Santa Marta to Barranquilla

Overview Compare Minivan Bus

How to get from Santa Marta to Barranquilla

To continue your journey along the beautiful Colombian-Caribbean coast, you can head south towards Barranquilla, the fourth most populous city in Colombia and the home of many singers and artists. The most popular time to visit this port city is during the iconic Barranquilla Carnival (February – March), so any time outside of these months will be considerably less busy.

Santa Marta and Barranquilla are quite close for two major Colombian cities: about 104 km (64 miles). That’s about 2 hours on the road if you don’t account for traffic, roadworks and rest breaks.

3 ways to get from Santa Marta to Barranquilla

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan2.5 hours30,000 COP ($6)Check Minivan Tickets
Bus3.5 hours19,000 COP ($3.95)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi2.5 hours300,000 COP ($62)Book a Taxi

There is no direct flight between the 2 cities, so the most popular options to get from Santa Marta to Barranquilla are a 3.5 hours bus ride or 2.5 hours minivan ride. Fares range between 18,000 COP ($3.75) and 60,000 COP ($12.50).

Travelling by taxi, even though it’s comfortable, can be expensive. Expect to pay between 200,000 COP ($41.50)400,000 COP ($83) depending on whether it’s peak tourist season. There’s the option of booking a private car through BookAway, or most hotels can arrange it for you as well.

A minivan is another option, which acts as essentially a shared taxi. It’s a popular choice when travelling the routes Cartagena-Barranquilla-Santa Marta and vice versa. Their added value is their door to door service, meaning no extra cost or effort catching public transportation.

Buses are less frequent than minivans, and to catch them you first need to get to the bus terminal. They are a good option only if you need to travel after 18:00 (when the minivans stop running) or if you prefer the comfort and space of a bigger vehicle.

When choosing between the minivan and the bus, we definitely recommend taking the minivan from Santa Marta to Barranquilla. It’s faster, and in terms of costs, it is about the same as going by bus after you account for the cost of taxis to get to and from bus terminals.

PRO TIP: It can be cheaper to fly to/from Barranquilla when you are travelling to/from other coastal destinations like Cartagena or Santa Marta during Christmas season.

Itinerary from Santa Marta to Barranquilla

Santa Marta to Barranquilla by Minivan

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 30,000 COP ($6)45,000 COP ($9)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 30,000 COP ($6)45,000 COP ($9)

There are a number of different companies offering the service from Santa Marta to Barranquilla, but the most popular ones are Marsol, Caribe Vans, Pro tours and Coche express. They all have set departures every 2 hours, from 06:00-18:00.

You can check the availability and book a minivan with Marsol through BookAway, providing pick-up and drop-off addresses. We recommend booking in advance, preferably the day before travelling and wait for their confirmation.

Expect to pay around 30,000 COP ($6) to 40,000 COP ($8) to Barranquilla. Prices can increase by around 25% during the carnival and holiday seasons.

You’ll be picked up at the address you provided, before beginning the 2.5-hour journey to your drop-off address. The 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.

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway

Santa Marta to Barranquilla by Bus

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 19,000 COP ($3.95)40,000 COP ($8)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 19,000 COP ($3.95)40,000 COP ($8)

Step 1: Santa Marta to Barranquilla

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 16,000 COP ($3.35)20,000 COP ($4.15)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 16,000 COP ($3.35)20,000 COP ($4.15)

There are three major bus companies that will take you from Santa Marta to Barranquilla: Expreso Brasilia/Unitransco, Rapido Ochoa and Copetran. Every day there are buses leaving from Santa Marta Bus Terminal (Terminal de Buses) at various times.

The buses are quite comfortable, with reclining seats, AC, a toilet and the newer buses tend to have individual tvs and charging ports.

Expreso Brasilia is considered to be ahead in terms of services and amenities, but there’s only one bus covering this route a day.

Meanwhile, Rapido Ochoa and Copetran may be more convenient (and usually a bit cheaper) as they offer 5-6 departures a day, every 3-4 hours.

You can book your tickets online (make sure to print your ticket in advance though) or directly at the bus terminal. Day buses don’t tend to sell out as quickly as night ones, so it’s possible to get a ticket at the bus terminal.

To get to Santa Marta bus terminal take a yellow cab and indicate you are going to the “Terminal de buses”. The fare should be around 8,000 COP ($1.65) from Santa Marta city centre, where most hotels are. If you are staying in the El Rodadero area, that fare will significantly increase to around 25,000 COP ($5).

Bus schedule from Santa Marta to Barranquilla

Bus CompanyOperating timesDurationCosts
Expreso Brasilia1 time a day, departing 16:003-3.5 hours21,000 COP ($4.40)
Check Bus Tickets
Rapido Ochoa1 departure a day from
08:00-22:00
3-3.5 hours16,000 COP ($3.35)
Check Bus Tickets
Copetran1 departure a day from
14:00-20:30
3-3.5 hours17,000 COP ($3.55)
Check Bus Tickets

Step 2: Barranquilla Bus Terminal to the city centre

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.15)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.15)

Barranquilla bus terminal is located in the southern district of Soledad, pretty close to the airport. It is not the best or safest area, though.

Therefore, it is best to take a taxi that will typically cost between 20,000 COP ($4.15) to 26,000 COP ($5) to get to the city centre or 15,000 COP ($3.10) to the airport. The journey to the city centre and most tourist areas will take around 30 minutes.

It is possible to walk 15 minutes to the metrobus station “Pacho Galan” and take the line R1 towards the city. To access the system you need to buy a card for 5,000 COP ($1) and then a ticket for 2,400 COP ($0.50).

However, we don’t really recommend taking the metrobus, since the area is not the best for walking, plus the bus service is poor and tends to be crowded.

More routes to Barranquilla

Cartagena to Barranquilla

More routes from Santa Marta

Santa Marta to Cartagena

Santa Marta to Minca

Santa Marta to Palomino

Santa Marta to Tayrona

Most popular routes in Colombia

Bogota to Cali

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Cartagena to Barranquilla

Medellin to Bogota

Medellin to Cartagena

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