Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Gustavo Rojas Pinilla) is the sixth largest airport in Colombia in terms of passengers. And it’s the San Andrés Airport for all flights to the island, with airport code ADZ.
We previously provided airport guides for several different airports in Colombia. And several Medellin Guru readers asked us to also provide a guide to the San Andrés Airport – Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport – as they are planning to visit San Andrés and/or nearby Providencia.
San Andrés is a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea. San Andrés and the nearby islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina form the San Andrés Department of Colombia. The official languages are Spanish, English and Creole. So, you will hear more English being spoken on San Andrés island than in other places in Colombia.
San Andrés is a popular tourist destination in Colombia. And more foreign tourists are traveling to San Andrés each year.
Note the above photo of San Andrés Airport is by Mr. Jhosimar.
More About Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ)
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport was built in the mid-1950s to better link San Andrés with the Colombian mainland. The original name of the airport was “Sesquicentenario Airport.”
But the airport was later renamed as Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport to honor General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, former president of the Republic of Colombia, who ordered the construction of the San Andrés Airport.
The San Andrés Airport is currently the sixth busiest airport in Colombia in terms of passengers.
The passenger terminal at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport is easy to navigate, as it’s a relatively small airport. But since the San Andrés airport terminal is small, it doesn’t have many places with food.
So, it’s better to eat something before going to the airport. Also, there are a few stores located in the terminal.
Flight Options from Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ)
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport serving San Andres currently has regular flights from eight different airlines with direct flights to and from 11 different destinations.
- Air Panama – Panama City (seasonal)
- Air Transat – Montreal (seasonal)
- Avianca– Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Guatemala City, Medellín, San José
- Copa Airlines– Panama City
- LATAM– Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín
- Satena– Providencia
- VivaAir– Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, Pereira, Santa Marta
- Wingo – Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena
Entering Colombia as a Tourist
We previously provided information about Colombia tourist visas and how to extend a tourist visa. And everyone seems to call 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.
Exchanging Money at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ)
There is an Aerocambios currency exchange for exchanging money at the San Andrés airport. But the fees at a currency exchange can be high as well as the actual exchange rate they offer won’t be great. So, this isn’t the best option for exchanging money.
Inside the San Andrés airport terminal there is at least two ATM machines from Bancolombia and BBVA.
You can find additional ATM machines on the island. But in my experience, the ATMs on the island tend to have a withdrawal limit of 300,000 pesos. So, you may want to bring some Colombian cash with you.
The exchange rate ATM machines provide in Colombia 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 San Andrés and the cities in Colombia like Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena, which we previously covered.
These include exchange centers (Casas de Cambio), the Zeepod mobile app, money transfer services and money transfers at banks.
San Andrés Airport Tips
Based on my experience flying twice to/from Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport in San Andrés, I have five airport tips for foreigners.
- Budget for the Tourist Card. To travel to San Andrés you must buy a tourist card, which currently costs 109,000 pesos that you can buy the day of your flight. This is in addition to your airline ticket.
- Plan to arrive early for your departing flight. I like to play it safe, so I would plan to be at the San Andrés airport at least 1.5 hours before domestic flights. Likely you don’t need this much time at the airport to check-in and go through security at the airport. But you never know when you might run into problems. And for international flights, most airlines require you to be at the airport three hours before flights.
- There will usually be taxis at the airport. I didn’t encounter a problem in finding a taxi at the San Andrés airport. And I never experienced a problem using taxis on the island.
- 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. Just ask where the DIAN office in the airport. We provide details about how to get the IVA tax refund here.
- It’s hot in San Andrés. And the terminal didn’t have air-conditioning last time I was there until you got to the boarding gates area after security. So, dress appropriately.
How to Get From the San Andrés Airport to Your Hotel
An easy way to get from the San Andrés Airport to your hotel or other lodging is via taxis, which are normally easy to find at the airport. And a hotel can call a taxi for you when you return to the airport.
There are at least two taxi services on the island: Mega-Taxi: (+57)(8) 512 2222 and Mio-Taxi: (+57)(8) 512 4888.
Taxis in San Andrés don’t have meters. And the taxi fares in San Andrés are higher than are found on the Colombia mainland. Also, the taxi fares in San Andrés are higher at night.
From the San Andrés Airport the taxi fare is fixed and varies based on the destination on the island from 11,300 pesos to 45,000 pesos during the day. At night the fare from the airport ranges from 15,200 to 60,700 pesos.
Make sure to find out the fare before getting in a taxi in San Andrés. So, you won’t be surprised. Also, the taxi drivers in San Andrés tend to be bilingual.
The San Andrés island isn’t very big – it’s only 10 square miles. So, taxi trips are relatively short. Most hotels are located about 10-20 minutes from the airport.
Also, there are inexpensive buses available on San Andrés. The bus service on the island runs from 6:30 am to about 8:00 pm. And it’s cheap, only about 2,400 pesos.
Moto-taxis are also available on the island that are cheaper than taxis. Also, it’s possible to rent a golf buggy, which costs about 130,000 pesos per day.
Note that Uber is not available on San Andrés island. Also, there are some private airport transfer services available but they tend to be more expensive than taxis and not really needed on the small island.
Airport Website: Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport
Address: Av. Colon, San Andrés, Colombia
Telephone: +57 (8) 512 6112
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.
In addition, we 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 twice from Medellín to San Andrés for less than $160 roundtrip.
The Bottom Line: San Andrés Airport – Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport (ADZ)
Several readers asked for a guide to the San Andrés airport similar to our other airport guides. So, we now have a guide to the San Andrés Airport. We also have looked at 17 top things to do in San Andrés.
San Andrés is so different from Colombia that you will think you are in another country. San Andrés is also located closer to Nicaragua than it is to Colombia.
The island of San Andrés is a popular vacation place from the mainland of Colombia. Also, the archipelago is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. And it features many beaches, islets and coral reefs that are filled with flora and fauna.
The culture of the island is a mix of African descendants. And my impression was the majority prefer to speak English. In addition, San Andrés is duty free. So, you will see Colombians from the mainland stocking up on things like perfume.
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Editors note: updated on May 4, 2019 to add that the reciprocity fee for Canadians entering Colombia has been eliminated on May 1, 2019.