You can get from Cartagena to Medellín by bus, private transfer, flight, or rental car.
The cheapest option to travel from Cartagena to Medellin is by bus, which costs USD 70. The journey takes between 13.5 and 14.5 hours.
The most popular option is the flight, being the most quick and convenient alternative.
The fastest way to travel to Medellin from Cartagena is also by catching a flight, which takes a bit over 1 hour!
“I’ve experienced the rhythm of Colombia’s cities and the tranquility of its remote areas, all through its diverse transport system. This article will give you a firsthand look at how to navigate this beautiful country and get from Cartagena to Medellín without any hassle!
Check our guide for the best options to travel from Cartagena to Medellín.
Transportation Options from Cartagena to Medellín
The following table outlines all transportation options from Cartagena to Medellín:
|Bus from Cartagena to Medellín
|$70 to 79
|Cartagena to Medellín Private Transfer
|$121 to 390
|Flight from Cartagena to Medellín
How far is Medellín from Cartagena?
The distance from Cartagena to Medellín is 397.5 miles or 639.7 kilometers. It takes about 12-13 hours to travel from Cartagena to Medellín by car.
Getting to Medellín from Cartagena
1. Bus from Cartagena to Medellín
Journey Duration: 13.5-14.5 hours
Taking a coach bus or luxury bus is a popular and economical option for traveling from Cartagena to Medellín.
The journey takes approximately 13.5-14 hours, and buses usually run multiple times a day, with departures ranging from early morning to late at night.
Companies such as Expreso Brasilia and Rapido Ochoa are prominent operators on this route. A ticket for a regular coach bus typically costs between USD 70 to USD 79, while a luxury bus ticket ranges from USD 71 to USD 79.
The buses have reclining seats, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and onboard restrooms, offering a more comfortable journey.
By taking a bus from Cartagena to Medellín, you not only save on travel expenses but also have the opportunity to take in the diverse landscapes of Colombia through the window, making it an experience in itself!
There are several departures day and night, so we recommend checking out the schedules and booking your tickets online in advance!
Cartagena to Medellín Coach Bus Schedule
The table below displays the coach bus timetable for trips from Cartagena to Medellín, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.
Cartagena to Medellín Luxury Bus Schedule
The table below displays the luxury bus timetable for trips from Cartagena to Medellín, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.
2. Private Transfer from Cartagena to Medellín
Journey Duration: Custom Time
Private transfer is a convenient and comfortable alternative to taking a bus from Cartagena to Medellín.
With this option, you can hire a vehicle with a driver for the approximately 640-kilometer journey, which generally takes around 12 hours.
Several companies offer private transfer services, such as Transglobal Ejecutivos and Transportes Especiales Aliados.
The cost of a private transfer typically starts from USD 116 and can go up depending on the type of vehicle, number of passengers, and any additional services required.
Most companies provide a choice between standard cars, SUVs, and vans, allowing you to select a vehicle that best suits the size of your group and your preferences.
You can schedule the pickup time based on your convenience and be free to make stops along the way.
When booking a private transfer, it is advisable to do so in advance, particularly during peak tourist seasons!
- Up to 3 passengers (Standard Car): USD 121
- Up to 2 passengers (SUV Car): USD 390
3. Flight from Cartagena to Medellín
Journey Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Taking a flight is the quickest and most efficient way to travel from Cartagena to Medellín!
The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and airlines such as Avianca and LATAM operate multiple daily flights between the two cities.
Prices for one-way tickets generally start from around USD 80, depending on the time of booking and the airline.
Flights from Cartagena depart from Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG), about 5 kilometers from the city center.
You can reach the airport by taxi, a common mode of transportation in Cartagena, or through ride-sharing apps.
Upon arrival in Medellín, you will land at José María Córdova International Airport (MDE), which is situated approximately 35 kilometers southeast of the city center.
When booking flights, it’s advisable to do so well in advance to secure the best prices!
Additionally, be aware that budget airlines often have additional fees for checked luggage and in-flight services, so consider this when comparing prices.
In summary, flying from Cartagena to Medellín offers a swift and convenient alternative to road travel, allowing you to maximize your time exploring the diverse offerings of Medellín.
4. Driving with Rental Car from Cartagena to Medellín
Journey Duration: 12-13 hours
And lastly, renting a car for the journey from Cartagena to Medellín offers travelers the ultimate freedom and flexibility.
The distance between the two cities is approximately 640 kilometers (around 400 miles), and the drive can take anywhere from 12 to 13 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken.
Rental prices can range from USD 40 to USD 100 per day, depending on your car type. It’s essential to book in advance, especially during peak seasons!
The primary route from Cartagena to Medellín is via Ruta del Sol (Route 90 and Route 25), and it’s recommended to use a GPS for accurate directions.
Keep in mind that this journey involves toll roads, so have some cash handy for the toll fees.
As the journey is long, plan for rest stops and be cautious about where you stop, especially at night. We suggest starting early in the morning to avoid night driving and taking breaks in well-populated areas.
Lastly, be aware of the local driving habits and road conditions. Drive defensively and stay within speed limits.
Renting a car to travel from Cartagena to Medellín is ideal for those who value autonomy and the ability to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations along the way.
Best day tours in Medellín, Colombia
Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.
Here, you can find some of the best tours in Medellín, Colombia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there direct flights between Cartagena and Medellín?
Yes, several airlines, including Avianca and LATAM, offer direct flights between Cartagena and Medellín.
How long is the flight from Cartagena to Medellín?
The flight from Cartagena to Medellín takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Is it safe to drive from Cartagena to Medellín?
While driving from Cartagena to Medellín is generally safe, it’s important to be cautious, especially during nighttime.
What are the main bus companies operating between Cartagena and Medellín?
The main bus companies operating between Cartagena and Medellín are Expreso Brasilia and Rapido Ochoa.
What is the cheapest way to get from Cartagena to Medellín?
The cheapest way to get from Cartagena to Medellín is by bus. The cheapest bus tickets cost only USD 70!