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Airport in Medellín – The 3 best ways to get to the city

Empty chairs in the departure hall of an airport with the airport control tower and an airplane taking off during sunset
Here are the cheapest and easiest ways to get from Medellin’s airport to the center of the city.

Firstly,  you should know that Medellín has two airports. On one hand, there is Olaya Herera, which is located in the south-west of the city and is not very used. On the other hand, there is the bigger one, the international airport of José María Córdova. It is located 29 km from the city center. This one is the second most important airport in Colombia respecting passenger fluctuation and it is the point of your arrival to the wonderful city of Medellín.

You are probably wondering how to make the 29 km from the airport to the city or how to get from Medellín up to the airport. Don’t worry, we tell you how to do it!

Publicity Find Your VICO in Medellin

There are 3 different ways to get to the city

View of the mountains of Medellin at night with all the lights of the city from the Las Palmas lookout.
The route of “las palmas“, which connects the José María Córova airport with the center of Medellín, offers a great view over the city. Source:

1) The cheapest option – the bus.

The cheapest way to get to the city center from the airport in Rio Negro is to take a bus. It drives from the airport to the Mall of San Diego. There, you can take a cheap and safe taxis to get wherever you want for probably less than 10.000 COP.  It is really recommendable to take a bus from the airport because the natural conditions of the route does not allow cars to drive much faster than buses. So you pay less and don’t really loose more time.

Price: 10.000 COP / Person    

2) Shared Taxis (Taxi-Colectivos)

The second possibility to get to the city is to take a Shared Taxi. Like the bus, they bring you to the Mall of San Diego but they cost 17.000 COP per person. Actually, there is no big difference with a common taxi. The advantage is that prices are per person, not per ride, so you can have the luxury to go by taxi without paying the whole ride.  Though, have in mind that shared taxi do not leave until they are full. So try not to be the first person but better the last one to get in a “Taxi-Colectivo” to avoid losing too much time.

Price: 17.000 COP / Person

A shared taxi is parked in the Medellin airport parking. It's white with a blue strip on the side.
In general, the “Taxi-Colectivos” are white with a blue or green line – Photo:

3) The most comfortable way – a taxi.

Lastly, the most comfortable (but also most expensive) option to get to the city center is to take a cab. They cost 80.000 COP (Fixed price! Don’t let them charge you more) and take you where ever you want in Medellín. So you don’t have to use another transport to get to your place.

If you want to go to the airport from the city, have in mind that some taxis do not have the license to go to the airport.

Price: 80.000 COP / Taxi

A group of yellow taxis are driving on an avenue of Medellin. Yellow is the color of the official taxis in Medellin.

4) Can I grab a UBER to get to Medellín from the airport?

Although not legal, UBER has been tolerated in Colombia for a few years. However, 2020 marked the end of the ride sharing app in the country and UBER is now prohibited.

But don’t worry! A lot of very similar alternatives are available in Medellín, and they are just as cheap! For example, you can now use Beat or Indriver

Beat is basically identical to UBER and allows you to go to the center of Medellín for around 60 000 COP (18USD). After downloading the app, you will see the available Beat pickup points in the airport. All you need to do is choose one, put your final destination and that’s it, just like Uber!

Indriver on the other hand is a little bit different. You still choose the pickup point and final destination, but you get to set the price you are willing to pay for the ride. If a driver accepts the fare, you’re good to go!

Keep in mind that to use both of these apps, you will need to have an operating phone number to receive the confirmation code sent while setting up your personal account.

Drone view of the highway troll to go from the center of Medellin to the airport on the Las Palmas route
Transit controls. Source:

Key Point: Mall of San Diego

You might have noticed that the Mall of San Diego is the point where you arrive at the city from the airport. But it’s also the place where you should grab your transport to get from the city to the airport.
Depending on how much luggage you are carrying, the time you have and the money you have left, you can decide between taking a taxi, a shared taxi or a bus from San Diego. In order to get to San Diego from any point of the city, you could use the Metro and go until the station of  “Exposiciones“, which is 4 blocks from the Mall of San Diego.

Screenshot of the location of the San Diego Mall on Google Maps. The San Diego shopping center is the departure point to the airport in Ríonegro.


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