Oct 05

Travelling through Colombia – Plane Vs Bus

Once upon a time guide books and websites suggested that people travelling around Colombia only jet around via plane. Buses, particularly at night, were a big no no. Now, things have changed and buses are all good in most areas. But, what mode of transport should you take while you’re travelling around Colombia? Bus or Plane?

I’d say bus. Every time. And the longer the trip, the better the journey. Think I’m crazy?

Sure, people vomit sometimes (a lot) and street vendors hop on every now and then to sell their goodies, walking through said vomit with a smile on their face just to get to you with their peanuts and sweeties.

But when you travel by bus in Colombia you see the country – you see the landscape change, the colours and the plant-life transform, you feel the temperature drop or increase and you become part of the landscape, instead of just passing over it.

View from the Bus Bogotá-Cali
View from the Bus Bogotá-Cali

Note: I wrote that part of the entry during the first four hours of a supposed eight-hour bus trip to Cali from Bogotá. The eight-hour trip slowly became a mammoth 17-hour rite of passage through the Andes, stopping for toll gates and car accidents, before we finally made it to Cali at 7am this morning. A great lesson in patience, but no one likes travelling after 17 hours sitting down in an air-conditioned corridor on wheels.

View of the Colombia countryside
View of the Colombia countryside

I know I said “Bus. Every time.” but at this point I’m leaning more towards the plane side of things. Think about it, you get a juice box or a coffee during the flight, there’s a working toilet (with toilet paper!) and if you’re lucky you may even get a window seat. Instead of a 17-hour drive to Cali from Bogotá it could have only taken me about 45 minutes. I don’t really want to think about it. Take it from me and spend that extra 17 hours of your life, which I will never get back again, doing something else.

But hey, sometimes taking things slow, having time to think and watching the world go by is something we just don’t do enough. And all that money I saved from taking a bus ($45,000COL) versus the plane ($189,000COL) can go towards many nights out and a few dance classes. So ok, back to bus again. I vote bus!

What do you think?


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