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How to Travel from Salento to Cali & Popayan by Bus

Whether you are travelling to Salento or leaving town, we’ll show you to how to travel from Salento to Cali or Popayan or how to catch the bus from Cali to Salento (or Popayan to Salento like we did).

If you are visiting Salento from Bogota, Cali or any major city in Colombia you will need to first change buses in Armenia. It’s really easy if you know how and we devote a section to these instructions below.

Salento to Cali in 2023

  • Salento to Cali flights: There is no airport in or near Salento so your options to get to Cali include bus or shuttle.
  • Salento to Cali bus: Over 17 direct bus services run daily between Cali and Salento taking 3 hours. Expreso Palmira runs the most with services every hour from 5am to 7pm. You can book straight from their website starting from $6
  • Where to Stay in Salento: We’ve identified the best places to stay in Salento including glamping in the Cocora Valley, the best party hostels and romantic lodges with giant hammocks and sweeping views. 
Horse riders blocking the road in Salento, Colombia, Salento Colombia, Armenia Colombia, Cali Colombia, Salento to Cali Bus, Cali to Salento Bus, Salento to Popayan

Salento, Colombia traffic jam after catching the bus from Cali to Salento

Salento to Cali

From Salento, first make your way to Armenia (jump here to get the directions now or read further down this post).

The bus takes between 3 to 4 hours.

The following bus companies have routes to Cali:

Expreso Palmira –

  • Mini bus – 23,000 COP
  • Luxury bus – 32,000 – 36,000 COP (extra features – individual TVs and reclining chairs aka cama seats)

Both forms of transport may have wifi.

Coomotor –

Only one option an express luxury bus with reclining (cama) seats.

The buses are also said to come equipped with power plugs which can be really handy.

The bus from Armenia to Cali with Coomotor is only 3 hours. Tickets cost 32,000 COP.

Expreso Bolivariano –

Bolivariano also offer a luxury bus but careful as they only run Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Tickets are a bit more expensive at 46,000 COP but leave at a convenient time of 5:00pm.

Salento to Cali Direct Bus times

Direct autobuses from Salento to Cali leave on this schedule:

  • 5:25 (Expreso Palmira luxury bus)
  • 6:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 7:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 8:00 (Coomotor express bus)
  • 8:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 9:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 10:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 11:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 12:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 13:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 14:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 15:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 16:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 17:00 (Expreso Bolivariano luxury bus)
  • 17:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 18:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 19:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)

You should check on the bus operator’s website above for availability and times.

Salento to Popayan

There is no direct bus from Salento to Popayan. You will need to catch the bus from Salento to Cali (use our directions above) then change buses in Cali.

Cali to Popayan Bus

The usual suspects have routes from Cali to Popayan.

Coomotor has a luxury bus service featuring reclinable seats for 19,000 COP. The Cali Popayan bus departs at 5:30pm daily.

Expreso Palmira has buses and minivans departing every 15 minutes from 3:45am to 7:30pm daily. Tickets cost 18,000 COP.

Expreso Bolivariano has buses leaving from Cali at 7:00, 9:00, 18:00, 20:00 and 21:00 daily.

Tip: The website sometimes won’t show trips from Cali to Popayan, so search for trips from Cali to Ipiales instead (there’s only 1 highway from Cali to Ipiales and it passes Popayan.

If you are heading south from Cali to Quito or Salento to Quito, Popayan is a totally worthwhile stopover before you continue to Ipiales to cross the border to Ecuador.

Marveling at Colombia’s White City and eating your way around the UNESCO City of Gastronomy are just a couple of 8 interesting things to do in Popayan which don’t suck.

Popayan to Cali

There is no direct bus from Popayan to Salento. You will need to catch a bus from Popayan to Cali.

We didn’t plan our journey well, and ended up on a late bus from Popayan to Cali, where we stayed in the Cali bus terminal (Terminale de Transporte Cali) from about midnight until the first bus the next morning.

We bought tickets with Expreso Palmira from Cali to Salento, which allowed us access to the Salon VIP lounge making the wait more bearable.

During the daytime, there are regular buses from Popayan to Cali every 30 minutes.

In the evening there is a bus at 1:00am with Coomoters. Tickets costs 19,000 COP.

Operators also include Velotax ( and Tax Belalcazar (buy in person).

The journey takes around 3 – 4 hours.

Cali to Salento Bus, Cali to Armenia, Cali Armenia, Cali Colombia, Expreso Palmira bus, Expreso Palmira Cali

Waiting for the bus from Cali to Armenia in the Expreso Palmira Suite

Cali to Salento

There is no direct bus from Cali to Salento, you will need to catch the bus from Cali to Armenia.

From Armenia, you can reach Salento within 1 hour by minibus using our Armenia to Salento instructions below.

If you intend to travel on from Salento to Medellin, if you take the most comfortable journey as we recommend, you will come back to Armenia again.

Expreso Palmira runs minibuses buses hourly from 6:45 – 19:45 daily. The cost is 23,000 COP.

If you want a luxury bus with reclining seats, consider Coomoter which runs one service daily at 15:30 for 34,000 COP.

The most luxurious bus service with Bolivariano runs only on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Tickets can range from 23,000 COP on a weekday to 46,000 COP on Friday or Saturday.

Cali to Armenia Bus Times

Direct buses from Cali to Armenia leave on this schedule:

  • 6:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 7:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 8:00 (Bolivariano bus – Tuesday only)
  • 8:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 9:00 (Bolivariano bus – Friday, Saturday only)
  • 9:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 10:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 11:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 12:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 13:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 14:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 15:30 (Coomotor Bus)
  • 15:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 16:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 17:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 18:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)
  • 19:45 (Expreso Palmira minibus)

You should check on the bus operator’s website for availability and times.

Salento to Armenia Bus | Armenia to Salento Bus

We adored Salento, a tiny, country and western town with cowboys, gunpowder and epic horse rides.

Being so tiny, regular size buses don’t actually enter the town.

You can catch a minibus into Salento town direct from Medellin.

Otherwise, you’ll need to catch a minivan from Salento to Armenia bus terminal.

From Armenia you can catch buses north to Medellin, east to Bogota or south to Cali and Popayan.


Armenia to Salento Mini Bus

If you are arriving to Armenia bus terminal for the first time, you will be dropped at the back entrance to the terminal.

Proceed inside, up two flights of stairs and out the front door at the opposite end to where you entered.

Here you will find lots of minibuses ready to take you to Salento.

If in doubt and your Spanish isn’t not great yet, say ‘Salento’ to anyone and a friendly local will point you in the right direction.

Buses from Armenia to Salento leave every 30 minutes or so.

The mini bus takes about 1 hour and costs 4,000 pesos ($1.30 USD).

Minibus outside Armenia Bus Station travelling to Salento, Armenia Colombia, Armenia to Salento, Salento to Armenia, Armenia Salento BusIn Armenia bus station look for these minivans from Armenia to Salento

Salento to Armenia

If travelling from Salento, enter the Armenia terminal to find vendors selling tickets all over Colombia.

From Armenia you can catch a bus to Medellin too.

What to do in Cali

These are some of the top tours in Cali which are super interesting:-

What to do in Salento

Salento is arguably our favourite place in Colombia. Read more about our favourite things to do but here’s a sneak peak:

Where to Stay?

Click here for best places to stay in Salento during your dates. In Salento we stayed at Casa La Eliana and would highly recommend it.

Click here for best places to stay in Cali during your dates

Click here for best places to stay in Popayan during your dates

**** Check out our new guide to where to stay in Salento including glamping in Valley de Cocora, a villa with an epic hammock and a lovely ecoresort!

More Essential Colombia Travel Blog Posts

If you are heading south to Cali and then on to Popayan don’t miss our guide to 8 Things to do in Popayan which don’t suck. The name sounds harsh but we found lots of people criminally underrate the city – and we wanted to set it straight.

Venturing into Ecuador? Crossing the border is not as dangerous as you’ve read if you know what you’re doing. We show you how to travel from Ipiales to Quito (and not die).

Ipiales is the border town you’ll pass through after Popayan and it is home to the most photogenic church in Colombia (we show you how to visit it during your border crossing to Ecuador).

If you are considering skipping Medellin because of safety, our recommendation is not to. Provided you stay in the right neighborhoods, don’t roam the streets by night and don’t show your valuables, you should be safe to stay in Medellin. Read our guide to where to stay in Medellin to stay safe and have an incredible time. Some of the things to do in Medellin are super interesting – think Pablo Escobar history tours and totally worth seeing.

If you are spending more time in Colombia, don’t miss our guide to 2 weeks in Colombia. It is packed full of our best Colombia travel blog posts including what to do in Medellin and Cartagena. It also includes a day trip to the incredible Guatape Rock. Of course we show you how to travel from Medellin to Cartagena too.

Travelling in South America? Make sure to Pin this to Pinterest!



  • MC Miller

    MC Miller is a travel blogger and writer who has travelled America extensively and abroad to over 80 countries. He founded Couple Travel The World in 2017. Since then, he has spent over 6 years on the road as a full time travel couple. When he not traveling he likes to spend quality time with his partner Bett, planning our their next date or romantic getaway!


Saturday 7th of January 2023

Followed these directions from Cali to Salento January 2023 and the instructions checked out great! Bought a ticket at the Cali bus station (Expreso Palmira - located on the second floor, had an agent that spoke great English). The trip times from Cali-Armenia varied a bit but you can book/check online to confirm. The cost was slightly higher now too. Once at the Armenia terminal I easily found the minivan/bus shown in the photo that goes to Salento - you do have to walk past all the ticket booths to get out the front door to find it, locals/workers were all friendly. Paid the driver directly, not at the ticket booth.

Thank you for sharing this article as it helped out a ton!


Monday 9th of January 2023

Hi Nathyn, So glad to hear it. Very jealous you are in Salento right now - wish we could be there. Go play some Tejo for us!