Pereira is a vibrant and charming city located in the heart of the Colombian coffee region. Surrounded by lush mountains and beautiful landscapes, Pereira offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re interested in exploring the coffee plantations, hiking in the mountains, or simply relaxing in a hot springs complex, Pereira has something for everyone. In this travel guide, we’ll share our top tips for what to see and do in Pereira, as well as where to eat and sleep. Get ready for an unforgettable trip to this hidden gem in Colombia!
Travel Tips in Pereira
Pereira is a beautiful city located in the heart of the Coffee Triangle region of Colombia. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip:
- Weather: Pereira has a tropical climate, with average temperatures around 25°C (77°F) year-round. However, it can rain at any time, so make sure to bring an umbrella or rain jacket.
- Language: The official language of Colombia is Spanish, but many people in Pereira also speak English, especially in tourist areas.
- Currency: The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian peso. It’s a good idea to exchange some money before you arrive, as not all places accept credit cards.
- Safety: Pereira is a safe city for tourists, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions like not carrying too much cash or valuables, and avoiding unlit or deserted streets at night.
- Transportation: Pereira has a good public transportation system, including buses and taxis. However, it’s also easy to explore the city on foot or by bike.
What to See in Pereira
Pereira has a rich cultural heritage and many beautiful natural attractions. Here are some of the most important places to see in Pereira:
- Plaza de Bolivar: This historic square is located in the heart of Pereira and is home to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Poverty and the Bolivar Statue.
- Viaducto Cesar Gaviria Trujillo: This impressive bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Pereira and offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains.
- Botanical Garden of Pereira: This beautiful garden is home to over 600 species of plants, as well as a butterfly house and a lake.
- Matecana City Zoo: This zoo is home to over 600 animals from 140 species, including lions, tigers, and bears.
- Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima: This stunning church is located on a hill overlooking Pereira and offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape.
- Thermals of Santa Rosa: This natural hot springs complex is located just outside of Pereira and is a popular destination for relaxation and wellness.
Make sure to visit these most important places highlighted in bold to truly experience the best of Pereira.
Routes in Pereira
Pereira is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and offers many opportunities for outdoor adventures. Here are some routes to explore:
- Coffee Route: This scenic route takes you through the beautiful countryside of the Coffee Triangle, where you can visit coffee plantations and learn about the coffee-making process.
- Los Nevados National Natural Park: This park is home to snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and unique flora and fauna. It’s a great destination for hiking and birdwatching.
- Waterfall Route: This route takes you to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region, including Salto del Buey and Salto de la Chorrera.
- Bicycle Route: Pereira has a great network of bike lanes and offers many bike rental options. You can explore the city and surrounding countryside at your own pace.
Choose your favorite route and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pereira.
Where to Sleep in Pereira
Pereira has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some recommendations:
- Movich Hotel de Pereira: This modern hotel is located in the heart of Pereira and offers comfortable rooms, a pool, and a rooftop terrace.
- Sonesta Hotel Pereira: This luxurious hotel is located in the financial district of Pereira and offers beautiful views of the city, as well as a spa and fitness center.
- Hotel Boutique Sazagua: This charming hotel is located just outside of Pereira and offers beautiful gardens, a pool, and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
- Hostel Tamaquito’s: This hostel is located in the city center and offers affordable dorms and private rooms, as well as a shared kitchen and lounge area.
- Airbnb: Pereira has many Airbnb options, including apartments, houses, and private rooms. This is a great option if you want to live like a local.
Wherever you choose to stay, make sure to book in advance, especially during peak travel season.
Where to Eat in Pereira
Pereira has a rich culinary tradition and offers many delicious local specialties. Here are some recommendations:
- La Juliana: This popular restaurant serves traditional Colombian dishes, including bandeja paisa and ajiaco.
- El Rancherito: This chain restaurant is known for its grilled meats and traditional sides like plantains and arepas.
- La Secreta Gourmet: This upscale restaurant offers international cuisine with a Colombian twist, as well as a great selection of wine and cocktails.
- Café de Altura: This coffee shop serves some of the best coffee in the region, as well as delicious pastries and light bites.
- Mercado del Café: This market offers a wide variety of local products, including coffee, chocolate, and fruits.
Make sure to try some of these delicious options to truly experience the flavors of Pereira.
Free Tours in Pereira
If you’re on a budget or just want to learn more about Pereira’s history and culture, there are many free tours available. Here are some options:
- Free Walking Tour: This tour takes you through the historic center of Pereira and covers the city’s history and culture.
- Free Coffee Tour: This tour takes you to a local coffee plantation, where you can learn about the coffee-making process and taste some of the best coffee in the region.
- Free Art Tour: This tour takes you through the city’s vibrant street art scene and introduces you to some of the most talented local artists.
- Free Food Tour: This tour takes you to some of the best food spots in Pereira and introduces you to traditional Colombian dishes.
These free tours are a great way to explore Pereira and learn more about its culture and history. Make sure to book in advance, as they can fill up quickly.