Medellín Airport Transfer is an upscale and reliable transport service that allows you to book a car to and from the Medellín airport online without cash.
The Medellín Airport Transfer service is owned by two expats living in Medellín. Medellín Airport Transfer provides an upscale alternative to the airport buses and taxis that can be less comfortable options.
Unlike the airport buses and taxis that will require a trip to the ATM or money exchange to get Colombian pesos, Medellín Airport Transfer is booked online before you arrive and uses U.S. dollars. So, there is no need to exchange money at the airport.
Also, with Medellín Airport Transfer there is no need to explain how to get to your destination address in Spanish, as the driver will already know where your destination address is located.
Driving from the Medellín Airport to Medellín
José María Córdova international airport is the Medellín international airport. It’s located in the municipality of Rionegro, which is about 21 miles (35 km) east of Medellín at a higher elevation.
In addition, it used to take 40 minutes to over an hour on the windy road, depending on traffic, to go from José María Córdova airport to Medellín or in the reverse direction. A new tunnel, Túnel de Oriente, which opened in August 2019 reduces the driving time to/from José María Córdova airport by up to half.
The Founders of Medellín Airport Transfer
Shaun (from the UK) and Herman (from The Netherlands) are the founders of Medellín Airport Transfer. Shaun and Herman met in San Andres in 2013. Herman recently described why they started the Medellín Airport Transfer business:
We both routinely fly home to Europe or take trips to Cartagena and Santa Marta. Every time we came back it would be annoying to have to find a modern and safe cab that charged a fair price. That’s when we started looking for the type of service that we provide now. We couldn’t find it, so we thought we’re web designers. Why not create an awesome online platform where people can book their service online?’ And here we are three years later! It’s grown a lot bigger than either of us expected!
The Medellín Airport Transfer Service
The founders of Medellín Airport Transfer took steps to ensure that every part of their business is up to the highest possible standards. These steps include:
- The company a legally constituted company here in Colombia and they reportedly have all the relevant tourism and insurance certificates.
- They accredit every vehicle with the Colombian Tourist and Transport Boards.
- They hire the only the most experienced and trustworthy drivers.
- All cars, SUVs, and vans are routinely serviced and are models from 2016 and newer. And the vehicles are roomier and more upscale than the smaller vehicles used by taxis.
- Offers services at a price that is higher than other transport options. In 2020, the price is $36 (over 120,000 pesos) from the airport to Medellín compared to only 80,000 pesos ($24 USD) for a white airport taxi]. Medellín Airport Transfer is currently the most expensive airport transport option we are aware of.
- You book and pay online in USD. So, there’s no hassle with cash, currency exchanges or ATMs when you arrive to the airport.
- A receipt is offered if you need it for taxes or other purposes.
Medellín Airport Transfer has been in business for over three years. And they are in alliance with Turiservice, which is an executive car service.
How to Book with Medellín Airport Transfer
You should book this transport service at least three hours before the pickup time. Also, you can book much further in advance before you go on your trip.
The service permits for a free cancelation until 24 hours before the pickup. If 24 hours or less you would only get a 90 percent refund for cancelling.
The online booking process is pretty easy, as follows:
- Go to the Medellín Airport Transfer Site and click on “Book Now.”
- Choose your journey: One way (to city or to airport), Round trip (from airport, from city), Tours (Guatapé, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Four Towns Tour).
- Fill in your pick-up details (Pick-up address, flight number, estimated arrival time, drop off address).
- Fill in the passenger information (Name, number of passengers, email, phone, extra information).
- Choose payment (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover or PayPal). You will be charged when you book.
- You will receive an order confirmation via email along with a WhatsApp number to enable you to contact the founders directly, in the event of a change or problem.
- When you arrive at the airport, your driver will meet you after baggage claim/customs in the arrivals hall with a sign with your name. The driver will already know your destination.
- When you arrive, simply get your baggage. No cash needed.
The Medellín Airport Transport Competition
There are several options for traveling to/from the Medellín airport with private drivers like Medellín Airport Transfer being considered the most upscale option.
There are six ways to get to Medellín from the Medellín Airport:
- White airport taxi – 80,000 pesos to Medellín (with a higher fare to Envigado or Sabaneta)
- Yellow taxi – 80,000 pesos from Medellín
- Colectivo (shared) taxis – about 20,000 pesos
- Airport bus – 10,500 pesos
- Beat or Didi apps (alternatives to Uber that no longer operates in Colombia)
- Private driver – typically about $34-$36 USD
These options have a wide range in price from 10,500 to over 120,000 pesos ($3 to $36). And we previously looked at all six of these options in detail to get to/from the Medellín airport.
The airport buses are the cheapest option but they won’t take you to your final destination. The colectivo shared taxis also won’t take you to your final destination. So, you’ll have to take a taxi to your final destination with these options.
The private driver options permit you to pay in advance in USD before you arrive. And the driver who meets you at the airport will already know your final destination. So, won’t have to deal with currency exchanges at the airport or comunicate in Spanish to the driver.
Medellín Airport Transfer Tours
In addition to offering transportation to and from the Medellín airport, this private transport service also offers three private day tours as follows:
1. Guatapé Tour – $139.99
Picturesque Guatapé is a popular pueblo to visit from Medellín, known for its huge El Peñón rock and lake. It’s a great place for a day trip from Medellín.
If you visit during the weekends, you’ll typically see the pueblo packed with Colombian tourists. Also, on the weekends, the boardwalk fills up with local vendors selling art, food and souvenirs. During the week, there are much fewer tourists, so you’ll you have the pueblo more to yourself with the colorful locals.
2. Santa Fe de Antioquia Tour – $149.99
Santa Fe de Antioquia is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and cobbled streets. It’s another popular pueblo for a day trip from Medellín.
Santa Fe de Antioquia, was originally the capital of Antioquia. However, in 1826 the Government of Antioquia moved to Medellín. Consequently, it left Santa Fe as a beautiful preserved pueblo where time has essentially stood still.
3. Four Towns Tour – $169.99
This tour visits four different pueblos near Medellín: El Retiro, La Ceja, San Antonio de Pereira, and El Carmen de Viboral. This tour provides the opportunity to see how it is to live in Antioquia and how life is different for those living in these small pueblos.
Medellin Airport Transfer also offers tours to other locations. And if you want to visit another location, they can provide you with a quote.
The Bottom Line: Medellín Airport Transfer
Medellín Airport Transfer is designed to be a reliable and dependable airport transfer service. You book online, pay online in U.S. dollars and there is no need to explain your destination address in Spanish to the driver.
While it isn’t the cheapest option, this type of upscale airport transport service provided by Medellín Airport Transfer appeals to some foreign visitors to Medellín, who want the peace of mind that when he or she arrives a driver will be waiting at the airport with their name clearly displayed on a board.
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Editors note: updated on March 4, 2019 with current fares.
Editors note: updated on November 22, 2020 with current fares.