La Ruta de las Flores with Public Transport (+Map)

Author Carina Klein
Carina
· 9 min read · 0 comments

Share this post with others

TL;DR

How to travel the Ruta de las Flores El Salvador with public transport – including a map.

We travelled the Rute de las Flores El Salvador by bus from Santa Ana. In our Ruta de Las Flores by public transport travel guide, we show you how to do the same with chicken buses.

What is the Ruta de las Flores?

The Ruta de las Flores is a picturesque region in El Salvador. 5 towns have merged to offer a real highlight to every tourist visiting.

Ruta de las Flores literally means Flower Route. While the flowers bloom from November to February, there are a ton of activities you can do along the Ruta de las Flores which make a visit well worth all year round.

Picture of Mirador de la Cruz viewpoint Ataco
Mirador de la Cruz viewpoint Ataco

What to do on La Ruta de las Flores

Some of the highlights of the Ruta de las Flores include:

  • Chorros de la Calera waterfall
  • Cafe Albania with zip lines and a labyrinth
  • Coffee
  • Arts and crafts

Where is La Ruta de Las Flores?

La Ruta de Las Flores is located inland in the east of El Salvador between Ahuachapan and Sosonate.

Towns of the Ruta de Las Flores

The five towns of La Ruta De Las Flores are:

  1. Ataco
  2. Apaneca
  3. Juayúa
  4. Salcoatitán
  5. Nahuizalco

1. Ataco

In Ataco, you can find great coffee. Additionally, there’s a lot of arts and crafts– as well as street art. Don’t forget to visit the Mirador de la Cruz viewpoint. El Carmen is one of the most convenient places along the Ruta de las Flores to do a coffee tour.

Picture of Street art in Ataco
Street art in Ataco

2. Apaneca

Apaneca is mostly known for Cafe Albania with its labyrinth, zip lines, and Instagram-famous rainbow slide.

Other places to visit in the area are Laguna Verde and Laguna las Ninfas as well as Hoyo de Cuajusto.

Picture of Cafe Albania in Apaneca
Cafe Albania in Apaneca

3. Juayúa

In Juayúa, you can find a unique church with stained glass windows. Additionally, it’s famous for the Chorros De La Calera waterfall, which can be visited as part of the famous seven waterfalls hike or alone.

Picture of Stained glass windows in Juayua
Stained glass windows in Juayua

4. Salcoatitán

Salcoatitán is the best place on the Ruta de las Flores to try coffee.

Picture of Coffee tasting along the Ruta de las Flores
Coffee tasting along the Ruta de las Flores

5. Nahuizalco

Nahuizalco is known for its wicker handicrafts, market and little white church.

Picture of Market along la Ruta de las Flores El Salvador
Market along la Ruta de las Flores El Salvador

How to visit La Ruta de las Flores

You have three options to visit the Ruta de las Flores:

1. Take a Tour to Ruta de Las Flores

A Ruta de las Flores El Salvador tour is the most convenient option:

2. Renting a Car for La Ruta de Las Flores

You can rent a car in El Salvador but we’re not brave enough to drive abroad so we are not going to comment on that.

3. Taking Public Transportation to La Ruta de Las Flores

We took public transport along the Ruta de las Flores El Salvador. It was super cheap and surprisingly convenient.

Getting to la Ruta de las Flores

We decided to base ourselves in Santa Ana and couldn't be happier with our decision.

We stayed at Casa Vieja Guest House. The host Luis is extremely knowledgeable about the region and will happily give you amazing advice on where to go and how to go there. He helped us a lot while planning our Ruta de las Flores by bus trip!

Getting Around the Ruta de las Flores by Bus

Taking the Bus Along the Ruta de las Flores

We love public transport in El Salvador. Here are some general tips for visiting the Ruta de Las Flores with public transport:

  1. There’s not much of a schedule. Most buses run super regularly. They leave as soon as they fill up and we never waited more than 15 minutes anywhere.
  2. Buses are extremely affordable. You will rarely pay more than 1$ per leg.
  3. You can buy tickets from the driver in cash. There’s a sign in front of the bus stating the price so you will not fall victim to any scam attempt.
  4. There are bus stops but you should also be able to flag down a bus from the side of the road.
  5. Buses can get very full. Be prepared to be close to strangers.
Picture of Bus stop along la Ruta de las Flores El Salvador
Bus stop along la Ruta de las Flores El Salvador

Bus Routes along la Ruta de las Flores

If you based yourself in Santa Ana, you first have to make your way to Ahuachapan. Head to the Santa Ana bus terminal and take bus 210. The journey takes around an hour.

Bus from Ahuachapan to Ataco

You can take bus 249 or minibuses from Ahuachapan to Ataco. The ride should take around 25 minutes. We have marked the spot where you have to change buses on the map.

💡
Bucketlist2life tip: Bus 249 connects Ahuachapan with Sonsonate regularly.

Bus from Ataco to Apaneca

You can take bus 249 or minibuses from Ataco to Apaneca. The ride should take around 20 minutes.

Bus from Apaneca to Juayua

You can take bus 249 or minibuses from Apaneca to Juayua. The ride should take around 30 minutes.

Bus from Juayua to Santa Ana

If you want to head back to Santa Ana from Juayua, you can take the direct bus 238. It leaves at the corner of Calle Mercedes Pte and 5a Av Sur. It only runs a couple of times throughout the day and stops running quite early. We took the last bus at 4:10 p.m.. It took around 1.5 hours.

💡
Bucketlist2life tip: Alternatively, you can head back the way you came via Ahuachapan.

Bus from Juayua to Salcoatitan

You guessed it: Bus 249 will also bring you from Juayua to Salcoatitan. The drive should only take you around 10 minutes.

Bus from Salcoatitan to Nahuizalco

The 249 also connects the southernmost town of Nahuizalco to the rest of the Ruta de las Flores.

Bus from Nahuizalco to Santa Ana

First, you have to take the 249 all the way Sosonate. From here, bus 216 will take you to Santa Ana in around 1.5 hours.

Picture of Ruta de las Flores bus
Ruta de las Flores bus

How Many Days along Ruta de las Flores?

You can see every village on the Ruta de las Flores in 1 day but you will be on the bus a lot and you won’t have time to do the amazing activities along the way.

If you only have 1 day on the Ruta de las Flores, we suggest choosing a couple of places and skipping the rest.

If you have 2 days on the Ruta de las Flores, you can split the stops and spend a night along the way.

Ruta de las Flores 1 Day Itinerary

For 1 day we would choose to see

  • Ataco
  • Apaneca
  • Juayua

See some arts and crafts in Ataco, hike to the mirador, and maybe take a coffee tour. Afterwards, take the bus the Cafe Albania in Apaneca.

Explore Juayúa before you take the direct bus back to Santa Ana. You can even do the Chorros de la Calera hike which should take you around 30 minutes per way.

💡
Bucketlist2life tip: Be aware that the 7 waterfalls hike in Juayua takes around 4 hours and you will not be able to do it on a day trip.

Ruta de las Flores 2 Day Itinerary

On day 1, visit

  • Ataco
  • Apaneca
  • Juayua

Juayua is a super pleasant place to spend a night along la Ruta de las Flores. There are many accommodation options. E.g. Hostel El Pacifico or Hostal Doña Mercedes have both dorms and private rooms at great value.

On day 2, hike to the Chorros de la Calera waterfall (or even all 7 waterfalls) if you haven’t done it on day 1.

Afterwards, head to

  • Salcoatitan to treat yourself to a coffee.
  • Finish the Ruta de Las Flores in Nahuizalco.
Picture of Streets of Juayua
Streets of Juayua

Is La Ruta de Las Flores Safe with Public Transport?

We always felt safe in El Salvador – also along la Ruta de las Flores and also in all the buses. Buses can get quite full so it might be useful to keep an eye on your belongings.

Bus drivers tend to drive fast but we couldn’t find any statistics about high accident rates so we choose to assume that they drive fast but safe 😅

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. You would help us a lot if you do so. Thanks.

Interested in personal updates and honest travel guides?
Sign up for our biweekly bucketlist2life newsletter for exclusive behind the scenes looks into our travel planning!

☕️

Want to support us?
Buy us a coffe, a tea – or a whisky.

0 Comments

Leave a comment

Do you have any thoughts on this article? – We would love to hear from you!

Do you want to follow us on our jouney? Check this box to also signup for our Newsletter and never miss an update!

You have a link you want to share with others? This is a good place for it!

Do you want to receive a Push-Notification when someone replies to your comment? – Check this box!