La Barra is not easy to find, and access to its two hotels is via the beach. Unless you are determined to travel independently, it is best to arrange a hotel transfer or choose a tour company for a day trip.
By Bus -- From San Salvador, take a bus to Sonsonate. Then, catch bus no. 285, which departs Sonsonate for Barra de Santiago daily at 10am and 4:30pm; it leaves Santiago for Sonsonate daily at 4:30am and noon. The trip costs $1 and takes 1 1/4 hours. The spot where buses arrive and depart is a straight, 5-minute walk from both of Santiago's hotels.
By Car -- You can drive here from most parts of the country by journeying on CA-12, which heads south and then west before turning toward the beach at Km 98.5 (there'll be a sign for Barra de Santiago). From there, it's another 25 to 30 minutes along a bumpy dirt road that dead-ends just before the hotels. It can get a bit tricky; but just stay as close to the beach as possible, and you should find your way. The trip is possible in a regular car, but you cannot take the beach access road to either hotel. You'll need to call your hotel in advance to get info on driving the last few hundred yards along the beach or bay (if you have a 4WD) and also where to park your vehicle when you get there (both hotels have secure parking for regular cars in the village).
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.