| Home | 3 Guianas | Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Paraguay | Peru | Uruguay | Venezuela | Videos | Contact |

Santa Marta to Maicao, Colombia - Heading To The Venezuelan Border At Paraguachon

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - March/April 2013 August 2014

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
The bus journey from Santa Marta to Maicao or in the opposite direction and continuing on to the border town of Paraguachon in Venezuela can take anywhere between 3hrs 30mins to 5hrs. It depends how many times you are stopped at police checkpoints along the way. I have travelled this leg in both directions 3 times. It was especially slow during mid / late 2014 because of the problems with contraband smuggling between Venezuela and Colombia. It takes between 3-4hrs from Paraguachon to get to Maracaibo. There are also several checkpoints along this leg. From Santa Marta it is 166kms to Riohacha, a further 77kms to Maicao and a further 11kms to Paraguachon. 254kms in total between Santa Marta and the border of Venezuela.

The Border Crossing at Paraguachon
Border crossing at Paraguachon, Colombia/Venezuela

Best Bus Companies

The best bus companies to take for the leg between Santa Marta and Maicao are Expreso Brasilia and Copatran. You will get a good seat on a clean bus with air conditioning.

Worst Bus Companies

Unfortunately I travelled with Exalpa SA Fenix bus company from Maicao to Santa Marta. It was 5hrs of hell on a bus that stunk of urine and had no air conditioning. Everyone on the bus was soaking wet from sweat, it was horrible. I opened the air vent on the roof 3 times but they came and closed it. This service cost $20,000 Colombia pesos ($11-12USD), only a dollar less than the best bus companies. Many people were complaining to the drivers but they didn't care and had no respect. You don't want to travel with these clowns. Look at the photo below that I took after I left the bus. A pair of amateur bus drivers proud of their bad service and posing for my camera. It was a totally unacceptable service on a coast where the temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees. Don't ever travel with Exalpa SA Fenix buses, that's my advice!

Worst Bus Company - Exalpa SA Fenix
Exalpa SA Fenix - Worst Bus Company

Along the Way

After leaving Santa Marta and heading east you will pass Tayrona National Park, a small town called Palomino and before stopping in or passing through Riohacha, there is turn-off to Camarones. This is a place with flamingos that I visited on a daytrip from Santa Marta in March 2013.

     


Itineraries / Routes: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008



Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Santa Marta to Maicao (Colombia) to:


Map location: Santa Marta to Maicao, Colombia. Heading to the Venezuelan border at Paraguachon from Santa Marta, not the most attractive journey, there's is too much rubbish everywhere.
 A : Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary - Colombia 28 kms 28 kms straight distance | 29mins 29mins by car (31 kms) | 34mins 34mins by bus (31 kms) (31 kms)
 B : Santa Marta - Colombia 111 kms 111 kms straight distance | 2hrs 18mins 2hrs 18mins by car (126 kms) | 2hrs 45mins 2hrs 45mins by bus (126 kms) (126 kms)
 C : Tayrona National Park - Colombia 105 kms 105 kms straight distance | 2hrs 20mins 2hrs 20mins by car (128 kms) | 2hrs 48mins 2hrs 48mins by bus (128 kms) (128 kms)
 D : Taganga - Colombia 109 kms 109 kms straight distance | 2hrs 17mins 2hrs 17mins by car (128 kms) | 2hrs 44mins 2hrs 44mins by bus (128 kms) (128 kms)
 E : Minca - Colombia 101 kms 101 kms straight distance | 2hrs 23mins 2hrs 23mins by car (133 kms) | 2hrs 51mins 2hrs 51mins by bus (133 kms) (133 kms)
 F : Barranquilla to Santa Marta - Colombia 116 kms 116 kms straight distance | 2hrs 34mins 2hrs 34mins by car (152 kms) | 3hrs 4mins 3hrs 4mins by bus (152 kms) (152 kms)
 G : Valledupar - Colombia 82 kms 82 kms straight distance | 3hrs 38mins 3hrs 38mins by car (169 kms) | 4hrs 21mins 4hrs 21mins by bus (169 kms) (169 kms)
 H : Barranquilla Carnival - Colombia 186 kms 186 kms straight distance | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by car (233 kms) | 4hrs 56mins 4hrs 56mins by bus (233 kms) (233 kms)
 I : Maracaibo - Venezuela 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 4hrs 12mins 4hrs 12mins by car (258 kms) | 5hrs 2mins 5hrs 2mins by bus (258 kms) (258 kms)
 J : Cartagena - Colombia 275 kms 275 kms straight distance | 5hrs 50mins 5hrs 50mins by car (349 kms) | 7hrs 7hrs by bus (349 kms) (349 kms)
 K : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 254 kms 254 kms straight distance | 6hrs 27mins 6hrs 27mins by car (397 kms) | 7hrs 44mins 7hrs 44mins by bus (397 kms) (397 kms)
 L : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 298 kms 298 kms straight distance | 7hrs 21mins 7hrs 21mins by car (451 kms) | 8hrs 49mins 8hrs 49mins by bus (451 kms) (451 kms)
 M : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 278 kms 278 kms straight distance | 8hrs 8hrs by car (473 kms) | 9hrs 36mins 9hrs 36mins by bus (473 kms) (473 kms)
 N : Carora - Venezuela 355 kms 355 kms straight distance | 7hrs 37mins 7hrs 37mins by car (488 kms) | 9hrs 8mins 9hrs 8mins by bus (488 kms) (488 kms)
 O : Adicora & Punto Fijo - Venezuela 355 kms 355 kms straight distance | 8hrs 46mins 8hrs 46mins by car (602 kms) | 10hrs 31mins 10hrs 31mins by bus (602 kms) (602 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


ADD A COMMENT



Pinterest - Pin it!

Santa Marta to Maicao, Colombia - Heading To The Venezuelan Border At Paraguachon. Heading to the Venezuelan border at Paraguachon from Santa Marta, not the most attractive journey, there's is too much rubbish everywhere.

FREE APP South America Journey

Splash Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Popular Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Favorite Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Fullscreen Photo - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Photos from a Place Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS

My next travel experience & photos in your inbox!