If you are traveling in Colombia you are probably at some point going to want to travel from Bogota (the capital ) to Medellin (the second largest city in Colombia). To do this you have 2 options. In this post, I will talk you through the pros and cons and a step by step to help you get from Bogota to Medellin.
You have 2 options:
- Take a bus
- Take a plane
There really isn’t that much difference in cost between flying and the bus. The biggest issue is time! The bus can take between 10-15 hours and a flight will take around 1 hour (plus getting through security either end).
You can take a bus from the main transport terminal in Bogota to the bus station in the north of Medellin. There are multiple busses scheduled per day including several overnight buses. The bus may tell you 10 hours, but I was on it for 12 and I’ve heard of people who were on it for 15 hours or more. So don’t make any plans!
If you want to make the most of your time get a night bus. You will save on accommodation and you can sleep through the time. This is the most economical way to travel. Even though the flight may be short all of the fuss with security and waiting will eat into your day anyway.
Book the bus with Brazilia as they have really comfy seats that go right back! I got lots of sleep and no bad back. If you do travel through the night though be warned they crank the AC up so be sure to wrap up warm!
If you do have the time though take a bus in the day. I actually missed my flight (oops) so I had no choice. But I was so glad I did with these views! Although after 10 hours I was feeling a little crazy…
It was a really nice bus ride, breathtaking scenery, films on some big TV screens and a really good meal by the side of the road!
Tips for taking the bus:
- Make sure you have some layers as it can get cold with the AC
- Bring snacks and plenty of water… I didn’t and had to survive on a packet or oreos!
- You will only stop once…so go easy on the water
You can either book on Busbud or just turn up and get a ticket. I paid $57mil at the ticket office. If I’d have booked through Busbud it would have cost me $65mil.
I didn’t book on Busbud as they made it very clear on their website that I have to print out my ticket and electronic tickets weren’t accepted. This was no good for me. Plus I wasn’t sure if I would make the 9 am bus, or if I would have to wait for the 10:30. So I took my chance!
It is a chance though. These busses can get full so if you want to be guaranteed a seat on the bus book on Busbud or get to the station early.
Getting to and from the bus stops
- A taxi from La Candelaria took me about 25 minutes and cost my $10mil.
- When I arrived in Medellin I was able to get a taxi to take me to Laureles for $13mil
If you don’t have luggage you need to check in and don’t mind paying a few $$ more. Then flying is by far the quickest option. There are several flights per day from Bogota to the main airport in Medellin. And 1 or 2 to the smaller more central airport.
You can easily get to the airport on public transport from La Candelaria see here. Once in Medellin, it will cost around $60 mil to get into town from the main airport, and a lot less from the smaller airport.
Traveling to Bogota? Be sure to check out my other guides for fun things to do!
Be sure to check out flights on Skyscanner. Do a search for the whole month to make sure you get the best deals. Flights can be from about $20 upwards so not much different from the bus!