7 Day Trips From Pereira

These are some very nice pueblos (or small towns), that are within only an hour or two of Pereira. Each town has its own charm and attraction. All of them even have fun activities that you and your friends or family can participate in. These are guaranteed to bring plenty of Kodak moments. Grab some pesos, a water bottle and your favorite sun hat. Time to learn about 6 Day Trips From Pereira you won’t want to miss during your visit!

La Virginia | Risaralda

Located between Pereira and Cartago, La Virginia is a charming pueblo with a sordid past. Once considered one of the most violent and problematic pueblos in the region, today it has mellowed out quite a lot, and has actually become one of our favorite day-trips. Only 30 kilometers from Pereira, you can catch the orange city bus on carrera 4 in el Centro Pereira and be there in only 40-45 minutes compared to about 1 hour of travel time by Megabus.

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The biggest attractions of this pueblo are the two rivers, and the swimming pools located nearby. You will also be pleasantly surprised that it is one of the cheapest day-trips in the region as well. Visit Farallones to fish by a quiet pond, or to enjoy a resort-style swimming complex which comes with waterfalls, water-slides, childrens areas, a lap pool, rocks to jump from and even restaurant/bar service for when you get hungry.

La Virginia has some GREAT tourism potential! Click Here to learn about a Property For Sale in this area.

Bus: 1,800 pesos (one-way) Farallones Entry (to swim): 10,o00/ person Beer: 3,000 pesos or less. We recommend Plaza de Faroles – maybe not so much for lunch as only a couple places are open, but definitely for dinner, because their Mexican restaurant is amazing! Check out this Slideshare for more information:

Marsella | Risaralda

Marsella

Photo Credit: Linda Correll

If coffee covered hills and breathtaking scenery are on your agenda then you won’t be disappointed here. Once a Quimbaya indian village, it became a town in 1860, 2 years prior to the founding of Pereira. A region of volcanic ash-fall, it is also very fertile and home to many famous and important coffee farms. Take a leisurely adventure walk through a botanic garden featuring a zip line, catapult museum,  and parabolic disks that bounce sound over distance. Tour La Casa Paisa”an antique house or go on a coffee farm tour at one of the many nearby coffee farms.

Food: This is a great chance to try the traditional food of the small coffee pueblos. You can find Bandeja Paisa, Sancocho, Arepas, Panela con Queso and other typical Colombian favorites of the Coffee Region.

Filandia | Quindio

Gently rolling hills, a spring-like climate and a wander through small-town streets are enough to make any visitor fall in love with Filandia. The name Filandia comes from a Quimbaya indian name which means “Daughter of the Andes.” Feast your camera on the many layers of colorful antique architecture as you discover fine locally made artisan crafts.
Things to Do: Wander the local shops which feature locally made artisan hand-crafts. Particularly the woven baskets. A few blocks from the main square is a tower you can climb in order to look out over the beautiful rolling hills of the Department of Quindio.

Check out the restaurants on the main plaza.  Look for one that is upstairs overlooking the plaza. Options are mostly limited to typical food. We recommend the typical food of the small pueblos over most options in Pereira both for the quality of the experience and the actual taste of the food.

Manizales | Caldas

Day Trips From Pereira

Photo Credit: Erin Donaldson

This is a city for the Art & Culture-Lovers! Perched precariously on a mountain peak, you can view far-off vistas from the tip-top cupola of the main cathedral in the city center. Manizales is famous for its theater art, music culture and nearby coffee farms. Enjoy some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of the Coffee Region
Things to Do:

We recommend the Cathedral tour at Bolivar Plaza where you will enjoy the 3rd tallest building of its type in Latin America. The tour costs about 10,000 pesos and takes about an hour and a half. The peak event is the view from the top of the cupola of the tallest spire of the cathedral.

Santo Kaffeto for high quality local artisan coffee.

Be sure to arrive via bus so you can enjoy the scenery of the cable car commute from the bus station, up the mountain to the city center of Manizales.

The University of Caldas, has a botanical garden tour, which feature several bamboo varieties and a beautiful orchid display.

In the months of September, the Manizales International Theatre Festival, and in January the “Fiestas” which feature a short bullfighting season, the International Coffee Beauty Pageant, artisan fairs, parades and so much more.  Enjoy The City of Open Doors!
We also recommend La Suiza (between cable car and main plaza), for gourmet international style food.

La Florida | Risaralda

La Florida Pereira Colombia

Photo Credit: Linda Correll

River culture comes alive here as local restaurants sell a delicious trout raised in a nearby fish farm. A favorite Pereira activity brings locals to La Florida via Bicycle.  Check with Hostal Kolibri for bicycle rentals. Enjoy their yearly Ornamental Rooster Festival in August, or take a hike along the river and enjoy a swim in its cold crystal clear waters. Visit the Yarumo Blanco visitor center where you can hike along maintained trails, or plan a hike to Friars Waterfall.

How To Get There: This “pueblito” or very small pueblo, is part of the Pereira municipality, therefore you cannot go to the Terminal in order to catch a bus. We recommend you catch the “La Florida” bus or chiva at Plaza Victoria, especially on weekends as the busses tend to fill very quickly due to the popularity of the entire river corridor. It’s a 30 minute bus ride to the South-East of Pereira to arrive, cost is only 1,800 pesos.

Do try the “trucha” or local trout. This area specializes in their preparation of this cultural dish. Some of our favorite restaurants are Rio & Carbon Steakhouse, Yerbabuena & a little cafe called Vino Tinto. These are only a few of the many options you will have.

Salento | Quindio

Salento Colombia

Dive into Paisa culture in this Pueblo of nature lovers and artisans, walk the crossroads where Simon Bolivar once walked and frequently camped, in his Colombian quest. Today Salento is one of the 10 most popular tourist attractions in Colombia. Take a backpacking trip in the Cocora Valley and enjoy the soaring splendor of the majestic Wax Palms, a national symbol of Colombia.

Things To Do:

We recommend La Calle Real for all the artisan crafts and cafe’s selling local gourmet coffee. For something more adventurous take a jeep to Valle Cocora and rent a horse or go for a hike with friends.

This pueblo is also a favorite for Live Music with many local bands and buskers that help to give plenty of variety on a regular basis. If you decide to stay then you will find plenty of hostels to pick from.  Keep in mind that this pueblo can get really crowded so try to visit during the week or arrive early in the morning around 9 or 10 am when things are opening. To beat the traffic plan an early departure no later than 3 or 4 pm on weekends. If you plan to visit Valle Cocora you may want to spend the night so that you aren’t pressured for time.

Rio Sucio | Caldas

A bit farther along than the pueblos we mentioned previously, lies a small town with a big reputation. This is the fulfillment of the old saying “good things come to those who wait.” It will become more apparent when you arrive in Rio Sucio after a 3 hour bus ride. But, it will be worth it.

A city full of balconies and beautiful old doors, you will be charmed by the longevity and extent of colonial architecture here. Rio Sucio (or Dirty River), is famous for it’s “Carnaval del Diablo,” a big street party which happens every two years. It was originally created to mend a social/political rift between the two communities which founded the town.

We recommend that you visit Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. There’s a surprising selection of cuisine and dining options in this town of only 50,000 inhabitants. You will find a “health-food” style restaurant named Quinoa, which serves salads and gluten-free or vegetarian options, plus you can buy things like quinoa, gluten free flour alternatives and himalayan sea salt. Take your time to arrive early enough to walk around and get a lay of the town.

For tourists, there are some special hiking and cycling attractions in this area. Request an indigenous guide (required) to take you up Cerro Ingruma, a mountain where you will find 14-15 stations marking the trail. Tread lightly, and with all due respect. This mountain is considered sacred ground by local indigenous communities.

Rio Sucio Caldas

How to Get There:

All of the pueblo’s we mentioned here are within 1-2 hours of Pereira, except for La Florida which is only about 30 minutes and Rio Sucio which is about 2-3 hours, by bus. Prices vary according to demand and distance. Salento typically costs about 12,000 each way while Circasia may cost about 5-6,000 pesos each way. Riosucio is about 15-19,000 pesos each way.

The best way to plan your trip is check out http://www.terminalpereira.com for tentative bus schedules. You can reliably plan your trip to leave the terminal at 9 am and be returning by 5 or 6 pm and not feel stretched on time in any of the locations we recommend.

Just remember, things are always subject to change according to season, bus company and demand. However, we think you will also find that Day Trips From Pereira are actually quite cost-effective, and enjoyable as you discover the Coffee Region!

Special Mention:

Circasia | Quindio

This pueblo doesn’t have the direct tourist significance as the previous ones listed, its very small and quaint, cute even.

However, the BEST wood-fired pizza in the Coffee Region can be found here in a restaurant called La Trattoria, located on the main plaza. A talent studied in Italy by the owner, you won’t be disappointed! Pizza lovers be warned! The writer of this article would gladly go hop on a bus to this place, because it is THAT good.

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Thank me for telling you this secret later on by sharing this article on your favorite Social Media page, commenting, or you can even help support our work by hiring us to write about a property, restaurant or destination which needs more visibility!

 

Owner/Editor of OpenMindedTraveler.com, Erin is also the Project Administrator/Editor of Pereira City Guide.com - She has been living in Pereira, Colombia for several years.
    Thomas Sturniolo September 3, 2016

    Nice Article. Just returned from Pereira Thursday after two weeks. Purchased a apt in Santa Monica a year ago! How do I get copies of the Pereira City Guide?

      Open Minded Traveler September 5, 2016

      Thomas, thanks for your interest in helping to support our project. Currently you can pick up the 1st ed. on Amazon.com search “Pereira City Guide.”

      Open Minded Traveler September 14, 2016

      Thomas, thanks for the feedback, it was our pleasure!

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