Written by Kieran Proctor

How To Get To And From El Dorado Airport in Bogotá Colombia

Welcome to Bogotá, Colombia! You’ve just landed at El Dorado International Airport and now you’re wondering how to get from ...

Welcome to Bogotá, Colombia! You’ve just landed at El Dorado International Airport and now you’re wondering how to get from the airport to the city. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

In this comprehensive guide, I explain the various transportation options available to you, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey to your accommodation. I also rank your airport transport options based on safety.

How To Get To The City From Bogotá Airport

Bogotá is a large and bustling city known for its traffic and urban sprawl. It’s a city of neighborhoods, with each neighborhood having its own unique character and attractions.

For first time visitors to Bogotá, Centro Internacional and neighboring La Candelaria are often their first stop. These bustling neighborhoods are located at the very heart of Bogotá in and around the Santa Fe district.

Centro Internacional is home to many businesses, government offices, cultural attractions and hotels. With the Tequendama Hotel being the hotel that most first time visitors to Bogotá choose. It’s also the hotel I first stayed in when I arrived in Bogotá.

To reach Centro Internacional from El Dorado Airport, you have several options to choose from. Yet the options are the same whether you’re going to the center of the city or to Chapinero, Usaquén or all the way out to Chía. There will only be a slight variation in the price of the fare.

This guide explains each option in depth. And ranks them from one (1) to five (5) based on their level of safety and difficulty.

Note: The fifth option which is Bogotá’s rapid transit bus system called the TransMilenio, should not be used after dark when you have luggage. This is for your own safety. Do not take the TransMilenio from the airport at night with luggage.

Before I explain each option in detail, here is the ranking based on convenience and safety:

  1. Private Airport Transfer
  2. Ride Hailing Mobile Applications (InDrive, DiDi or Uber)
  3. Private Rental Car (Self Drive)
  4. Bogotá Airport Taxi
  5. Public Transportation (TransMilenio Bus)

Private Airport Transfer From El Dorado International Airport

The most convenient and safest option from the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá is by private airport transfer service. Private transfer services are incredibly cheap and convenient in Bogotá. It’s also what I use in Buenos Aires and Havana.

For less than $25USD you can be taken in a modern private vehicle directly from the airport to your hotel or other accommodation. And for larger groups you can even hire a modern 19 seat mini bus for less than $90USD.

The driver will be waiting for you when you land at the time you have set when booking. Your driver will most likely speak English and will load and unload your luggage for you. You will then be chauffeured directly to your accommodation in safety.

Your best choice for airport transfers in Bogotá

Ride-Hailing Services From The Airport In Bogotá

If you prefer a modern and convenient option, you can consider using ride-hailing services like InDrive or Uber. These services provide a reliable and hassle-free way to reach the city from the airport. Simply download the respective mobile application, book a ride and wait for your driver to pick you up.

InDrive is a popular ride-hailing application in Bogotá and is known for its exceptional service and competitive prices. It is recommended as the best ride-hailing option to use from the airport.

With InDrive, you can enjoy a comfortable and safe journey into the center of Bogotá while avoiding the potential language barriers, dangerous or erratic driving and potential for scams and theft that you’ll face with traditional taxis.

The cost of a ride on InDrive from El Dorado Airport to Centro Internacional may vary depending on factors such as demand and time of day. But will always be less than $15USD.

Using InDrive In Bogotá - It's Better than Uber In Colombia!
Choose InDrive over Uber in Bogotá

Rent A Car At The Airport And Drive Around Bogotá

If you have a compatible licence from your home country or an International Drivers License you can hire cars at the El Dorado International airport. Rental cars from the airport in Bogotá are quite cheap compared to other countries.

This can be a convenient option for those of you who, like me, visit destinations further outside of Bogotá. For example if you want to go to Chía or Villa de Leyva. You can use the widget below to see the price of a rental cars from the Bogotá airport.

Bogotá Airport Taxi

One common way to get from El Dorado Airport to Centro Internacional is by taking a taxi. Taxis are readily available at the airport. The journey from the airport to Centro Internacional should take approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

When using a taxi in Bogotá you need to be safety conscious and aware of scams. Plus you need to always have travelers medical insurance in Bogotá. Particularly if you’re going to use a taxi, because the taxis drive like maniacs.

I recommended that you only use official taxis from the airport. These taxis have a computer-printed slip that indicates the cost of your route, (somewhat) preventing overcharging. The average cost of a taxi ride from El Dorado Airport to Centro Internacional is around COP$45,000 to COP$55,000.

Be sure to confirm the fare with the driver before starting your journey. And keep a careful eye on your luggage. Just because it’s a registered taxi from the airport does not mean you’re entirely safe from robbery and scams.

Just this week a woman was robbed of her luggage by an airport taxi. If you are going to use a taxi in Bogotá you should do what I do. Take a photo of the license plate and let the driver see you do it. Send it to a friend so it can’t be deleted if your phone is stolen. That way you can identify the taxi driver in the event of a robbery.

Public Transportation (TransMilenio Bus) From El Dorado In Bogotá

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can consider taking public transportation to Centro Internacional. Bogotá has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and the TransMilenio mass transit system. However, it’s important to note that using public transportation may require some familiarity with the city’s routes and stops.

To take the TransMilenio bus, you will first need to take the free airport feeder shuttle to Portal El Dorado station. From there, you can choose the appropriate bus line that will take you to your destination.

But do note that the TransMilenio won’t necessarily stop in front of your hotel, hostel or other accommodations. And you should not walk around Bogotá with your luggage. If you do walk around with your luggage you will be a target for robbery. Particularly at night.

The total travel time to the city on the TransMilenio can range from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.

Safety Note: Bogotá’s rapid transit bus system called the TransMilenio, should absolutely be avoided after dark with luggage for your own safety. Do not take the TransMilenio from the airport at night with luggage.

Safety Tips

When traveling from El Dorado Airport to the city, it’s essential to prioritize your safety to ensure a smooth journey. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Official Taxis: Stick to official taxis from the airport to avoid scams and ensure your safety. Look for taxis with computer-printed slips that indicate the fare.
  2. Ride-Hailing Safety: If using ride-hailing services, make sure to verify the driver and vehicle details before getting in. Always sit in the back seat and share your trip details with a trusted friend or family member.
  3. Language Barrier: If you’re not fluent in Spanish, opting for ride-hailing services like InDrive can help overcome any language barriers with taxi drivers.
  4. Travel Insurance: Consider obtaining travel insurance that covers transportation in case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.
  5. Currency: Have some local currency (Colombian Pesos) on hand to pay for your transportation fare, as not all taxis or ride-hailing services accept credit cards.
  6. Traffic Conditions: Be prepared for potential traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. Plan your journey accordingly and allow for extra travel time.
  7. Luggage Safety: Keep a close eye on your belongings throughout the journey, especially in crowded areas or public transportation.

Cost Comparison Table – What You Can Expect To Pay

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a handy cost comparison table for the four (4) main transportation options available from the El Dorado Airport to Centro Internacional:

Transportation OptionAverage Cost (COP)
Private Airport TransferFrom COP$90,000 (From $22USD)
InDriver, DiDi or UberFrom COP$30,000 (From $8USD)
Bogotá Airport TaxiCOP$45,000 – COP$55,000 ($11 – $14 USD)
Public Bus (Transmilenio)COP$2,000 for a single ticket ($0.50 USD)
*plus anything that gets stolen in transit
*Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as traffic conditions and time of day.

Additional Information

If you’re looking for a convenient ride-hailing application to use from the airport, InDrive is the most popular choice among locals and tourists. With InDrive, you can easily book a ride and enjoy a comfortable and reliable transportation experience without any of the headaches associated with using Uber in Colombia.

On the other hand, if you’re stuck at the airport due to a delayed or cancelled flight and are looking for accommodation close to El Dorado, I recommend staying in Fontibon at the Courtyard by Marriott Bogota Airport. It’s less than 2km away and takes 5 minutes to get there in the hotels complimentary shuttle bus.

You should also get onto AirHelp and claim compensation, if your airline has delayed or cancelled your flight. AirHelp is the world’s largest air passenger rights organization. It’s free to use and they can get you up to $700 in compensation if the airline has delayed or cancelled your flight.

Hotels Near El Dorado Airport In Bogotá

If your airline has delayed or cancelled your flight and you’re looking for a hotel in Bogotá near the airport, you have a few to choose from. The suburbs surrounding the El Dorado Airport are called Engativa and Fontibon.

Envigata is on the northern side of the airport and Fontibon is on the southern side. Yet Fontibon is where you’ll find the largest array of Bogotá’s airport hotels. And I recommend the Courtyard by Marriott Bogota Airport if you find yourself stuck on a layover.

The Courtyard by Marriott Bogota Airport has a complimentary shuttle bus between the airport and hotel which you can get from outside the main doors on level 2 (see video below). And it’s your safest option for a hotel in the area if you’re stuck on a layover.

With that said, if you’re not on a layover, consider staying closer to the action in one of the better suburbs for tourists. I’d recommend staying in La Candelaria or Chapinero depending on your budget.

AirHelp Claim Compensation For Delayed or Cancelled Flight

Where To Meet Your Private Transfer Or InDrive?

You need to wait on the second floor outside for your private airport transfer or Indrive. The below video shows what the area looks like and that it’s highly secure. So you needn’t worry about waiting outside with your luggage.

Do remember that it can get cold in Bogotá. So if you’re coming from a warmer climate wear jeans and carry an easily accessible jacket or coat for when you land in Bogotá.

Where to wait for your Private Airport Transfer, InDrive or Hotel Shuttle Bus. For the smokers, this is also the smoking area at El Dorado Bogotá.

Mobile SIM Cards And Recharges At The Airport

There is an official Claro outlet in the El Dorado International Airport. Yet, it’s most often closed and is rarely convenient for travelers arriving outside of normal business hours.

Now, the information desk at the airport will tell you that there’s nowhere in the airport to buy a mobile SIM card with data. And this is not true.

On the second floor between doors 7 and 8, you will find a small internet kiosk, selling mobile phone accessories. This kiosk sells mobile SIM cards and data packs for all the major providers, including Claro.

Remember To Prioritize Your Safety!

Getting from El Dorado Airport to Centro Internacional in Bogotá is a straightforward process with multiple transportation options available. Whether you choose a private airport transfer, ride-hailing service, rental car, airport taxi or public transportation, it’s important to prioritize your safety and convenience.

Always remember that when you have your luggage you are a bigger target for criminals. But by following the tips mentioned above and selecting the option that best suits your needs, you can have a smooth and enjoyable journey to the city from Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport.

Safe travels!

Where Can I Get More Information On Bogotá?

If you’re planning to visit Bogotá on your next vacation, or you’re simply interested in Colombia in general, you should read my Bogotá City Guide.

My Bogotá City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Bogotá and Colombia in one place. Read my Complete Bogotá City Guide.