Travel to Bogotá

Flying to Bogotá

Avianca are the only airline that offers direct flights from the UK to Bogotá. British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Lufthansa and Air France all offer non-direct routes. Cheap flights to Bogotá are available outside the December-February peak travel period.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours 25 minutes; New York - 5 hours 35 minutes; Los Angeles - 9 hours 30 minutes; Singapore - 30 hours 10 minutes; Toronto - 5 hours 55 minutes; Sydney – 24 hours 45 minutes.

Travel by road

Summary:

Roads in Colombia are generally good, although driving in the Andean regions and parts of the rainforest will require a 4-wheel drive. Traffic drives on the right. Speed limits are 45-60kph (28-37mph) in urban areas, and 80kph (50mph) in rural areas. An International Driving Permit is required.

Kidnapping was a real risk when travelling by road in Colombia, but security is improving and travelling by bus is generally safe (especially on the main roads, such as the one linking Bogotá and Cartagena). Driving east of the Andes is not recommended, as incidences of kidnapping and carjacking still occur. It’s best to only drive during daylight hours.

Emergency breakdown service:

Colombia doesn’t have a national breakdown service, so ensure this eventuality is covered by your insurance or by the car hire company.

Routes:

Travelling to Bogotá from the south of the country, Route 24 from Popayan will turn into Route 45 at Tesalia and then into Route 40 directly into Bogotá. Route 40 also sweeps in from the east. Those coming from Cartagena in the north should take Route 25 to Medellin, which uses Route 50 from Manizales to make its way to the capital.

Driving times:

From Cali - 8 hours 45 minutes; Medellin - 8 hours 45 minutes; Cartagena - 19 hours 10 minutes.

Coaches:

The main bus terminal in Bogotá (tel: +57 1 423 3600; www.terminaldetransporte.gov.co) is near Cuidad Salitre. It handles all arrivals and departures from Colombia to the rest of South America. It is divided into five zones, each represented by a different colour: yellow means that buses go to the south of the country, blue indicates bus lines to the east and west, red is for the north and South American destinations, green is for long distance taxis and finally purple is for arrivals and local taxi services.

Travel by rail

Services:

Although trains still carry freight, inter-city passenger services are virtually non-existent. Plans are afoot for Empresa Férrea Regional to build a 63km (39 mile) Región Tram network, which will run from Sabana Facatativá to Bosa via El Dorado International Airport, but no completion date has been set.

Turistren (tel: +57 1 3 750 557; www.turistren.com.co) operate a small number of restored locomotives that chug from Bogotá to Zipaquirá and Cajicá at the weekends, but they are mainly for steam train sentimentalists who want to see the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá.

Journey times:

From Zipaquirá - 1 hour; Cajicá – 2 hours 15 minutes.




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