Bus from Medellin to Armenia and Bus from Armenia to Medellin
Medellín and the Coffee Zone (Eje Cafetero) have quickly become two of the most popular destinations in Colombia, and without a doubt, they are on your itinerary. Of the three main cities in the Eje Cafetero, we suggest you check out Armenia.
The route on the bus from Medellín to Armenia may be straight down the Pan-American Highway, but you’ll relish the ride winding through the Andes mountains. You’ll be traveling from capital city to capital city – Medellín as the capital of the Antioquia Department (state), and Armenia the capital of the Quindío Department.
However, it is more than just a journey through geographical space. It is also one through culture. Medellín is an interesting blend of Caribbean and Andean peoples and traditions, whereas Armenia is solidly Andean. You will also experience a shift in pace, from a hectic metropolis that is Medellín to a laid-back way of life in Armenia that sits in the midst of Colombia’s famous Eje Cafetero (Coffee Zone).
Take a look at what each city has to offer with museums, outdoor activities, food, and festivals. Then click on the Reserve Now button above to get your expedition underway!
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What are the buses in Colombia like?
If you’re coming south from Central America or north from Ecuador, you’ll find the buses in Colombia to be a refreshing change. In this country, they are modern and comfortable, with lots more legroom for taller journeyers, thanks to Colombians being, in general, taller than folks in their neighboring countries. And the upper-end Colombian buses have services you won’t find in those other countries, like WiFi, electrical outlets, meals and/or snacks, and on-board personnel to keep you comfortable throughout the ride. But beyond the generally high quality of Colombia’s buses, what stands out is the good condition of its highways nationwide.
How long is the bus ride?
256 kilometers of the great Pan-American Highway connects Medellín and Armenia. To cover that distance takes six to eight hours, depending on the traffic conditions getting out of or into the cities. The Medellín-Armenia road trip is perfect for traveling during the day, watching the landscape unfold right outside your window – or for a nighttime journey, catching a restful sleep and arriving at your destination with the dawn, ready to explore the museums, nature and other attractions awaiting you.
Keep in mind that the traffic going out of Medellín (or going into that metropolis), weather conditions and other factors may make your trip last longer. Don’t worry, though, just kick back and enjoy the countryside or the video being offered by the bus staff.
What is the cost of traveling by bus from Medellín to Armenia? (And vice versa)
The cost of a bus ticket from Medellín to Armenia (or vice versa) will cost $15-26 US (51,000-86,000 Colombian pesos).
Be aware that several things can affect the price of the fare. One is the bus company with which you decide to travel. Those companies with more bare-bones service will, of course, cost less, but on a trip of this length, you may want to have a bit more perks. These amenities, like on-board wait staff and meals or snacks, will make the ticket a bit more expensive.
The biggest factor affecting bus ticket prices is the time of year when you travel. During the high season that is the traditional holiday times as well as the many three-day weekends that pepper the Colombian calendar, tickets will cost more. Precisely for this reason, you should reserve your ticket in advance, not only guarantee you have a seat on the bus but also to not find your travel date blacked out. Click on the Reserve Now button above to get going on your journey from Medellín to Armenia (or vice versa).
What are the bus schedules from Medellín to Armenia?
Buses run between Medellín and Armenia (and vice versa) throughout the day, approximately every half hour. This allows you a good deal of flexibility when you want to depart from your origin or arrive at your destination. Do you want to kick back and watch the farms and forests roll by, observing Colombians go about their daily lives? Or would you like to watch the sunset over this incredible landscape? Then a daytime departure will be better for you.
But if you are a shoe-string traveler, on a budget, and want or need to save on a night’s lodging, you can opt for an overnight bus. This choice will also let you see the sunrise on a new day and have you rested and ready to hit the sights for many adventures when you get off the bus.
Click on the Reserve Now button above to find out complete schedules, and choose the departure time that best fits your needs.
Where can I book bus tickets from Armenia to Medellín?
It isn’t difficult to obtain a ticket for your bus from Armenia to Medellín (or vice versa). But you’ll have to choose whether you want to have your adrenaline get pumped up or have a relaxing transaction.
So if you are an adrenaline junkie, you can pack up your bags, head down to the bus terminal and begin your search. Lugging your baggage from ticket window to ticket window, you can check out when the next bus leaves and the cost of the fare. You may have to wait until your boarding call, hanging out at the station, watching people coming and going, watching your belongings that they don’t get nicked, and be prepared for an agent of one company come and grab you because his company needs to put you on a bus with another company. These are all typical scenarios of the frenzy of the bus terminal that require concentration and endurance.
But if you prefer a more relaxing transaction, just click on the Reserve Now button above. Browse from the comfort of your home or hotel to see which bus you’d like to take, make your reservation using our secure server, get your ticket by email, and then just make your way down to the bus terminal when its time for boarding. Easy-peasy!
What is the best bus from Medellín to Armenia?
Several bus companies provide service between Medellín and Armenia. Some are more basic vehicles with no-frills services, especially those that travel during the daylight hours.
One of the best companies that ply this route is Flota Occidental. It has modern buses made by such respected companies as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Volkswagen. Occidental’s premier services run in the late afternoon and evening. The top of its line is the Gran Emperador (a single story bus which leaves during the afternoon) and the Gran Emperador Élite (a double-decker bus that makes the journey at night). Both services have reclining seats, air conditioning (the on-board personnel will provide you a blanket in case the AC gets cranked up high) and a bathroom. You’ll be able to pass the time using your electronic device, or ask for a tablet – yes, Flota Occidental’s Gran Emperador service provides these, too! You’ll find pretty good WiFi and electric outlets (110 volts) onboard. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting hungry, as food and snack are also provided.
What to see in Medellín
Medellín (1,500 meters a.s.l.) has it all. Museums, great escapes to the country, history, terrific public transportation (including light rail and cable cars), and a bustling economy running the scope from flowers and fashion to super-high-speed internet. Is it a wonder it has become a favorite perch for digital nomads? To top it all off, Medellín also has a pleasant climate, with highs averaging 28º Celsius and lows about 17º Celsius.
The city’s offerings of festivals tout their pride in all these areas. These are some dates you may want to put on your calendar so you can be in town to enjoy Medellín’s culture and productions and party with the locals. But, watch the antioqueño, the local version of aguardiente, it goes down smooth, but has a heck of a kick!
March – International Orchid Exposition
May – Antioquia Festival
June – International Festival of Tango and Tangovía
July – International Poetry Festival of Medellín
end of July-beginning of August – Flower Festival
August – Colombiamoda (fashion shows)
December – Parade of Dances, Myths, and Legends
#1 - Casa Museo Gardeliana
You may be wondering why Medellín has such a huge tango festival every year. The answer is simple: Legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel died in a plane crash here in 1935. But there’s more than just that festival. The Casa Museo Gardeliana (Carrera 45 # 76-50, Manrique neighborhood) preserves Gardel’s memory with records, personal belongings and all sorts of things pertaining to him and to tango. The house and museum also offer tango classes, movies, dance parties and shows.
#2 - Jardín Botánico
Medellín’s Jardín Botánico (Calle 73 #51d14) is one of Colombia’s finest botanical gardens. Set on 14 hectares (34 acres) of land, it features over 1,000 native plant species. The park’s ecosystems include a tropical forest, a small lake, a desert garden, and an orquideorama (orchid nursery). It isn’t all about plants, though. The jardín botánico also has a butterfly farm and many visiting birds if you’re a bird watcher. This green space also offers tours, workshops and a green market (first Sunday of each month). And the best thing of all, entry to the botanical garden is FREE!
#3 - Guatapé
Guatapé is a small village two hours east of Medellín, on the shore of Embalse de Peñol. Take a boat tour of the reservoir (embalse), weaving around the numerous verdant islands or to the dam. There are even party cruises if that’s more your sense of adventure! Then take the ultimate challenge: climb the 700-odd steps up El Peñol, a rock formation monolith soaring out of the flat landscape, to catch an awesome 360º view of the countryside. This is definitely NOT recommended for those travelers with a fear of heights!
#4 - Unwind with a Brewski
After a day of sightseeing in Medellín or of day-tripping out of the concrete jungle, stop into a microbrewery to unwind. In recent years, craft breweries have sprung up in this Colombian city, and a few even offer tasting tours! Some of the ones to add to your agenda are BrewHouse Medellín (Carrera 50 D #3 s 08) and 3 Cordilleras (Calle 30 Nº 44-176, Barrio Colombia). Cerveza Premium Apóstol (Carrera 49 #60 Sur 110, Sabineta) offers tours every Thursday, but advance registration is required, and what makes this brewery different is that it offers an alcohol-free beer!
What to see in Armenia
Armenia (1,551 meters a.s.l.) has a climate much like Medellín’s (highs: 27-29ºC, lows: 16ºC), but here you’ll find clean country air and much to do outdoors. When rain showers dampen the day, you’ll find several museums in which to pass the time and learn about the region’s history and culture.
Armenia’s calendar of events isn’t as chock-full as its bigger cousin Medellín, but there are a few events you may want to plan your trip around:
April – Feria Taurina (bullfighting season)
September – Feria de Café (the big coffee fair)
mid-October – Fiestas de Armenia (touting all that is Armenia, including the Yipao – Willys jeeps parade)
#1 - Visit a Coffee Finca
Armenia may be home to the famous amusement park, Parque del Café, but take the time to visit an authentic coffee finca (farm). Several near Armenia open their doors to visitors. One is Finca Alsacia near Buenavista (40 minutes from Armenia). The three-hour tour includes a walk-about of the finca to learn about coffee cultivation, botany, Colombia’s coffee grower-picker culture, and how coffee is processed. A typical lunch or dinner (vegetarian options available) and a coffee-tasting session are served. Tours are available in Spanish or English.
#2 -Casa Museo Musical del Quindío
Music lovers will find a home at the Quindío Music Museum. Exhibits within this beautifully preserved colonial house explain the music instruments typically used in Quindiano music, and the evolution of musical genres in the region. The center also has a Center of Musical Documentation and a Center for Musical Investigation. Keep an eye on the calendar for concerts the Casa Museo Musical del Quindío presents.
#3 - River Rafting – the Quindío Way!
If you’re ready for an adventure you’ll only experience in the Eje Cafetero, then book a river rafting tour. Oh, no, this ain’t your typical rafting excursion! First, you and your expedition mates will load up into a gaily painted Willy’s jeep (the typical vehicle of the Coffee Zone) and head out to the Río La Vieja. There, you all will set out on a bamboo raft and, to the tune of salsa music, spend several hours lazily floating downriver, swimming and enjoying the emerald countryside draped with waterfalls.
#4 - Parque Natural Barbas Bremen
Colombia’s Eje Cafetero is a great region for birdwatching. One place to head out to with binoculars and guide in hand is the Barbas Bremen Nature Park, a 4,316-hectare park located midways between Armenia and Pereira. You’ll be treated to sighting such species as the Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus), Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus), Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis), Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota) and the endangered Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax). The park is also home to thousands of plant species, as well as numerous fauna, including howler monkeys.
Though virtual neighbors on the Pan-American Highway, Medellín and Armenia present you with two different worlds: the super-modern, dashing metropolis on the one hand and a relaxing country town on the other. But both will guarantee you wonderful museums, exciting outings, and nature nearby. If you happen to be a digital nomad in Medellín, Armenia would make the perfect weekend get-away. Ready to get from Medellín and Armenia (or vice versa)? Click on the Reserve Now button above and get your trip underway!