Cartagena to Barranquilla

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How to get from Cartagena to Barranquilla?

To continue your journey along the beautiful Colombian-Caribbean coast, you can head north towards Barranquilla, the fourth most populated city in Colombia and home to many singers and artists. The most popular time to visit this port city is during the iconic Barranquilla Carnival (February – March). Outside of these months, visitor numbers are a lot lower.

Cartagena and Barranquilla are quite close for two major Colombian cities, about 120 km (74 miles). There are no direct flights between the 2 cities, so the most popular options to get from Cartagena to Barranquilla are a 2-hour minivan ride, a 3-hour-40-minute bus ride (including transfers), and a 2-hour taxi. Fares range between 33,000 COP ($7) and 315,000 COP ($71).

3 ways to get from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan2 hours33,000 COP ($7)Check Minivan Tickets
Bus3hrs 40m47,000 COP ($10.50)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi2 hours315,000 COP ($71)Check Private Transfers

The cheapest and most convenient option to travel from Cartagena to Barranquilla is by taking the minivan. This service is a popular way to travel the routes between Cartagena-Barranquilla-Santa Marta and vice versa. Minivans depart every hour from morning to evening. Travel time is 2 hours with fares from 33,000 COP ($7).

Buses depart more frequently than minivans and are more comfortable. However, it comes with the downside that the bus terminals in Cartagena and Barranquilla are both outside the city centres. Including the additional rides, fares start from 47,000 COP ($10.50) and the entire journey can take more than 3.5 hours.

Taking a taxi is a great option if you want to use private transport or travel in a group, but fares are expensive. For the 2-hour ride, expect to pay around 315,000 COP ($71). Fares can still increase during peak tourist season, especially since taxis in Colombia have no meters.

Itinerary from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Cartagena to Barranquilla by Minivan

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 33,000 COP ($7)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 33,000 COP ($7)

Travelling by minivan from Cartagena to Barranquilla is the most convenient and cheapest option.

There is only one minivan operator for this route, but they offer hourly trips from morning until evening. You still have a lot of choices, and you can just choose the departure time that is most convenient for you.

Travel time is just 2 hours, and a ticket costs 33,000 COP ($7).

Departure & Arrival station

Minivans are available along Carrera 2 in Bocagrande. This area is by the beach and is about 12km away from the city centre.

You will then be dropped off at Calle 93, which is in the northern part of Barranquilla city centre.

Minivan schedule from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Minivan OperatorScheduleDurationCost
Marsol TransportesHourly departures from
06:00 to 19:00
2 hours33,000 COP ($7)
Check Minivan Tickets

The travel time may vary slightly depending on traffic and rest breaks, but effectively all you have to do is sit back and relax the entire way.

Cartagena to Barranquilla by Bus

Duration: 3 hrs 40 m
Cost: 47,000 COP ($10.50)
Duration: 3 hrs 40 m
Cost: 47,000 COP ($10.50)

Instead of a minivan, you can also take a bus from Cartagena to Barranquilla. The bus ride itself is cheaper than the minivan. However, the bus terminals are both outside the city centres, so you will have to take additional trips.

Since there are bus departures in the late evening and even after midnight, the bus can be your go-to option when the minivans have stopped operating for the day.

Step 1: Cartagena city centre to Cartagena bus station

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 7,000 COP ($1.55)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 7,000 COP ($1.55)

If you’re staying in the city centre or in the hotels at the beachfront, you need to take a taxi to Cartagena Transportation Terminal. This terminal is on the easternmost part of Cartagena.

The easiest and safest way to get to the bus station is by taxi. Rates start from 7,000 COP ($1.55) for the 10-minute ride.

Step 2: Cartagena bus station to Barranquilla bus station

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.50)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.50)

There are several buses plying the Cartagena to Barranquilla route. We suggest taking either Unitrasco or Copetran, as they offer several departures from morning to night. There are bus departures as early as 04:00 and operate until 20:40.

The buses for this route are very comfortable, as they will have reclining seats, AC, toilet, and television. For the 3-hour ride, tickets start from 20,000 COP ($4.50).

Bus schedule from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Bus CompanyDepartureDurationCosts
Unitrasco14x departures a day from
04:00 to 20:40
3 hours20,000 COP ($4.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Copetran14x departures a day from
05:30 to 20:15
3 hours25,000 COP ($5.50)
Check Bus Tickets

To view the full schedules, you can visit BookAway, where you can also book your tickets in advance.

Step 3: Barranquilla bus terminal to Barranquilla city centre

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.50)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.50)

Buses arrive at Barranquilla Bus Terminal in the southern district of Soledad. The terminal is outside the city centre and is a few kilometres away from the airport.

The area where the terminal is located is not the safest. Thus, we recommend taking a 30-minute taxi to the city centre that will cost around 20,000 COP ($4.50).

It is also possible to take the metro bus. From the bus terminal, you need to take a 15-minute walk to Pacho Galan station and take a metro bus going to Joe Arroyo station in Barranquilla city centre. The bus ticket costs 2,400 COP ($0.50).

However, we don’t really recommend taking the metro bus, especially at night, since you would have to walk some distance to the station. The metro bus is also usually crowded, which is not ideal if you have some luggage.

Cartagena to Barranquilla by Taxi

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 315,000 COP ($71)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 315,000 COP ($71)

If you don’t want to take public transportation, you can also get to Barranquilla by taxi or private transfer. Since taxis are very common in Colombia, you can easily hail one or have your hotel book one for you.

Travel time from Cartagena to Barranquilla by taxi is only around 2 hours, but expect to pay an expensive fare, around 400,000 COP ($90).

It’s important to note that taxis in Cartagena have no meters. Drivers tend to overcharge tourists, so make sure that you agree on a price before entering the taxi.

There is also an option to book a private transfer in advance via BookAway. You can book a car with rates starting from 315,000 COP ($71). This option already includes airport or hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Check Private Transfers with BookAway

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