FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Colombia > Bogotá

Bogotá Weather

20°C

Local time Bogotá

Currency

Col$

Travel to Bogotá

Flying to Bogotá

Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport is the main hub airport for Avianca (www.avianca.com), Copa Airlines Colombia (www.copaair.com), LATAM (www.latam.com), Satena (www.satena.com) and EasyFly (www.easyfly.com.co).

National airline and flag carrier of Colombia, Avianca is the only airline that offers direct flights from the UK to Bogotá. British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France all offer non-direct routes. Avianca, Delta, United and American Airlines operate direct flights from the USA.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours 25 minutes; New York - 5 hours 40 minutes; Los Angeles - 9 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 5 hours 45 minutes; Sydney - 24 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Roads in Colombia are generally good, although driving in the Andean regions and parts of the rainforest requires a 4-wheel drive. Traffic drives on the right. The minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits are 45-60kph (28-37mph) in urban areas, 80kph (50mph) in rural areas and up to 120kph (75mph) on motorways. 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 services

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 turns 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.

Coaches

The main bus terminal in Bogotá (tel: +57 1 423 3630; www.terminaldetransporte.gov.co) is near Ciudad 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.

Time to city

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

Travel by Rail

Services

Although trains still carry freight, inter-city passenger services are virtually non-existent. Plans are afoot to build the Bogotá's first metro line, the initial phase of which, from Portal Américas to Calle 6 in the city centre, is due to open in 2022.

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 - 3 hours; Cajicá - 4 hours 35 minutes.

Browse our Video Guides

Related Articles

City Highlight: Bogotá

One of the biggest cities in the Americas, Colombia’s vibrant capital Bogotá embraces an outward-looking modernity while still celebrating its rich colonial past.

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Casa Medina

Atmospheric and full of character, this Bogotá hotel offers modern facilities with an Old World atmosphere. Located in a restored historic building, it feels more like a home than a hotel with roaring fires, thick rugs, timber-framed ceilings and leather armchairs. The king-size beds are enough to lose a weekend in, while its La Casa Restaurant offers fine dining in a country cottage setting.

Hotel de la Opera

Situated in two buildings next the Teatro Colon, the Hotel de la Opera is probably the best accommodation in La Candelaria. Housed in a wonderfully restored historic building, it has class, charm and character, and its rooftop restaurant offers great views over the old part of town. The hotel has 42 rooms, each decorated with Italian furniture, but the best have views over Plaza de Bolivar. Booking ahead is essential.

Hotel Augusta

Don't be put off by the aquarium feel of the lobby; Hotel Augusta is a smart, cosy little hotel in the La Candelaria area of the city. The sleeping quarters are light and open, and lead onto a contained living room. Equipped with modern amenities like flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi and desks, the hotel is ideal for tourists or business travellers as well as backpackers with a little more in their pocket.

Hotel Abitare 56

While bedrooms give off a student dormitory vibe, the sleeping quarters at this budget choice are spotless. Rooms are bright and each of the 28 on offer comes with Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a private bathroom. Tucked away from the nearby bars and restaurants, this hotel also offers a little sanctuary from the buzz of central Bogotá.

Celebrities Suites

With contemporary touches and a modern palate of creams, whites and flashes of red, the Celebrities Suites could be modelled on a famous personality's own pad – if it weren't for the huge murals of superstars sitting above each bed. Each individually designed apartment comes themed around a superstar (think Brad Pitt or Beyonce) and is fully equipped with a kitchen, generous lounge area and beautiful bedroom. A flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi come as standard, while breakfast in bed with Brad is available on request.

Wyndham Hotel Bogota

While it may not look like a work of genius from the outside, behind the doors Wyndham Hotel Bogota flexes its creative muscles. Its 261 rooms are well-appointed and spacious with huge windows letting in plenty of light, but it's the blossoming of primary colours, mesmerising carpets and patterned wallpaper that make it such a pleasure to stay in. The steaks from the restaurant are more hearty than arty.