How to get from Palomino to Cartagena?

Cartagena is considered to be Colombia’s jewel on the Caribbean coast. Unlike the rest of the country, Cartagena has been a tourist hub for quite a while as it’s a common stop for cruise ships sailing the caribbean.

Its attraction lies in the almost intact and colourful colonial-style mansions in the old city as well as the huge stone walls surrounding it. Not to mention the delicious food on offer and its joyful people. Cartagena is also the location for multiple international cultural festivals during January-March.

The distance from Palomino to Cartagena is 350km (217 miles). The most popular ways to travel between them are a 7-hour bus ride or a 6-hour minivan. Rates range between 50,000 COP ($14) and 90,000 COP ($25).

Minivan or Bus?

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan5.5 hours90,000 COP ($25)Check minivan tickets
Bus7 hours50,000 COP ($14)Check bus tickets

When travelling from Palomino to Cartagena, many prefer to use the bus as departures are frequent and they’re pretty comfortable. However, we recommend taking a minivan as it goes faster, you’re picked up from your hotel and you won’t have to switch buses in Santa Marta.

 

Itinerary from Palomino to Cartagena

 

Minivan icon

Palomino to Cartagena by Minivan


Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 90,000 COP ($25)

Minivans are a popular choice of transportation to travel around the main destinations on the north coast. Their added value is their door to door service, meaning no extra cost and effort catching public transportation.

Transportes Marsol is the company that operates the route Palomino to Cartagena, with two minivans departing every day at 09:00 and 15:00. The trip is quicker than the bus and only takes between 5.5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and the destination of other passengers aboard.

You can check the availability and book your minivan tickets online through BookAway. Note that for the Palomino to Cartagena route, you must book at least 48 hours before departure and wait for their confirmation. You will be asked to be ready 1 hour before the pick-up time.

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway

Bus icon

Palomino to Cartagena by Bus


Duration: 6.5 – 7 hours
Cost: 50,000 ($14) – 68,000 COP ($19.50)

If you want to save money and don’t want to take the minivan, you can also take the bus from Palomino to Cartagena. However, there is no direct bus, so you’ll first need to go to Santa Marta Bus Terminal and take a bus from there.

Step 1: Palomino to Santa Marta

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 12,000 COP ($3.50)

Buses to Santa Marta depart from Palomino’s Petrol Station on the main road. They run every 15-30 minutes from 05:30 to 18:00. They are ran by a local small company called Cootransoriente Tayrona.

Buses will pick up passengers from other towns and from Tayrona Park before finally stopping at Santa Marta’s main bus terminal where you should get off.

It is also possible to book a taxi via your accommodation or an official taxi company. Rates start at around 150,000 COP ($42). Note that some hotels will charge a commission for booking the taxi so the fare may increase around 30%.

Step 2: Santa Marta to Cartagena

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 35,000 COP ($10)

Once at Santa Marta bus terminal, you should look for the buses departing to Cartagena. There are two main companies covering this route: Expreso Brasilia and Copetran.

Buses depart roughly every 2 hours from 08:30 to 22:00 and the rate is 35,000 COP ($10). You can book them online below.

Bus CompanyDepartureDurationCostsSchedule
Expreso BrasiliaTen departures a day
from 08:30 to 22:00
5 hours35,000 COP ($10)Check bus tickets on redBus
Copetran14:00-19:00
16:00-21:00
18:00-23:00
20:45-01:45
5 hours35,000 COP ($10)Check bus tickets on redBus

Check Bus Tickets with RedBus

Step 3: Cartagena Bus Terminal to city centre

Option 1: Cartagena Bus Terminal to city centre by Transcaribe Bus

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 2,500 COP ($0.70)

The bus terminal is well connected to Cartagena city centre and the popular neighbourhoods of Getsemani and San Diego by Transcaribe buses.

You can find these buses just outside the bus terminal. They run once every 30 minutes until 21:00 and the line that takes you to the city centre is X104.

You should get off at the last stop ‘La Bodeguita’ for the old city, or the one before called ‘Centro’ in case you are going to the Getsemani and San Diego areas.

Option 2: Cartagena Bus Terminal to city centre by Taxi

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 18,000 COP ($5)

Taxis can be found right outside the bus terminal. Expect to pay 18,000 COP ($5) for a ride to the old city. Taxi rates are regulated by the local government, but as a general rule in Cartagena, it is better to agree on the price before stepping in.

Uber does not really work in Cartagena. If you do prefer to use an app, locals use InDriver, which allows you to bid the rate you want to pay and drivers will accept or decline it.

 

More routes to Cartagena

Bogota to Cartagena

Cartagena Airport to Cartagena

Medellin to Cartagena

Santa Marta to Cartagena

More routes from Palomino

Palomino to Cartagena

Most popular routes in Colombia

Bogota to Cali

Bogota to Cartagena

Bogota to Medellin

Cartagena to Barranquilla

Medellin to Bogota

Medellin to Cartagena

 

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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.