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Medellin Transportation



The international airport for Medellin is (MDE) Jose Maria Cordoba, located in Rio Negro, about 20 miles outside the city, about a 45 minute ride from town.



When you arrive internationally obviously you clear immigration, claim your bags, and then clear customs.


Make sure you keep your checked baggage claim ticket, which they gave you when you checked your bags originally. It is actually checked upon leaving the bag claim area unlike most places.


You can exchange money at the exit, but the rate is better elsewhere.


Taxis are readily available and charge a standard rate of 58.000COP for a ride into town.


Buses take longer, but run every 20 minutes and cost 9.500COP, dropping you off near San Diego in the center of town.


A private driver can be usually arranged beforehand to meet you for 70.000COP



You need a tax stamp, which is available at the far away (from the direction you arrived via taxi) end of the terminal. They stamp a slip and give it to you, which is really a formality because the actual tax was paid in your ticket.


But you MUST have this tax stamp before entering the line at your airline for check-in.


In the line at check-in you will be screened by security, one of about three security checks. Be prepared to have EVERYTHING in your bag checked, this includes them opening candy and food items and opening packages, even gift wrapped ones.


DO NOT EVER try to smuggle anything out of Medellin, to say it’s stupid is an understatement. And if there was EVER a place in which you want to make sure you’re not handed anything by anyone this is it. Don’t be an idiot. You will be arrested.


There is a domestic airport inside the city called Olaya Herrera (EOH), do not go to this airport by mistake unless your flight leaves from here.


Ground Transportation


Taxis in Medellin are readily available and inexpensive. On the street you can generally waive one down easily when in town, if leaving from a hotel they will be out front, and if you’re in an apartment you generally call for a cab.


From a land line, dial 444-0000 and the dispatcher will answer. Request a taxi, if you’re calling from an apartment or other place with which the cab companies are well familiar (tied to the land line phone number you’re using) the operator will read off to you your location, tell her it’s correct, then she will place you on hold while they find the closest taxi, and then return to tell you the ETA and the placa number of the taxi coming for you.


There is a minimum charge of 4.800COP.


The Metro

The Metro in Medellin is one of the city’s proudest achievements, and it is actually one of the most useful things in Medellin. More than 500,000 people use it daily, and the connected MetroCable is the only cable car system in the world actually used for regular general populace transportation.


Medellin’s Metro has two ground lines, and three aerial Cable Car lines. It is efficient, clean, safe and fast. Almost all metro rides cost less than $2.


Line A:

The main line of 20 Stations running North and South from Sabaneta in the South to Niquia north of Bello. Tourists should not get off the Metro up North around Bello and Niquia without knowing what they’re doing. Acevedo is the junction for Cable lines K and L. San Antonio connects to ground Line B.


Line B:

Runs from San Antonio station of Line A westward to San Javier. It then continues as Cable Line J. 7 Stations in total.


Line J (Cable):

Continues the ground line from Line B from San Javier 3 more stations up to La Aurora.


Line K (Cable):

Line K connects with the main line at Acevedo and goes up the hill East 3 more stations to Santo Domingo. This is the most popular tourist ride in cable cars, from Acevedo to Santo Domingo. Tourists are not encouraged to get off the cable car system at any of the stops, particularly Popular or Santo Domingo and wander away from the stations. All of the stations are safe though.


Line L (Cable):

Line L is a new extension of Santo Domingo to Parque Arvi, a very large park outside the city to the East over the mountains. It is a long journey, and a newly popular one with tourists. Parque Arvi is a great place for tourists to spend an afternoon or a day.



Local Buses


The bus system in Medellin is extensive, cheap (about $.85), and complicated, like most cities. You can get pretty much everywhere on the buses, and this is how most people get around. But being a visitor you are very unlikely to be able to navigate the system effectively.


If you would like to try, go to the Transport en Linea website and they have a very good map where you can click for your location and look at various bus routes nearby.


  • Transport en Linea Website

      Cross Country Buses

      • Terminal del Norte is the northern hub, and handles:
      • Santa fe de Antioquia: 3 hours for $4.
      • Cartagena: 13 hours for $39.
      • Barranquilla: 14 hours for $32.
      • Santa Marta: 16 hours for $35.
      • Bogota: 9 hours for $20.
      • Terminal del Sur is the southern hub, and handles:
      • Quibdo: 10 hours for $17.
      • Manizales: 5 hours for $11.
      • Pereira: 5 hours for $11.
      • Armenia: 6 hours for $12.
      • Cali: 9 hours for $18.
      • Popayan: 11 hours for $22.
      • Pasto: 18 hours for $30.
Category: Info

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