Getting Here and Around

Medellín has two airports, the Aeropuerto Jose Maria Córdoba in Rionegro and Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera in the city's downtown. Aeropuerto Jose Maria Córdoba sits on top of a plateau 38 km (24 miles) southeast of the city. As the city's main airport, it hosts both international and domestic flights with frequent connections to all major Colombian cities, several South American destinations, and the United States and Spain. Located downtown, the older Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera hosts smaller propeller aircraft that handle short domestic flights.

Getting to the city center from Aeropuerto Jose Maria Córdoba takes about an hour. Official yellow taxis or Uber are the best option and will cost about 65,000 pesos. For an additional cost, you can reserve a car with a bilingual driver online with Medellin Airport Transfer. For the budget conscious, the San Diego shuttle is a great option because it picks you up just to the left of the airport exit and drops you near the Centro Commercial San Diego, which is just a short taxi ride from El Poblado, the principal tourist district; it leaves approximately every 15 minutes and costs 9,000 pesos.

Cars are not the safest means of transportation in Medellín, unless you're taking a taxi. Taxis Súper is dependable and safe; the dispatcher gives you a confirmation code which you give to the driver. Hotels can also call taxis, as they work with certain reliable providers, and local apps like Tapsi or EasyTaxi are another option.

Medellín has two bus stations—the Terminal de Transporte del Norte, where you'll find buses to Bogotá and the Caribbean coast, and the Terminal de Transporte del Sur, which has buses bound for Cali. To get to Terminal Norte, use the Caribe stop on the Metro line; Terminal Sur is right next to Olaya Herrera airport and a short taxi ride from El Poblado.

A paved, two-lane highway connects Bogotá and Medellín, and the 560-km (347-mile) journey takes about nine hours and costs around 70,000 pesos. Because of the mountainous landscape, the bus journeys between the two cities, although safe, can be quite hair-raising. Unless you plan on making stops along the way, flying is the best option, particularly in low season when prices drop considerably and flight times are comparable with the luxury bus services–-Expreso Bolivariano, Flota Magdalena, or Rápido Ochoa. For shorter interprovincial bus trips, book the first-class service and always get a seat on the lower level.

Medellín has an excellent train system, and since most of the track is elevated, it's a good way to see the city. There are two lines, one running north–south, the other east–west. A one-way fare is 2,150 pesos. The city's much-lauded cable car system is integrated within the Metro system and goes up the sides of the valley, offering impressive city vistas. The most popular option is to take a train to Acevedo station and then grab a gondola heading up to Arví park.

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