Once you have cleared the tedious immigration process at El Dorado you are free to browse the main Attenza duty-free store, which at over 500 square metres has almost doubled in size since the renovation work at the airport began in 2007. Fashion is very much to the fore in the product mix with top-end leather goods brands such as Lancel, Furla and Longchamp allocated prominent displays. There is a surprisingly good selection of electronics here too with Nintendo, Sony and Bose given their own wall displays.
Fragrances and cosmetics are given pride of place in the store, however, and a dizzying array of brands is given shelf space. The line up includes Kenneth Cole, Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Givenchy, Fendi, Clinique, Yves St. Laurent and Lancôme. The eco-conscious, socially aware UK beauty brand The Body Shop also has a dedicated in-store display.
Blended Scotch whisky is the mainstay of the shop’s liquor offer: Buchanan’s, Old Parr, Something Special, Johnnie Walker and of course, Chivas Regal are the big brands in this part of the world. Alternatively, Colombian rums are a pretty cheap option, but are outshone in terms of quality by award-winning regional brands such as Nicaragua’s Flor de Caña and Guatemala’s Ron Botran, which are both stocked by Attenza.
The main point of shopping interest in El Dorado’s smaller Puente Aéreo (Air Bridge), which is used solely by Avianca for regional and domestic flights, is the main duty-free store called Aviancastore. The product selection includes fragrances, cosmetics, liquor, tobacco, jewellery, watches, toys and electronics. The fantastic Venezuelan rum brand Santa Teresa at $38 (£24.50) a bottle and the Jericho Dead Sea Cosmetics Spa Kit at $130 (£83.80) and the tins of chocolate-covered blueberries at $13 (£8.40) are what caught our eye. Take a full look at what the shop has to offer at www.aviancadutyfree.com
to see what takes your fancy.
El Dorado international is about to embark on a whole new chapter of its history, which will surely lead to a much-improved, all-round experience for any air traveller using the Colombian gateway. Retail will be undoubtedly be part of that makeover so we say: “Bring it on!”
El Dorado international airport (Spanish only)