by Alex on Jul.12, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Taxis are cheap and plentiful in Bogotá, outside of peak times or heavy rain you rarely have to wait long on the street to catch a passing cab. Although I have never had a scary experience, aside from the maniacal driving, there are those who recommend pre-booking taxis. Some taxi numbers are:

  • 211 11 11
  • 311 11 11
  • 411 11 11
  • and my favourite, if only for the number, 222 22 22 (sadly their answer phone does not quote De la Soul lyrics)
  • To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

    Pre-booked taxis usually arrive within 5 minutes of booking. You need to give a booking code (clave) to the driver – this is the last two digits of the phone number from which you made your booking. Make sure that the driver resets the meter so that it reads 25 units at the start of your journey.

    Taximeters are supposed to advance one unit every 100 metres or 30 seconds if stationary. The driver should have on display a tariff chart, at the end of your journey use the chart to convert the number of units to a cost then add the following where applicable:

    Airport surcharge – 3,200 COP
    Night surcharge (for travel including the hours 20:00 – 05:00) – 1,600 COP
    Sunday surcharge – 1,600 COP
    Public holiday surcharge – 1,600 COP
    Pre-booking surcharge – 600 COP

    Taking a taxi from the airport – on exiting the main terminal (El Dorado) from an international flight, turn right out of the doors and right again at the corner of the building to find the taxi kiosk; for domestic flights, there is a kiosk to the left as you leave the building, there is a similar set up at the second terminal (Puente Aéreo). On giving your destination address to the attendant you’ll be presented with a ticket stating your destination and the cost of your journey including surcharges thus avoiding any ‘discussion’ over cost of fare with the driver. It costs less than 20,000 COP to get to most places that you’d want to go in the city. If you want to avoid the queue or potentially save a few thousand pesos you can often get a cab in front of the airport building. If so, ensure that the meter is reset when you start your journey (meters start at 25 units).

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    Bus stations

    by Alex on Jul.12, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Terminal de Transportes (main bus station)
    Diagonal 23 No. 69-60

    Most (non-local) buses depart from/arrive at the Terminal de Transportes. Buses to most destinations leave frequently and many destinations are served by multiple operators. Accordingly, there is rarely cause to arrive long before you wish to depart and it may be worth comparing prices between operators and bargaining over ticket prices. If you are staying in the centre and travelling north to nearby destinations (to eg. Zipaqirá or Villa de Leyva) it is quicker to get a bus from Portal del Norte

    Visit the Terminal de Transporte’s site here

    Portal del Norte
    Autopista Norte with Calle 175

    For buses to Zipaquirá, Guatavita, Villa de Leyva

    Many buses that head north leave from the main bus station (Terminal de Transportes). However from the centre, it is quicker to travel by Transmilenio (B74 from Museo del Oro Mon-Sat, change at Jiménez for a fast bus on Sundays and holidays) to Portal del Norte and take your bus from there rather than travel to the Terminal and battle through town. For a guaranteed seat on longer journeys, you might be better off starting your journey from the main bus station

    Terminal del sur
    Autopista Sur with Carrera 75

    For buses to Santandercito and other destinations to the south

    To arrive at the Terminal del Sur, take the Transmilenio to Portal del Sur and walk (about 10 mins west along the autopista)

    Find Bogotá’s bus stations on the map here

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