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Getting to Medellin

One of the biggest reasons why tourism is exploding in Medellin is because of the affordability of flights going into the city. If you’re traveling from the US, some of the popular airlines you could take would be Spirit, COPA or Jetblue, all which have reasonably affordable tickets. The airlines will have connecting flights in Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida. From FLL Airport it’ll be a little over 3 hours before you arrive in Medellin Airport.
Traveling from Outside the US (Europe, Caribbean Islands) you will find that Avianca, British Airways or Iberia have affordable flights to Medellin. Most airlines coming from Europe have connecting flights in Bogota; the immigration line and process typically takes up to 1 hour. The flight from Bogota to Medellin takes less than 1 hour. Other common locations where you can take connecting flights to Medellin are Panama, Cartagena and Madrid.
Medellin’s main airport; Aeropuerto Internacional Jose Maria Cordova is located in Rio Negro, a small town about 45 minutes (35km / 21 miles) outside the City of Medellin. If you’ve ever been to Medellin you will surely remember the iconic taxi, car or bus ride heading down into the valley.

The Check-Mig digital form

To pass immigration you need to complete the Check-Mig process. This process in Colombia is a mandatory electronic registration that foreigners must complete before checking in with their airline and entering the country. The purpose of this process is to streamline the immigration process and improve the security of the country’s borders.

To complete the Check-Mig registration, a foreigner must provide basic information such as their name, passport number, length of stay, reason for the visit, and how much cash they are carrying. This information is similar to what was previously asked on the paper immigration form that travelers used to fill out on the flight to Colombia.
The registration can be completed on the Check-Mig website, and it can be done up to 72 hours prior to boarding. Once the registration is completed, the traveler will receive proof of their registration via email or PDF download, which they must show to the airline before boarding their flight to Colombia.

Passing immigration

Upon arrival in Colombia, the traveler will need to go through the immigration process at the airport. If you have a connecting flight in Bogota or Cartagena you need to follow this process there, so make sure you have enough time between your flights The immigration officer will ask for basic travel information, such as the traveler’s passport, length of stay, where they will be staying, and why they are visiting Colombia. The officer will also verify that the traveler has completed the Check-Mig registration, which can be done by showing the proof of registration.
After answering the questions, the traveler will be registered into the system and their passport will be stamped with a 90-day tourist visa, at no cost. If the traveler wants to extend their stay beyond 90 days, they will need to apply for a long-term visa or apply for an extension of their tourist visa before it expires.
Overall, the entire process is a fairly simple and efficient way for foreigners to enter Colombia. By completing the registration prior to boarding, travelers can save time and avoid potential delays at the airport.

From the Airport to Medellin

The José María Córdova International Airport (MDE) is located in the Rionegro municipality, approximately 21 miles (35 km) to the east of Medellín, at a higher elevation. Until August 2019, the only way to reach the airport was via a winding road that took between 40 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic. However, a new tunnel route that opened in August 2019 has significantly reduced travel time, taking as little as 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and your destination.
José María Córdova is the second largest airport in Colombia, serving several international locations in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, as well as many domestic flights within Colombia. Non-stop flights from José María Córdova are available to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami, and New York (JFK) in the U.S., and to Aruba, Cancún, Caracas, Lima, Mexico City, Panama City, Valencia, and Madrid in Europe and many more destinations.
There are several transportation options available to get to Medellín from the airport, and all of those options work in reverse to go from Medellín to José María Córdova airport. The new tunnel route has a toll of 16,900 pesos for cars and 21,000 pesos for trucks of up to 3.4 tons. Five double booths were installed in each direction, with four booths only accepting electronic payments with Flypass and one booth accepting cash payments. Note that motorcycles are not permitted to use the new tunnel.

Official White Airport Taxi

Looking for a reliable and hassle-free way to get to or from the Medellín airport? Look no further than the white airport taxis! These taxis have an agreement to serve the airport and can take you to any address in Medellín or the Aburrá Valley.The fare for white taxis to go to Medellín is fixed and there is even a sign at the airport with the fares.
However, it’s important to note that the fares on this sign are for the old route and not the new tunnel route. With the new tunnel opening, fares have increased due to a higher toll. The fares for white airport taxis using the new tunnel are 5,000 pesos more expensive than what is shown on the sign at the airport. But don’t worry, there is no additional charge for late-night rides – the fixed fare includes the toll on the road.
Here are the 2024 fares from the José María Córdova airport for white taxis to three areas in the Medellín metro using the new tunnel route:
If you need a white taxi to the airport, you can call and schedule a pick-up. They show up consistently on-time. The fare for white taxis to the airport is cheaper than from the airport. Here are the 2023 fares to the airport for white taxis from three areas in the Medellín metro using the new tunnel route:

Just be sure to watch out for taxi drivers trying to charge extra for the toll on the airport road. Also, be aware that some taxi drivers may try to charge a higher “gringo” fare to tourists. If this happens, don’t be afraid to stand your ground – the fare is fixed.

Shared White Airport Taxis (Colectivo Taxis)

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option to get to/from José Maria Córdova airport, shared white taxis, or colectivos, could be a good choice. These taxis are shared by three or four passengers and the regular taxi fare is split between them. You can find colectivo taxis at the airport going to Medellín, but they only go to and from the San Diego mall.

Please note that the colectivo taxis only operate from the airport to the San Diego mall and vice versa. You will need to catch another taxi from San Diego mall to your final destination or from your location to San Diego mall. Yellow taxis are commonly lined up here, so it’s not difficult to catch a taxi.
If you want to go to the airport in a shared taxi, head to San Diego mall, which is approximately four blocks from the Exposiciones metro station. The white shared airport taxis usually wait for passengers in the Texaco gas station parking lot next to San Diego mall.
Starting in 2023, the new colectivo taxi fare using the new tunnel route will be 30,000 pesos per person to Medellín and 25,000 pesos per person for a trip to the airport, assuming you travel with four passengers. However, if you have a lot of luggage, shared taxis might not be a good option for you.
It’s important to note that if you want to sit in the front passenger seat, try to get there first as the colectivo taxis usually wait until they have four passengers, and if you arrive later, you may end up crammed in the back seat with two others.

From Airport To Medellin: 30,000 Pesos 
From Medellin to Airport: 25,000 Pesos

Medellín Airport Bus

If you’re looking for the most economical way to travel to or from José Maria Córdova airport, consider taking the official Aeropuerto-Combuses airport bus. Although the airport buses have only 19 seats, they are a reliable and inexpensive transportation option. The travel time from the airport to Medellín is approximately one hour, depending on traffic.

The airport bus has two possible destinations when departing from the airport, so be sure to confirm which one you need before boarding as they aren’t labeled. One destination is San Diego mall, where the bus stops across from the mall. From here, you can easily catch a taxi to your final destination. San Diego mall is also located near the Exposiciones metro station.
Most of the airport buses to and from San Diego mall use the new tunnel route, which takes around 25 minutes. Look for a lighted sign on the front of the bus that says “tunnel.”
The other destination is behind the Nutibara hotel in El Centro, which is within easy walking distance from the Parque Berrio metro station. However, the airport buses behind the Nutibara hotel do not use the new tunnel route, so the travel time can be longer, ranging from 45 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic.
When traveling in the reverse direction, you can board the bus across from San Diego mall or behind the Nutibara hotel in El Centro. The buses departing from Nutibara also stop at the northern bus terminal if there are any waiting passengers.
Airport buses operate from 6:30 am until the last flight of the day when leaving the José Maria Córdova airport. When traveling from Medellín to the airport, the airport buses operate from 4:00 am to 9:00 pm and depart approximately every 40 minutes.

Nutibara Carrera Hotel (Carrera 50a #53-13): It’ll drop you off behind the hotel. So if you’re booked with Nutibara hotel, it’ll be super easy trip for you.  

Hours from Nutibara Hotel:  Starts from 3:30am to 10pm (leaves every 20 minutes)

San Diego Mall (Calle 36 #45-14): The bus will drop you off at San Diego Mall which is a popular mall here in Medellin, you can take a yellow taxi from that to your destination. 

Hours from San Diego Mall: Starts from 3:20am leaves every (20 minutes)  

Price: 14 mil ($3 USD*) – Children are free up to 2yrs old. 
Hours from Airport: 24/7 

Uber, DiDi, InDrive and similar ride services

If you’re looking for a convenient and reliable way to get to/from José Maria Córdova airport, ride-sharing apps like Uber, InDrive and DiDi offer a great alternative. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using these services in Medellín. Keep in mind that prices for these services can vary depending on the time of day and demand, so it’s a good idea to check the app before booking. Also, make sure you have internet access and a charged phone before you arrive at the airport, as you’ll need to use the app to request a ride.

Private Driver

If you prioritize comfort and convenience, hiring a private driver is an option to consider for getting to/from the Medellín international airport. Upon arrival at the airport, a private driver will greet you outside of customers or baggage claim with a sign bearing your name and take you directly to your destination. Conversely, if traveling to the airport, a private driver will pick you up from where you’re staying and transport you to the airport.

It’s worth noting that private driver rates to/from the international airport are typically the most expensive option. However, these private drivers often use higher-quality vehicles compared to most taxis, and some of them speak English.It’s essential to keep in mind that the rate for private driver service is typically higher if you’re traveling with a group of four or more people.