It’s one of the main airports in Colombia and being the second biggest city in the country, Medellín’s José María Córdova International Airport is served by major airlines connecting places like North America and Europe.
Medellín actually has two airports; José María Córdova is the main one located about 40 minutes outside of the city in Rionegro, and the smaller airport, Enrique Olaya Herrera is near the South Bus Terminal and is a hub for carriers such as LAN Colombia, EasyFly and Satena.
Expect a taxi from here to the city to cost approx 60,000 pesos ($33).
Flying from Europe
Iberia operate from Madrid and can take anything from 13 hours to up to 27 depending on where you stop. Prices typically cost $813 from September and stop at least once in either Panama or Bogotá.
Avianca also operate direct flights from Madrid to Medellín and cost approximately $940 depending on the time of the year.
If you’re flying from the UK, there’s no direct route into Medellín. Iberia flies there stopping twice en route in Madrid then either Bogotá or Panama and will set you back $1,318.
There appears to be no direct flight from Paris with Iberia stopping twice en route.
Flying from North America
Avianca also operate routes from Canada to Medellín from Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and have flex fares from 1,166,400 pesos ($627) for the rest of the year up to December.
There’s various points from North America with an extensive list from Arcata to Tampa. Some aren’t direct so expect an overnight stay in somewhere like El Salvador if you’re flying from Los Angeles for example, costing 1,929,500 pesos ($1,038).
Spirit also operates flights from Toronto and Montreal taking approx 11 hours and stopping in their hub, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for $235. They operate flights all over USA including New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
Flights from New York (LGA) to Medellin cost from $205 departing at 6:30 a.m. and arriving in Medellin at 1:06 p.m.
It’s only slightly more from Washington, DC (BWI) at $245 departing at 2:01 p.m. and arriving in Medellin at 10:43 p.m (they also operate a morning flight).
For an even cheaper fare, Spirit offers a $9 fare club for an annual fee so you can save more money on your flights. The flights only depart a few times each month.
Flights are more frequent from North America and cost the same fare at $235. A monthly calendar shows how much you can expect to pay each day of any particular month. There can also be a stopover in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from North America so check the itinerary for your route.
A competitor for Spirit is JetBlue who fly direct into Medellín from Ft. Lauderdale. JetBlue has more leg room, inflight entertainment and free snacks and drinks.
As well as an award-winning service they also have fewer fees and your first checked bag flies for free which is great if you’re not traveling light. They even have a premier service called Mint if you’re feeling like upgrading to a bit more luxury.
Flights from Ft. Lauderdale start from $143 and only take three and a half hours, departing at 6:45 p.m. and arriving in Medellín at 9:13 p.m.
JetBlue operate many other routes from USA including: Albany, Augusta, Austin, Bar Harbor, Boston, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Hartford Springfield, Cape Cod, Jackonsville, Key West, Lebanon, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, New York City, Newark, Ogdensburg, Orlando, Pensacola, Providence, Provincetown, Raleigh, Rockland, Rutland, Saranac Lake, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Westchester Country.
Flights all fly through their main hub, Ft. Lauderdale and take three and a half hours from there to Medellín, Colombia.
Flights from NYC depart at all different times costing $229 and take three hours before a layover in Ft. Lauderdale before a three and a half hour flight to Medellín. Flights from Boston cost from $223 taking three hours, fifteen minutes with a short layover of approximately six hours before the flight to Medellín.
With new routes opening up all the time including one into Cartagena from October 29th 2014, JetBlue are definitely worth considering if you’re flying from the United States (and they have a best price guarantee).
They’re not direct but American Airlines flies into Medellín from New York and stops once in Miami for $516. Fly from San Francisco and you could go via Dallas as well for $400.
TIP – A low fare may mean it doesn’t include checked luggage. This can bump up your fare so look at alternatives such as America Airlines which does include a checked-in bag as it could work out cheaper overall.
Flying from Central America
Traveling from Central America used to be expensive if you wanted to fly directly into Colombia, but with a new route from Viva Colombia into Medellín or Bogotá, it’s soon going to be a cheap route to take.
Flights will operate daily from August 1, 2014 and cost a standard $91 (not including checked bags). By comparison, Dave had to pay $425 for his one hour, direct flight from Panama City to Medellín on Copa Airlines in 2013.
Flights into Medellín will operate every other day departing Panama City BLB at 6:05 p.m. and arriving in José María Córdova at 7:20 p.m.
You can also fly from Mexico. Avianca operates flights from various cities in Mexico and cost from 1,039,600 pesos ($560) from Cancun and 1,669,900 ($900) from Acapulco during August and September.
TIP – Despegar is a meta search engine where you can check the cheapest airlines for your dates and route.
Airlines into Colombia (including Bogotá)
Other airlines which fly into Colombia including the capital Bogotá are:
American Airlines, United, Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia, British Airways, Delta, US Airways, TAP Portugal, Air Canada, Aeromexico, TAM Linhas Aereas, LAN Airlines.
The biggest ones being Avianca, America Airlines and United.
Flying around Colombia
Viva Colombia – heard of them? They’re a low-cost carrier, operating all over the country. With land distances relatively far, it can cost only a bit more to fly internally (and it’s a lot quicker).
A quick tip though – if you’re taking anything more than hand luggage, you can pay just as much for the flight for your luggage so travel light to get it cheap.
Obviously, depending on the time of year you fly, schedules and prices may vary. I recommend using Skyscanner to check the latest prices which allows you to see the whole month and pick the cheapest day to fly.
We’d like to here from you. What are your tips and recommendations for finding cheap flights to Medellín?