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Buses to and from Metapán connect at Santa Ana's Metrocentro terminal with onward connections to San Salvador. The town's rudimentary bus depot is located next to the Hotel San José on the main highway and the entrance into the town center, which is a 5-minute walk downhill. Here, you can catch local buses every 30 minutes to the Guatemalan border crossing at Anguiatú or a twice-daily bus to the Honduran border at Citalá, which is a rough-and-tumble 3-hour drive, but with memorable mountain scenery.

The entrance to Parque Montecristo is approximately 16km (10 miles) and a 40-minute drive north of Metapán. Buses don't run to the park, but you can arrange transportation at the bus depot, where you'll find numerous pickup trucks waiting to take you to the park. A 1-day round-trip pickup ride is about $55. Note: There is no point attempting this without a park permit acquired in San Salvador. The park's offices are located at the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Km 5.5 Carretera a Santa Tecla, Calle and Colonia Las Mercedes, Bldg. MARN No. 2, San Salvador; tel. 503/2267-6276; www.marn.gob.sv). The process takes an hour and costs $6 for the entrance fee and $1.15 per vehicle.

To get to Lago de Güija from Metapán, take bus no. 235 (25¢), which leaves about every 10 minutes from the bust terminal. Tell the driver "Lago de Güija," and you'll get off about 5 blocks from the lake, beside a small, bright-blue building and a sign reading PLAYA TURISTA with an arrow pointing to a road on the right. Follow that road to the lake.

If you're driving, turn left out of the Hotel San Jose and for about 10 minutes until you see the PLAYA TURISTA sign. Turn right and follow the road to the water. The pickups that take travelers to Parque Monticristo also run the route to the lake for $10 each way.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.