I spent a few nights outside of Santa Marta, Colombia, in the Pozo Colorado area, between the airport and Rodadero. There appeared to be Ubers available in Santa Marta itself but there were none to be found in the areas outside the city. Taxis in this area don’t use meters; it’s a fixed rate between specified locations. I always asked how much it would be before getting in the taxis (and knew how much it was supposed to be) and everyone quoted me the rate it was supposed to be (one guy told me not to worry about taxis in Santa Marta). Below is a chart of taxi rates which seemed to be the same rates they were using in March, 2018.
Source: http://seguimiento.co/colombia/ya-es-oficial-el-aumento-de-la-carrera-de-taxis-en-santa-marta-4877 (last viewed March 19, 2018)
I got some help with taxi-taking in Bogotá from this helpful site: How to Bogota with additional pages here and here. However, I couldn’t get any of the suggested apps to work with my United States phone number.
After stressing out about the transportation situation, I found some interesting news here which seemed to suggest that a new meter system was on the verge of being implemented, in which each taxi has a screen for the passengers displaying the route and rate.
Disappointingly, I saw zero signs of this once in Bogotá. I was still able to get around though.
I used Uber four times. The first time I tried to get in the front seat per the blogs I had read but the driver wasn’t expecting that and didn’t even have the front passenger door unlocked. Edgar was very cool and got me where I was going (Chapinero to Candelaria) with friendly but not intrusive chit chat.
Other travelers I had met mentioned the they had not had any issues with Uber except that they couldn’t get a car out of Candelaria. This turned out to be the case for me as well. The remaining three Uber rides I took all originated in Chapinero. Two of the drivers had me ride in the front seat and the third didn’t care. The prices for Uber seemed comparable to those for taxi rides.
I ended up hailing taxis off the street since I couldn’t figure out the app situation. I did see drivers using Smart Taxi but I couldn’t get that app to work. None of the drivers had the charts visible but I don’t think any of them scammed me either. All of them had working meters and were totally fine in my opinion.
What are your thoughts? Was this helpful to anyone? Does anyone know about the supposed new system?
I was in Bogotá and Santa Marta, Colombia during the first week of March, 2018. I have some answers to questions I was frantically searching the internet about before I left. Although I offer the following opinions, they are, of course, unique to my time and place and I cannot promise that you will have the same experience in your travels:
- I didn’t feel unsafe.
- I used Uber.
- I took taxis off the street.
- The general Bogotá outfit was jeans and/or leggings with a neutral-colored tops and light puffy jacket.
- They were not checking for yellow fever vaccines for Santa Marta/PNN Tayrona.
Please drop a comment if this was helpful or if you would like more information.
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