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Getting To and Away


The main bus terminal is about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from the center, at Carrera 18D (Avenida SimĂłn BolĂ­var) and Calle 45, where the Cacique Upar monument is.

To Maicao: Cootracegua (hourly 4:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m., 4 hr, $12). Taxis from in front of the bus terminal, leave when full ($11.55, beware of overcharging). Other buses from Calle 44, near terminal.

To Riohacha: Frequent 5 a.m.-3 p.m., 4.5 hours, $14 — Cootaxiexpress, Cooprovincia. Buses from Calle 44, near terminal. Or take a Maicao-bound bus to Cuatro Vías crossroads and flag down another to Riohacha.

To El Banco: Cootracegua (7 departures 3 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5 hr, $15).

To MompĂłs: Lalo (pick-up truck; 4:30 a.m., 4 hr, $28), Cootracegua (bus; 5 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 5 hr, $17)

To Medellín: 3 buses 3-7 p.m., 12 hours, $61 — Copetran, Brasilia

To Santa Marta: hourly 4 a.m.-2 p.m., 4hr, $12-14 — Costa Line, Cootracegua, Cootracosta. Or take a Barranquilla-bound bus as far as Aracataca, and transfer there for Santa Marta.

To Barranquilla: hourly 5 a.m.-4 p.m., 4 hours, $12-13 — Costaline, Cootracosta, Cootracegua, Brasilia.

To Cartagena: Brasilia (3:45 s.m., 10 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 6 hr, $22)

To Bucaramanga: 7 buses 4-9:45 p.m., 8 hours, $39 — Copetran, Brasilia

To Bogotá: 8 buses 1-8:30 p.m., 15 hours, $69 — Copetran, Brasilia

Pick-up tracks and other transport to villages in the Sierra depart from near the GalerĂ­a Popular.

To Pueblo Bello: Cootransnevada (Carrera 7A, 18B-37. Tel: 574-4115) (leave when full 5 a.m.-3 p.m., 1 hr, $5.50). Transport from Pueblo Bello to Nabisimake departs once daily, 8-9:30 a.m. (3 hr, $8).

To La Mina / Atánquez: public pick-up from Galería Popular (Carrera 7 side) (frequent, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 0.75 / 1.25 hr, $3.50 to either destination). Continues to Guatapurí (2 hr, $8).


Valledupar's Aeropuerto Alfonso López is located on the road to Codazzi, south of the city. A taxi there costs $3. Avianca and Aires have direct flights to Bogotá ($130-200). Check for specials; sometimes it costs just a bit more to fly than to take a bus.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

12 Jul 2011

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