If you want to travel between Salento and Medellin by bus, there are two options: a mini-van style direct service that departs  6 times a day or a more luxury indirect bus via Armenia.

We took an indirect sleeper bus from Salento to Medellin via Armenia which is simple and really the best way to travel. It’s the much better Medellin – Salento option but we cover all your options here.

We’ll also give you some tips about what attractions not to miss in Salento. Make sure you check out this post about the most interesting Salento hotels for every budget.

Direct bus from Medellin to Salento | Salento to Medellin

The fastest way to travel from Medellin to Salento is the direct bus operated by Flota Occidental which departs at 9am from Terminal de Transportes del Sur. It costs 47,000 pesos and takes 6.5 hours. On the return the bus departs Salento at 8am.

The bus leaves 4 times per day (read on for the bus schedule as of September 2019). If you chose this option you won’t need to change buses in Armenia.

We met an Australian couple who were studying in Medellin and chose this option.

They reported that the bus was relatively comfortable with working wifi. However, there is no toilet.

Also, seats are allocated on a first come first served basis so get there early to avoid being stuck down the back of the bus as it travels the many twists and turns between these two cities.

The Australian couple called Flota Occidental in advance to book their ticket – call Flota Occidental on (57) (6) 3211656. Alternatively, you can book your ticket online on their www.flotaoccidental.co.

Medellin to Salento Direct Bus Departure times

The direct bus Medellin to Salento timetable as of September 2019 is as follows:

  • 8am
  • 9am
  • 11am
  • 1pm
  • 2pm

The direct bus from Medellin to Salento costs 47,000 pesos ($15 USD).

Flota Occidental direct buses to Salento depart from Medellin, Terminal de Transportes del Sur. Book at the terminal or using the contact details above.

Salento to Medellin Direct Bus Departure Times

The quickest bus from Salento to Medellin is a direct service which runs 6 times per day. As of September 2019 the schedule is:

  • 8am
  • 10am
  • 11am
  • 12 noon
  • 1:30pm
  • 4:00pm

The bus costs 47,000 Colombian pesos ($15 USD). You can buy tickets online at www.flotaoccidental.co.

The journey takes 6.5 hours so it is not appropriate if you want an overnight bus option.

Note the last service is 4pm. If you are enjoying your day and maybe riding horses through rivers in Salento like we were, you should read on for evening or night bus services.

An image of Salento Colombia as viewed from a bus from Medellin

Indirect bus from Medellin to Salento via Armenia

We recommend taking the bus from Medellin to Salento via Armenia if you want a little more comfort or would like an overnight bus option to save money on accommodation or to spend a little more time in the beautiful town of Salento.

This is the option we chose to take from Salento to Medellin as our horse riding tour finished after 4.00pm when the last direct bus had already left.

Medellin to Armenia

The two main bus companies that travel to Armenia are Flota Occidental & Empresa Arauca. Flota Occidental boasts slightly more glamorous buses but is also a little more expensive. Both bus companies take around 7 hours to make the journey.

Empresa Arauca runs from Terminal del Sur in Medellin daily. Schedule:

  • 4:30am
  • 6:30am
  • 8:45am
  • 9:45am
  • 11:00am
  • 2:00pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 6:00pm

The bus fare is 45,000 pesos ($14 USD).

If you are confident with your departure times, you can book your ticket on their website http://www.empresaarauca.com.co or call Flota Occidental on (57) (6) 3211656.

However *usually* the buses don’t sell out and sometimes you can even get a slightly better deal from the bus terminal in person. We suggest checking the website for availability ahead of time.

Flota Occidental departs every hour from 4:30am to 12.30am the next morning.

The Medellin to Armenia bus schedule with Flota Occidental is:

  • 4:30am
  • 5:30am
  • 6:30am
  • 7:30am
  • 8:30am
  • 9:30am
  • 10:30am
  • 11:30am
  • 12:30pm
  • 1:30pm
  • 2:30pm
  • 3:30pm
  • 4:30pm
  • 5:30pm
  • 6:30pm
  • 7:30pm
  • 8:30pm
  • 9:30pm
  • 10:30pm
  • 11:30pm
  • 12:30am (next day)

The bus costs 47,000 pesos ($15USD) or 49,000 pesos ($16 USD) if you are one of the lucky few to get an even more luxurious cama seat. A more luxurious seat is definitely a worthwhile investment but you need to book a long time in advance.

This bus can also be used as an overnight bus between the cities. Like Empresa Arauca, you can purchase tickets in person or via their website www.flotaoccidental.co.

Armenia to Salento

Once you have reached the Armenia bus terminal, proceed inside the Terminal and up two flights of stairs. Then continue straight in the same direction until you reach the end of the terminal.

From there walk outside to where further buses are waiting. If in doubt – say ‘Salento’ & a local will point you in the correct direction. The bus costs 4,000 pesos ($1.30 USD) and takes around 1 hour.

How to get from Salento to Medellin by Bus (Indirect via Armenia)

The best option for a bus from Salento to Medellin is the indirect bus via Armenia.

We took this bus and thought it was a very comfortable ride. We explain the two simple journeys.

Salento to Armenia

A mini-bus service runs frequently from Salento to Armenia until around 9pm at night when the service stops.

To be safe, be at the bus station by 8pm to avoid missing out on a seat on the last service.

The bus station is located on Carrera 2 between Calle 4 & Calle 5 in Salento.

Armenia to Medellin

From Armenia bus station, two main bus companies travel to Medellin: Flota Occidental & Empresa Arauca.

As of September 2019, Empresa Arauca buses from Armenia to Medellin costs 45,000 pesos ($14 USD).

The current bus schedule to Medellin is:

  • 8:45am
  • 12:45pm
  • 2:45pm
  • 10:00pm
  • 11:00pm

Check their website for availability http://www.empresaarauca.com.co

Tip: The Empresa Arauca Super Estelar VIP bus is supposed to have wifi and power plugs. At the least you should have a comfy reclinable seat.

Flota Occidental buses from Armenia to Medellin leave hourly from 4:00am to 12:30am the next day.

The Flota Occidental bus schedule shows buses depart from Armenia at:

  • 4:00am
  • 5:00am
  • 6:00am
  • 7:00am
  • 8:00am
  • 9:00am
  • 10:00am
  • 11:00am
  • 12:00pm
  • 1:00pm
  • 2:00pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 4:30pm
  • 5:30pm
  • 6:30pm
  • 7:30pm
  • 8:30pm
  • 9:30pm
  • 10:30pm
  • 11:30pm
  • 12:30am (next day)

The bus costs between 47,000 – 49,000 pesos ($15 – 16 USD). Buses don’t usually sell out in Colombia, but you can check availability here www.flotaoccidental.co.

Both bus services take around 7 hours. We selected to go with Flota Occidental’s ELITE service & were happy with our decision. The bus had working wifi, power plugs to charge your devices and individual tvs.

Where to stay in Salento?

We stayed at Casa La Eliana and would highly recommend it. The hotel was not only affordable but was was very clean & comfortable. See our video below of what you can expect at Casa La Eliana.

Or check out this link to the top rated accommodation providers in Salento, Quindo, Colombia.

Okay, okay. You want a more comprehensive guide, right? Check out this post about where to stay in Salento.

Bonus: 8 Colombia Travel Blog Posts | Don’t miss a thing!

Salento was one of our favourite places to visit in Colombia. We love the Valle de Cocora, cowboy saloons, drinking beer and exploding gun powder (of course at the same time). Take a quick look at our Salento Travel Guide to make sure you don’t miss any of the many great attractions, food and coffee on offer.

Are you lucky enough to have at least 2 weeks in Colombia? Wondering what to do? Don’t miss our post about What to do in Colombia in 2 Weeks which contains an overview of all the amazing things to do.

If you don’t know Spanish, here’s 10 super simple Spanish phrases which helped us incredibly when travelling South America.

Salento is the middle destination of most Colombia itineraries. To the north is Medellin and Cartagena. To the south is Popayan and Ipiales (then onto Ecuador of course!)

If Medellin is your next destination and you loved the countryside of Salento then you’re in luck. Medellin has some incredible parks which is just one of the things we cover in our Medellin travel guide.

Whether you live in Medellin or are just visiting, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the colourful town of Guatape. The town is home to quite possibly the largest boulder you’ll ever see and according to the locals – the best view in the world. The view is seriously impressive – and can be seen in a day trip to Guatape from Medellin.

After Medellin you must visit the fortified city of Cartagena. Of course we show you how to travel from Medellin to Cartagena.

If you are heading south next, there are a few bus options. Use our guide to travel from Salento to Cali or Popayan.

Popayan has an average reputation and is known as a boring transit city. We disagree. Hence our aptly named post about 8 Things in Popayan in 1 day (which don’t suck).

Ecuador next for you? Don’t worry – we show you how to travel from Ipiales to Quito. Ipiales is a border town featuring a magnificent church which you can visit before you cross the border. Stick with us gang and even your transit days won’t be boring!

We hope this helped you plan your trip from Medellin to Salento. We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!

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medellin, colombia, things to do in



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