Travel - Getting There - Transportation
The bus terminal is on the outside of the city, but close. There are many buses between Medellin, Cartagena (4 hours – sometimes direct, sometimes with connections in Barranquilla), Barranquilla (1.5 hours), Bogota (16 hours), Bucaramanga (9 hours), Maracaibo, Venezuela (7 hours) and Santa Marta. The roads are paved and safe.
The airport is 16 kilometers south of Santa Marta on the Barranquilla-Bogota road. It serves Avianca, Aires, and AeroRepublica with daily flights to and from Bogota and Medellin. Viva Colombia, Colombia’s newest, low-cost airline, also has flights from Santa Marta to Bogota and Medellin. If you buy early, you can get a great price.
If you’re in for an adventure, albeit somewhat uncomfortable, you can hitch a ride on passenger/cargo boats up the Magdalena River. It’s a 7 ½ hour trip to Barrancbermeja (one of the hottest cities in Colombia) where you can get a bus to Bucaramanga. It’s the Indiana Jones way to explore Colombia’s biggest river.