How to get from Copan, Honduras to El Tunco, El Salvador: Chicken bus extravaganza

As my SEO skills end with knowing only what the acronym stands for, hopefully people find this.  With the simple task of getting from Copan to El Tunco, two very popular gringo trail stops, we were surprised to see that there was only one shuttle running every other day for a pricey $45. We opted to take our first multi chicken bus travel day. All veterans who seamlessly string all these busses together need not read this post, you can probably do it better and save me the embarrassment. Also, knowing a little more Spanish than my basic level will be a big help!

We started with basic information from our hostel concierge, a bright boy no doubt, however I am betting he never has tried to take this long string of busses he guided us towards. But none the less here is the basic route to get there with some helpful edits by myself being your senior on this adventure by 12 hours of hard earned experience.

Start at the lovely and artistic ruins of Copán, just ask where the cemetery is and the bus station happens to be across the street. The shuttle to the boarder is only about 20L or a little less than $1 USD.

Once over the boarder to Guatemala get on the bus to Chiquimula. Chiquimula had a lot of connections so in retrospect I’m almost positive you can find a bus directly to the El Salvador border, we however had an extra stop in Esquipulas due to the young concierge’s instruction.

Once over the border and in El Salvador hop a quick bus to Metapan. As another time saver to you, do not ask folks where El Tunco is. Ask for La Libertad. My mistake in asking for Tunco probably added about 4 hours to our day. Many people did not know where it was but wanting to help would offer up some advice to a very different place they thought sounded about right. Also my limited Spanish, their fast talking and a hangry attitude did not mix well for my comprehension. The people are terribly nice though, no question about it ha, they really did want to help! 

So anyways if you can catch a bus directly to San Salvador from Metapan do it! If you cannot go through Santa Ana like we did and catch the bus to San Salvador. For all you ninnies out there, don’t worry you don’t go to the heart of the city. Get out in Santa Tecla just outside the city and catch the bus for La Libertad. Ask the driver or a local for the Tunco stop, it is tiny. If you miss it La Libertad is not too much farther, you’ll be ok.

So yes, the main reason you found this post is because not many others went through this chicken bus hell! All in all it cost about $7. But 7 busses certainly had me considering that shuttle… Also, the rumors about El Salvador and Honduras are frightfully inaccurate. People were very kind and helpful, as I mentioned above even too helpful. If all else fails make sure your google maps is downloaded for offline use and point to La Libertad and they will get you there.

Buen Suerte Amigos.

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