Flying within El Salvador is neither cost effective nor easily accessible. Some well-heeled execs fly private planes between San Miguel and San Salvador, and Puerta Barillas in Bahía de Jiquilisco has a helicopter pad, but most folk here stay grounded.
Cycling is popular in El Salvador, both as a recreational activity and means of transport.
In San Salvador, a good point of contact is cycling enthusiasts Ciclistas Urbanos. They can provide information about the Cicleada Urbana Nocturna, a weekly Thursday-night group-cycling event in the capital.
You’ll need to use a boat to get around Bahía de Jiquilisco in eastern El Salvador and for any trips in the Golfo de Fonseca, near La Unión. Otherwise water transportation is rare.
- Hypercolored American school buses run frequently to points throughout the country and are very cheap (US$0.25 to US$5). Some weekend fares increase by up to 25%.
- Routes to some eastern destinations have different categories: ordinario, especial and super especial. The last two options cost more, but they are faster and more comfortable.
- Most intercity bus services begin between 4am and 5am and end between 6pm and 7pm.
Car & Motorcycle
Most roads in El Salvador are paved, but traffic is not easy to negotiate and roads are not particularly well signed.
Police set up checkpoints, especially on roads to border crossings. Carjacking is a problem, as is getting parts stolen off your parked car. Don’t drive alone in areas of ill repute and always park in safe places. Car insurance is a good idea, but not required.
Rental cars are available in San Salvador and San Miguel and can be delivered elsewhere. The following are in San Salvador:
Buses or collective pickups go just about anywhere you could want to go, so hitching isn’t usually necessary. Both men and women usually hop in the back of pickup trucks. Hitchhiking is never entirely safe, and we don’t recommend it. Travelers who hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.
There are no trains in El Salvador.