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Cali to Armenia, Colombia - 3hrs By Bus To The Coffee Region

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - June 2010

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
After the big city of Cali I headed by bus about 3 hours north to Armenia where I wanted to see Colombia's coffee region. The bus ride was an easy one with flat and open countryside to travel through. We travelled towards the towns of Palmira and Buga. Along the way we passed over rivers called Rio Frayle, Rio Bolo, Rio Guabas and Rio Sonso. I saw cows grazing and crops growing with a backdrop of distant mountains. Some of the houses on the farmland looked very flash indeed, some had their own mini football pitches!

Fruit Juices

A variety of other things you see on the side of the road included 'Jugos' (fruit juice for sale, freshly made with fruit, ice, sugar, water / milk and zapped in a food-processor - it's delicious!).

Military Checkpoints

There were several military checkpoints also during this journey, randomly stopping vehicles. We passed through small towns where people were pushing carts and trolleys, riding bicycles or hanging out at motorbike shops. We were still 114km from Armenia when I started to see road signs pointing toward Buenaventura saying the coast was 122kms away to the west. We passed through Buga, briefly stopping at the terminal then continued on towards Tulua passing on a bridge over the Rio Tulua (river).

Passing Through Tulua

As we came into Tulua, I saw a small man-made lake where people were riding around in little self-propelled boats. Continuing north, Armenia is now only 83kms away while Pereira is 87kms away according to the road sign. But a little while later another sign said Armenia 71kms and Pereira 93kms which if you look at a map looks much more accurate. For reference, some of the other road signs I saw in this area of beautiful flat green but beginning to become hilly countryside with many ferns and palm trees were Medellin 343kms, Bogota 398kms and Ibague 133kms.

La Tebaida

We came to a town very close to Armenia called La Tebaida. I caught glimpse of a sign on the side of the road that said that you can go rafting there, the name was Balsaje Robinson Eco-Aventura on the Rio La Vieja. I saw another juice stand with available fruits being Zanahoria, Remolacha, Naranja, Mandarina, Pina, Borojo and Uva.

Fork in the Road

The road forked, the right going to Ibague, the left going to Armenia. During this short distance of 8kms to Armenia I saw some nice looking villas that had fancy gates at the front and nicely kept properties and gardens, some with swimming pools. I also started to see some banana trees bearing big bunches of fruit and trees with orange and yellow colored flowers as well as shops selling garden ornaments and ceramic pots.


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

Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Cali to Armenia (Colombia) to:

Map location: Cali to Armenia, Colombia. Heading towards coffee country!
 A : Armenia - Colombia 76 kms 76 kms straight distance | 1hr 48mins 1hr 48mins by car (95 kms) | 2hrs 9mins 2hrs 9mins by bus (95 kms) (95 kms)
 B : Cali - Colombia 91 kms 91 kms straight distance | 2hrs 32mins 2hrs 32mins by car (117 kms) | 3hrs 2mins 3hrs 2mins by bus (117 kms) (117 kms)
 C : Salento - Colombia 94 kms 94 kms straight distance | 2hrs 23mins 2hrs 23mins by car (119 kms) | 2hrs 51mins 2hrs 51mins by bus (119 kms) (119 kms)
 D : Popayan - Colombia 187 kms 187 kms straight distance | 3hrs 39mins 3hrs 39mins by car (226 kms) | 4hrs 22mins 4hrs 22mins by bus (226 kms) (226 kms)
 E : EAFIT University Medellin - Colombia 245 kms 245 kms straight distance | 6hrs 29mins 6hrs 29mins by car (330 kms) | 7hrs 46mins 7hrs 46mins by bus (330 kms) (330 kms)
 F : Medellin - Colombia 247 kms 247 kms straight distance | 7hrs 7hrs by car (344 kms) | 8hrs 24mins 8hrs 24mins by bus (344 kms) (344 kms)
 G : Pasto to Popayan - Colombia 268 kms 268 kms straight distance | 6hrs 14mins 6hrs 14mins by car (352 kms) | 7hrs 28mins 7hrs 28mins by bus (352 kms) (352 kms)
 H : Bogota - Colombia 228 kms 228 kms straight distance | 7hrs 53mins 7hrs 53mins by car (366 kms) | 9hrs 27mins 9hrs 27mins by bus (366 kms) (366 kms)
 I : Guatape / Penol - Colombia 260 kms 260 kms straight distance | 8hrs 6mins 8hrs 6mins by car (398 kms) | 9hrs 43mins 9hrs 43mins by bus (398 kms) (398 kms)
 J : Pasto - Colombia 341 kms 341 kms straight distance | 8hrs 50mins 8hrs 50mins by car (478 kms) | 10hrs 36mins 10hrs 36mins by bus (478 kms) (478 kms)
 K : Medellin to Bucaramanga - Colombia 345 kms 345 kms straight distance | 8hrs 35mins 8hrs 35mins by car (489 kms) | 10hrs 18mins 10hrs 18mins by bus (489 kms) (489 kms)
 L : Ipiales from the Colombian Border - Colombia 395 kms 395 kms straight distance | 10hrs 16mins 10hrs 16mins by car (563 kms) | 12hrs 19mins 12hrs 19mins by bus (563 kms) (563 kms)
 M : Tulcan - Ecuador 400 kms 400 kms straight distance | 10hrs 36mins 10hrs 36mins by car (575 kms) | 12hrs 43mins 12hrs 43mins by bus (575 kms) (575 kms)
 N : Barichara - Colombia 432 kms 432 kms straight distance | 14hrs 33mins 14hrs 33mins by car (689 kms) | 17hrs 27mins 17hrs 27mins by bus (689 kms) (689 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.


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Cali to Armenia, Colombia - 3hrs By Bus To The Coffee Region. Heading towards coffee country!

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