Manizales in the Cofffe Zone (Eje Cafetero)
Manizales is located in the main coffee production area in the Colombian coffee zone and the capital of the department of Caldas.
How to get there from Medellin:
There are several bus companies that take the route from Medellin to Manizales. On my way there I took the company Autolegal and on my way back I took Tax La Feria. The price is always 37.000 COP. The trip takes roughly 4 hours. Unfortunately the journey in the small vans is not very comfortable especially when you sit in the last row between to other passengers. Therefore I’d rather recommend to take one of the bigger busses even though the trip will take a little longer.
What to do in Manizales?
Nevado del Ruiz
Right in front of the city of Manizales the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, an active Volcano with an altitude of 5389 m stretches itself into the sky. In case it is safe to go and the Volcano is not bubbling too much you can book a tour with a travel agency and climb the Nevado del Ruiz. It may be possible though that the complete hike won’t be possible as the upper part might be closed for security reasons.
As Manizales is located in the coffee obviously another thing to do is do pay a visit to one of the many coffee haciendas. There you can make a coffee tour and see how the coffee is grown and produced. You can also enjoy the amazing nature and learn more about the history of coffee. I can recommend you the Hacienda Venezia:
Duration of a tour with an English speaking guide is roughly 3 hours and the price is 45,000 COP / per person
Recinto del Pensamiento
Recinto del Pensamiento is a park near to Manizales. the entrance fee + guide is 17.400 COP/per Person. In the park you have a butterfly house, a Bonsai garden, an orchid forest, a chair lift, some animals and a viewing point where you can also watch different types of hummingbirds.
La Catedral de Manizales
Clime up the cathedral of Manizales for 5.000 COP and learn more about its history. If you manage to go to the top you will be rewarded with a stunning view over the city. If the weather is playing along you can even see the Nevado del Ruiz.
Many of the cities in inhabitants enjoy taking a stroll through the Barrio Chipre on the weekend. Families enjoy their spare time with ice cream, hot dogs and wafers or they simply enjoy the view from one of the viewing points (mirador). if you need more action climb the Torre del Cielo. Many people and especially kinds enjoy flying kites near the Monumento de los Colonizadores.
Alto Pasti Trattoria in the Carrera 24 A # 58 A 03 | Barrio Estrella offers some great Italian food for average prices.
If you don’t live of a budget you should consider the Hotel Estelar El Cable. The hotel is located in a quiet side street just a few meters from La Zona Rosa de Manizales (Nightlife area).
With COP 236.300 for 2 nights this is definitely not the cheapest option but therefore you get great service, a great intercontinental breakfast and a very comfortable room.
Erase una Vez
is located near the Puente de la Libertad. Apart from some really nice food you can also dance and make party. Fridays there is also Live music. Erase una Vez is a very tasteful place with a lovely outdoor space.
The Barcelonabar is located in the Av Santander # 71-72
In this bar it is everything about Barcelona from Barcelona football shirts hanging from the walls to the tapas choice on the menu. Even subway plans from Barcelona are hanging on the walls. Very nice bar with great service and delicious tapas
Other Attractions and Sights are:
- The Gold museum of the Banco de la Republica
- Museum of Natural History Universidad de Caldas
- Museum of Art Universidad de Caldas
- Archaeological Museum Universidad de Caldas
- Botanical Garden Universidad de Caldas
- Natural Museum of Histories CC
- Museum of Science and Games Universidad Nacional de Colombia
- Los Yarumos Ecological Park
- Termales del Ruiz (Hot springs)
- Termales de Otún (Hot spring)
- Simon Bolivar square
- Bosque Popular park
- (Francisco Jose de) Caldas Park