03 hours 40 minutes
culture, history, hiking
USD $ 13
Maximum comfort or class
Multiple departures daily
Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.
Cali to Popayan Bus Travel Guide
Are you looking for one of Colombia's hidden gems? Then I invite you to discover Popayán, a colonial city just a few hours away from Cali by bus.
If you clicked on this article you probably want to visit Colombia. Not just the most touristic cities and places but the best secrets this awesome country has to offer when it comes to its history and culture.
Popayán is a stately city renowned for its colonial architecture, antiquities, and a history of intellectual foundations, being the home to almost twenty past presidents and many of Colombia's fine artists and thinkers. It's also a city for foodies, in that it not only has great sights, but it has taken upon itself the obligation to preserve the knowledge of local cuisine traditions. I especially love Carantatas soup, named so for its crunchy corn.
If you don’t need further convincing and just want to get your tickets to Popayán from Cali to see authentic Colombia, just click the Reserve Now button. But if you’re still in research mode and need some more context or ideas, read on.
What are the buses in Colombia like?
In the land of the chiva bus, you should know there are actually many other types of buses too. It all depends on the route you are taking, how far you’re going, and how much you’re spending.
On the whole, buses in Colombia are pretty decent and affordable, falling in the mid-range of experience compared to bus service in other Latin American countries. You won’t be getting the rolling palaces you experience in Argentina and Brazil, but neither will you likely encounter leaking jaloppies that are common in the poorer countries in Central and South America.
As far as those chivas or open-air “chicken buses”, they are mostly used for party events, parades, and out in rural areas between small villages. So, most likely you won’t be boarding a chiva, and certainly not between major cities like Cali and Popayán.
How long is the bus ride from Cali to Popayán?
The ride from Cali to Popayán is 138 km (86 miles). In just three and a half hours, this short inter-urban route goes through many satellite towns between the two cities like Jamunid, Santander de Quilichao, and Piendamo. Much of the time, therefore, is just traffic getting out of the metropolitan sprawl, with buses, cars, and motorcycles everywhere.
You will still get some beautiful nature during this bus ride to watch from your window. Cali is the entrance to the Farallones de Cali National Park, and Popayán is located in a valley equidistant between the two other national parks: Parque Nacional Natural Munchique on its western flank, and Parque Nacional Natura de Puracé to the east. Can you imagine how beautiful this road is?
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Cali to Popayán?
The bus ticket from Cali to Popayán is around $9 to $15. Check more of the itinerary choices by clicking the Reserve Now button.
Several factors can influence the price:
When you go
Weekends, as usual, are more expensive. A ticket from Cali to Popayán will cost you a few more pesos if you are going on Friday or Sunday.
When you book
Listen to me when I say this: book in advance! Don't wait until the last minute, because the earlier you make your reservation, the more availability of seats you will have at your disposal.
Which bus carrier you choose
For this route, I strongly recommend booking your bus ticket with Tax Belalcazar. You can get them online by clicking the Reserve Now button, and then receive your ticket by email. You will be thankful you did so when you get to Cali’s bus station because it can be very chaotic like the floor of a stock exchange.
What are the bus schedules from Cali to Popayán?
Popayán is definitely a hidden gem of Colombia, so it's really under-visited compared to the overexposed gems like Cartagena and Salento. Compared to Cali, Popayán is not a big city, but that doesn’t prevent it from having several different departures going there from Cali throughout the day. Go in the morning or the afternoon, it’s up to you!
Colombia's schedules are very reliable, rarely delayed or canceled, so don’t be afraid of taking a bus to Popayán and getting back. But also remember not all of the online booking systems have up-to-date schedules, and a lot of tickets do not come with all the information you need to get to your bus.
At AndesTransit you will find a professional bilingual team working 24/7 to help you. We are not robots reading off a screen from someplace on the opposite side of the planet, but real expert travelers with deep experience in the region who are invested in your trip and will update you with all the contextual help you need for your trip.
We communicate with all our carriers and know what they’re talking about in the backroom about roads and traffic. So you will always get up-to-date bus schedules and a personal assistant checking with the bus carriers on your behalf to get the word of any rapidly changing conditions.
Where can I book bus tickets from Cali to Popayán?
You have two options:
In this digital age, I don't have to explain to you all the benefits of buying your tickets online. This method of booking a bus in Colombia is easily available when you just click on the Reserve Now button above and get your trip started!
This is, by all means, possible, but many travelers don’t recommend it. The Cali bus terminal can be overcrowded and full of pushing and shoving where personal space or honoring places in line gets discarded all the time, and then competing carriers will tell you only what you want to hear in order to steal you from one line to get into theirs. Then by the time you wrestle your way up to get your ticket, you find out then it’s been sold out or they give you the wrong ticket because they don’t have the time to listen to the nuances of what you want.
Remember this advice: Book Online!
What is the best bus from Cali to Popayán?
As I mentioned earlier, the carrier we recommend the most for this route is Tax Belalcazar. Their buses have everything you need for this short trip and at a great price. They are a smaller and humbler company so they have more time for personal attention, and they know the route better than anyone else, so they’re both efficient and safe.
In only three and a half hours you don’t need much accommodation, so be ready to get to your destination ASAP. Don’t expect luxury, but it’s fair to expect comfortable seats and on-board entertainment like music or movies.