Bogota Airport Car Rental Advice & Driving Tips
Bogota Airport Car Rental Desk Locations
There are major Bogota airport car rental companies represented at the Bogota Airport. Car rental companies are located at the first floor near International Arrivals of the Bogota Airport.
Bogota Airport Car Rental Companies
Bogota Driving Information
An International Drivers' Permit (or IDP) may be required, especially if your local drivers' licence is in a language other than the local language (you may inquire when you pick up your car).
Driving in Bogota isn't ideal. It's not the driving itself that's the problem (though it is challenging), but there is a lot of theft and crime in the city. Car thefts are common. In addition, criminals may try to rob you in your car, get into your car and abduct you, or steal your car when you are parked. If you do rent a car:
- Drive with your doors and windows locked
- Park your vehicle in a known safe spot or in a secured garage
No matter where you are in Colombia, stay alert for motorcycles. They are undisciplined and will pass you at any opportunity.
In general, be aware of what is going on behind you and alongside you in traffic before you make any manoeuvre. Roads are generally in good quality in Colombia, although driving in the Andean regions and parts of the rain forest will require a four-wheel drive.
Tips for finding your way around Bogota:
- The city of Bogota is built on a grid system, but it is an imperfect one. There are a lot of irregular blocks, twisting streets, and diagonals cutting across the grid. As a result, street addresses tend to be more of a guideline as to where things are, rather than a precise location. While most places tourist spots visit are easy to find, you might find these tips helpful if you are going elsewhere.
- Carreras (streets) are abbreviated as Cr., Kra., and Cra. and run parallel to the mountains from South to North. Carrera numbers increase from East to West, away from the mountains - so Carrera 7 is near the mountains and Carrera 100 is far from them - except for a very few carreras near the mountains that increase in reverse order and that have names like "Carrera 1 E" ('E' standing for East).
- Calles (also streets) cross the carreras and run from East to West. Calles are abbreviated as Cll. and Cl. For half of the city (the northern half tourists are most likely to visit) calle numbers increase from South to North - so Calle 13 is near the center of the city, whereas Calle 200 is one the last streets before exiting Bogota on the northern side. Calles in the southern half work similarly to 'East' carreras near the mountains: the southern calle numbers increase from North to South, mirroring streets in the northern half. These are called things like "Calle 85 S" ('S' standing for South).
- Aside from calles and carreras, there are 'diagonales' and 'transversales'. As their names suggest, they are not perfectly parrallel to calles and carreras. However, the same numbering system applies to them. Diagonales are supposed to be deviations from calles, whereas transversales are supposed to be deviations from carreras. So, for example, Diagonal 107 runs sort of East-West and is somewhere around Calle 106 or 108.
- Avenidas, abbreviated as Av. or Avda., are usually larger, main streets. Geographically speaking, most avenidas somehow fit into one the four categories mentioned above, although some avenidas twist around. They usually have a classification and number as described above, but they also have a distinct name, like "Avenida Suba", "Avenida Boyacá" and whatnot. So, for example, Avenida Jiménez is a main street and, in the number system, is also called Calle 13.
- Each address consists of a street and a series of numbers. For example, Cl. 45 24-15 (sometimes written as Cl. 45 # 24-15 or Cl. 45 No. 24-15), means (1) the location is on Calle 45, (2) of the two insecting carreras nearby, the one with the lower number is Carrera 24 (since in this case we are talking about carreras, it means the nearest carrera to the East of the location; if we were talking about calles, it would be the nearest calle to the South of the location), and (3) the location is roughly 15 meters from the interesection of Calle 45 and Carrera 24. Furthermore, since the last number, 15, is odd, the location is on the North side of Calle 24 (if the location were on a carrera, it would be on the East side of it). Even numbers at the end have the opposite meaning
Learn how to protect yourself when renting a car at Bogota Airport.
Bogota Airport Car Rental Recommendations
IHateTaxis.com has a mixed recommendation on a Bogota Airport car rental
We generally recommend that you not rent a car in Bogota, except if you really need to, unless you are used to similar conditions and feel confident of taking precautions to stay safe.
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