Now that you have established yourself in Medellin, Colombia it is important to understand the “getting around” aspect. Let us take a look at the different types of transport options, bookings, how they work, what they cost and what can be expected.
City bus transportation
If you want to really get the Colombian culture feel the bus system is the way to go. There are two types of buses in Medellin. There is the circular bus line which goes in a circle around the city and the other goes in one direction from the north end to the south and vice versa. By choosing to take the bus you will be seeing places that you wouldn’t normally see and this is the cheapest form of transport. The bus drivers are always helpful and willing to stop the bus to lend you a hand or explain how you get to a certain place. All buses within the city cost between $1,400 to $1,600 COP (80-90 cents USD). Try to remember that carrying smaller bills such as a $5,000k or $10,000k is more desirable, as the bus drivers sometimes do not have change for the bigger bills, especially in the morning when they are just starting to pick up people. In some cases they will not even let you on. When you want to get of the bus look for a red button at the rear or the front of the bus, sometimes there are silver buttons on the ceiling above the back door. This signals to the driver that you want to be dropped off. The bus routes in Medellin are usually located on a sign in the lower left hand of the bus. The most important thing to remember when traveling by bus is to ask someone if you are unsure where to go. The people in Medellin are very friendly and are always ready to help.
Tip 1 Don’t get stuck in a taxi!
The metro is the second in line for being the cheapest and sometimes the faster form of transport due to being able to avoid the rush hour traffic times which by bus or taxi you can be stuck for hours. The metro is comprised of 28 stations it runs in a straight line from one end of the city to the other, with also 2 metro cable car lines which have no additional cost for transfer. It is open from Mon-Sat: 4:30am – 11 PM and Sunday: 5am – 10PM. A single ride for the metro costs $1,750 COP ($1 USD). If you are looking to take the metro than transfer to take bus you can request the “integrado”. The “integrado” includes buying a metro ticket and also the bus ticket, this result in it being cheaper than buying the tickets individually, this is available for certain bus lines only. There is the option of purchasing a metro card but the only advantage to this is that you avoid the long lines of people which the end result is that you save time.
The last form of transportation within the city would be taxi. This is the most expensive way to travel. There are several reputable companies you can call and they send a taxi directly to your house. It is also very common for people to hail taxis in the street, without incurring any sort of danger. You can go from one end of the city to the other for around $25 dollars with the average taxi trip being around $5. If you wish to take the taxi outside of the city a form is required to be filled out. All you have to do is ask a taxi driver. You can rent the taxi by hour or by day. Prices are published inside the taxi normally located in the upper right hand corner of the window passenger seat. The prices of taxis can usually be negotiated; however the price is fixed to be taken to the international airport at $28.00 USD.
Car and motorcycle rental
Renting cars and motorcycles can be another form of transport for those who are looking to travel outside of the city; however the cost and processes are the disadvantages. In order to rent a car you have to physically go to the car rental. Often reservations cannot be made over the phone or via internet. They are not open 24/7 and are closed during the weekends. There is not a wide selection of cars and you should look to pay around double if not triple the price you would pay in the United States. Renting a motorcycle has the same type of requirements; the only difference is that it costs around $10-15 USD a day.