In many cases, UBER is our first choice for transportation and Colombia wouldn’t be an exception, but before starting your trip be aware of how it works here.
For transportation in a different country, in this case, Colombia, we usually go for what we already know, or well, that’s what I did at first as a foreigner living in Bogotá. Nowadays I use public transportation, like the bus, taxis, and Transmilenio for short trips and if I go out at night or for long trips, UBER is still my first choice, because of all the services they offer (i.e. payment method, navigation apps that allow the driver to find the best route, etc.). So, while UBER in Colombia is in the works to be a legal transportation option, you should follow these tips to do it as Colombians do, because believe me, it’s a whole new world!:
Normally UBER drivers like to call or text you when they are close to the pickup location, so if you don’t have an international sim card you can buy one for 3US$ (almost 6.000 COP) at the airport, or use the wifi at the airport and then buy a sim card in another place.
When you are choosing a payment method, you can use cash, Paypal, Google pay or card (credit or debit). At first, I preferred using my card because I didn’t know how to manage the currency well, but nowadays it’s all the same to me. Sometimes, I use the card because I don’t like to have cash (I spend it fast!)
Sometimes, when your UBER is contacting you, it could be because there are a lot of taxis at your pickup location, so they might be asking you to be quick in locating them and getting in the car. There is a situation between taxis and UBERs: to make it short, taxi drivers think UBER is taking their jobs, so UBER drivers always try to be discreet to avoid any problem with them.
When your UBER arrives, remember the driver’s name and the car’s plate number, this way you will prevent losing time taking out your cell phone to double-check this information, plus you will be the road faster.
The front seat always has to be occupied, that way the police and the taxi drivers will think it’s a family member or a friend who is picking you up. At first, this was really strange for me and because I was curious, I asked a few UBER drivers if they had experienced a situation where a policeman or a taxi driver suspected him of being an UBER driver. One of them told me that he had to act like a boyfriend once and it was so awkward for him (lol!). But as I said before, UBER is working to be legal, so that’s why they tell you to be in the co-pilot seat.
Practice your Spanish! UBER drivers prefer a nice and talkative person, remember you will be the co-pilot, so seize the moment and ask about what’s new in Bogotá!
You and your friends need more than 5 seats? Go for a van! It is more comfortable and fun than going in two separate cars.
If you are not in a hurry and want to save money, you can ask for an UBER pool, an option which is in a few countries around the world. You will share UBER with other people who are going to the same place or closer, but consider it an opportunity to make new friends!
Are you too tired to bike back to your place? Or are you going to a specific spot? UBER can pick up you and your bicycle too! I personally haven’t used this service because I like to enjoy the special routes that Bogotá has for bicycles, but I know that this service is not available all the time and in all places in Bogotá.
In some cases, in Bogotá, due to traffic, the fee can change during the trip, but don’t worry! After reviewing your trip in the app, report it and UBER (most of the time) will return the difference you paid.
Also not only for the traffic or rush hour, because of an event too, but prices can also increase when comparing it to other hours or days. So be aware!
Need a ride to the airport? Through the UBER app, you can schedule a trip the day before the flight, just follow these steps, select the gate of the El Dorado airport you will need to be dropped off and you will have your UBER set on time!
Finally, be fair with the rating, behind every UBER driver, there is a dedicated person who puts all his effort to keep his car clean and functional to give exceptional service.
Do you already try UBER in Bogotá? Tell us some tips that can help us out or maybe you had a funny experience with your UBER driver or ask us any questions in the comments below, and if you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can find it in the play store for Android and also in the AppStore for iOS. Also remember that the app works with data or wifi, (which can find in almost every place in Bogotá).
Now you are ready! After reading this, you can keep looking here in Colture for events or things to do in Bogotá and also read my other articles to begin your adventures around Colombia!
PS: We haven’t received anything from UBER, but if you want to provide us a promotional code, that’s totally fine with us!