How to get from Medellin to Salento?

Salento is a charming and colourful town located amongst the mountains in the heart of the coffee region. It would be a shame to leave Salento without visiting a coffee plantation and seeing the beautiful Cocora valley that features the tallest palm trees in the world. Whether you are a coffee lover or prefer some outdoor activities surrounded by lush nature, Salento is the place to go.

To cover the 250 km (155 miles) distance from Medellin to Salento there are two main ways: an 8-hour bus ride or a 4-hour combined flight and drive. Fares range between 70,000 COP ($21) to 250,000 COP ($65).

Bus of Flight?

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus8.5 hours70,000 COP ($21)Check bus tickets
Flight4 hoursFrom 180,000 COP ($56)Check flights

Buses are the most affordable and practical way to get from Medellin to Salento. Even if the journey is a little long, it’s compensated by the scenic views of the beautiful Colombian mountains and valleys on the way. Another advantage of the bus is that you can travel at night, saving time and money on accommodation too!

Flying is the other option available, but there is no airport in Salento. Therefore, you must fly to Pereira and from there take a bus or taxi to Salento. This makes flying an expensive and somewhat more complicated option. Total travel time from Medellin to Salento will take about 4 hours and cost at least 180,000 COP ($56).


Itinerary from Medellin to Salento


Bus icon

Medellin to Salento by Bus

Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 70,000 COP ($22)

Getting from Medellin to Salento by bus is very easy. You first have to go to Terminal del Sur in Medellin and take a direct bus that will take you straight to Salento. The total travel time is around 8.5 hours, including the waiting time at the bus terminal.

Step 1: Medellin city centre to Bus Terminal

Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 10,000 COP ($3)

Buses will depart from Medellin’s Terminal del Sur.

The best and safest option to get there is to take a taxi for around 10,000 COP ($3) from the city center. Uber is another good option and rates start at 8,000 COP ($2.50).

In case you are on a budget, you can also take the metro for 2,650 COP ($0.70) and get off at the station ‘Poblado’. Walking to the bus terminal takes around 15 minutes from there. However, the area is not the safest and it is not really recommended.

Step 2: Medellin to Salento

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 60,000 COP ($18)

Flota Occidental is the company operating the direct buses between Medellin and Salento.

They have four departures a day and the journey lasts around 8 hours.

Most buses are medium size with reclining seats and AC. If they don’t include a toilet the bus will stop during the journey a couple of times for short breaks.

Bus CompanySchedulesDurationCostsSchedule
Flota Occidental09:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 22:00
22:00 – 06:00
8 hours60,000 COP ($18)Check bus tickets on redBus

Check Bus Tickets with redBus

Most hotels/hostels are within walking distance of the bus terminal in Salento, but if your accommodation is a bit further out then yellow cabs are available from outside the terminal.


Medellin to Salento by Flight

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 180,000 COP ($56)

To travel from Medellin to Salento by plane you first need to get to Olaya Herrera (EOH) airport. After a 45 minute flight, you will land in Matecaña International airport (PEI) in Pereira. After that you can continue your journey to Salento by taking a taxi directly from the airport or going to the bus terminal and taking a bus from there.

Total travel time is around 5 hours, including the waiting time at the airport.

Step 1: Medellin city centre to Olaya Herrera Airport

Duration: 15 minutes
Cost: 10,000 COP ($53)

There are two airports in Medellin. All direct flights to Pereira depart from Medellin Olaya Herrera Airport located within the city.

The best option to get to this airport from the city center is to take a taxi for around 10,000 COP ($3) or Uber starting at 8,000 COP ($2.50).

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 Pereira by Flight

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 160,000 COP ($50) – 220,000 COP ($70)

Easy Fly is the only airline offering direct flights between Medellin and Pereira. It is a local company and offers a basic but good service for the short distance. Prices start at 160,000 COP ($50).

There are four departures a day between 05:55 and 17:10 and they all arrive at Matecaña International Airport (PEI) in Pereira.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Pereira Airport to Salento

Duration: 1-2 hours
Cost: 10,000 COP ($3) – 100,000 COP ($30)

There are two ways to get to Salento; by taxi or by bus. The choice depends on your budget and preference for travel time.

Option 1: Pereira Airport to Salento by taxi

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 100,000 COP ($30)

The easiest and fastest way is to take a taxi that will drop you directly at your hotel in Salento. However, it can be a little expensive, with prices starting at around 100,000 COP ($30). You can arrange it directly at the airport.

Option 2: Pereira Airport to Salento by bus

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 10,000 COP ($3)

From the airport to the bus terminal, the best option is to take a taxi for around 10,000 COP ($3). The ride is about 15-20 minutes.

It is also possible to go by bus using the local metrobus system, Megabus. However, you need to change buses twice and it takes around 45 minutes.

First take the yellow bus #25 at the airport, then get off at the Viajero station and transfer to lines 1, 2 or 3 of the bigger green bus. You’ll need to get this bus to Cuba station, where you’ll then  take the yellow bus #27 to the bus terminal.

Megabus tickets cost 2,200 COP ($0.70)

Buses to Salento depart every 30 minutes from Pereira Bus Terminal. This service operates from 06:30 to 20:30.

The company covering this route is called Expreso Alcalá and the rate is 7,500 COP ($2). You can purchase your ticket directly at the bus terminal.

When you arrive in Salento you can easily walk to most hotels/hostels from the bus stop. If you are staying somewhere outside of town there are also taxis that can take you.


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COVID-19 Limitations: Transportation services have limited availability and schedules might be less frequent. Please check our recommended booking websites for the most recent schedules.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to recent travel restrictions, most of the transportation services are currently unavailable or subject to change.