Montería

Travel Guide South America Colombia Montería

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Introduction

Montería is the capital of the Cordoba department in the northwest of Colombia and has around 275,000 inhabitants. Even though it is not a coast city, Monterians call themselves 'costeños', and are said to speak 'costeñol' (from the words español + costeño). They see themselves as cheerful, relaxed and informal, and are very proud of it. Most of the times, the letters s and r in the middle and ending of words are not pronounced. For example, escolar (scholar) would be pronounced e-colá.

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Sights and Activities

  • Ronda del Sinú - Along the East Bank of the River Sinú, the Ronda del Sinú is a recreational park with restaurants, a cycle road, an open-air theatre, etc. Monkeys and iguanas run freely in the park, and it is considered to be the only tourist attraction in Montería.

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Getting There

By Plane

Los Garzones Airport (MTR) has flights to/from Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin.

By Bus

There are several buses:

  • to/from Cartagena : 45,000 COP / 4.5 hours (every hour).
  • to/from Turbo : 15,000 COP / 2.5 hours (every half hour).
  • to/from Tolú : 18,000 COP / 2 hours (every hour).
  • to/from Medellin : 100,000 COP / 10 hours.

The bus terminal is located 2 kilometres southeast from downtown on calle 41. Frequent MetroSinu bus (yellow in colour) takes you there for 1,800 cop. The bus leave from inside the terminal.

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Getting Around

By Car

Montería's vehicle of choice is motorcycles. Mototaxis are, as their name suggests, motorcycle taxis. They are the cheapest and fastest way to get around, a carrera costing around $1000.00 COP. On Tuesdays, motorcycles are banned from the city, which results in less traffic but slower buses.

All the taxis in Montería are regulated, so they are very safe. They can be stopped on the street or be called to pick one up. During the day, a carrera is $4000.00 COP. Foreigners should negotiate the price before getting in the taxi or risk being charged more. By night, it can be more than twice the cost than a regular ride; the destination also affects the cost. Be sure to negotiate with the driver before getting in.

By Public Transport

Buses are called busetas. The safest ones are yellow, from the company MetroBus. It costs $1400.00 COP for a ride, but with an ElTike card, a ride is $1160.00 COP. ElTike cards can be purchased at the MetroBus terminal for $5000.00 COP and the minimum recharge is for $14,000.00COP.

Montería is divided by the River Sinú. It can be crossed by either bridges, or by planchón. Planchón is a sort of flat boat which crosses the River at only $300.00 COP. Any of the planchones that are on the Ronda del Sinú are perfectly safe, but it is advised not to go to the ones by the market after dark.

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Eat

  • Tocinita, In a shopping boulivard off Carrera 2 (Look for the play park and Nintendo World). Small cafe with cheerful chatty owner does good, cheap set breakfasts and lunches for $6000 COP with the excellent "huevos pericos". Will do vegetarian version if you ask.

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Sleep

Hotel Medellin, carrera 4, 34-41, centro, ☎ +57 4 781 5451. relocated to a new location, rooms are clean with t.v, private bath and wifi but most don't have a window (not even to the corridor). There are a few facing the street but subject to constant noise from traffic. $30,000 cop single no A/C 50,000 with A/C.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 8:48 on Feb 28, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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