Medellin to Bogota

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How to get from Medellin to Bogota?

Bogota is the capital of Colombia and the centre of most economic, political, and cultural activities. It is at the country’s geographical centre and is the third highest capital in the world at 2600m (8530 ft) above sea level. It has many museums and art galleries, as well as a very interesting food scene. Alongside this, Bogota is also considered a major spot to explore street art in the continent.

The distance from Medellin to Bogota is 419 km (260 miles). The most popular ways to cover this distance are a 1.5-hour flight or an 11-hour bus ride. Fares range between 65,000 COP ($14.50)280,000 COP ($63).

2 ways to get from Medellin to Bogota

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Flight1 hour 30 minutes80,000 COP ($18)Check Flights
Bus11 hoursfrom 68,000 COP ($15)Check Bus Tickets

Flying from Medellin to Bogota is a more convenient option if you’re visiting for a short amount of time. It takes a little more than one hour versus the 11 hours on the road with the bus. However, transfers to and from airports may increase the total cost in case you are on a budget.

In Colombia domestic flights are affordable and the price competes with the bus rates. If you book some time in advance, the chances of finding cheap flights significantly increases and can be equal or just a little above the bus fare.

However, a night bus can be a good way to save money on accommodation whilst also catching some sleep. Most buses are very comfortable and offer various facilities, usually having more space than a plane. If you’re travelling during the day, you’ll also get some lovely views of Colombia’s stunning mountainous landscapes.

Another advantage of taking the bus from Medellin to Bogota is that it has a far lower carbon footprint than the flight. If you choose to fly, consider including a carbon compensation fee to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Itinerary from Medellin to Bogota

Medellin to Bogota by Flight

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 80,000 COP ($18)280,000 COP ($63)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 80,000 COP ($18)280,000 COP ($63)

Step 1: Medellin city centre to airport

Duration: 20-45 minutes
Cost:
Duration: 20-45 minutes
Cost:

Note that not all airlines depart from the same airport in Medellin.

Most flights from Medellin to Bogota depart from Jose Maria Cordoba Airport (MDE) located 30 km from the city centre. A few, mainly  Satena airlines, will depart from Olaya Herrera (EOH) airport located within the city.

Option 1: City centre to Jose Maria Cordoba Airport

Duration: 30-40 minutes
Cost: 10,500 COP ($2.35)80,000 COP ($18)
Duration: 30-40 minutes
Cost: 10,500 COP ($2.35)80,000 COP ($18)

To go to Jose María Cordoba airport from Medellin city centre, there are three main options: taxi, Colectivo or bus.

Taxis have a flat rate of 80,000 COP ($18) and take about 30 minutes. They are the safest option if you are flying at night.

Colectivos are shared taxis where you split the taxi rate with the other people. If there are 4 people you will pay 20,000 COP ($4.50). This option is good only if you do not have a lot of luggage. They depart from San Diego Mall in the city centre and go straight to the airport.

The bus service is provided by the company Combuses. They depart every 15 minutes from San Diego Mall or in front of Nutibara hotel, both within the city centre area. They will all say ‘Aeropuerto JMC’ on the front, and the ticket costing 10,500 COP ($2.35) is to be paid directly to the driver. The ride is about 40 minutes.

Option 2: City centre to Olaya Herrera Airport

Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 8,000 COP ($1.80)10,000 COP ($2.25)
Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 8,000 COP ($1.80)10,000 COP ($2.25)

The best option to get to this airport from the city centre is to take a taxi for around 10,000 COP ($2.25) or Uber starting at 8,000 COP ($1.80). The ride is about 15 minutes.

In case you want to take the metro, the closest station is called Poblado and it is a 20-minute walk to the airport. However, the area is not the safest and therefore we recommend taking a taxi/uber.

Step 2: Medellin to Bogota by flight

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 60,000 COP ($13.50)200,000 COP ($45)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 60,000 COP ($13.50)200,000 COP ($45)

There are 4 airlines covering the Medellin to Bogota route; Avianca, Latam, Viva Air and Satena. They all offer a cabin-luggage-only fare so, so if you’re travelling light, you can save some money here. Departures are frequent, every 1 – 2 hours from 05:00 to 21:30. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.

In terms of service Avianca is a bigger airline and their service is superior. They offer refreshments and most planes have an individual tv and charging ports. Latam is a good second choice, offering a fairly good service too.

Satena offers a basic service, but since the flight is so short, it does the job pretty well.

Viva air, on the other hand, is a low-cost airline and they will charge extra for everything, even checking in at the airport. Most of the time their service is poor, so unless the price difference with the other airlines is significant (which is not often the case), we don’t really recommend it.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Bogota Airport to city centre

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 2,400 COP ($0.50)25,000 COP ($5.50)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 2,400 COP ($0.50)25,000 COP ($5.50)

Bogota El Dorado Airport (BOG) is located within the city and connected to the public transportation system ‘Transmilenio’.

Bus stops are just outside the airport. You can either take a green bus ’16-14’ or a red bus ‘K86’ and get off at the big station ‘Portal El Dorado’. There you get on the #1 bus line until the last station, ‘Universidades’. It takes around 30 minutes and the ticket costs 2,400 COP ($0.50).

The only downside is that buses tend to be crowded, especially during rush hour, so it may not be very comfortable if you’re travelling with luggage. Also, be aware of pickpockets and preferably have everything where you can see it.

A much safer option is to take a yellow cab. The rate to the city centre is around 25,000 COP ($5.50). It takes 20-30 minutes, but that time can easily double if you arrive during rush hour, between 16:30 and 19:30.

Medellin to Bogota by Bus

Duration: 11.5 hours
Cost: 68,000 COP ($15)90,000 COP ($20)
Duration: 11.5 hours
Cost: 68,000 COP ($15)90,000 COP ($20)

Step 1: Medellin to Bogota

Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 57,000 COP ($12.50)80,000 COP ($18)
Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 57,000 COP ($12.50)80,000 COP ($18)

Buses operating from Medellin to Bogota depart from Terminal del Norte. You can easily get there using the metro. The closest station ‘Caribe’ is right in front of the bus terminal.

The main bus companies covering this route are Expreso Bolivariano, Expreso Brasilia, Flota Magdalena and Rápido Ochoa.

The buses from Medellin to Bogota are comfortable because they usually offer reclining seats, AC and a toilet. The newer buses will also have individual TVs and charging ports.

Expreso Bolivariano offers the highest number of departures a day and is considered to be ahead in terms of services and amenities. All other companies also offer a decent service and can sometimes be slightly cheaper, so it’s worth looking at all options.

You can book your tickets online (showing them on mobile is not sufficient so make sure to print your ticket in advance!). You can also buy your ticket directly at the bus terminal, but keep in mind that night buses tend to sell out quickly, especially on weekends, so it is better to book ahead.

Bus schedule from Medellin to Bogota

Bus CompanySchedulesDurationCosts
Expreso Bolivariano
(Spanish website)
11 departures a day from
06:30 to 22:45
10-11 hours65,000 COP ($14.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Expreso Brasilia2 departures a day from
14:00-01:00; 21:30-07:30
11 hours
10 hours
70,000 COP ($15.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Rápido Ochoa5 departures from
07:30-18:30; 10:30-21:30;
18:30-04:30; 21:00-07:00;
22:30-08:30
10 hours57,000 COP ($12.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Flota Magdalena9 departures a day from
06:30 to 21:30
10-11 hours60,000 COP ($13.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Step 2: Bogota Bus Terminal to the city centre

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 2,400 COP ($0.50)12,000 COP ($2.70)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 2,400 COP ($0.50)12,000 COP ($2.70)

The bus will arrive at Terminal Salitre in Bogota. To get to the city centre, you can take a taxi for around 12,000 COP ($2.70) or Uber starting at 8,000 COP ($1.80).

Another option is to walk 15 minutes to the closest ‘Transmilenio’ station (Bogota’s metrobus system) called ‘El Tiempo-Maloka’. From there you can take the #1 line in the direction of ‘Universidades’ and get off at this station too. A ticket costs 2,400 COP ($0.50).

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