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Charter Airlines in Colombia: An Overview for Travelers

Cartagena old town drone view

Updated on 05/22/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Charter flights offer flexible, comfortable, and secure air transport for travelers seeking to reach destinations not covered by regular commercial routes. In Colombia, numerous companies provide this service using both airplanes and helicopters, with various features and price points.

How Many Charter Flight Companies Are There in Colombia?

It’s challenging to pinpoint the exact number of charter flight companies in Colombia, as some operate under different names or brands, and others lack a website or official registration. However, it’s estimated that around 20 companies offer this service.

Distribution of Charter Flight Companies in Colombia

Charter flight companies are primarily based in major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. Additionally, some operate in other regions such as the Coffee Axis, Pacific Coast, Amazon, Eastern Plains, and Orinoquía.

Most helicopter charter companies are headquartered in Bogotá, specifically at Guaymaral Airport, the nearest to the capital. From there, they can fly to various destinations domestically and internationally, depending on demand and availability. Some also have bases in cities like Medellín, Neiva, Yopal, and Puerto Asís.

Airplane charter companies have a broader range of operating airports, including international, regional, and local airports. Frequently used airports include:

  • El Dorado (Bogotá)
  • José María Córdova (Medellín)
  • Alfonso Bonilla Aragón (Cali)
  • Rafael Núñez (Cartagena)
  • Ernesto Cortissoz (Barranquilla)

Common Charter Flight Routes in Colombia

The routes depend on client needs and preferences, with the flexibility to fly to any accessible destination. However, some routes are more popular due to tourism, business, or social reasons.

Eastern Hills of Bogotá

A short 12-15 minute flight offering a unique perspective of Bogotá, flying over the Eastern Hills, a mountain range that borders the city to the east. You will also see the Puente del Común, a historic bridge built in 1792. In addition, you will pass by the Universidad de la Sabana, the Autopista Norte and the municipalities of Chía and Cajicá, which are part of the Bogotá savannah.

Guatapé

A 20-minute flight from Medellín to Guatapé, known for its lagoon and the massive Peñón de Guatapé rock, a huge granite rock that rises 220 meters above the water level. It has 740 steps that can be climbed to reach the top. The Guatapé Lagoon is an artificial reservoir created in 1978 to generate hydroelectric power.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

A flight offering views of Santa Marta and the world’s highest coastal mountain range, including the archaeological site of Ciudad Perdida. This is an archaeological site dating from the eighth century. Ciudad Perdida was the center of the Tayrona civilization, which inhabited the region until the arrival of the Spanish.

Cartagena and its Islands

Cartagena, a colonial city founded in 1533, is encircled by a historic wall and features notable landmarks like the San Felipe Castle, the Cathedral, and the Palace of the Inquisition. The Rosario Islands, an archipelago of 27 islands, are part of the Rosario and San Bernardo Corales National Park, making them perfect for ecotourism and diving.

This flight offers the chance to soar over the city and islands with daily flights or a personalized private itinerary.

Caribbean Coast

This flight lets you explore Colombia’s Caribbean coast, flying over Cartagena and Barranquilla. Barranquilla, the fourth-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the Atlántico department, is famous for its carnival, the second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro’s.

Barranquilla also boasts several attractions, such as the Pumarejo Bridge, Colombia’s longest bridge, and the Metropolitano Stadium, the city’s main sports venue. This flight provides an aerial view of the architecture, culture, and history of these two cities.

  • Bogotá – Medellín
  • Bogotá – Cartagena
  • Bogotá – Cali
  • Bogotá – Barranquilla
  • Bogotá – Bucaramanga
  • Medellín – Cartagena
  • Medellín – Cali
  • Medellín – Barranquilla
  • Medellín – Pereira
  • Cartagena – Barranquilla
  • Cartagena – Santa Marta
  • Cartagena – San Andrés
  • Cali – Pereira
  • Cali – Popayán
  • Cali – Pasto
  • Barranquilla – Santa Marta
  • Barranquilla – San Andrés
  • Bucaramanga – Cúcuta
  • Bucaramanga – Yopal
  • Pereira – Armenia

Characteristics of Charter Flight Companies in Colombia

Charter flights can be arranged with airplanes or helicopters, depending on capacity, range, and availability. Some companies outsource their aircraft and crew, allowing them to reduce fixed costs, adapt to demand, and offer more options to clients.

Types of Aircraft Used by Charter Flight Companies in Colombia

Charter flight companies in Colombia use different types of aircraft, depending on the service they offer and the needs of their clients. Some of the most commonly used types of aircraft are:

Helicopters

Helicopters can take off and land vertically, making them ideal for accessing remote or difficult-to-reach locations like mountains, jungles, islands, and rivers.

They typically carry 2 to 15 passengers, depending on the model and capacity.

Popular models include:

  • Bell 206
  • Bell 407
  • Bell 412
  • Eurocopter AS350
  • Eurocopter EC120
  • Eurocopter EC130
  • Eurocopter EC135
  • Eurocopter EC145
  • Sikorsky S-76
  • Robinson R44
  • Robinson R66

Airplanes

Airplanes require runways for takeoff and landing but can fly at greater speeds, altitudes, and distances than helicopters.

They generally carry 4 to 100 passengers, depending on the model and capacity.

Common models include:

  • Cessna 172
  • Cessna 182
  • Cessna 206
  • Cessna 208
  • Cessna 310
  • Cessna 402
  • Cessna 414
  • Cessna 421
  • Cessna 525
  • Piper PA-28
  • Piper PA-31
  • Piper PA-34
  • Piper PA-42
  • Piper PA-46
  • Beechcraft King Air
  • Beechcraft Baron
  • Beechcraft Bonanza
  • Embraer Phenom 100
  • Embraer Phenom 300
  • Embraer Legacy 600
  • Learjet 31
  • Learjet 45
  • Learjet 60
  • Hawker 400
  • Hawker 800
  • Hawker 900
  • Gulfstream G150
  • Gulfstream G200
  • Gulfstream G450
  • Gulfstream G550
  • Gulfstream G650

Charter flights in Colombia offer diverse destinations and unique experiences, from soaring over Bogotá’s mountains to exploring the Caribbean coast. With a range of companies and aircraft, travelers can enjoy flexible and comfortable journeys across the country.

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About Author

Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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