Yesterday I took a long-distance bus from Bogota to Cartagena, and I will include some details for whoever is interested in specifically traveling in Colombia. 

In general, I would highly recommend long-distance busses to anyone traveling on a budget. For this bus I paid $85,000 Colombian pesos, which is roughly US $40, whereas flights from Bogota to Cartagena can cost anywhere from $80-$150, depending on how far in advance you book the flight. 

Busses also have more flexibility (at least in Colombia). I didn't even have to book in advance--I decided a few days before that I was going to leave on Sunday night and then just showed up at the terminal and took the 10:30 p.m bus (I had vaguely heard from other people this existed). 

The bus company I chose for the trip from Bogota to Cartagena was Expreso Brasilia and my experience with it was good, but I would definitely advise anyone doing a long-distance bus ride to BRING A TON OF CLOTHES. The air conditioning on these busses is unbelievable. I was wearing a tank top, long sleeve shirt, a sweater, two jackets, two scarves, and pants under my pants, and I was still cold. 

The good news is, they are very comfortable, with cushy seats that recline all the way back, curtains on the windows, and TV screens with movies always playing. There is a bathroom as well, albeit a horrible piss-covered bathroom, with no toilet paper. (Important tip: always have toilet paper with you whenever you go anywhere in Latin America. Most of the time there is either no toilet paper at all or the bathrooms charge you for it.)

The busses also make breakfast, lunch and dinner stops. WARNING: they will not tell you a time limit, and you may find yourself as the lone straggler who holds up the whole bus. Not that this happened to me or anything...

In general though, I think bussing through a country is a great way to see it. You see lots of beautiful countryside and towns along the way as the bus makes other stops, and that's worth a lot more than seeing teeny dots from 30,000 feet up.


OCT. 21
 

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