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Pereira is the capital city of the department of Risaralda in Colombia. It is in the center of the western region of the country, located in a small valley that descends from a part of the western Andes mountain chain. It is an urban center in the coffee producing region. Located in the middle of the triangle formed by the 3 main cities in the country : Bogotá, Medellín and Cali and about 3-5 hour drive from these cities.


Motto : "Pereira con Vida"

City Population in the metropolitan area, including Dosquebradas: (2005 est.) 576,329

Districts of Pereira[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Matecana International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in the region has a new modern terminal building opened during the pandemic. Receives domestic flights of Avianca [13], Latam [14], Easyfly [15] and the low-cost airline VivaAir [16] (former VivaColombia). Also charter flights from Aexpa [17]. Domestic non-stop flights go to Bogotá, Medellín (Both airports: during daytime the flights are to Olaya Herrera, at night the flight goes to Rionegro), Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Santa Marta and San Andrés. ADA airlines [18] stopped operations in March 2019.

There are only 3 international destinations: up to 2 daily direct flights to Panama City operated by Copa Airlines [19], Avianca has service to New York City' JFK 3 times a week, with a short stop of 40 minutes in Cartagena (you do not leave the plane). American Airlines started in December 2018 a route to Miami, 4 times a week.

Matecaña International Airport features Wi-Fi access to the Internet from almost every location. Taxis are regulated, reasonably priced and safe from the airport. Taxis are metered with a 2,200 COP surcharge from and to the airport. A taxi ride from the airport to downtown takes approximately 10 minutes, and can cost COP 12,000.

There are 2 additional airports within the range of one hour drive to Pereira, they are located in Manizales and Armenia. There are non-stop flights to Madrid (Spain), Miami, New York, Guayaquil and Lima from the airport in Cali (3-hour drive from Pereira).

By car[edit]

Pereira is about 7 hours from Bogota by car, in the Bogota-Ibague-Armenia road. This road is undergoing major construction, a long tunnel is already open. The travel time is somewhat predictable except the entrance to Bogota which can have delays up to 2 hours.

The trip is about 4 hours from Medellín (also undergoing major construction) and 3 hours from Cali (Pereira-Cartago-Buga-Cali).

By bus[edit]

Currently buses run in and out of Pereira's main station, Terminal de Transporte de Pereira. The station is clean and has standard amenities. Multiple bus companies have regular routes to destinations around the country. To get there from the airport you can take a taxi ride.

Local connections with Salento, Armenia, Manizales and Jardín (through Riosucio).

Some common bus companies in Colombia that are found in this Terminal are:

  • Flota Occidental
  • Arauca
  • Expreso Bolivariano : This company has one of the most extensive networks. Some international destinations as well.
  • Coomotor: Mostly destinations in Southern Colombia
  • Expreso Palmira [20], online sales available. Major destination is Cali.
  • Expreso Trejos
  • Expreso Alcala
  • Flota Magdalena

The companies that ride to Medellin (terminal del Sur [21])are: Flota Occidental [22], Arauca [23], Expreso Trejos, Expreso Palmira, Expreso Bolivariano.

Municipal Transport - to small towns nearby : Lineas Pereiranas, Transportes Giraldo.

Get around[edit]


There is an extensive network of buses running around Pereira connecting most parts of the city. Costs are around 2,100 COP (2019). It runs along the main avenues, including numerous nearby neighborhoods (barrios) and surrounding barrios. Use caution when visiting lower-income barrios (as you should in any other city). Types of buses range from large buses to smaller vans, and vintage Willy Jeeps are also available for side trips to outlying areas including local mountains and valley floors (prices vary depending on destination but generally are very cheap).


Inaugurated in 2006, this is Pereira's version of bus systems developed in Curitiba - Brazil and Ottawa - Canada, later adopted in Bogotá's Transmilenio: a mass transport system with exclusive lanes for large buses and enclosed stations. Buses are painted green, very comfortable, inexpensive, clean and fast. Buses run from 4:30AM to 11:35PM. You need to get a Megatarjeta to access, available at the stations at a cost of COP 4,400 which are your credit good for 3 trips. Fare COP 2,000 [24].


Taxis are relatively cheap but make sure the meter is on. Some taxi drivers are dishonest and try to take advantage of foreigners, for example, if you stop along your route they will charge you an additional fare. Most cabs have meters but some don't, so ask for cost in advance. It's possible to negotiate as well.

Standard minimun daytime fare (For the year 2019) is 4,300 COP and rises to 5,100 COP after 7PM and on Sundays and holidays. There is a surcharge of 2,500 COP to/from the airport. When you board the cab the meter will start at 1,250 COP and then adds 115 COP for every 80 meters driven (or 70 seconds while idle). One can also hire a taxi by the hour; the fare is $17,000 COP.

Car Rental[edit]

There are 3 companies with offices at the airport: Sixt, Localiza and Avis. There is also a city office for Localiza at Avenida 30 de Agosto.

See[edit][add listing]

Pereira: Aerial view from El Mirador

(Keep in mind that the description below is a word-for-word copy of the description for Manizales! Only a few key street & neighborhood names have been changed.)

There are a few things to see. This is a nice city, famous throughout the area for commerce and shopping.

In what Colombians call 'winter' season it rains often (Almost daily during this season, but not for too long), the temperature rarely drops below 15 °C. You can find dry and hot days on 'summer' season, but overall comfortable (Max 32°C). The air is usually temperate, good temperature, and can be balmy depending on which part of city you're visiting.

Pereira is also famous for being one of only a few cities with a number of separate micro-climates in world, depending on which elevation, side of the hill and barrio you're in. For example, it's possible in just 10 minutes to go from a spot that's cool and foggy to one that is warm and balmy (like La Olympic Villa).

There is a beautiful park close to downtown called 'Olaya Herrera' on a mount overlooking the city and beautiful coffee rich valleys down below. The view is 360 degrees, and to east, north and south are views of city that's nestled up against the western side of central Cordillera (Colombia, in the western part of country, is basically divided into sections by three large, wide mountain ranges) and to west are views of the valleys, rivers and coffee plantations down below which contain the famous cities of Santa Rosa de Cabal and La Virginia.

There are two main plazas : Plaza Bolivar and Ciudad Victoria, where people can go to sit and to chat with friends, or to shop and to watch others in afternoon and evening.

  • Bolivar Square (Plaza de Bolivar) contains the Municipal Palace administration buildings, as Pereira city is also the seat of Risaralda state. Also Cathedral "La Pobreza".
  • Bioparque Ukumarí, Km 14 Vía Cerritos - Costado Sur - Pereira (Risaralda) (located near Galicia), [1]. Has a lot of Colombian animals from various parts of the country (monkeys, bears, snakes, parrots) as well as african animals (lions, elephant, rhinoceros) in a cool recreated environment. Adults: 30,000, children 22,000 COP.  edit
  • Museum of Modern Art.
  • Orchids and Cattleyas Garden.
  • Museum of Technology in the University U.T.P.
  • Museum Gilberto Toro García.
  • Gold Museum at the Republic Bank Building.
  • Cesar Gaviria Trujillo Viaduct, Av 30 de Agosto, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia, +57 3248179 () ‎, [2].  edit
  • Centro Cultural Lucy Tejada, Cra 10 No. 16 - 60, Risaralda Pereira Colombia., 3116544, [3].  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The city has a municipal auditorium and theaters where you can attend concerts, operas, and listen to symphonic music. There are lots of night clubs, discos, and bars that serve up lively house, trance, rock, salsa, and tango music.
  • Pereira offers an exciting nightlife along the main avenue Simón Bolivar, where you will find many of best discos and restaurants, but there is another smaller in upscale residential neighborhood located in south part of city. On weekends, starting on Thursday night, this is where many of younger crowd and students like to gather. There are many fast food restaurants in this area also.
  • Pereira is also home to famous football (soccer) club, 'Deportivo Pereira'. Viewing football is a very important activity here and Once fans pack the 30,000 seat stadium to cheer for their team.
  • La Popa, a hill, gives you a scenic view of Pereira.
  • Take a Coffee Tour! A fantastic way to experience the Colombian Cultural Coffee Landscape. Delicious Coffee, Amazing Views & Great Culture.


Buy[edit][add listing]

Shopping Malls

  • Victoria Plaza, Centro commercial. Located near downtown and a big Exito supermarket. Cinemas, clothing, cafes, bowling alleys, arcade, resturant and indoor parking. It is lovated near a Megabus station. [26]
  • Unicentro. The biggest mall with a large variety of shops, a Jumbo supermarket. Located near the airport on the 30 de agosto avenue. [27]
  • Pereira Plaza. Located just behind the Hotel Movich Pereira" and the convention center. Houses upscale stores. [28]
  • Bolivar Plaza. Downtown location, right on Plaza de Bolivar. Many shops and also cinemas, food court, cafes, indoor parking. [29]
  • Parque Arboleda or in english Grove Park, it is the most newest and luxurious of all with a large variety of shops and resturants like McDonalds and a department store Fallabela and a cinema and a 5 storey car park.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The traditional food comes from Antioquia, the region to northwest and famous for the city of Medellin. Lunch-time meals usually consist of a soup made from plantain (a variety of green bananas), followed by a plate of rice and selection of fried pork, beef, or chicken, with small cabbage salad in vinegar dressing, a natural juice drink made from mango, or if you are adventurous, try one of native fruit flavors, they are delicious but hard to pronounce, this will usually be followed by a coffee. Sometimes, you might be offered a dessert called mazamorra, which is corn and milk with local sugar, called 'panela'. They also use panella and water in making coffee, but don't recommend it, as the taste is very sweet, actually coffee served here is exceptionally sweet and unless you are a fan of sugary tasting coffee, ask for coffee made from plain water.

If you're visiting the 'Los Nevados' Natural Park, ask for 'aguapanela con queso' while going there. It's a hot beverage made of sugar cane served with cheese. Also look for cheese ice cream, chorizos from Santa Rosa and obleas.

  • Sayonara. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and much more. Colombian Style of Course. Try the Pepper burger. $$
  • La Estancia. International food. Try the Trucha Marinera
  • Delight, a great display of dishes in a bar, mostly for lunch. Burgers and lasagna for dinner. Not very light, but savory. Two locations: Victoria shopping mall and near Avenida Circunvalar. $$
  • La Gran Manzana, Cra 7 No 23-74. An Ice Cream Parlor where you can find the best fruit salad of Pereira and surroundings.  edit
  • Con Gusto, lunch buffet for COP 14,000. Downtown location.

Drink[edit][add listing]


Paradise Calle 12


  • Bristol. A nice beer house located right downtown in an old colonial house. Nice home-made beer, music and clientele. Address`: Carrera 7 at calle 22, near Parque de Bolívar y Parque El Lago. Two blocks from Megabus station. $$
  • El Rincón Clásico, also know as La Tienda de Olmedo after his owner's name. A tiny bar with thousands of vinyl records, mostly tangos and Spanish music. Carrera 2 at Calle 22. Near downtown. $
  • Zanzibar Club, Centro Comercial Bolívar Plaza (downtown), 334 6955. Until 2AM. Cocktails, beer and food served. Pool tables. Terraces with great view of the Plaza de Bolívar. $$.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Hotel Abadia Plaza, Cra. 8 No.21-67.  edit
  • Benidorm Hotel, Calle 21 No. 7-20, 334 0587, [4]. An upscale hotel in the heart of downtown. Price includes breakfast, WiFi and gym. 80,000 COP.  edit
  • Hotel Central La 18, Calle 18 No. 7-32, 333 4493. A cheap, basic, but clean and safe hotel downtown. Cable TV and big rooms with large windows; but no hot water and too soft beds. 25.000.  edit
  • Gran Hotel, Calle 19 No.9-19.  edit
  • Hotel Pereira Lago, Calle 25 No. 7-10, 333 6813, [5]. Located downtown, right across from Parque El Lago. Reasonable rates. Rooms include a mini refrigerator. 35,000.  edit
  • Hotel Polo, Calle 20 No. 4-19 (200m North of Plaza Bolivar), (6) 3255420, [6]. Rooms with private bathrooms, wifi, newspapers in lobby, luggage storage, friendly owner, good location. double with bathroom 50000.  edit
  • Sazagua, Km 7 towards Cartago. Hotel and Spa. $$$.  edit
  • Hotel Suite Center, Calle 16 No. 7-56, 333 0989, [7]. An inexpensive but nice hotel downtown. Pretty lobby. Breakfast available. Friendly staff. Free WiFi in lobby, plus one internet computer available for 2,000 COP/hr. Cable TV, hot water, rooms with views. Laundry service available. 38,000 COP.  edit
  • Sweet Home Hostel, Carrera 11 No. 44-30, (6)3454453, [8]. The first and currently the only hostel in Pereira. Free breakfast, cooking facilities, wifi, laundry service, dorms and private rooms.  edit
  • Kolibrí Hostel, Calle 4, no. 16-35, Circunvalar, +57 6 331 39 55, [9]. Kolibrí hostel is a well located hostel in Pereira, Colombia. Enjoy the view of the mountains and the numerous hummingbirds during your stay. Prices starting from 22.000 COP (January 2017) (4.806108,75.681467) edit


  • Hotel Castilla Real Pereira, Calle 15 No.12B-15.  edit
  • Hotel Dann Soratama, Cra 7 No.19-20. Downtown at Plaza de Bolívar. Comfortable but small rooms. Nice restaurant with great views of the plaza. Parking included but not in the premises.  edit
  • Movich Pereira, Cra 13 No.15-73, +57 (6) 3113300, [10]. Renovated in 2009, it is the largest and best hotel in town. Formerly Hotel Melia Pereira. Very large rooms COP 300,000 on weekends, COP 370,000 on weekdays.  edit
  • Sonesta Pereira, Km.7 Via Cerritos (Suburban location, 10 km from the center of town driving towards Cartago), +57 6 3113600, [11]. The newest hotel in town opened in 2014. Very large swimming pools and outdoors. Cabanas available. Nice restaurant. USD 135 on weekends, USD 150 weekdays.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Be careful in some parts of Cuba and Villa Santana. They are colorful and lively but somewhat risky.

The water quality here is excellent (Pereira water is on the top 20 of best quality drinking waters in the world). It is very pure also it is possible to drink straight from the tap here (but not in all parts of Colombia is this true), so no need to purchase bottled water and taste is great!

Get out[edit]

  • Hotsprings The region is famous in Colombia for it's hot water springs and resorts such as 'Hotspring of Santa Rosa de Cabal' . Each contains not only a hot pool where the public gather to soak and relax, but many levels of hotel accommodation. Prices are approx. 30,000 Colombian pesos per day, and all stay open till midnight. The 'Termales del Santa Rosa' lower and upper locations, as does the hot springs at 'Termales del Nevado'. At both locales, the upper pools are closer to water source and so have hotter water, but water temperature also fluctuates depending on which season it is, winter or summer. Santa Rosa costs 23.000 COP in low season and 38.000 COP in high season, on sundays and on holidays (January 2017). There are buses that go there, the last one back leaves at 7 pm.
  • Worth seeing is the 'Termales del Santa Rosa' Hotel, it is a four star hotel and very nice if you can afford the 150,000 pesos/night (per person), US$75, however, includes is all meals and entry fees to pools, as well as use of private, exclusive wading pools. Also, both sites at Santa Rosa have incredible, breathtaking waterfalls that are lit with multi-colored lights, visiting at night is best, or if you have time, stay all day as price of entry is for all day!
  • If time permits, the "Termales San Vicente" is set amidst a cloud forest & thermal water rivers. It's much further than the other thermals, but much more in nature and has amazing thermal rivers and birds. The price is 45.000 COP (January 2017) [12].
  • Aexpa airlines [30] flies from Pereira to the exotic pacific beaches in Nuquí Chocó.

Routes through Pereira
Medellin  N noframe S  ArmeniaCali
Tatama National Park  W noframe E  ManizalesBogota

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