Is It Safe to Take a Taxi in Medellín?

Is It Safe to Take a Taxi in Medellín?

TLDR? In Medellin, you can take taxis through applications or directly call companies. You can also control the rate through a system that charges according to time and distance!

When planning a trip to Medellin, you may have some safety concerns, especially regarding taxis.

It never hurts to take certain precautions in a completely unknown city, especially when you get into a stranger’s car.

If you’re wondering how taxis and rideshares work in Medellín and their level of safety, keep reading! I’ll walk you through this method in the City of Eternal Spring. 

Safety in Medellin

Safety in Medellin

During 1991, Medellín had a dark time of insecurity. Pablo Escobar led the Medellín cartel, and it was considered the most dangerous and violent city in the world at the time.

Today that’s all in the past. Medellin no longer belongs to the black list of dangerous cities.

After more than two decades, violence was reduced by leaps and bounds, and Medellín has become a benchmark for transformation. In 2013, it received an award for the most innovative city on the planet.

Medellín is a highly safe city, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be careful.

Taxis in Medellin

Taxis in Medellin

Taking a taxi in Medellín is safe and effective. It’s an easy way to travel, and you’ll be able to manage payments through a fare system. 

There’s a lot of supply and demand for taxis, so the service is well-regulated and great for tourists. 

Although the use of mobile rideshare apps for safe, private transport has been on the rise, taxis have competitively implemented these services to instill trust and proximity in customers. 

A rideshare driver may be knowledgeable about directions, but sometimes only as much as anyone with a GPS would be. 

In this sense, taxi drivers have an advantage. They’re often experienced locals who know the city quite well.

Paisas are recognized for being kind, friendly, and charismatic people, and these characteristics extend to taxi drivers! They’ll be able to offer you the best routes and even give recommendations if you ask.

Types of Taxis in Medellin

Types of Taxis in Medellin

You can find two types of taxis in the City of Eternal Spring: the small yellow urban taxis and the larger white airport taxis. You’ll see the two types of taxis at the airport’s exit when you arrive.

If you have a lot of luggage, the best recommendation is to take the white taxi because it’s more comfortable.

There are also private taxis that you can find in the InDriver app.

Get Around the City of Medellin by Taxi

Get Around the City of Medellin by Taxi

In any country, there’s public transport (buses and metro) and private transport (taxis). Although Medellin has a good metro and bus system, taxis offer amenities and comforts you won’t find elsewhere.

The advantage of taking a taxi in any city is that they offer door-to-door service, plus you don’t have to worry about how to get to a place since most drivers know their workspace inside and out.

Far beyond its advantages, taking a taxi in the city of Medellin is extremely easy. Many taxis roam the city looking for passengers.

If you don’t want the hassle of finding a taxi on the street and prefer to travel at a fixed price with a driver who knows the English language, websites like Welcome Pickups allow you to book a taxi online.

How Do Taxis Work in Medellin?

Taxis Work in Medellin?

In Medellín, you can take a taxi anywhere, anytime. You just need to put your hand out, and a driver will pick you up.

I recommend taking taxis in visible places. Avoid highways and busy streets, as these spots are prone to accidents and long wait times.

You can also request a taxi pickup through an app or a phone call. You should be able to find lines of taxis in spaces called acopios.

You’ll generally find acopios in busy places such as shopping malls, airports, transportation terminals, and hospitals.  

Once you’ve told the driver your destination, they may propose a route or take the best one according to traffic and time of day.

When you get into a taxi, the driver must turn on their taximeter. That is a small screen that counts the drive’s rate in Colombian pesos. It starts at a basic rate and increases in value according to time spent driving and destination. 

Keep in mind that taxis in Medellín request payment in cash. You may be able to pay through a bank transfer, but I recommend keeping some notes on you to make the process easier.

Where to Order a Taxi 

Where to Order a Taxi

You can request a taxi service through different mobile apps. Some only provide taxis, while others allow you to choose between a taxi or a private car.

Two options are Easy Taxi, an App of Cabify, and InDriver.

When requesting a taxi service through a mobile application, you’ll receive all the information you need: the driver’s name, the car’s plates, and the route in real time! 

Additionally, you’ll have the option to check the driver’s reviews and accept or reject any drivers the app suggests. 

You can also call to order taxis directly from their companies. They’ll ask you for a pick-up address and give you a wait time. Some of these services are: 

  • Coopebombas
  • Taxsuper
  • Tax Individual 
  • Tax Andaluz
  • Tax Flota Bernal

If you’re dissatisfied with your ride, you can call the company and let them know. It’s a very safe way to use the system. 

Basic Taxi Rates in Medellin

Basic Taxi Rates in Medellin

In Medellin, taxis calculate all their rates with a taximeter. The price will depend on the distance traveled to the exact point of arrival in the city.

A good thing about taxis in Medellin is that there are no higher rates when it comes to journeys at night, on holidays, or on weekends. If you travel from the airport, the toll cost will be added to the total price – all tolls during the trip are paid by the passengers.

The basic rates of taxis increase every year in Medellin. That said, the 2022 rates work like this:

  • Minimum rate: COP 5,800 or USD 1.32
  • Start or banner: COP 3,800 or USD 0.87
  • Contracted hour: COP 25,500 or USD 5.81 
  • Transportation to Jose Maria Cordova Airport: COP 90,000 with toll included or USD 20.50
  • Drop value for every 78 meters: COP 120 or USD 0.027 
  • Waiting value for 60 seconds: COP 220 or USD 0.05 

All these rates are regulated. If you want to get more out of your money, I recommend paying in pesos. The rate to be paid is always visible in the vehicles, and no surcharge is charged.

Some drivers provide a menu in the back seat listing these prices and the driver’s information. However, it’s good to know the fee’s terms yourself.

Wheelchair Accessibility in Taxi Service

Wheelchair Accessibility in Taxi Service

Finding a taxi that is wheelchair accessible in Medellin is, unfortunately, very difficult.

Most taxis in the country are small vehicles that often don’t have space for large items such as a wheelchair. You’ll find a small number of private companies that offer the service of wheelchair access.

If you’ve got bigger items, it’s not a bad idea to speak to your Casacol concierge. They’ll be able to help you secure a private car that can accommodate these items. 

Tips When Taking a Taxi in Medellin

Taking a Taxi in Medellin

While taking a taxi in Medellin is generally safe, there are still a few guidelines to keep in mind. Here are a few tips so that you feel safer when taking this transportation:

  • Share your location in real-time with friends and family.
  • Look at the plates of the taxi you take.
  • Take the taxi to a place where there are people around.
  • If you’re in a restaurant or a bar, you can ask them to call you a safe taxi. They’ll share with you the company to which the taxi belongs and the license plate number.
  • Always put the insurance when getting into the taxi.
  • Trust your instinct: if you don’t feel safe, don’t get in the vehicle.
  • Take care of your belongings.

Complaints and Security for Medellin Taxis

Security for Medellin Taxis

In the world, you can meet all kinds of people. And if you had a bad experience in a taxi in the city of Medellin, you can always file a complaint through the official website of the Secretaría de Movilidad (Ministry of Mobility). To make the complaint, you must have the taxi’s registration number.

In addition, you also need the location of the trip you made, its approximate time, and the rate you paid.

Helpful Phone Numbers for Safety in Medellin

In the event that something does go awry while riding a taxi in Medellin, don’t panic! You can always get the help you need by calling one of these numbers:

  • National Emergency Number: 123
  • Tourist Police: +57 (1) 337 4413
  • Information: 113
  • U.S. Embassy in Colombia: +57 (1) 275 2000

In addition, there are local police numbers that you can ring up for your neighborhood. That way, you can get in touch with police in your jurisdiction to report a crime.

Taking a Taxi in Medellin Is Safe and Easy 

Don’t get too stressed: taking a taxi in Medellín is a safe and easy process. All you need to do is know your destination, keep an eye on the taximeter, and practice the same safety and caution you would anywhere.

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