How to Get to Medellin from the International Airport

View of Medellin valley

View of Medellin valley from the road to the international airport.

The Jose Maria Cordoba International Airport is the principal airport to serve Medellin and the Aburra Valley.

It is located about 40 miles outside of Medellin, in the municipality of Rio Negro (about 2,300 meters in elevation) and there are a few different options for getting into the city, all of which take about an hour.


The most convenient method to get into Medellin, albeit the most expensive, is to grab a taxi outside of the baggage claim area. Just head for the taxi in the front of the line.

The going rate to Medellin is now about 60,000 Colombian pesos, or about $34. The driver may charge between 55,000 and 60,000 but never pay more than that.


The official airport bus which travels between the city center and the airport  costs just 7,000 COP (about $4) and leaves every 15 minutes, or when it fills up.

It is a small and often crowded but a cheap and reliable option. The bus runs until about 9 pm so if you are arriving on a late-night flight, you may be forced to take a taxi.

When exiting the airport, turn to your right and walk down the sidewalk until you see the white bus. It will drop you near the San Diego mall (first stop), or in the city center near the Hotel Nutibara (second stop).


A colectivo, or shared taxi, is another option to get to Medellin. It is a taxi shared by three or four passengers, who split the fare. When split between four, the cost will only be about 15,000 COP (about $8.50). The driver may not take you all the way to your destination if it is out-of-the-way, as they prefer to drop you at a more central location.

The road between the JMC airport is four lanes, and well-lit. It is a relatively safe road unless the harsh winter weather causes landslides which can shut down a couple of lanes of traffic at a time.

Once you get out of the mountains, the view of Medellin spread out in the Aburra Valley is quite a spectacle.

Enjoy your stay!


Place: Jose Maria Cordoba International Airport

Address: Vía Hacia Automedellin, Rionegro, Antioquia





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  1. Pierre Desmet says:

    Like to see ways to get back to the airport, I am in las Palmas and see a bus on its way up the hill every now and then on its way to the airport, but have no idea were it starts and how often. The port aria told me there’s a number you can call to get him to stop, but has no idea how to do this. Thanks

    • You can just wave your arm at just about any local bus and they’ll stop and pick you up in Colombia.

      I’ve been told in the past you can pick up the airport shuttle near San Diego Mall, which is at the start/end of Las Palmas highway, but if you’re already further up it, then I’d just try to pick it up from the road.

      You can also try to get a share taxi from the Terminal del Sur (Southern bus terminal), but it could take a long time for anyone else going there to show up.

      I just pay for taxis nowadays.

  2. I will be arrival in Jose Cordova Airport around 10:30pm and pretty much forced to take the taxi for the first time in Medellin. Do you have any recommendations or tips on which airport taxis are official and which will are red flags? Thanks for your help.

    • Pretty much any white taxi at the departure area is official. The rate is too, 60,000 pesos or about $30. Confirm it when you get in, but I’ve never had an issue with airport taxis trying to rip me off. You’ll find most drivers pretty honest, which is something I appreciate living in the city.

  3. Mark Woods says:

    Will the taxis take dollars or can I get pesos in the airport?

  4. How much luggage can you take on the white bus? The first stop is by the GHL San Diego Hotel? Thxs!

  5. Hi. I’m only traveling to Medellin to take a bus to Pereira from Terminal del Sur. Do you know if there is any direct way to get from JMC airport to terminal del sur?

    • I don’t know. The airport shuttle bus normally terminates in downtown Medellín. You might be able to find a share taxi (colectivo) that is going to Terminal del Sur. If you don’t want to spend $30 on a taxi yourself, take the shuttle bus and get off at the first stop which should be near the San Diego Mall, then switch to a taxi, which will be a lot cheaper to Terminal del Sur at that point (about $5).

  6. Howdy! I just arrived in Medellin and I went from the airport to the Hotel Diez for a total of 15,800 pesos. The bus from the airport was 8800 pesos. I had one very large suitcase and two smaller ones and they put them nicely in the back of the bus and gave me 3 tickets one for each piece. I got off at the San Diego first stop. A young kid got me a taxi, I gave him 2,000 pesos or so and the taxi cost 7,000 pesos to hotel Diez en el Poblado. So, my math is bad, it cost me 16,000 pesos. So, in my opinion, I see no reason to take a taxi unless you wish to save a little time. I believe a taxi is now 75,000 pesos one way which is around 37 to 40 US dollars. So round trip $80 taxi verses $16 give or take a few dollars. Kind of nice to save $64. BTW If you are staying in the Lleras Poblado area and you need to change dollars or maybe Euros too (Not sure?) there is a place called INTER-Dollar right by MONDONGOS Restaurant. They don’t ask for ID or anything. Fast and a better ate than the banks. 1960 pesos per dollar! Mondongos is pretty good Colombian dishes as well.

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