Despite our love of 12 hour+ bus rides (kidding), we decided to fly from Medellin to Santa Marta instead. We weren’t totally sure if it was going to be smooth sailing, as we heard multiple stories of Viva Colombia! Airlines often canceling and delaying flights.
There was a lot of confusion within the airport itself, but we managed to land safely only about an hour later in Santa Marta. Much more convenient than a day (and night) on another bus.