Ashley on the Move is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as Milevalue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Read the full disclosure here
Colombia is a beautiful country full of culture and adventure. There is so much to see throughout the country, there’s a good chance you’ve jam-packed your Colombia itinerary with stops in several cities. That’s what we did on our 2 week trip–4 cities in 12 days! You can’t go wrong with stops in Salento and Medellín on your Colombian itinerary, but how to get between them? In this post, we’re discussing the 3 ways to travel between Salento to Medellín.
After spending an amazing 3 days in Salento, it was time to pack up and move on to the bustling, hip city of Medellín. Similar to traveling from Bogotá to reach Salento, I knew the mountains would influence how we chose to travel. Salento doesn’t have its own airport and the drive is up, over, and around the large Andes mountains so the best travel options took a bit of consideration. But have no fear, friend! In this guide, I am going to share all the ways you can get from Salento to Medellín and what I think is the best way.
Traveling from Salento to Medellín
Colombia isn’t a very large country if you compare it to places like the USA or Canada. At first glance, it may seem a bit silly to fly from one city to the next. As the crow flies, they really aren’t that far apart–only 154 miles to be exact. However, Colombia is divided by a rather large chain of mountains called the Andes mountains. Oh, you’ve heard of them?! They make car travel a bit more difficult because you have to go up and around which takes more time. Especially if you are only in Colombia for a short visit, flying is quick and pretty easy.
We took a plane from Salento to Medellín and from leaving our hotel to landing in Medellín, it only took about 2 hours. If you’ve read my guide to Salento, you know that there are two small airports on either side of Salento. You can choose to fly from Armenia or Pereira. We flew into one and out of the other, so I feel very confident in saying it really doesn’t matter which you choose. My decision was made by the flight times that were most convenient for our travel days.
You can take a bus via Cootracir or Expreso to the airport from Salento or just book a car. We had our hotel shuttle take us to the airport, as our flight was very early and it was very convenient. The shuttle was only about $35 USD so it was worth it to us. But if your budget is small the bus will only run you about $2 USD. The plane ticket will run you about $60 USD per person–certainly more expensive than taking the bus all the way to Medellín but you have to decide if you want to save time or save money.
There are four main airlines that fly into each of these airports: LATAM, Viva, Copa, and Avianca. The airlines are small Colombian airlines and service several flights to each location each day. The flight from Armenia or Pereira to Medellín is less than 45 minutes. I’m pretty sure you spend more time getting up and down from altitude than actually at altitude. Flying from Salento to Medellín was quick, comfortable, and relatively affordable!
Taking the bus will certainly save you some money but will take you about 3 times longer than flying. To get to Medellín by bus from Salento, you can start at the bus stop in Salento and take the bus directly to your destination but may make some stops in Armenia or Pereira. The journey will take about 6 hours with no delays. Something important to consider is that you’re on a bus in a country with large mountains and unpredictable weather… Delays are a great possibility. But if you want to save the money, it’s all about the journey!
Tickets will cost between $12-25 USD. There are some nicer buses that offer a little more comfort and things like phone chargers which you will definitely want (or a good book!).
Related: How to travel from Bogotá to Salento
If you’re a friend traveling through Colombia with a bigger budget and more than just 2 short weeks, you may opt for a private car! Whether you rent a car or go with a driver, this will be more costly than taking the bus. I’ve seen several different companies advertise charging just $75 USD for the 6 hour drive. This option would be great if you’re wanting to see more scenery without being stuck on a bus with a bunch of other strangers!
The best way to get from Salento to Medellin
The best way to travel from Salento to Medellín is by plane. This is true for travelers with tighter itineraries and a moderate budget as you can get from one place to the next in about 2 hours for $60 USD. It is quick, easy, and convenient and you’ll be on the ground to explore Medellín in no time! Also, the view from the plane is insanely gorgeous. If you are on a very tight budget, a bus would be a backup option running you less than $20.
Salento is an adorable, quiet coffee town nestled in the Andes mountains of Colombia and Medellín is the hip, historic city with amazing eats. Both deserve a spot on your itinerary! Traveling between the two towns can be confusing. The Andes mountains divide Colombia and make moving about a bit more complex. However, Colombian transportation is up for the challenge with flights, buses, or cars you can take to get from Salento to Medellín. While I think flying is the best way to get from one town to the next, the most important thing is that you choose what works for you and take the trip to visit these amazing places.