Salento is only 154 miles (248 km) away from Medellín, making it an easy side trip that takes five to six hours one way.
Salento is fairly easy to get to. A flight to the nearby cities of Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia takes under one hour via a direct flight. Taking a private transfer to stop and visit the nearby attractions of the Coffee Region is recommended over self-driving. Buses and colectivos are also available, but are not recommended if you are sensitive to motion-sickness.
To see the best cities that Colombia has to offer, consider this 14-day itinerary. This tour offers the perfect combination for city dwellers and nature lovers alike. You’ll spend time in the most popular Colombian cities, including Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena. Each city has its own distinct culture and flavor. To balance it out, you’ll also visit a coffee farm in Salento, hike through a rainforest, and spend time on the beach while visiting the stunning beaches and rainforests of Tayrona National Park.
By Plane to Pereira, Manizales, or Armenia
Duration: Under 1 hour
There is no airport in Salento but you can fly to towns nearby and then take a bus to Salento from there. Medellín’s Olaya Herrera (EOH) offers non-stop flights to the nearby towns Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia. All direct flights are under one hour. There are also multiple buses that depart throughout the day for Salento from these major cities in the coffee region.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 5-6 hours, more with stops
Private transfers are recommended over self-driving for this route but it can be expensive. Having a car and driver gives you the freedom to explore the route between Solento and Medellín. A guide and driver are a good idea in this area as public transportation to the coffee farms and nature reserves is infrequent or non-existent. You can certainly make the drive in one day, though many travelers opt to take their time and stop at attractions along the way.
If you opt for a private transfer, stops at the Termales de Santa Rosa and Termales de San Vicente are recommended. They are the two most popular destinations for spa tourism. Both locations are worth a stop to soak in the health benefits and for relaxing. The impressive Termales de Santa Rosa, 6 miles (9 km) east of Santa Rosa de Cabal, which features pools at the base of a waterfall. The other relaxing Hot Springs, Termales San Vicente, is located 11 miles (18 km) east of Santa Rosa de Cabal.
Duration: 6 to 7 hours
There are small buses depart daily for Salento from Medellín’s Terminal de Transportes del Sur in Medellín. Buses usually take 6 to 7 hours to arrive in Salento and it’s a cost-effective way of travel. Companies like Flota Occidental have buses that normally pass through Pereira before heading to Salento.
Duration: 5 hours
Another alternative mode of transport from Medellín is to take a colectivo to the region. These are mini vans that travel daily to the cities around the region. These trips can be hard for those that are sensitive to motion-sickness as the roads and driving can be a little rough.