This article will give you the basic tips so that your passage through the main airport in Colombia El Dorado, the airport in Bogota, is just as perfect as the rest of your stay.
If you have done your research you probably know already everything you want to visit, see and eat in Bogotá, but maybe you need some tips for the actual moment you get here (Reasons to choose Bogotá). Arriving at an airport and a city you do not know can be tricky, but at El Dorado Airport (https://eldorado.aero) you will find friendly people (like pretty much all over Colombia as you will find out) and I am here to guide you through it in this article.
As soon as you arrive to Bogotá, the first thing you will have to do, as in any other airport, is to go through migration. Normally there are two rows, one for Colombians and one for foreigners. When it is your turn you must present your valid passport, with the visa if you require it (to find out if you do, read Tourist Visa for Colombia), and they will ask you the reasons for your trip and where will you stay. It is important that you have the address of your accommodation (Finding accommodation in Bogotá: 3 reasons to do a homestay), and if you are staying with a friend or family bring an invitation letter just in case.
Normally the process is fast. Depending on the time you arrive, it can take only 10 minutes, although there are times in the day that it can get congested and you can wait up to 40 minutes. If this happens to you, just be patient, it won’t be long before you go out and explore a great city. It will be worth it, I assure you.
Just below migration, you will find the belts to claim your luggage and you can refer to the screens above the band that corresponds to your flight.
If you need a cart for your luggage, you can rent one there and everyone is required to pay a deposit of 2 USD, €2 or $4,000 COP for the cart. You will get your money back if you return the cart at the drop-off points.
Once you have your bags, to be able to go out you must fill out and hand the custom form that was given to you on the plane. If you were asleep when they distributed the forms do not worry, you can find more forms near the exit. You are almost there! Just one security step away from your trip!
Food and stores
If you are hungry and want to eat or buy something before you start exploring the incredible Bogotá, the airport has many options for you. There are four food courts at the airport. One is located at the higher mezzanine in the public area. The second is only for passengers. There is a new food area in the public area in the building next to the airport. To get there, you must go up to the third floor and cross a bridge that will take you to a wide area of restaurants, with options like Andrés Carne de Res or Archies. Since we are talking about food, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to read “Foods you must try in Bogotá” and “10 best restaurants in Usaquén” for your stay in the city.
This information can also be useful for when you go back to the airport to return to your country, and you want to drown your sorrows of leaving Bogotá with the last Patacón (a heavenly fried plantain, which can come with cheese, tomato, onion, meat…just trust me you will want to eat more than one).
If you need to store luggage during your stay, you can go to the south-west side of the first floor public area or enter through door one and request luggage storage. Every 12 hours of luggage storage costs 15,000 Colombian pesos, around 5 USD.
If you need to exchange money inside the airport, you have several options, both inside and outside. You have these options:
- Aerocambios, 2nd floor – international terminal, restricted area (Passengers only)
- Cambios Güendi, 1st floor – Unified Terminal, public area.
- Money exchange – Casa de divisas. Cambios Alcansa S.A., 1st floor – Unified Terminal, public area.
- Aerocambios, 1st floor – International Terminal, restricted area (Passengers only)
You can also exchange money in different areas of the city during your visit. If you want more information about this you can read “Money Exchange in Bogotá”.
From the airport, you can use public transport or take a taxi (How Taxis Work in Bogotá).
If you want to take a taxi it’s better to grab the authorized ones. When you go outside there are several rows that indicate where you can wait for the taxis: in gates 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Terminal 1 and in the arrivals gate of Terminal 2. Take into account that the taxis have an airport surcharge of $ 4,400 COP ($1.5 USD)
For public transportation, you can use the Transmilenio Route “K86” on terminal 1, floor 1, exit 8. This Transmilenio is a dual bus, running from the Santa Fe Foundation (Santa Bárbara neighborhood) to the El Dorado Airport and back. This bus goes up “Calle 26” and then takes “Carrera 7” until it reaches Calle 117. Also, it can take you to El Dorado Portal (first stop) where you can take another Transmilenio to any place in Bogotá. To use this service you need to have the Transmilenio card called “Tu Llave.” You can get yours at the airport on Terminal 1, Entrance 4, First Floor. Our article Apps to Help You Get Around Bogotá can help you be prepared from the start of your trip.
You could also take the Feeder Route “16-14” on terminal 1, floor 1, exit 6, this one is free until you reach the El Dorado portal. In the portal, you can acquire the card to use the service and from there grab another Transmilenio for wherever you need to go.
It could be useful for you to read our articles on transportation in Bogota to have more information if you want to use public transport during your stay: “Bogotá Basics For Transportation” and “How to read a Transmilenio map”.
Bogotá is waiting for you
Now you know everything you need for the first hours when you arrive to Bogotá. You will see that from the time you take your first steps at El Dorado airport you will love visiting Bogotá, and you will want to leave quickly to go live the great experience that awaits you in this Latin American capital. The capital of taste, of friendly people, of colors, of contrasts, of the best food ever! Bogotá is waiting for you, prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime!
Go to our website and start discovering everything that awaits you in Bogotá! Share with us your thoughts, your experiences and any questions you may have about your trip to Bogotá. We have a lot of information (food, neighborhoods, places of interest etc.) that can help you prepare for your stay and make it an incredible visit!