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 ($67).

3 ways to get from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan2 hours33,000 COP ($7)Check Minivan Tickets
Bus3hrs 40m47,000 COP ($10)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi2 hours315,000 COP ($67)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) 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 ($67). 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 and arrival station

Minivans are available along Carrera 2 in Bocagrande. This area is by the beach and is about 12 km 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)
Duration: 3 hrs 40 m
Cost: 47,000 COP ($10)

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 ($1.45)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 7,000 COP ($1.45)

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 ($1.45) for the 10-minute ride.

Step 2: Cartagena bus station to Barranquilla bus station

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.25)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.25)

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 ($4.25).

Bus schedule from Cartagena to Barranquilla

Bus CompanyDepartureDurationCosts
Unitrasco14x departures a day from
04:00 to 20:40
3 hours20,000 COP ($4.25)
Check Bus Tickets
Copetran14x departures a day from
05:30 to 20:15
3 hours25,000 COP ($5)
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 ($4.25)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.25)

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 ($4.25).

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 ($67)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 315,000 COP ($67)

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 ($85).

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 ($67). This option already includes airport or hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Check Private Transfers with BookAway

Our favourite places to stay in Barranquilla

Barranquilla is a bustling city with plenty of places to stay. You’ll be spoilt for choice here. This also means that you can find some cheaper accommodation options compared to the rest of Colombia and the Caribbean coast.

With that many accommodations to choose from, we’ve made it simple for you. Here are our favourite places to stay in Barranquilla:

Crowne Plaza Barranquilla — Treat yourself

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel with a pool, Crowne Plaze Barranquilla is the place to stay. This 5-star hotel has everything you need. Besides the gorgeous pool, the hotel has an onsite gym and offers spacious and clean rooms.

In the morning you will be treated to a delicious breakfast. Thanks to the staff you will feel like royalty during your stay in Barranquilla.

  • Rooftop pool
  • Onsite gym
  • Clean and spacious rooms
  • Delicious breakfast

Double rooms cost $80+ per night

Check Latest Price

Wyndham Garden Barranquilla — Mid Range

You can find Wyndham hotels all across the world. Staying at one of these gives you peace of mind that you’re going to have a comfortable stay and enjoy top-notch facilities.

This hotel in particular has a sauna and two rooftop hot tubs. The rooms are large and modern, offering everything you need. You’ll also be in a perfect location within Barranquilla.

  • Two rooftop hot tubs and sauna
  • Onsite bar
  • Great location
  • Delicious breakfast included

Double rooms cost between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Casa Caribe Colonial — Budget Friendly

Casa Caribe Colonial offers exceptional value for money, with rooms starting from $20 per night. As the name suggests, the hotel boasts a colonial-style design with vibrant splashes of blue throughout.

The rooms are clean and large, looking onto an open-air courtyard at the centre of the hotel. The perfect place to relax.

  • Great value for money
  • Large and clean rooms
  • Amazing staff
  • Perfect location

Double rooms cost between $20-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

Bh Barranquilla — Budget Friendly

Another great budget-friendly spot is Bh Barranquilla. They have some amazing facilities for the price you pay: a rooftop pool, gym, restaurant and chill-out areas.

The rooms are modern and clean, with huge beds that guarantee a good night’s sleep. The staff there will also do everything they can to make sure that you have an amazing stay.

  • Rooftop pool
  • Gym facilities
  • Great location
  • Amazing value for money

Double rooms cost between $20-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

More routes to Barranquilla

Santa Marta to Barranquilla

More routes from Cartagena

Cartagena Airport

Cartagena to Isla Grande

Cartagena to Palomino

Cartagena to Panama City

Most popular routes in Colombia

Bogota to Cali

Bogota to Cartagena

Bogota to Medellin

Medellin to Bogota

Medellin to Cartagena

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About the author(s)

Travel Planning Expert

Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.