Capital of the Risaralda Department, was founded in 1863, and its situated at an average 1550 m a.s.l. although some areas are at 1200 m a.s.l.It is one of the most populared cities in the "coffee belt". During the precolumbian times the area was inhabited by the cultures Quimbaya and Pijao, which were known for their craftmanship. It was first known as "Old Carago", but it adopted the name "Pereira" over time, in memory of Doctor Francisco Pereira Martínez, one of the heroes of the Columbian Independency Campaign who took refuge on the area.During the 1950's, during the Colombian Internal Conflict, the city received a lot of refugeed from different part of the countries, which is the reason of the diversity one can witness in the city. Pereira became known as "The loving, the never-sleeping and brown" because it receives and nurtures everyone who visits the city. It's the touristic hub for the coffee belt and also famous for its nightlife, the "Pearl of the Otún", in honor to the river that crosses the city. It's a municipality with great cultural development and social integration, and also, due to its location, Pereira is a gathering point for commerce between the most important colombian cities like Medellín, cali, Bogotá, Manizales and Armenia.
Travel tips for Pereira
We recommend the downtown hotels, which have an suitable price and are well located, close to the Plaza Bolivar. To get around the city there is the Megabus, a massive mean of transportation with air conditioning that covers several areas of the city. The price of the ticket per person is about 1.700 COP. The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adaptor if you travel to places that use other voltage. It's recommended to be cautious on the streets, since there are a lot of beggars and it's possible to be victim of theft.
Best time to visit Pereira
August is a good moment to travel to Pereira since you can participate in the Fiestas de la Cosecha, also called Fiestas de Pereira. May is also interesting, with the curious event of the Festival del Despecho, about spite in love.
Climate in Pereira
The climate in Pereira is tropical, with plentiful rains most of the year. The annual average temperature is 69 °F (20,6 °C) and there aren't great variations in the temperature. We must say that there are different climates inside the city, since there are several thermal floors.
Things to do in Pereira
Among the tourist attractions that you can't miss in Pereira you have the Viaducto César Gaviria Trujillo, the Park Lineal Egoyá, the Art Museum and the Bolivar Square, where you will find the famous sculpture of naked Bolivar. Pereira won't leave you indifferent, neither regarding nature, since the city offers diverse walks and routes, as the National Park Los Nevados, where the Otun river is born or the Ucumari Reserve, which accumulates several miles of hectares of an impressive high Andean forest, flora and fauna and wonderful waterfalls. It worths to mention the Fiestas de la Cosecha, every year the locals celebrate the importance of cultivation and the coffee culture and they revive the history, culture and tradition of the city. The Festival del Despecho is an event that bring together musicians, poets and writers who sing for a love that never happened o that was lost, leaving the hero in his own loneliness.
Nightlife in Pereira
Where to eat in Pereira?
La Reserva Bistro Internacional
Location: Cra. 15 N°5-03 Local 2 Hours: Monday to Friday 12 a.m.-3:00 p.m./6p.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturdays 12m-11p.m. Sundays 12 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Prices: 9,000 COP - 47,000 COP This restaurant is specialized in international typical food. This restaurant is at the vanguard and has high quality wines.
Location:Cr. Cra. 17 No. 9-50 Av. Pinares Hours: Sunday from 12:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday 12:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and saturday 12:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Prices: high quality but there is no available information about the price. The Ambar has been described as excellent by several dinners, this restaurant of high quality will satisfy the most demanding palates. It's not very cheap, but the presentation and quality worth it.
Location: Carrera 20 #9 - 63 | Local 1 Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Price: no available information It's a restaurant of nice decoration, good service and suitable prices. The milkshakes are recommended, just a delight!
The tourist places to see in Pereira are:
Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Pobreza
Location: Cra. 7 e / cll. 20 and 21 Plaza Bolivar Hours: all day. Price: free entrance. It's a beautiful cathedral built in various architectural styles, that mixes brick and wood materials. The original construction was finished in 1890, but the earthquake of 1906 affected to the cathedral and Heliodoro Ochoa was the one in charge of the reconstruction.
Viaducto Cesar Gaviria Trujillo
Location: It's the link between Pereira and Dosquebradas. Hours: all day. Price: no available information. It's a bridge, symbol of the city, in honor of the Colombian president with the same name. It's located at the height of 55 meters over the Otun river.
Parque Lineal Egoya
Location: Protection area of El Colector. Hours: no available information. Price: free entrance. It's a park with children games and a green area to walk around. The name comes from Egoya, an old gorge that crossed the city.
Hours: free access at any time. Price: free entrance. This emblem square of the city is remembered due to the monument of Bolivar Desnudo, sculpted by the artist Rodrigo Arenas. The square is the center of the trade activities of Pereira. It was also called the Plaza de los Mangos de Colombia.
The things to do in Pereira
Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados
Location: Valle del Cocora To visit the snowy hills of Santa Isabel and Tolima, it's required to have an excellent physical shape, but if you are adventurous and like sports it's amazing to visit. It's an ideal place for the nature's lovers. There are various jeeps available to transport tourists to the place to start the trekkings.
Location: Parque Nacional de los Nevados At this lake you can fish trouts and camp, among other activities as trekking. Parque del Cafe It's an amusement park to enjoy the attractions with your adrenalin on top.
Jardin Botanico de la Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira
This bothenic garden is very interesting for the researchers of fauna and flora, since there are 168 birds species, 290 vegetal species and other species of animals.
Typical dishes in Pereira
It's a satiating food, with a high quantity and varied flavors. It's one of the most representative dishes in Colombia. The main feature is that is served in big plates and has a many ingredients. Inside you can find beans, chicharron, chorizo, rice, fried egg, avocado, banana and arepas. You will be satisfied for a while.
Mazamorra y claro
Those dishes are side dishes or desserts. The mazamorra is made of corn, raw cane sugar and milk.
It's a kind of fine bread, made of corn that is frequently eaten in Colombia and it's served with diverse dishes. If you go to Colombia, you have to taste it.
The dish is a traditional soup in the Coffee Axis that has ingredients as potato, manioc, hen, ribs, banana and ear of corn.
How to reach Pereira
Pereira by train
Pereira has an old train station, but there aren't trains that stop there nowadays. There is no way to get to the municipality by train.
Pereira by flight
The distance in a straight line from Bogota to Pereira is 112 mi (181 km). The airport that serves the city of Pereira is the Aeropuerto Internacional Matecana. There are flights to cities as Bogota, Medellin, Rionegro, San Andres, Cartagena or Panama. The main airlines that operate in the airport are Avianca, Latam, Lan, Satena, Easy Fly, Ada and Copa.
Pereira by bus
From the Colombian capital to Pereira there are 221 mi (357 km), which take approximately 9 hours by bus. You can get to Pereira by bus from several cities as are Bucaramanga, Cucuta, Medellin or Quibdo, among others. The main bus companies that cover this destination are Bolivariano, Fronteras, Flota Occidental and Arauca.
Accomodations in Pereira
Location: Avenida Circunvalar # 8B-23 Piso 2 Rate: from 55.700 COP (US$ 19) for the double room with a shared bathroom. This hotel is located at 200 meters from the monument of Los Fundadores, and has amenities as wifi, barbecue, solarium, bikes and laundry service. The breakfast is included in the price and they have rooms with private or shared bathroom.
Hotel Pereira Real
Location: Carrera 7 No. 18-12, Pereira Rate: Desde 70.300 COP (US$ 24) It's placed near to the Plaza Bolivar, has laundry service and 24 hours reception desk. There is free wifi in the common areas, cable TV and other services.
Luxor Condina Hotel
Location: Calle 18 No. 6-26 Peatonal Pereira Rate: Desde 134.900 COP (US $46) for the double standard room. This hotel includes breakfast in the rate of the rooms, has free parking lot, free wifi and it's located close to the cathedral of Nuestra Senora de la Pobreza, in the downtown of Pereira. There is also a coffee shop and meeting room.
Location: Km 11 Vía el Pollo - La Romelia Sector San Félix | Dosquebradas Rate: from 90.000 COP (US$ 31) The hotel has amenities as free wifi and american breakfast. The trade area is at 0,6 mi (1 km) from the hotel. The rooms have private bathroom, minibar and beautiful views over the city. The hotel has parking lot, gym and restaurant.
Hotel Castilla Real
Location: Calle 15 No. 12B-15 Sector Circunvalar, 662001 Pereira Rate: From 255.560 COP (US $ 87) for the double standard room. The rooms have a modern design, cable TV, air conditioning, minibar and a desk. It's located in the downtown of Pereira and has a free parking lot, among other services.
Sonesta Hotel Pereira
Location: Kilómetro 7 vía Pereira-Cartago, 660009 Pereira Rate: From 289.255 COP (US$ 99) The rooms of this amazing hotel have free wifi and a delicious breakfast included on the rate. The hotel has spa, transfer to the airport, outdoors swimming pool and free parking lot, among other services that you will discover visiting it.
Important dates in Pereira
Fiestas de la Cosecha
This time the locals commemorate the foundation of the city. There is an artisan fair, sportive activities and equine exhibitions and orchids.
Festival del Despecho
At this event are called the poetry, sobbing and reconciliation. They will propose flower games, among other activities. Prominent writers will share their sentences related to this moving situation that produces the spite. And there will be other activites at the event, that you can participate in.
At this fun festival of Pereira the lovers of good food will take advantage and find the taste to the good seasonings. You can taste the typical dishes of the region.