Pereira, Colombia, is one of those cities lost on the map that, once you discover them, becomes your favorite destination. Even though it’s not the most popular, it’s definately one the most beautiful ones. Pereira has an incredible climate -it’s at that midpoint that warms you during the day and gives a calm breeze at night-, nature mixes perfectly with the monuments and the cobbled streets, and its people just make everything even better. After the beautiful Colombian beaches, Pereira is the next tourist destination that you should visit. In your next vacation, take this city guide to make the most out of Pereira.
The Best Things to do in Pereira
1. Enjoy Nature
Going to Pereira means enjoying nature. And this is not a hasty affirmation. In Pereira you can find the largest biopark in Latin America. The Ukumari Biopark is half an hour from the center of Pereira and just a few minutes from the city’s airport, the Matecaña International Airport. Take a whole day to soak up all the natural resources that maybe, in the day to day, you can’t see. With a zoo, a botanical garden, aquariums, aviaries and a host of environments, you will leave Ukumari with the surprise of having discovered another side of Colombia.
2. Art And History
Not everyday you see a sculpture of Simon Bolivar naked. And yet, that is exactly what the Pereirans see almost every day as they pass through the Plaza de Bolivar, located a few steps away from the City Hall of Pereira. In the center of the square you can see the huge bronze sculpture of a Simon Bolivar without clothes on his horse, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, hotels and the great Cathedral of Our Lady of Poverty. Although, at first glance, it looks like a square like any other one, the palms and trees that stand out among the brick floors let you know that this is the Plaza de Pereira, and this is a small Colombian paradise.
3. Enjoy its Impressive Architecture
Between the city of Pereira and the town of Dosquebradas is the Cesar Gaviria Trujillo viaduct, a bridge over half a kilometer long that marks the entrance to the capital of Risaralda. The image of the bridge is iconic: two giant cement rhombuses, with dozens of cables positioned symmetrically, standing on grass, trees and a narrow river -the Otun River- as if it were a sample of the mixture between concrete and jungle. The bridge was inaugurated in 1997 and today, more than 20 years later, it’s part of one of the most traveled routes by the people in Pereira. You have to see the viaduct at Christmas, when the city lights turn on. It’s quite a spectacle.
4. Take a walk in the city parks
A few blocks away from the Plaza de Bolivar is the Uribe Uribe Lake Park, known for its huge water fountain, where jets of water dance with music. It seems like a work of art, where the movement of water hypnotizes the hundreds of people passing by. It’s a relaxing place, with pubs and restaurants around, ideal for spending an afternoon with friends or with your family enjoying the warmth of the sun and the view of the park. It’s a little gem in the middle of the center of Pereira.
5. Visit Nearby Towns
Half an hour away you can find Santa Rosa de Cabal, a small town known for its religious monuments and, even more, for its thermal springs and waterfalls. It’s one of those places made to go and forget everything. In your trip in Pereira, we recommend that you take a day to know the outskirts of the city and lose yourself among all the trees and streams of this town. After getting all the sun, nothing more refreshing than walking under the waterfalls of the town.
In Pereira, each monument, each park and each square are full of the calm of this small Colombian Eden. That is the beauty of the tourist spots of Pereira. After spending a day in this city, you’ll want to stay another hundred more.