There are 2 airports in Medellin, the Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport, airport code EOH, and the José María Córdova International Airport, airport code MDE. EOH is mainly used for regional and domestic flights and is really easy to get to. Located right next to the South Terminal bus station, it's about 10 minutes from El Poblado. Just hop in any taxi and it should cost you around $5,000 COP to or from Poblado.
The MDE international airport is a lot further away from the city center and more expensive to get to, so that is the focus of this post. Most travelers arriving or departing on international flights will be utilizing this airport. The MDE airport is also referred to as the Rio Negro airport due to it being in the municipality of Rio Negro. All methods of getting to the airport listed below can simply be done in reverse if you are arriving and trying to get into Medellin.
Method 1: Taxi or "Gringo-style"
This is how I got to and from the airport the first few times before I learned about the cheaper ways. Also, if you have an early morning flight or are arriving late, this may be your only way.
Total Cost - $65,000 COP
Most of the locals get to the airport by colectivo or the shared white taxis. First make your way to the San Diego Mall (Centro Comercial San Diego). If you go by taxi from El Poblado, this should cost under $7,000 COP. Then locate the white taxis which will either be waiting for passengers in the Texaco gas station parking lot or behind the Falabella building along Carrera 42B (Las Palmas).
They generally leave every 30 minutes or as soon as enough people are ready to go. The cost is $60,000 COP split between however many people are in the taxi, i.e. $15,000 COP each for 4 people, etc. If you are the first to arrive, you can claim the front seat. Otherwise, you'll get crammed into the back with 2 other people like I did. But at least I got the window seat. HONK!
Total Cost - starts at $15,000 COP for the colectivo if there are 4 people. They usually wait for the taxi to be full before leaving. If you include the taxi to get to the San Diego Mall, then around $20,000 COP total from El Poblado.
Method 3: Shuttle bus or "Mochilera-style"
(UPDATE APRIL 2017) ***You can now catch the shuttle bus next to the San Diego Mall, exactly where you catch the collectivo taxis in method 2. There is a bus stop near the Texaco gas station where the shuttle bus will pull up. Just keep an eye out for it and wave it down when it approaches. No need to go all the way downtown anymore (unless you're already down there). Instead take the metro to the Exposiciones stop and then walk about 4 blocks to San Diego. Just ask anyone how to get to the mall if you get lost.
The recession has hit you hard and you're trying to save a few pesos. Well don't worry my friend, I will show you how to get to the airport for around $11,000 pesos. Make sure you have plenty of time to spare though since you will have to walk, take the metro, find Hotel Nutibara and then hop on the shuttle bus.
First, make your way to the nearest metro station. You'll most likely be in El Poblado, so just walk down Calle 10 to the Poblado station. The metro ticket will cost you less than $2,000 COP. Then hop on the metro heading in the Niquia direction. Get off at the Parque Berrio station. As soon as you exit the station, look to your left for Hotel Nutibara, which is a huge building with a Nutibara sign on top. Go behind the building and locate the shuttle buses at Carrera 50A #53-13. They are mini-buses that are white with green trim run by Combuses, SA. The sign on the front of the bus should read "Aeropuerto JMC". The tickets cost $9,000 COP and it takes about an hour to get to the airport. Be careful at night as the area tends to get a little sketchy. During the day you should be fine. As you can see on their business card below, when going to the airport the shuttle runs from 3:30 am - 9:30 pm (SCHEDULE HAS BEEN EXTENDED. THE BUSINESS CARD BELOW LISTS THE OLD SCHEDULE). Coming back from the airport, it runs from 6am - 12pm (NEW TIMES) and stops at the San Diego mall.
Total Cost - under $10,000 COP
For more information, call 034-511-4023
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