a VirtualTourist member from Nashville asked on Dec 20, 2015
Hello - For economical reasons only! I am looking at a cheap air ticket from the States that arrives at 1:15 am in Bogota. I would transfer to a bus to Cali, they leave every hour. These would be the less comfortable buses, but I do not remember the name of the company (perhaps each company has its own bus station). Is this an insane idea - aside from the incredible fatigue involved - for an older gringa traveling alone? Could one simply take a controlled taxi from the airport to the bus station, or is it more complicated and more problematic in terms of security than that? Thanks, Jean
Thanks, if there are official prepaid taxis that is a good start. I am going to look up the bus info to see what company is concernd. If they have secure stations and waiting areas that is ok, but it might depend on the quality level of the bus. The best bus company does not have suitable hours for this plan.
"... Thanks, if there are official prepaid taxis that is a good start...."
The info in the taxi link above is out of date and no longer accurate. The official pre-paid taxi voucher system was closed down years ago.
That said, it hasn't developed into a free-for-all, but it does require some common sense and street smarts. There is an organized line for taxis, but everything else is up to you, like being certain the taxi driver doesn't try to scam you.
When there was a taxi office everything was a no brainer... you gave them the address and they gave you a voucher with the price... it was easy. Now you have to use the meter, but even that is a tiny bit complicated.
The taxi meter doesn't show the price, it shows a number that matches prices on a separate fare sheet that is attached to the back of the passenger seat inside the taxi. If he doesn't do it immediately insist the driver turn on his meter, it should start with 25. If it doesn't then insist he reset the meter. If he gives you any grief get out of the taxi and go to the next one in line. If the fare sheet isn't attached to the passenger seat then ask the driver for it, all taxis have the fare sheet.
I have no clue why they use this clumsy method, what can I say, it's Colombia!
There is an additional charge for taxis from the airport, late night and Sundays. Some drivers will help you with your bags and then charge you per bag. If they try, insist that you can get your bag from the car.
When you arrive at your destination don't ask the driver what the cost is, simply compare the number on the meter to the prices that are on the fare sheet. The whole process is a bit ungainly but it works better than it sounds.
Lastly, just out of curiosity, why the big hurry to get on a night bus to Cali?... (Colombia is one of my favourite countries in South America, but Cali is one of my least favourite cities - although some people love it.)