Looking for a few ways to fill your Pereira itinerary? While the city of over half a million residents may be a hub for parties and dancing, any big Colombian city can provide those basics. It’s the nature and culture that truly make this city different from it’s close counterparts, Medellín and Dosquebradas. Take your picks below on what to do in Pereira and the surrounding little pueblos (Spanish equivalent for village or town).
Tour a coffee or tea farm
This is coffee region we are talking about, but coffee isn’t the only thing on the menu. See how some of the best coffee and tea in the world is grown and harvested.
Sample exotic fruits
Head towards the center of Pereira, near the plaza featuring a naked Simon Bolivar riding on a horse and you’ll find plenty of little shops and kiosks made JUST for fruits and vegetables for all your exotic tastes, including fruits the size of your head and endless bananasssss!!!!!!!!!
Enjoy typical Colombian food, ejecutivo-style (a variety of popular Colombian foods on one plate, pictured below)…
…and a delicious Palleta – a dessert made of exotic fruits. Chocolate is optional, if that suits your fancy! My meal here was some of the best I’ve had in Colombia, and the passionfruit & chocolate palleta was unreal.
Take a bike tour
(or rent one with Kolibrí Hostel to explore on your own) around the town to enjoy street art, check a couple more incredible churches off your list, try a few exotic fruits next to Simón Bolívar’s bare butt on a horse statue, and experience culture shock at it’s finest.
Tour Pereira’s Art Museum
If a more professional taste of the arts—like famous Colombian artist Botero, theatre, and gastronomy—suits you better than the incredible graffiti plastered all over the city’s walls, make a stop at the art museum. Take a look at activities on their website to see what’s going on the day you go. At just a dollar a pop (or less if you’re a student), many have reported it as worth the trip!
Bioparque Bonita Farm
For the hardcore nature wanderers, this one is for you. Experience rare and beautiful species of birds, butterflies, reptiles, and more in the flesh.
More things to do a little farther off of the Pereira trail:
Santa Rosa Hot Springs
What a VIEW! In the middle of the jungle, surrounded by striking plants, birds, and butterflies lies a hidden paradise waiting for your visit. Relax in the cleansing hot springs while enjoying the view of the incredible waterfall dispersing it’s clean water across the rocks to make for one of the widest and most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen.
After you’ve warmed up in the thermal pools, enjoy an authentic waterfall shower — the water isn’t even that cold!! Pictures can do it better justice… though the experience is, of course, best enjoyed in person.
To get there, take a bus from the Transportation Terminal in Pereira (about a 20 minute walk from the hostel) to Santa Rosa, then take another bus, jeep, or taxi to Santa Rosa de Cabal to the thermals. There are other options for hot springs along the way, but these are said to be some of the best.
In a town less than a half hour outside of Pereira, explore the natural reserve home to several waterfalls and over 90 different unique species of birds, 13 of which are unique to this area alone. Stay long enough and you might just catch a glimpse of a monkey or two.
El Valle de Cocora in Salento
A little pueblo less than an hour’s bus ride from the Pereira’s Transportation Terminal, and hike (or rent a horse) through some of the tallest palm trees in the world situated in the clouds of a Colombian mountain range.
End the day exploring the little town and enjoying unique coffee shops and artisan crafts in shops straight from Picasso’s dreams.
Situated at quite a drive from Pereira’s center, but the magnificent views and nature here are a treat for nature-lovers. Here is one of a handful of places around the world you’ll find the famous Paramos: plants that collect water from the clouds.
Parque de Los Nevados
Pretty far from the city center, but I thought I’d add it to the list as it is a unique experience hiking up a snowy mountain in the middle of the lush land that is Colombia’s ejecafetero (coffee triangle) and I’m told it’s an accomplishment like no other!
Don’t let this list stop you from finding other hidden gems around the city, I am sure I missed some! Here’s hoping this got your itinerary cookin’ on things to do in Colombia. Enjoy!!
Did I miss something? What do you enjoy doing while traveling Colombia?