Salento is a charming town situated in the north-east of the department of Quindio, Colombia. The town preserved vibrant traditional colonial architecture and has a quiet way about its roads and households. Its beautiful colors and the nearby Cocora Valley are some of the most visited sights in Colombia.
However, I realized with a recent trip to Salento that there wasn’t explicit information on how to get to Medellin from the little town. Even locals tell me that there isn’t a direct bus that goes from Salento-Medellin.
But this is not the case.
First, let’s map out the location of Salento.
Bogota to Salento
The two largest bus stations from Salento are located in Armenia and Pereira. From Bogota, I had to take a 9-hour bus to Armenia before grabbing a smaller public bus that arrived in the Salento plaza. This bus was easy to spot. After reaching the Armenian terminal, head to the parking lot out back. A couple feet away, there will be a sign that states ‘Salento’, probably alongside a handful of backpackers. A 4500 peso ticket is purchased on the bus. This 45-minute ride runs every 30 minutes from 5:30 am in the morning.
Salento to Medellin
Salento doesn’t have a bus terminal like that of the bigger cities. Getting a ride back to Armenia (or onward to Pereira) requires one to stand at a corner in the main plaza (ask a local for the specific spot). These buses run every hour from morning to night.
Finally, for those who want to carry on to Medellin, there is one bus that departs from a small bus terminal a couple of blocks away from the main plaza. Some Jeep drivers (Salento’s public transportation), don’t know the specific location. It is best to ask someone from the main square.
The only bus that runs directly to Medellin is with Flota Occidental (47,000 pesos). When I was there in August 2018, the bus was scheduled for 8 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, and 4 pm. Although the ride is stated as 6 hours, it took me about 9 hours to arrive in Medellin. The traffic on the mountain ways was hideous! Nonetheless, the bus, like most in Colombia, was quite comfortable.
I absolutely adored my time in Salento and getting lost in the Cocora Valley. I hope you enjoy the town as much as I did!
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