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Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Liverpool, United...
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Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

What's the easiest way to travel direct from Bogota airport (arriving on an internal flight) to Villa de Lleva in the early afternoon? From the main bus station (I hear there are few direct buses - what time do they run)? Or by the TransMilenio to the northern terminus, then bus to Tunja and bus to Vd - sounds much more complicated, but maybe the only possibility. Is there a left luggage at the airport or bus station? Thanks for any up-to-date suggestions.

Ithaca, New York
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1. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Hi

I just did this today. My flight arrived from Medellin at 11:00am and I was on an 11:45am bus to Tunja. I got to Tunja around 3:15 and then caught a van to Villa de Leyva. I went by taxi to the main terminal since that was easier for me. The last direct bus is at 2:40 I believe and the last van from Tunja is at 6pm so basically if you miss the last direct bus, you´ve stuck. Hope this helps.

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

That's really useful to know you went from the main bus terminal, rather than using the Transmilenio system - sounds simpler, with fewer changes. Thanks a lot.

Leeds
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3. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Hi

Just seen the post re your trips

We are also looking to go from Bogota to Villa De Leva, but I have to say that getting a bus / taxi up to the northern terminus and then getting a bus to Tunja, and then a van does not really appeal with all the luggage we have for a 2 week trip.

We also need to get back to Bogota airport 2 days later for a flight at 3 and were considering at least getting to Tunja for the 2 nd night of our trip out, to make sure w can get back in better time.

I keep looking at the net for bus timetables, but am concerned how accurate they are, as someone who posts on TT a lot actually said there were none now !!

Did you manage to find current timetable details of direct buses ?

Thanks

Liverpool, United...
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4. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

We've just returned from Colombia today, and we did the Bogota - Villa De Leyva bus trip last week. We arrived at the national air terminal after internal flight with Avianca, walked outside and to the left. At the end of the forecourt is the organised taxi rank with a woman who assigns taxis and will tell you a rough price - don't accept offers from touts. We took a taxi to the 'Terminal', main bus station, for 15000 pesos (about £5). You go to the red section, number 3 (the various coloured sections are obvious), ask at information and they point you to the right counter. We arrived at 1.30, and left at 1.45 on a large minibus with large boot for luggage, which you get a receipt for. Another was leaving later. I agree it is impossible to get exact timetables from Bogota, but the bus station in V D L shows a lot of departures daily, and I'm sure they do the return trips, so not just the 2 buses some people quote. However transport does not run late in the day.

Traffic in Bogota is a nightmare during the day - it took nearly an hour to get to the Portal del Norte on the north of the city, then it is faster after that. If you were already in the city, it might be faster to go to there by Transmilenio and pick up a bus from there - they pull in alongside the end of the bus stop, with a fly-over to walk over. Our bus went via Chiquinquira rather than the more usual Tunja, and so took a bit longer but we didn't mind as the scenery both ways is stunning.

I believe there are left luggage places at the airport and Terminal, if you wanted to leave some bags, but the buses are used to a lot of bags. We didn't see any full-size buses in V D L, they were all large, comfortable minibuses. We came back to Bogota from San Gil via Tunja, about 7 hours on Sunday, when the roads were quieter, not so many heavy lorries. We got off at Portal del Norte and took the Transmilenio into town.

You need to build some flexibility into your plans, and allow plenty of time - things don't always work exactly to plan, but we've had a great holiday and Colombians are extremely helpful. Enjoy yourselves.

Leeds
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5. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Thanks for the last post really helpful.

We will be doing the journey from Bogota, and will probably end up going up to La terminal, as I do not really fancy swanning around Portal De Norte (which people have said is not really a bus station with the added security complication of having our back & day packs in an exposed area) running after buses not really knowing which one to get as they pull up !

We do not have that much, but at least it maybe a little more relaxing to get a taxi up to La Terminal and get what we can there, even though we are staying in Zona Rosa on our first leg of our Bogota visit.

On another note, how did you find security. Although I have been to over 55 countries, including Mexico twice and Brazil, I have to say I am a little more nervous than normal, not sure if its just a numbers game given I have had no issues with my wife (got robbed in Barca, but only a sneaky back nick !) We ideally still want to take iPads as part of the fun is checking where to go in the evening etc, and whilst I you don't flaunt this/cameras etc, people surly go out with hand /man bags so we would not look completely out of place ?

Thanks

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Security - almost all the foreign travellers (except us!) had iPads, tablets and/or laptops with them, and many hotels and hostels had wifi or free computers to use, though connections could be slow. So certainly take yours, with the usual care over where you show them. We felt no concerns in the usual tourist areas, just be alert as you would anywhere, and avoid places you'd be uncomfortable in. There are vast numbers of auxiliary police everywhere to reassure tourists and locals that all is under control.

Back to the buses - from Zona Rosa it would be MUCH quicker to go direct to Portal Norte and ask every policeman you see 'Proximo bus Villa De Leyva, por favor' and they will show you/ take you to it. They all pull in at the same stretch of road, with lots of police checking all their paperwork - go to the front of the row to get the first one going. In one small town we were escorted to the right place - they really are VERY keen for tourists to have a good experience!

Leeds
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7. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Thanks Florence

I thought it would be the case, as it was in Mexico last year, its just that when my wife wants to take a half decent handbag / watch (but not very expensive !), when I would rather take little aside from a man bag so I can read my guide book and ipad (albeit not on the street at night) but then I get the reaction of why are we going there in the first place !

Re the Porte Norte I might just get a taxi there to save hassle with the Transmileno, as I went on a similar bus in Mexico city, and it was great but not with backpacks, and we have to get to it anyway as we are staying the far end of Zona Rosa - is the actual place where the buses stop pretty obvious /

thanks again

Liverpool, United...
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8. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Yes, it's very obvious and taxi drivers will certainly know it. We got an excellent free map covering the whole city, It was called Bogota Tourist Map, produced by Instituto Distrital De Tourismo. I've just looked on their website www.bogotaturismo.gov.co and you can see part of it at the bottom - mapa callajero. If you play around on this site you can find the map (sorry I haven't time to be more helpful). I clicked on English, then Bogota, then Vacation Tourism, then Resources and Guides, then Bogota Tourist Map (work) - just under the pictures.

This brings up the whole map in miniature, which you could enlarge by hovering the cursor over Portal del Norte. This is the red rectangle in the top right corner of the map which is the transmilenio terminus, and immediately to the right is Exito, a huge yellow supermarket, with the buses between it and the road. Taxis will know all these landmarks. Once there, ask the police where to get your bus - they will be less biaissed than any touts you encounter.

Get a hard copy of the map when you get there - the helpful tourist office in the corner of Plaza Bolivar had them, in the west corner, next to the town hall.

Leeds
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9. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

Thanks Florence for the advice

Back at bogota airport now and only took less than 5 hours from leaving our room in villa de leyva.

On the way got a taxi to the local transmit eon stop and went to Porte Norte - as you say, it was all obvious except we exited the wrong gate at Porte Norte and had to get key back into the main part !!

Thanks again

10. Re: Travel Bogota airport to Villa de Leva

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