Bus from Medellin to Salento


on: 2021-07-24

by: Alice Silva

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    06 hours 30 minutes

  • Rating

  • Experience

    coffee farms, handicrafts, hiking

  • Best Price

    USD $ 23

  • Maximum comfort or class


  • Departures

    3 Departures daily

  • Recommended by

    863 travelers

Price may fluctuate due to seasonal demand and other market-driven and regulatory events.

Let's take the bus from Medellin to Salento!

Street in Salento, Colombia.

The best way to get to Salento from Medellin is to take the direct bus. The road meanders through Colombia’s rolling hills of Eje Cafetero, the Coffee Zone. As you get out of the big-city buzz of Medellín, the ambiance begins to relax as the kilometers roll by. The air is fresher here, perfumed by sweet coffee flowers. The trip is pure pleasure! If you’re looking to catch a night bus Medellin to Salento, those aren’t direct to Salento but are possible if you don’t mind a layover.

What are the buses in Colombia like?

Buses from Medellin to Salento are generally of good quality, even when you opt for the less expensive options. They have clean and comfortable seats and plenty of onboard entertainment. Granted, the movies won’t be to everyone’s liking as bus operators tend to favor action flicks starring Steven Seagal or Jean Claud Van Damme.

As you might expect, buses that traverse longer distances (for instance, the bus from Bogotá to Santa Marta) have more creature comforts like onboard wait staff, onboard bathrooms, GPS and WiFi. But that doesn’t mean those running shorter routes like the bus from Medellin to Salento aren’t comfortable and safe, with regular stops for stretching your legs and enjoying the local color at a roadside diner.

How long is the bus ride from Medellin to Salento?

The distance between these two tourist destinations is 247 kilometers. It will take about seven to eight hours. The length of this trip makes it perfect for taking an earlier bus, thus arriving just about nightfall or shortly thereafter.

If you are traveling on a tighter budget, another option is to take an overnight bus and therefore sleep onboard to save on a night in a hostel. That way, you’ll arrive early in the morning, rested and ready to take on a full day’s itinerary of activities. The only drawback with this option on the Medellín-Salento route is that it is not direct (you have to transfer in Pereira or Manizales) and you’ll be arriving at Salento very early in the morning, before or at sunrise, making you have to wait for check-in time at your lodging. Most accommodations are fine with your leaving luggage behind the reception counter until time to check-in.

What is the cost of traveling by direct bus from Medellin to Salento?

The fare from Medellín to Salento costs between USD 14 and 18 (or 48,000 to 62,000 Colombian Pesos (COP)). Several things will affect the cost, but primarily the type of Bus Company with which you decide to journey. Less expensive options will be more cramped and have less legroom for taller travelers, and perhaps have more unscheduled stops to pick up and let off other passengers.

Pay a bit more, and you’ll have a more comfortable trip. Seats will be wider, recline a bit more, and have thicker padding. More expensive companies will have more onboard amenities, too, as discussed earlier.

What are the bus schedules from Medellin to Salento?

Each day, only a few buses leave from Medellín that go directly to Salento. These schedules will get you into Salento in the mid-afternoon to mid-evening, allowing you to stroll around and take in the refreshingly relaxing vibe.

You’ll still have enough time for a delicious dinner of local specialties, an aperitif of some coffee from the region, and watch the sunset over the mountains. After another stroll through the tranquil streets, settle in for a good night’s rest because a whole slate of events awaits you the next day!

Click on the Reserve Now button above and choose the time that is most convenient for you to get from Medellin to Salento by bus. Then make sure you have all your things packed and hike down to the bus terminal at your reserved time.

Where can I book bus tickets from Medellin to Salento?

You have two choices:


The first option is to get yourself down to the bus terminal, confirm if a vacant seat is available, book and wait until your bus departs. We don’t recommend this option because we often hear from travelers how much time it takes out of their schedule and that they often get disappointing news that the next departure is sold out.


The better and most common method is from the comfort of your hotel room, check out the bus schedules right here on AndesTransit. Click the Reserve Now button to get your next Colombian adventure on its way!

Things to do and see in Salento

Valle de Cocora, near Salento, Colombia

In recent years, Salento has gained fame among travelers. It is your typical small Colombian town, but with a colorful flair. Located in the country’s Eje Cafetero (Coffee Zone) and surrounded by pure nature, its ambiance allows you to sink into a deep chill after the hectic vibe of Medellín.

Being farther up into the mountains (altitude: 1,895 meters), Salento has a more moderate climate. Daytime temperatures average 15ºC to 18ºC, and evenings are quite cool. Salento’s biggest festival is at the beginning of the year, celebrating the town’s founding with festivities culminating on the 5th of January (i.e., the twelfth day of Christmas).

#1 - Take a stroll around Town

After the bus trip from Medellin to Salento, you may need to stretch your legs a bit. The perfect remedy is to walk about the town’s cobblestone streets lined with typical white-washed and pastel-hued buildings. The place to start is Calle Real in the heart of Salento. Stop into the many shops along the way, or at a local restaurant to try the fresh trout. At the end of Calle Real, you’ll arrive at the Alto de la Cruz mirador (viewpoint) with 250 steps leading up to a cross.

#2 - Find out how they make your morning coffee at a coffee plantation

Of course, being in the heart of Colombia’s Coffee Zone, you should take a tour of a coffee plantation. One you can visit is Finca El Ocaso on the banks of the Río Quindío. It offers a three-hour tour (in Spanish or English) that shows how coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted. At the end of the tour, you’ll have the chance to have a fine cup of coffee with homemade pastries. Finca el Ocaso also has birdwatching and horseback-riding excursions.

Address: 5 kilometers from Salento’s main plaza.

#3 – Visit Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados

If you want to experience Colombia’s unbridled nature, then head to Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados. This 58,300-hectare national park, ranging from 2,600 to 5,321 meters in altitude, has a cold, alpine climate (3-14ºC). Within its boundaries are found the three snow-covered peaks of Ruiz (an active volcano), del Tolima, and Santa Isabel.

Besides mountain climbing, this park also has ample opportunities for trekking and camping. This is not a park for casual walking. You must be physically fit and well-prepared for the elements. Salento is one of the most convenient places from which to access Los Nevados National Park.

Address: 115 kilometers from Salento.


No journey better conveys the vast differences in Colombia’s cultural and natural landscapes than the bus from Medellín to Salento. Within a mere seven to eight hours, you can go from doing the Medellín hustle in one of the country’s largest and most modern metropolises packed with culture – to relaxing in a typical small town surrounded by mountains, where food, drink, and hiking are calling your name.

Are you ready to make this journey? Then get started by clicking on the Reserve Now button above to find out about bus schedules and to make your reservation now!

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the bus ride from Medellin to Salento?
The distance from Medellin to Salento is around 247 km and takes around seven to eight hours.
What is the cost of traveling from Medellin to Salento by bus?
The bus fare from Medellin to Salento costs around 23 USD but fluctuates in the currency conversion to Colombian Pesos.
Where can I book bus tickets from Medellin to Salento?
It's best to book them online in advance, but you can also take your chances buying at the terminal.
What are the ticket policies?
It depends on the carrier you choose, but their specific policies can be previewed during checkout or in the summaries printed on your ticket email. For a general overview, see the Ticket Policy page.

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