El Dorado International Airport is the largest airport in Colombia and it’s the Bogotá airport for all international and domestic flights to the city, with airport code BOG.
El Dorado Airport (the full name is El Dorado Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento International Airport) is the largest airport in Colombia in terms of number of passengers and cargo shipped. Also, it is the largest in terms of international flights and domestic flights.
Furthermore, in both 2016 and 2017, El Dorado Airport was named the best airport in Latin America by World Airport Awards.
Several readers of the Medellin Guru site asked us to provide a guide to the Bogotá airport – El Dorado. So,this article is our Bogotá airport guide.
Since Bogotá’s airport has more international flights than any other airport in Colombia, many foreigners who travel to Colombia arrive first in Bogotá but may also be traveling to other cities like Medellín or Cartagena.
Note the above photo of El Dorado airport is by EEIM.
History of the El Dorado Bogotá Airport (BOG)
Construction of the El Dorado passenger terminal in Bogotá reportedly stared in 1955. It entered service in 1959, replacing an interim terminal at the new airport.
In 1973, El Dorado served nearly 3 million passengers and it became necessary to add a second runway to accommodate growth.
In 2010, construction of a new international terminal started at El Dorado to handle passenger growth. And in October 2012, this new international terminal opened at El Dorado and is known as Terminal T1.
The T1 terminal at El Dorado now handles all international flights and all domestic flights except for some Avianca domestic flights used to use the Puente Aéreo Terminal, which is now known as T2.
But this changed on April 28, 2018, when all Avianca flights (international and domestic) started using only the T1 terminal in Bogotá. And Satena and EasyFly use the Puente Aéreo Terminal – T2.
Note there aren’t sufficient gates for all the flights to El Dorado. So, some flights park and you go on shuttle buses to the terminal.
There have been ongoing expansions the T1 main El Dorado terminal to increase capacity to 40 million passengers per year. Longer term, Bogotá had been planning to add a secondary airport in the suburb of Facatativa west of Bogotá, which was conceived to be El Dorado II.
However, the government decided in November 2018 to expand the existing El Dorado airport instead of building a new airport. El Dorado reportedly can be expanded so it can handle 70 million passengers per year.
Puente Aéreo Terminal – T2
In 1981, Avianca built the separate Puente Aéreo Terminal at the airport to serve high volume flights from Bogotá to Cali, Medellín, Miami and New York.
And Avianca gradually moved all of its domestic flight to the Puente Aéreo Terminal and eventually shifted the Miami and New York flights to the main T1 terminal.
Avianca domestic flights to Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, Pereira, San Andres and Valledupar use the T1 main terminal. And Avianca flights to other domestic destinations in Colombia were using the T2 terminal, formally known as Puente Aéreo.
But starting on April 29, 2018, all Avianca flights use the T1 terminal, which makes connections between Avianca international and domestic flights easier, as you no longer need to change terminals. And starting on April 29, only Satena and EasyFly use the Puente Aéreo Terminal – T2.
Note here is a satellite bus service that runs from 5 am to 11 pm between the two airport terminals.
At the El Dorado Bogotá Airport
The El Dorado Bogotá airport main T1 terminal has restaurants, cafes and bars. In addition, it has a local shopping area with a number of shops and a bookstore.
Inside the airport are currency exchange places and several ATM machines. And past the security on the way to international gates there are duty free shops.
The airport terminal has three levels. The lowest level is for arrivals. The second level is where the check-in area is located and security, immigration and the gates. And the third level has some restaurants and bars.
There are four car rental companies located on the arrivals level including Avis, Budget, Flash Rent a Car, Hertz. In addition, the airport is open 24 hours.
Outside the main terminal of El Dorado airport there are three parking lots with spaces for over 1,000 cars as well as 300 motorcycles. And the terminal parking rate is currently 48,000 pesos per day for cars and 33,500 pesos per day for motorcycles.
Flight Options from El Dorado Bogotá Airport
El Dorado has flights from 24 different airlines with direct flights to and from over 50 different international destinations:
- Aerolineas Argentinas – Buenos Aires
- Aeroméxico – Mexico City
- Air Canada Rouge – Toronto, Montreal (starts June 2, 2020)
- Air Europa – Madrid
- Air France – Paris
- American Airlines – Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
- Avianca – Aruba, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cancun, Curaçao, Cusco, Florencia, Fortaleza, Fort Lauderdale, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, La Paz, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Munich, New York JFK, Orlando, Panama City, Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose (Costa Rica), San Juan (Puerto Rico), San Salvador, Quito, Recife, Salvador de Bahia, Santiago, São Paulo and Washington-Dulles.
- Avior Airlines – Caracas and Valencia
- Copa Airlines – Panama City
- Cubana de Aviación – Havana
- Delta Air Lines – Atlanta, New York JFK
- Iberia – Madrid
- Interjet – Cancun and Mexico City
- JetBlue – Fort Lauderdale and Orlando
- JetSmart – Santiago
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – Amsterdam (with stop in Cartagena)
- LATAM Airlines – Aruba, Cancun, Miami, Santiago and São Paulo
- Lufthansa – Frankfurt
- Spirit Airlines – Fort Lauderdale, Orlando
- TAME – Guayaquil and Quito
- Turkish Airlines – Istanbul (with stop in Panama City)
- United Airlines – Houston and Newark
- VivaAir – Barranquilla, Lima, Miami and Panama City’
- VivaAerobus – Mexico City (starts on August 21, 2021)
- Volaris – Mexico City (starts on October 6, 2021)
- Wingo – Aruba, Cancun, Caracas, Curaçao, Havana, Mexico City, Panama City, Punta Cana, Quito and San Jose (Costa Rica)
The most popular international flight locations at the Bogotá airport in 2016 were Panama City with 862,265 passengers, Lima with 833,758 passengers, Miami with 716,168 passengers, Mexico City with 689,330 passengers and Madrid with 643,550 passengers.
In addition, there are non-stop flights available from the Bogotá airport to and from over 20 domestic locations in Colombia.
In 2016, El Dorado airport reportedly served a total of 35,768,992 passenger movements, which makes it the third busiest airport in Latin America.
Entering Colombia as a Tourist
We previously provided information about Colombia tourist visas and how to extend a tourist visa. Everyone calls this a “tourist visa” but it isn’t really a formal visa. It is just a stamp in your passport by immigration in Colombia.
There are over 90 countries, whose citizens can enter Colombia without a visa and receive a “tourist visa” stamp. The countries include Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States plus over 80 more countries.
If you are a tourist from Canada, you used to have to pay a reciprocity fee of 201,000 pesos – but were exempt from the fee if older than 79 or younger than 14. However this reciprocity fee was eliminated on May 1, 2019.
When you enter Colombia as a tourist, an immigration official will stamp your passport and normally write that it is good for 90 days. But this is at the discretion of the official and occasionally may be shorter. And this tourist stamp can be extended pretty easily to a total 180 days.
Note that immigration in Bogotá can sometimes be busy when multiple international flights arrive at similar times. Consequently I have spent more than 40 minutes between immigration and customs several times in Bogotá due to long lines.
U.S. Pre-Clearance Coming to the Bogotá Airport in 2020
In August 2019, in one of his last policy statements before relinquishing his post as U.S Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker confirmed that in 2020, all travelers heading to the U.S will be able to do U.S immigration inside Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pre-clearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights.
Through pre-clearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the U.S. before departure from foreign airports.
Currently pre-clearance is available in 6 countries: Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada.
The pre-clearance permits all visitors, as well as U.S residents, to arrive in the U.S. as domestic travelers, having cleared immigration and U.S customs in Bogotá.
Exchanging Money at the Bogotá Airport
Currency exchanges at the Bogotá airport can be one of the easiest ways for exchanging money. But the fees can be horrible as well as the actual exchange rate they offer won’t be great. So, this isn’t the best option for exchanging money.
At the Bogotá airport there are ATM machines located upstairs (departures) where the airline check-in desks are located and downstairs (arrivals). You can find ATM machines from Banco de Bogotá, Bancolombia, BBVA, Citibank, Davivienda and Servibanca.
The exchange rate ATM machines provide will usually be very close to the actual exchange rate that can be seen on XE. And the rate will be better than the rate found at the currency exchanges at the airport.
There are also other ways for exchanging money, receiving and transferring money in Bogotá and other cities in Colombia like Medellín, which we previously covered.
These include exchange centers in the city (Casas de Cambio), the Zeepod mobile app, money transfer services and money transfers at banks.
Food Options at the Bogotá Airport
If you are planning to eat at the Bogotá airport there are many food options outside of security. Once you go through security to either the international or domestic gates there aren’t that many food options.
Many of the food options at El Dorado airport are in two areas up an elevator or stairs from the second-floor departure check-in area. In these areas, there are several food options like Bogotá Beer Company, Crepes & Waffles, Dunkin’ Donuts, Frisby, Kokoriko, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Subway, Wingstop and many more.
Also, there is a small food court upstairs past security for international gates. You can see all the food options on El Dorado’s website.
Bogotá Airport Tips
Based on my experience flying over 50 times to/from Bogotá El Dorado Airport, I have several airport tips for foreigners.
- Plan to arrive early for your departing flight. I like to play it safe, so I always plan to be at the airport 3 hours before international flights and 2 hours before domestic flights. Probably you don’t need this much time at the airport to check-in and go through security and immigration for international flights. But you never know when you might have problems getting to the airport with the traffic in Bogotá.
- There will almost always be taxis at the airport. I have never encountered a problem in finding a taxi at the airport even after midnight. And I never have experienced a problem with a taxi. But there are sometimes lines to catch a taxi at the airport.
- Don’t use the money exchanges at the airport. The ATM machines at the airport will offer a better exchange rate. Especially relevant, make sure to inform your bank you will be in Colombia to ensure your ATM card will work.
- During rush hour the trip to/from the airport could take well over an hour. So, plan accordingly.
- The cheapest way to get to/from the airport is by using Transmilenio. With a fare of only 2,200 pesos, Transmilenio buses are the cheapest option. However, the Transmilenio articulated bus system in Bogotá can be very crowded.
- Foreign tourists can get a refund of Colombia’s value-added tax (VAT) known as the IVA tax that is 19% at the DIAN office at the airport. In the Bogotá airport, the DIAN office is located in the international terminal, just ask where it is. We provide details about how to get the IVA tax refund here.
- It is possible to store baggage at the Bogotá airport. There is a Gurada Equipaje office on the first floor of Terminal T1. It costs 15,000 pesos per bag for 12 hours.
How to Get to Bogotá from the Airport (and to the Bogotá Airport)
El Dorado international airport is located in Fontibón, which is located about 9 miles (14 km) from the Bogotá city center. It normally takes between 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic, to go from El Dorado airport to downtown Bogotá or the reverse direction. And to get to other areas of Bogotá it can take even longer.
Especially relevant, there are more than one way to get to Bogotá from the airport and the reverse direction:
- Yellow taxi – these typically cost anywhere from about 20,000 to 40,000+ pesos depending on your destination in Bogotá. And the taxis in Bogotá are metered. There is usually a line of yellow taxis at the airport but there may be a line waiting for one.
- Transmilenio bus to/from El Dorado Airport – there is a free airport bus to/from Portal El Dorado near the airport and the Transmilenio costs only 2,200 pesos per trip. So, you can take the Transmilenio to/from the airport.
- Private driver – there are several private drivers services in Bogotá offering airport transfer service that typically starts at about $20 USD.
These options have a wide range in price from 2,200 to over 76,000 pesos ($0.81 to over $30).
Here are some of the private driver services offering transport to/from the Bogotá airport:
- ColombianBuddy – 55,000 pesos from the airport for less than four people
- BogotaPass – $20 USD for two people
- ImpulseTravel – $23.56 USD
- Colombia4u – $32 USD
- Ziptransfers – $23 EUR
Airport Website: https://eldorado.aero/en/ (in English)
Address: Calle 26 #103-9, Fontibón, Bogotá
Telephone: +57 (1) 266 2000
Airports in Colombia
We have provided guides to the 10 largest airports in Colombia. The following list of these 10 largest airports in Colombia is in order by passenger traffic:
- El Dorado Airport (BOG) – Bogotá’s International Airport and the largest airport in Colombia.
- José María Córdova (MDE) – Medellín’s International Airport in Rionegro.
- Rafael Núñez Airport (CTG) – Cartagena’s International Airport.
- Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport (CLO) – Cali’s International Airport in Palmira.
- Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ) – Barranquilla’s International Airport.
- Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ) – San Andrés’ International Airport.
- Simón Bolívar International Airport (SMR) – Santa Marta’s International Airport.
- Matecaña International Airport (PEI) – Pereira’s International Airport.
- Palonegro Internationa Airport (BGA) – Bucaramanga’s International Airport.
- Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH) – Medellín’s domestic airport in the city.
We also looked at how to find cheap international flights to Medellín and Colombia.
Also, we looked at how to find cheap domestic flights in Colombia. And I have flown multiple times from Medellín to Bogotá for less than $100 roundtrip.
The Bottom Line: El Dorado Bogotá Airport (BOG)
Bogotá’s El Dorado Airport is the largest and best airport in Colombia with non-stop flights to more international and domestic locations than any other city in Colombia.
All the direct flight options from El Dorado airport is one of the benefits of living in Bogotá we looked at when comparing living in Medellín vs Bogotá. And if visiting Bogotá, we provided a list of 15 top things to do in Bogotá.
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Editors note: updated on April 28, 2018 to indicate that starting on April 29, 2018, all Avianca flights will use only the T1 terminal in Bogotá. There will no longer be a need to connect between the T1 and T2 terminals for Avianca connections in Bogotá. Also added that Satena and Easyfly will use the T2 terminal in Bogotá.
Editors note: updated on June 9, 2018 to add Avianca flights to Chicago and Munich that start in November and added Lufthansa and TAME airlines.
Editors note: updated on October 12, 2018 to add private driver options at the Bogotá airport based on a reader request.
Editors note: updated on November 30, 2018 to add that Bogotá now plans to expand the El Dorado airport and has scrapped plans to build a second airport known as El Dorado II.
Editors note: updated on March 25, 2019 to add that Avianca is suspending service to Boston and Chicago from Bogotá on May 1, 2019.
Editors note: updated on May 4, 2019 to add a new Wingo flight from Bogotá to Curaçao, which is offered on Thursdays and Saturdays. Also, added that the reciprocity fee for Canadians entering Colombia has been eliminated on May 1, 2019.
Editors note: updated on June 20, 2019 to add a new VivaAir flight from Bogotá to Barranquilla.
Editors note: updated on July 31, 2019 to add a new Delta flight from New York JFK to Bogotá that starts on December 21, 2019.
Editors note: updated on September 4, 2019 to add Wingo’s new flight to San Jose, Costa Rica and add information that U.S. pre-clearance is coming to the Bogotá airport in 2020, which will permit all visitors, as well as U.S residents, to arrive in the U.S. as domestic travelers, having cleared immigration and U.S customs in Bogotá.
Editors note: updated on September 18, 2019 to add Air Canada’s new flight from Bogotá to Montreal that starts on June 2, 2020.
Editors note: updated on October 18, 2019 to add JetSmart’s new flight from Bogotá to Santiago that starts on December 20, 2019.
Editors note: updated on June 20, 2021 to add new flights from Mexico City starting on August 21 from VivaAerobus and on October 4 from Volaris.
Is there an exit fee if you go to the USA to visit on a TP-7 visa?
Hi Sandra, there is an airport tax and a departure tax included in the price of an airline ticket.
Thank you, back in 2005 I was charged like 25 USD when I returned from a vacation in Cartagena. It was a seperate fee.
They started including the taxes in the prices of airline tickets a few years ago.
Thanks Jeff, another good post. Helps in many ways.
Thanks for the helpful article as I am planning to travel to Medellin from Lima on Avianca with a connection in Bogota. I want to check out Medellin as have heard good things about it. How much time is needed for a connection in Bogota?
Hi Charlie, thanks. For international connections at the Bogotá airport I recommend 2 hours to be safe as the lines at immigration and customs can be long. Plus you will have to walk to the domestic gates and go through security. Also, FYI, your bags on Avianca will be checked all the way to Medellín. No need to claim bags in Bogotá and recheck them if traveling on Avianca.
Time for an int’l connection=2 hrs. While returning from a trip to Aruba I had 1 hr 35 mins. between flights and the flight was boarding the last few persons, as I arrived at the gate. to me…El Dorado is one of the most dysfunctional airports that I have ever traveled traveled thru….and will pay more to NOT have to fly thru it.
I like to play it safe in case the first flight is delayed so I plan on 3 hours for international connections in Bogotá if changing airlines.
Helpful article. Worth mentioning that starting April 29th, 2018 Avianca will operate all of its flights from T1.
Thanks I will update the article when I can confirm this.
Hi Juan, thanks! I updated the article as I confirmed that starting tomorrow on April 29th, 2018 Avianca will operate all of its flights from T1. So, no need to connect between terminals on Avianca. Only Satena and Easyfly will use T2.
Very odd question to the community: I will pass through Bogota on my way from NYC to Santiago (Avianca Airlines). I collect Starbucks mugs from around the world and would love to pick one up from the Starbucks in Bogota’s airport during my 90 minute layover. Can anyone tell me which terminal and on which level the Starbucks is in and if it can be accessed during a layover? Many thanks! Scott, NYC
Starbucks is located on the third floor of the Terminal T1. It’s outside of the terminal security area.
Thanks so much. Can the store be accessed by travelers on a layover? Sounds like I’d have to leave the secure area and then come back in again (through security) to catch my next flight, yes?
Yes, but make sure to leave enough time to get back through security.
Now that Satena flights from BOG to EOH leave from the Puente Aéreo, Satena says that we need to arrive 3 hours before our flights. It seems to me that it would take less time rather than more to leave from there. Is this airline hype or do we actually need to arrive extremely early? Thank you!
Seems extreme to me. That small terminal when it had Avianca domestic flights I never arrived more than 2 hours before a flight and never had a problem.
Thanks, Jeff. I will aim for 2 hours for my flight tomorrow. I’ll report back if there is some reason travelers actually need to report 3 hours early.
I fly from Bogota to Panama a few times a year. The main problem I often find is the queue for the migracion passport control. For the first time, I have bought a reduced cost business class upgrade with my airline. Do you know whether there is a fast track line for business class passengers at Eldorado (main terminal)?
Hi Norman, unfortunately no there isn’t a fast track at Migracion for business class passengers at El Dorado airport.
We fly into Bogota on a round-trip United flight from U.S. arriving at 5:54 AM. If we are flying on to Medellin with a separate reservation on Satena is it possible to make a flight that leaves at 7:30 or are the logistics such that we need to wait until 9:52? I can imagine customs lines different terminals, etc. If we do the latter what is the best way to kill two hours at that airport?
Hi Tim, I would take the later Satena flight as you will have to collect your bags and recheck in with Satena. So, you will have a line at immigration, line at customs, change terminals to T2, check in with Satena and security in T2. That will likely chew up well over an hour.
Or look at Avianca flights to Medellín and follow my tips in this article for cheap Avianca domestic flights – https://medellinguru.com/cheap-flights/ Avianca flies from the same terminal where you arrive. So, no need to change terminals.
I m flying from medellin with latam on a 17:40
To bogota than have a different ticket also with latam 21:20 from bogota to brazil do you think that i can make it?
Hi Andrew, that should be plenty of time for the international connection.
Thanx very much!
9th Oct 2018 I flew to Eldorado from Pereira en route to London. Pereira used to have a 2-hour hell waiting in line for the policia to rummage through the contents of your suitcase back in 2013 — now it’s done out-of-sight by x-ray in the conventional manner — and domestic plus international boarding cards are issued, at least for Avianca flights (even if you’ve already printed your own!). On arrival at Bogota one simply walks upstairs and over to the international part of T1. Suitcase finds its own way to your international flight connection.
Best place to eat is Crepes & Waffles: landside, above main departure concourse, between domestic and international. 30 minutes’ free wifi in terminal after simple registration. The emigration queue took 40 minutes at 9 pm, despite all booths being manned — weird booths where you can’t properly see the officer but I guess a camera picks one’s face up. Security check: add 5 minutes. Changed last pesos into GBP at 3900 (on 15th August had sold GBP on arrival, AFTER customs, at the ‘Best Rates’ booth for 3600). Tempted to buy some chocolate coffee beans from the Britt shop in departures but prices are not marked and they want USD 7 per 70 gram pack — outrageous. Cheaper offerings at Juan Valdez where I spent my last 14500 pesos on a cold drink and 2 small packets of chocolate. Overall an excellent airport spoiled only by unpriced and v.expensive items at some stores.
If flying Avianca’s 787 Dreamliner, bring a bumliner inflatable cushion for its cement-hard economy seats. Sony noise-cancelling headphones and a sleep mask complete the outfit. On-board food and snacks are still mediocre but Avianca is better than Iberia and less expensive than Lufthansa from Europe. Try to avoid expensive travel to Colombia in vacation time July and August.
Jeff thank you for all of the great information. I had 2 questions if you don’t mind and if you are ever in Austin TX I am glad to return the favor.
We arrive in Bogota at 11pm from Austin. How long should I expect to be in customs ? We have a driver picking us up but I have no idea what time to tell them to be there.
And will we have access to any restaurants/food at that late time of the night?
Thank you very much.
The time to go through immigration and customs at the Bogotá airport depends on how many flights arrive at the same time. The longest it has taken me was about 1 hour. Also, there are some restaurants in Bogotá open 24 hours, which you can find with a Google search.
Is two hours enough time to plan between flights? Flying out of Bogota to Dalles at about 11:00 PM, and my flight from Cartagena arrives into Bogota at about 09:00 PM.
It should be enough time. Keep in mind you will have to collect checked bags and check in with the other airline and go through security and immigration.
I am trying to discern if it would be difficult for me to travel from the US through Bogota and then onto Cusco, Peru. Is is certainly cheaper! I’m assuming I will have to go through Customs? It looks like I change carriers there too! Is this hard to do or will I experience any problems traveling through this country to get to Peru?
If you are changing carriers, yes, you will have to go through customs and recheck your bag with the other carrier. Not difficult to do but make sure you have enough time.
Be careful using the yellow taxi line outside tha airport. The will not use the meter. When I got in they refused to and charged me a flat rate to my air bnb. Yellow taxis are hunch of scammers even at the airport. This happened about 2 weeks ago to me. It was also hard to argue considering I have no spanish.
Hi! Thanks for this info. I’m flying from the U.S. to Aruba with a layover in Bogota. Flying both legs on Avianca. Will I have to go through customs? Should I anticipate any lengthy delays? It’s been many, many years since I’ve flown internationally.
Hi Sandy, thanks. If it’s an international connection on the same airline, no need to go through immigration/customs.
Hi, this is a really helpful guide. Quick question – I am arriving from the US at around 7:45 pm and don’t leave for Cusco in Peru until 6:44 am the next day. Would it be better to crash in a lounge in the terminal or would I have time (and is it easy) to grab a hotel near the airport? When I arrive in Bogota would I have to pick up my baggage, or is it checked through to Peru?
You should have time to grab a hotel near the airport. There are several nearby and some have airport shuttles. With so much time between flight your baggage may not be checked through if flying the same airline – you would have to check with the airline when you check in.
Hi Jeff: Great website! In your experience, do many americans or Canadians get altitude sickness when arriving in Bogota? I want to visit, but I’m a little concerned about this. Thanks! Jim
Hi Jim, thanks. Bogotá’s higher altitude means that it is possible to experience physiological effects. Bogotá is at the low end of the altitude scale for possible physiological effects. The air is thinner at the higher altitude of Bogotá.
It normally takes a few days for your body to adjust to the higher altitude in Bogotá. Most adjust but there are some preexisting medical conditions that may be of concern at higher altitudes and precautions should be taken. See our Medellín vs Bogotá article for more about the altitude downside of Bogotá – https://medellinguru.com/medellin-vs-bogota/
I was in Bogotá 3 weeks ago and had the same problems with altitude that I had in Denver. Walking far was a challenge and no energy and no stamina. Took about 3 days to adjust and I found in high altitudes dehydration was a problem
Hi. Any experience with standby for earlier Avianca domestic flights? I have purchased a cheap MDE-BOG ticket wíth Avianca but I would prefer to leave 2-3 hours earlier than my booked afternoon flight. I note that there are numerous AV flights MDE-BOG but I’m not aware if Avianca will allow you to standby for an earlier flight if you arrive at the check-in desk early.
Not sure about standbys but I have been able to take an earlier flight multiple times due to being an elite member of their Lifemiles frequent flyer program.
Hi there, I am flying in to Bogota at 3.50am on Tuesday from London and then fly on to Cartagena at 6.00am. I have walking/standing issues and need to change terminals. I assume I need to clear immigration in Bogota. Do you know how I can ask for help with transfers etc – it doesn’t look like the shuttle will be running.
You won’t need to change terminals. Only Satena and EasyFly fly out of the T2 terminal and neither airline has flights from Bogotá to Cartagena. So, I assume you have a flight to from Bogotá to Cartagena on Avianca, Wingo, LATAM or VivaAir, which all fly out of the T1 terminal that you will arrive in. If you are arriving on Avianca from London and going to Cartagena on Avianca your bags should be checked to Cartagena and you won’t need to collect them in Bogotá and recheck them.
Hi. Sorry to ask a question you might have already answered, but here goes.
Arriving at Bogota on Avianca from Aruba, with a connecting Avianca flight to Medellin (1:26 transit time). I assume I will have to clear immigration and customs (I’ll only have a carryon) upon arrival at Bogota, then make my way to the assigned gate for the flight to Medellin. Correct? Also, will I have to go through security after clearing immigration and customs or not?
Appreciate any information you can provide. Thanks.
Yes, you will have to clear immigration and customs and then go through domestic security in the same terminal you arrive in to get to your flight to Medellín. Avianca normally has staff at the customs line for those with short connections to help cut in the line. It normally takes me about 35-40 minutes or so to clear immigration and customs in Bogotá but depends if there are several flights arriving at the same time.
Hi, I have a 8-hour layover time in Bogota airport on a trip from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, arriving at 5:25AM and leaving at 1:40PM. Do I have enough time to go to downtown Bogota and have a quick look and then back to the airport to catch the next leg of the flight? What transportation options do I have? Thanks
I assume you are flying Avianca for both flights. If so, your bags should be checked all the way to Buenos Aires. So, you won’t have to bother with checking in for your flight to Buenos Aires. It will take about 40 minutes or so to clear immigration and customs and you could hop in a taxi and spend a few hours downtown. I wouldn’t recommend the Transmilenio as it will take longer and can be packed. Make sure to head back to the airport about 3 hours before your flight, as sometimes traffic in Bogotá can be bad. See our list of top things to do in Bogotá – https://medellinguru.com/things-to-do-in-bogota/
I am about to buy Avianca tickets from Heathrow to Bogota with 2h40m stop over time before taking another Avianca from Bogota to Lima. Trip.com says “For flight transfers in Bogota, baggage cannot be checked through. Please collect your baggage on arrival and check-in again.” but the connecting flights are both in T1. What are the chances that the baggage won’t be checked thru because I don’t have time to apply for transit visa (I’m Thai) if I need to pickup and check-in the baggage again.
You should contact Avianca to ask. For domestic connections they are checked through to the destination in Colombia but perhaps not for international connections.
hi Jeff does domestic flights fly to Medellin International in Rio Negro
Yes, see our guide the the MDE airport – https://medellinguru.com/medellin-airport/. Avianca, LATAM and VivaAir flights from Bogotá to Medellín fly to the José María Córdova airport (MDE).
El Dorado has CHECK-IN KIOSKS. Look for them, when tap screen, there are many airlines.
I like to check-in online early to confirm and review seat selection.
Then can print the boarding pass (or even baggage tag) at the Kiosk and not have to go find an Internet cafe.
We have a 9:00 AM Delta flight out of Bogota T1 Gate 34 on Saturday, March 28. We are planning to take the 5:00 AM flight from Cartagena to arrive in Bogota at 6:30 AM T1 Gate 80. If we have no checked bags (carry-on only) do we need to go through security or can we go straight from Gate 80 to Gate 34?
You have to go through immigration since you are leaving the country, so you need to go through security and immigration.
I agree. You need to clear immigration and Security checks but it should be no issue. There is plenty of time to do that when arriving 06:30 for a 9AM flight. Nothing to worry about.
Reading the comments, it seems only Avianca international arrival will have bags go straight to another domestic destination on the same airline.
Non-stop from Panama to Medellin is more expensive. Looking at United & Copa for xxx-IAH-PTY-BOG-MDE
I don’t recall seeing a sign ‘connecting flights’ after Bogota customs. Does this mean I need to exit with luggage, go upstairs, check-in again, and proceed to the domestic half of T1 ?
If connecting with Avianca, your bags will go to your final domestic destination in Colombia. But if changing airlines you need to collect bags and check in again domestically. If arriving internationally you need to go through immigration and customs and then go to domestic security to your connecting domestic flight.
Too messy (3 plane changes and long layovers) trying to include MDE with United award booking. Going to just book BOG & PTY with them. Then take Satena separately to EOH. Advantages: peso fare (USD/COP almost 3,600!) and no long drive from MDE. Thanks again for all the airport resources, especially on EOH.
Good to hear they taking aggressive measures to keep the virus out of Colombia
Note the USA is on the list which is understandable as we have cases in CA, WA (most from nursing home), NY …
5AM international arrival (T1) Satena has first EOH flight at 6:20AM (but next one is not until 12:50PM)
Is that enough time to clear passport, customs, take the shuttle bus and check-in at T2 ?
Depends how many flights arrive at the same time as your flight. Best case I have been through immigration and customs in less than 30 minutes in Bogotá and worst case it took over an hour. So, you could make it but a pretty big risk you will miss it.
Instead of connecting to the T2 terminal for a flight to EOH, you can fly on Avianca from the T1 terminal in Bogotá to MDE and there are flights almost hourly and you won’t have to change terminals.
Jeff and Henrik, thank you
Will relax in Bogota and fly to EOH next day
(please see March 6 comment why not doing MDE; just heard about new tunnel now)
If all goes well (no queue, no waiting time for luggage, shuttle bus etc) you will make it, but there is a high risk that you will arrive too late for check-in at T2. I suggest that you fly to MDE instead of EOH. Plenty of flights to MDE in the morning.