How to get from El Dorado airport Bogota to La Candelaria

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Are you flying into Bogota? If you are then you are probably wondering how to get from Bogota airport to city. If like most people backpackers or travelers only spending a few days in Bogota you are likely to be staying in La Candelaria or Chapienero. To help you work out how to get from El Dorado airport to your accommodation I have put together this handy guide to help you work out your options. 

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Most people want to get from Bogota airport to Candelaria, which is ideal as it makes the quickest and easiest way to get there the Transmillenio, which also happens to be the cheapest! If you are heading from the airport to the north of the city, say to Chapinaro then you may be better off taking a Bogota airport transfer, or even a taxi.

There are 4 different Bogota airport transportation methods I recommend and they are as follows:

How to get From Bogota airport to city

  1. Transmillenio
  2. Uber
  3. Airport Taxi
  4. Colombia Buddy (private Bogota airport transfer)

PS. If by chance you haven’t chosen your accommodation yet, in my opinion, the best area to stay in Bogota is Chapinero over La Candelaria.

Confession: I feel like I need to confess about my first trip to Bogota. I got out of the airport, tired, jetlagged and pretty disorientated. My Spanish was ok, but I was used to Guatemalan Spanish which was a bit slower, with less of an accent. Anyway, a guy approached me telling me he was an Uber driver and quoting me a good price into town.

Stupidly I got into his unmarked car and he took me to La Candelaria. By the time I got there, it was dark and he kicked me out close to my accommodation, telling me he was unable to drive down my street. So I reluctantly got out and then spent the next hour walking the streets unable to find my Airbnb getting more and more upset. My Guatemalan phone didn’t work, I had no local currency, and I was like a big flashing ‘gringa’ target.

In the end, the police found me wandering up on the main road and escorted me to my accommodation. It could have been so much worst, I made so many stupid mistakes, so please don’t be like me, plan your route from the airport!

 

Option 1 – Take the Transmilenio from the airport to La Candelaria

Colombia Guides | How to get from El Dorado airport in Bogota to La Candelaria

If you are staying in La Candelaria and you are on a budget this is by far the cheapest Bogota airport transportation to get from Bogota airport to the city! It will cost you just over $2mil (about 60 cents or 50p) and it is pretty quick! There is a Transmilenio station inside the airport so just follow the signs for Transmilenio and get on a bus to Universidades.

Check how far your accommodation is from the station and if it is still a bit of a walk then download one of the taxi or ridesharing apps and book a car or taxi to take you the rest of the way. Or just suck it up and walk! Don’t flag down a taxi, especially at night or if you are on your own.

Option 2 – Book an Uber from the airport to Bogota City Centre

Colombia Guides | How to get from El Dorado airport in Bogota to La Candelaria

 

Is Uber legal in Colombia?

Strictly speaking, Uber is not legal in Colombia. It was banned in early 2020 but just 2 weeks later it came back online. Although there is still a lot of tension between the taxi drivers and Uber drivers, in my opinion, it’s safer and more reliable to use one of the apps rather than just getting in a taxi.

These are the Taxi and Ride-Sharing Apps Available in Colombia (updated March 2020):

  • Uber
  • Beat
  • DiDi
  • Tapsi
  • Cabify

I used Beat to get from the Airport to the north of Bogota and it cost me less than $6 USD. I think it is more than double that in a Taxi.

Option 3 – Take an airport Taxi to Bogota city center

Colombia Guides | How to get from El Dorado airport in Bogota to La Candelaria

 

As a golden rule don’t get in a taxi in Colombia…especially in Bogota. But Bogota airport taxis are safe, as long as you use an official one.

To take a taxi from Bogota airport to La Candelaria is a good idea if your flight gets in late as it is the safest option. You will see the Bogota airport taxis parked up outside the airport, to book a taxi you will normally need to go to the booth

The taxi cost from Bogota airport to La Candelaria should be around $15 USD

The taxi fare from Bogota airport to Chapinaro will be a little bit more, but not much. Expect to pay around $20 USD.

A general note about taking taxis in Bogota (not airport Taxis):

Taxis in Bogota are not safe for tourists. It is commonly known as paseo millonarios (“millionaire rides”) where the taxi driver will pick up a tourist and then pick up some rather nasty friends. They will then take you to a cash machine and make you withdraw millions of pesos. I personally know people this has happened to. That is the worst-case scenario, at best you will be taken on a nice tour of the city while the meter is running haha. Don’t risk it by picking up a cab on the street! If you need more reasons take a read of this article from how to Bogota.

If you want to get a taxi in Bogota then use the Tapsi or Easy Taxi apps. You go through a booking system and have a record of the drivers details. It is by far the safest way to take a taxi.

 

Option 4 – Get a Colombian Buddy to pick you up!

If reading this list of Bogota airport transportation options has terrified you, firstly I’m sorry. But better to be prepared than run into trouble because you were unprepared hay! And secondly, I have just the thing to put you at ease a Bogota airport transfer provided my Colombian Buddy.

There is a wonderful company in Bogota called Colombian Buddy, who do what they say on the tin! They can be your Colombian friend. So why not ask them to come and pick you up from the airport and take you to your accommodation. They offer private Bogota airport transfers into the city center.

While on-route you can ask them a ton of questions about things to do in Bogota that will help you make the most of your time…BOOM!

Final Thoughts

Here are the 3 best hotels with free transport to the airport, that I recommend staying at when you have a late/ early flight or just want to be near the El Dorado airport.

Not booked your accommodation in Bogota yet? I recommend staying in Chapenero over La Candelaria if you are staying longer than 24 hours for safety reasons. In this blog post I break down each of the areas in Bogota I recommend to stay in, including some recommendations.

Hotels I recommend are:

Hotel Morrison
Selina Chapinaro
Republica Hostel Chapinero
Hotel Living 55
93 Luxury Suites & Residences

If you are only in town for 1 night then I recommend staying in one of these places in La Candelaria:

Selina La Candelaria
Casa artistica 
Arche Noah Boutique Hostel

bogota airport to city

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This post was proofread by Grammarly

Lucu

Monday 23rd of November 2020

I'd like to comment that more instructions needed to locate the bus. The bus stops aren't INSIDE the airport, they are outside exit 9. I had to ask few people to locate it, there were no signs where I was exiting the airport. There are also different stops for buses going different routes, to get to Universidado you'll need the 500 bus. I had to look at the routes to figure it out. The payment is only via transport card, but I gave cash to someone who swiped it for me . Carrying change comes in handy !

Claire Summers

Saturday 5th of December 2020

Thanks, Lucu that's super helpful. I only did it traveling to the airport which was much easier! When I was there in March the bus stop was just outside the airport exit though (still within the airport grounds). Has this changed?

Andrew Caro

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Your article is quite good. The only comment I have to make is regarding the taxis. It is an unfair generalization to say that taxis are not safe for tourists. There are more than 50 thousand taxis in Bogotá, and it is a safe service. The advice should be not to stop a taxi on the road, but to ask for a taxi by phone or any of the platforms (they will come in less than 5 minutes and they’ll tell you the number of registration plate of the taxi). Most taxis belong to any of those organized platforms and they are safe.

Claire Summers

Thursday 13th of February 2020

Thanks for your comments... If you actually read my post though I do say taxis from the airport are fine and using one of the taxi aps is also safe. But flagging a taxi down on the street if you are a solo female traveler (who my blog is written for) is not a safe option. But yeah thanks for mansplaning what I already wrote ?