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On the map, the distance between the two biggest cities of Colombia doesn't seem that long at first (245 km as the crow flies).


Bing Maps

Then again driving distance is around 418539 km according to quick search. Anyway, I was wondering how good an option an intercity bus might be.

With safety, quickness and price being priorities (in that order):

  • General experiences on this particular route? Does it make sense to take the bus (instead of flying)?
  • Are there any bus companies to be preferred (or avoided)? (Are there similar high-quality operators as in many other South American countries?)
  • What's the price and duration approximately, and how often there are connections?
  • Is there a website that's good for schedules?

My guidebook (Moon) seems to generally recommend flying to get around Colombia, and doesn't give those details. It does mention that Terminal del Norte in Medellín and (apparently) Terminal de Transportes in Bogotá are the relevant stations.

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Results of quick online research:

  • There seem to be good, comfy buses. At least Bolivariano (see Bogota-Medellin route info). Based on their marketing (see e.g. DuoBus video), it seems nice and safe (but I don’t know about the road and areas passed through etc).
  • Plenty of departures. Bolivariano has ~13 daily (6:40 AM to 10:47 PM) (for Wednesday)
  • Cost is affordable, 65,000 to 80,000 COP (20–25 USD)
  • Main drawback: duration 10 hours

Point of comparison: a BOG-MDE flight from VivaColombia (for tomorrow):

  • 62,900–93,300 COP (19-28 USD)
  • Flight time 1h 10min

So, cost being about the same, even with the airport hassle (getting to/from + waiting; maybe 2-3 hours total?), 10 hours is a lot, maybe a bit too much.


Feel free to post better answers, especially if you have first hand experiences. (How about safety on the bus trip & at the terminals? If you take a night bus are they good for sleeping?)

  • Regarding VivaColombia: I can't find them in the IATA IOSA registry iata.org/whatwedo/safety/audit/iosa/Pages/… but that's not unusual for low cost airlines, they now miamiherald.com/news/business/article47846225.html fly to the USA which is a big plus: they do not allow unsafe aircraft into US airports. – chx Jan 19 '16 at 4:25
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    I did the trip by bus. It was more than fine. No hassles, if long. – MastaBaba Jan 19 '16 at 12:19
  • @chx: Yep, I wouldn't have hesitations about VivaColombia, which a traveller friend recommended to me. It's quite mainstream now, uses Airbus A320 fleet, and has had no major accidents. – Jonik Jan 19 '16 at 16:47
  • Well, I ended up flying, with Avianca, easy and fast. – Jonik Jan 24 '18 at 22:16

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