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.
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.
Some of the highlights of the Ruta de las Flores include:
La Ruta de Las Flores is located inland in the east of El Salvador between Ahuachapan and Sosonate.
The five towns of La Ruta De Las Flores are:
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.
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.
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.
Salcoatitán is the best place on the Ruta de las Flores to try coffee.
Nahuizalco is known for its wicker handicrafts, market and little white church.
You have three options to visit the Ruta de las Flores:
A Ruta de las Flores El Salvador tour is the most convenient option:
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.
We took public transport along the Ruta de las Flores El Salvador. It was super cheap and surprisingly convenient.
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!
We love public transport in El Salvador. Here are some general tips for visiting the Ruta de Las Flores with public transport:
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.
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.
You can take bus 249 or minibuses from Ataco to Apaneca. The ride should take around 20 minutes.
You can take bus 249 or minibuses from Apaneca to Juayua. The ride should take around 30 minutes.
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.
You guessed it: Bus 249 will also bring you from Juayua to Salcoatitan. The drive should only take you around 10 minutes.
The 249 also connects the southernmost town of Nahuizalco to the rest of the Ruta de las Flores.
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.
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.
For 1 day we would choose to see
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.
On day 1, visit
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
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 😅
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There are a lot of beautiful places in El Salvador so you should definitely include it in your Central America itinerary. Backpacking El Salvador rewards you with lovely people and good infrastructure. From the beaches of El Tunco to the volcano in Santa Ana and the mountain villages of the Ruta de las Flores - we show you the best places to visit in El Salvador.