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What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Brooklyn, NY
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What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

I want to go to Santa Marta from Cartagena, but it seems like there's no quick way to get there. Does anyone have any recommended transportation? Thanks!

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Havana, Cuba
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1. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Depends what's a quick way? The quickest way is cutting a deal with a taxi, the cheapest way is taking the bus and might not be that much longer. There are door-to-door bus services, it takes about 3-4 hours if you find one that ignores Barranquilla on the way there.

Cartagena District...
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2. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Hi Gillstein, these are the options...

1. By Car -rented- (3.5 hours, $200,000 per day)

2. By taxi (3.5 Hours, $300,000 pesos)

3. By plane -via Bogota- (5 hours, $400,000).

4. By minibus (Marsol), ( 4 to 5 hours, less than $50,000).

Hope this helps.

Brooklyn, NY
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3. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Thank you both perrolucho38 and DonTomas. Do you know, are there any safety concerns if we rent a car or hire a taxi on that route? Also, are there towns worth stopping in along the way? Thanks so much.

Berlin
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4. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Hello, we did it last week with MarSol and it cost 42000 Pesos. It is not a door to door service. They pick You up at the hotel and let You out in front of the city-center. It will take You between 4 and 5 hours. The bus was not comfortable, the music very loud. You will go before they start to all the other hotels, to pick the other people up or You wait up to 1 hour if You are the last hotel. I would recoment to take a normal bus from the transportation center. We did it several times in Colombia and it works perfect comfortable and cheaper then MarSol. And loud music and singing drivers You have to expect anyway.

Cartagena District...
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5. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

Hi gillstein...

No safety concerns. However unless you are familiar with the roads i do not recommend to rent a car. You will emjoy yorself more if released fron drving.

Towns worth stopping... Welll barranquilla is an hour from cartagena but not a tourist destination. Then you have cienaga and then santa marta...so no, not anything worth stopping by. (unless you want to have lunch.)

Bogota, Colombia
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6. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

I did it by using regular bus lines.

I went to the Terminal de Transporte and bought a ticket to Santa Marta.

My suggestion would be to pick the companies with biggest buses rather than minibuses. Simply because these minibuses really lack legroom.

If I remember well, I traveled with Expreso Brasilia.

It was ok, but the bus was stopping by all the time to let people get in, which was delaying the initial route. Maybe that minibuses stop less often, since they have less seats to fill.

Seats are relatively comfy, and you'll enjoy the onboard entertainment system with a movie carefully selected by the driver... Usually an action movie, so no worries if you're not completely fluent in Spanish :-) To be honest, I wanted to get a nap, but the movie prevented me to get asleep. My bus stopped in Barranquilla for I'd say 15 minutes, which gave enough time to get off the bus, and grab something to eat/drink. Al in all, it was a bit more than 5 hours trip. Could have been 4 without the numerous stops and without Barranquilla.

calif
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7. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

We just did this trip last week and used MarSol. Avoid this option if you can. It took us 6 hours and they also left late. The driver was rude and it was just a bad experience overall.

Pawtucket, Rhode...
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8. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

I wouldn't drive myself. Go on the Marsol bus (reserve seats--they'll pick you up).

Once in Santa Marta, side trips to Minca (stay at the Casa Grande) and Taganga are musts. And of course, Sta. Marta has a lot to offer.

curitiba
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9. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

I was to search on the website Expresso Brasilia, but They don´t find out nothing about Santa Marta. Is there other company ?

Bogota, Colombia
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10. Re: What's the best way to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta?

I'd agree with most of what is said here - I reckon just heading to the bus terminal and grabbing a normal bus (Boliviano - if available - are the best imho; brasilia aren't bad either) is the best way to go.

I would agree that Barranquilla isn't that big a tourist destination. That is, of course, unless it's *this* time of the year, of course. The second biggest Carnaval in the world? Hmmm...perhaps it's worth a visit....

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