Getting around Bogotá
The bus system operated by TransMilenio (tel: +57 1 220 3000; www.transmilenio.gov.co/en) 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. Preloadable cards (tarjetas) are available.
For a really South American transport experience, take a local buseta (minibus). 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.
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 should also have stickers displaying day and night time fares. To book one, try Taxis Libres (tel: +57 1 211 1111) or use the popular taxi app Tappsi (www.tappsi.co).
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 is available with Avis (tel: +57 1 629 1722; www.avis.com.co), Hertz (tel: +57 1 288 2636) and Milano Car (tel: +57 1745 2996; www.milanocar.com). The minimum age for hiring a car is usually at least 21 years old.
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: +57 1 281 9924; www.bogotabiketours.com) offers rentals and guided bike tours.