Planning a trip to Colombia soon? You'll likely fly through El Dorado International Airport, AKA Bogotá Airport.
Navigating airports can be stressful, especially if it's your first time visiting the country. I've prepared an in-depth guide so that you'll feel more prepared before you touch down in Colombia.
Remember, many airports are different, and the Bogota Airport is no exception. Before going through an airport, I like to know its size, amenities, and whether it has nice lounges!
So, to make sure you make the most of your stop in the main Bogota, Colombia airport, I've gathered all the critical information you'll need to know.
Let's make sure you can easily navigate Bogota's airport!
Where is Bogota Airport Located?
This may be an obvious answer, but Bogota Airport is in Bogota! Bogota is the capital city of Colombia.
It may not be right smack dab in the middle, but it's still incredibly convenient. It's only a 20-minute drive from the El Dorado International Airport to the main city center.
Did you know it's the 3rd highest capital in South America in elevation? You're in for a nice change in scenery if you're coming from a coastal city when you step off the plane!
What is the Bogota Airport Also Called?
While most people generally refer to the airport as Bogota Airport, the airport has an official name. The official name of Bogota Airport is called El Dorado International Airport.
And it's long-form name is El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport.
When you're booking flights online, look for the official name or the airport code: BOG.
Now that you know the basics, let's get into what to expect when you get to the Bogota Airport.
Inside Bogota Airport
Bogota Airport is a medium-sized airport with 2 terminals servicing domestic and international flights.
Terminal 1 is the largest and main terminal that counts as the airport's international terminal. But it also houses check-in facilities and gates for domestic flights departing and arriving at the airport.
Terminal 2, or Puente Aéreo Terminal, is only for domestic flights, mainly to Medellin and Cali. There are no lounges in Terminal 2, and it's smaller than Terminal 1.
Still, you'll find food courts and other typical airport amenities in both terminals. There's also a free shuttle bus that you can use to transfer between terminals.
If you're traveling internationally via Bogotá Airport, you'll find yourself in Terminal 1, which contains several airport lounges. You may not see as many lounges as in larger airports. That said, you'll be able to elevate your airport experience!
You'll find the 24-hour El Dorado Lounge in the international departures area. For around ~$40 per traveler, you'll receive 3-hour access to the lounge with food, showers, free WiFi, and even spa services.
Other lounges in Terminal 1 include Copa, Avianca (VIP and Diamond Elite), LATAM, and an American Express Lounge. You can purchase lounge access at the airport or via airport lounge services like Priority Pass.
Bogota Airport is served by many airlines flying in and out of its terminals.
While many airlines service Central, South, and Latin America, Bogota Airport also hosts several international airline companies.
Central, South, and Latin American airlines:
- LATAM Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Viva Airlines Peru
- Viva Colombia
- Satena, Bogota Airport
International airline companies:
- Delta Airlines
- British Airways
- Air France
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
Head to the official El Dorado Airport website for a complete list of airlines flying in or out of Bogota Airport!
Getting to the City From Bogota Airport
The Bogotá Airport is located 11km from the city in the Fontibon district. It'll usually take about 20 minutes to get into the heart of the city. During busier times, budget up to 40 minutes.
You can take a bus or a taxi from the airport to make the journey. There are also quite a few car rental companies that service the BOG Airport.
Public transport is a reliable and quick way to get to the city from the airport. To do this, you can use the Transmilenio service. This will require you to take a feeder bus, Ruta Alimentadora 16-14 Aeropuerto, to where the Transmilenio buses are located.
You can take bus line no.1 (red), which connects the El Dorado bus station with Las Aguas in the city center. The feeder service is free of charge, but a single fare on the Transmilenio will cost a small amount of Colombian Pesos.
Bus fare needs to be paid with the Tullave card, which can be purchased in the Arrivals area of Bogota Airport.
You can hail a cab from Bogota Airport from gates 2, 3, 5, and 6 of Terminal 1 and the arrivals gate of Terminal 2.
The authorized taxi service for the airport is Taxi Imperial. It'll be the best choice if you want direct pick-up from the airport.
You can expect to pay somewhere around US$7.50 or ~30,000 COP for a taxi ride to the city. There could also be a pick-up fee associated with your ride. Keep in mind prices may fluctuate or change.
What About Uber?
Uber operates in Colombia, but it's worth noting that the service exists in a legal grey area. When you use Uber here, you're technically not hailing a taxi but rather renting a car along with a private driver.
This creative arrangement allows Uber to bypass Colombian laws that deem ride-hailing apps as illegal while car rental apps remain permitted. It doesn't matter whether you're renting only the car or renting a driver and a car!
To be extra safe, when my group of friends went to Colombia, we pretended to be picked up by a friend rather than an Uber.
As I mentioned above, there are a few rental car companies you can access at Bogota'smain airport. Expect to see big names like Hertz and Avis.
Bogota Airport Hotels
If you're looking to find a hotel closer to the airport than within the city itself, there are plenty of options.
While there aren't any hotels within the airport itself, you'll find big hotel names like Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton by Hilton, or Grand Hyatt, and more local hotels that service the area. Many hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport as well.
Coming Up: Airport Expansions in Colombia
Colombia is setting the stage for a major aviation overhaul, with plans to invest over $2.7 billion in modernizing 5 key airports. Why, you ask?
This massive initiative aims to boost Colombia's competitiveness and attract new investments through public-private partnerships.
One of the airports included in the project is the El Dorado International Airport. As one of the largest airports in South America, Colombia is always looking for ways to improve it. In fact, it was only in late 2017 that they unveiled the domestic terminal at BOG Airport!
With the current renovations, we'll likely see a new international terminal. Plus, the airport will be able to accommodate nearly double the current annual passenger capacity, meaning 60 million passengers!
It'll also aim to increase cargo capacity by 25%
Other airports included in this project include the following:
- Rafael Núñez International Airport, Cartagena: A 187,000-sq-ft new international terminal and remodeling of the existing terminal.
- Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport, San Andres: Awaiting concessions for unspecified upgrades.
- Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport, Cali: Unknown future improvements.
- Bayunca Region: A new $68.3-million international airport is in the planning stage, set to accommodate 17 million passengers.
Ready for Departure?
You're now on your way to being an expert on Bogotá Airport and ready for your next trip to Colombia.
Still need to plan out your entire Columbia trip? Make sure you try using Pilot!