Getting around Bogotá

Public transport

The bus system operated by TransMilenio (tel: (1) 220 3000; www.transmilenio.gov.co/WebSite/English_Default.aspx) has revolutionised transport in the city. The network covers the whole city, including all the main transport arteries. Buses are clean, safe, cheap and efficient and plans are afoot to make the entire fleet electric.

For a really South American transport experience, take a local buseta (mini bus). They run all over the place and stop anywhere to pick up and drop off passengers. Routes are displayed on a board in the windscreen and passengers usually get on and off via the front door.

Taxis

Bogotá is well served by its big fleet of yellow taxis. They all have meters (always insist on the meters being switched on) and are inexpensive. They also should have stickers displaying day and night time fares. A 1km (0.6 mile) ride should cost no more than Col$3,500.

Driving

As the city grows in affluence, Bogotá’s roads are becoming increasingly traffic-choked. Driving can be a little chaotic and stressful, with taxi drivers particularly taking rather too many risks. With such a modern, well-functioning public transport, there’s little reason to get behind the wheel.

Car hire

Car hire is available with Avis (tel: (1) 629 1722; www.avis.com) and American Car Rental (tel: (1) 243 2130; www.americanrentacarltda.com). Avis, Hertz and National all have representatives at the airport. A driver also can be hired there.

Bicycle hire

Bogotá is well known for its impressive and extensive bicycle network, which covers over 300km (186 miles) of cycle paths. These are mainly situated in the north of Bogotá. City centre routes are heavily congested, so the best day for a ride is on traffic-free Sunday, known as cyclovía. The bicycle network is integrated with the TransMilenio bus system, which provides bicycle parking facilities. So-called ciclorutas (bicycle lanes) are on the most important streets in Bogotá. Unlike cyclovías, they are permanent, not just on Sundays.

Bike hire is not common, but Bogotá Bike Tours on Carrera 3 in La Candelaria (tel: (1) 341 1027; www.Bogotábiketours.com) offers rentals and guided bike tours.

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