What you should know before you rent a car
Where to rent a car in Colombia?
Located in South America, Colombia is known for its coffee and culture. Its capital city is Bogotá, which can be found in central Colombia, and is home to Colombia's principle international airport – El Dorado International Airport. Sharing a coast with the Pacific Ocean, Colombia is home to a number of beautiful beaches and coastal towns, as well as lush rainforest inland. The city of Medellín is a popular tourist destination, as is the town of Cartagena with its old world charm. There is a railway network in Colombia, however this is not a popular way to travel. Bogotá Central Train station is the main train station in Bogotá. However, for those wishing to travel around Colombia without missing all its beautiful landscaped by flying from place to place, rental car is one of the best options. Car rental companies such as Avis, Autos Bravo, Localiza and Budget can be found at Bogotá's El Dorado International Airport, allowing visitors to continue their journey into Colombia at their own pace and on their own schedule, admiring the view as they go!
What are the driving rules in Colombia?
In Colombia, drive on the right and stick to driving in tourist areas to avoid potential trouble. It is also advisable to drive during daylight hours, and be sure to lock your car when parking (ideally in a secure parking lot). Seatbelts are compulsory for both the driver and all passengers, and cell phones may only be used when in hands free mode. The speed limits in Colombia are generally 60km/h in urban areas; 80km/h on rural roads; and 100km/h on the freeway – but pay attention to speed signs indicating speed limits as you drive.
When it comes to parking you rental car in Colombia, the best option is to go for a secure parking lot. Those with staff in attendance, in commercial areas, are often the safest choice.
Road trips in Colombia
Enjoy a Colombian road trip and discover vibrant cities, interesting museums and beautiful beaches along the way. Renting a car in Colombia allows the opportunity to discover the country at your own pace – and with so much to see, there's nothing better than planning your own itinerary and heading out to explore by car.
Located in central Colombia, Bogotá is the nation's capital city and a popular tourist destination. International visitors will likely touch down in El Dorado International Airport, from which a number of car rental companies operate. Before heading out to explore Colombia by rental car, be sure to spend a little time in Bogotá itself. Visit the Gold Museum; marvel at the beautiful buildings surrounding the main square of Bolívar Square; and learn more about the country at the Colombian National Museum. Near to Bogotá, a number of destinations can be reached by rental car. The city of Medellin is 260 miles away by road, and a popular tourist destination; for a closer road trip destination, drive the 26 miles to the city of Zipaquirá, known for its impressive Salt Cathedral.
Located in the Antioquia province of Colombia, Medellín is Colombia's second largest city and, thanks to its mild climate, is often called the City of Eternal Spring. Visitors flock to see sights such as the Museum of Antioquia; the Botanical Garden of Medellín; and the many beautiful parks dotted across the city, including Barefoot Park and Bolívar Park. From Medellín, a number of sights can be visited by rental car. The Rock of Guatapé, a monolith which can be climbed for stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, is just over 49 miles from Medellín by car, with the road taking travelers through beautiful countryside along the way.
Found on Colombia's Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a charming city known for its beautiful walled Old Town and white sand beaches – many of which can be accessed thanks to a short boat trip from the mainland. In Cartagena's Old Town, wander along cobblestone streets while admiring the views along the way, as colourful buildings and colonial architecture line the streets. Don’t miss the Torre de Reloj, the Plaza Santo Domingo, and the many beautiful churches which can be found in the area. Once you've taken in all of Cartagena's charm, drive southeast for around 35 miles to the village of San Basilio de Palenque. Once a slave settlement, the town is known as the first free town in America and today holds UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Alternatively, head north to the city of Barranquilla. The 82 mile drive winds along the coast before arriving in your destination of Barranquilla, a city famous for its annual carnival. Visit the Caribbean Museum and the Museo Romántico, before driving on to the coastal town of Puerto Colombia for white sand beaches and a calmer atmosphere.