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a VirtualTourist member from New York City asked on Mar 31, 2009


TWO QUESTIONS: What to pack and night bus from Bogota Airport to Santa Marta?

What should I pack for 10 days in Colombia? I'm heading straight north to Santa Marta, Tayrona Park, Cartagena, Medellin, and then down to Bogota.
I currently have two pairs of shorts, tank tops, and a pair of flip flops. I was going to bring a light jacket for Bogota, but other than that, what's the weather like down there?

And I'm planning on going straight from the airport to Santa Marta. My flight lands at 10pm. Are there any night buses leaving the airport at this time to go to Santa Marta? Is it safe, or should I just wait until the morning?
I'm planning on going so early because I have a limited time in the country and want to see as much as possible. Help!

6 Answers

answered on 3/31/09 by
a VT member from Germany

Hi [VT member b584b],

I haven't been in Colombia for quite a while, so cannot give you actual information about busses or weather at the coast. But there will be other VTers to answer these questions.

But: if you want to take the night bus, bring one long trousers as well. Or zip pants. Busses all over South America tend to have the air con on all the time, and it really gets chilly then. This was the case in Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela, and also in Central America. And it will not have changed by now.


answered on 3/31/09 by
a VT member from New York City

Haha I've definitely heard that advice before. I was just going to use my towel as a blanket and hope it's enough but now I'll definitely bring some lightweight pants. Thanks!!

answered on 3/31/09 by
a VT member from Europe

bring something a lot warmer for bogota... it gets really cold! I'm swiss, I know what cold means...

Also, if going to tayrona, it's better to have a pair of sports shoes... it's not fun to walk 1 hour and 30 minutes in flip flops over jungle paths.

hope this helps.
have fun


answered on 4/1/09 by
a VT member from Europe

As Ingrid says it can be very cold on the nightbuses in Colombia. I always traveled with day buses there, but when I took a night bus in Venezuela a thick sweater, long tousers, socks and my towel was not enough to keep me warm.

The bus ride between Bogota and Santa Marta takes 16 hours (according to my guide book), so with your limited time it can be better to check out the domestic flights.

answered on 4/1/09 by
a VT member from Delft

I am afraid that the night buses for Santa Marta already left when you arrive. Anyway, you will have to go to the bus terminal.
Have a look at the following bus companies:

An oversight of buses in Colombia can be found here (although not complete):

Bogota can be chilly late afternoon/evening/early morning. I always use a sweater and sometimes-but rarely-a light jacket.

When are you going? I will be there again 11 June-7 July, mainly Medellin and Bogota.

You may want to have a look at my Colombia (transportation) pages, although not (yet) updated after my last trip (January).

answered on 4/2/09 by
a VT member from Anchorage

I agree with all the others. Colombia can be downright chilly! I may also add a collared shirt if you plan on going out at night. You will feel extremely under-dressed in comparison to locals if you go to any bars or restaurants after dark. However, having said that, clothes are pretty cheap in Colombia so if you need to pick something up along the way it isn't tragic. Though it can be time consuming finding clothes or shoes if you are a big guy ;) Have a great trip –


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