If you decide to make the awesome journey to Colombia, chances are you will arrive via airplane and that airplane will land at some airport. Chances are even higher that you will land at one of two airports: Bogota or Cartagena. Today, I am going to tell you a little bit about what you can expect in the main airport in Bogotá—El Dorado, and how you can reach it from wherever you may be staying in the city.
By far, the most important and busiest airport in Colombia is El Dorado International Airport–the third busiest airport in Latin America1. Most international flights to Colombia fly into El Dorado, and if your final destination is another city, you will either have a connection within El Dorado or in what is known as the Puente Aéreo, a small subdivision of El Dorado only serving flights with the Colombia airline Avianca.
The international wing of El Dorado just finished major renovations and re-opened to the public on October 18, 20121. The new international wing is extremely modern and much better than the previous version. To get here, you have several options. First, you can always call a taxi to take you to the airport. There is no flat rate to the El Dorado airport, rather you’ll be charged via taximeter. A second option would be taking Transmilenio, the public transportation system in Bogotá that just began running service to El Dorado in August of this year. That being said, there are currently no specific spaces reserved on the Transmilenio feeder buses that run to El Dorado for suitcases, making it a bit difficult to use it for longer travel for which you would need more luggage. A third option would be to take local public buses to the airport; however, I would not recommend this unless you are going to pick someone up from the airport or are only traveling with a backpack, as space is limited on these buses and room for suitcases or extra bags will be hard to find. If you are staying at a hotel close to the airport, you may also be able to take a free shuttle. I know for sure you can do this from the Sheraton, the Marriot, Aloft, and Holiday Inn.
Once at El Dorado, you will find several restaurants and shops to occupy you until it is time for you to go through security. You will find Colombian restaurants such as Crepes and Waffles, which has a wonderful breakfast buffet as well as a great lunch, dinner, and dessert menu—especially ice cream, as well as other national and international restaurants. You will also find a few shops offering you travel-related items and touristic purchases as well.
When you have gone through security and are officially “inside” the airport, you will find things such as the famous Riviera shop that offers you duty free purchases on cosmetic items, a really cool and new store called The Market Colombia where you can find unique Colombian made products, and the Britt Shop which offers an array of items including books, magazines, shirts, and other tourist items. You will also find complimentary Wi-Fi, charging stations for your electronics, and although there are no couches, you’ll find good spaces to stretch out on the floor!
Paige M. Poole
About the author:
“Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
- Travel Information (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- What should you pack when traveling to Colombia? (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Currency and Money in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- The Basics of Public Transport in Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)