes. In general it’s safe and as reliable as you might know it from your country. There’re normal axis also but especially as a tourist they like to charge you and “extra fee” for not having a Salvadoran passport. We don’t recommend using an UBER to get from the airport to your destination to El Salvador. They probably will rip you off.

Things to do in El Salvador

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Playa El Zonte (Hotel Palo Verde)

Carretera Litoral CA2 #12

La Libertad, El Salvador

Spanish School El Zonte
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