Half the fun of travel is beautiful pictures to show your friends and family. Now, we are going to show you 5 Eco Tourism Destinations in Pereira that will give you the shutter-porn you are looking for! These are places that are very special, very off-beat. And, which have a relaxed nature-vibe that even the most citified person will be hard pressed to resist.
6 Eco Tourism Destinations in Pereira
Here in the Coffee Axis there are so many beautiful places, but none as lovely as our nature-places. Spot the different varieties of bamboo, both ornamental and structural. Observe the beauty and quality of the orchids cultivated by our local nurseries, especially the famous Cattaleya varieties which are a regional favorite. Keep a sharp eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, the exotic Barranquilo bird, and a small rodent called “Guatin.” We can’t name all the amazing and unique varieties of plant an animal, but we can assure you that the biodiversity of the Coffee Region is very special and decadently beautiful.
Located along the via La Florida, Anukara is a short 15 minute, 12-15,000 peso taxi-ride from the city center. Upon arrival you will descend into a beautiful family farm that produces their own food, bamboo for building and even animal products like eggs and goats milk.
Anukara Eco-Culture Contact: call Ivan 315 333 1979 (Spanish or English) or visit their website www.anukara.com or on Facebook
Visitors can enjoy a Nature-Spa with Angela where they will enjoy Yoga in Nature, Thai Massage and a Reiki Session. Find spiritual and physical rest & relaxation or even injury recuperation. Realign your energy with nature in an environment that is beautiful and soothing.
You can even give your own contribution to the project by participating in their “Permaculture Volunteer Program” where you will learn how to garden-in-balance with the earth for beauty and food production. As a bonus, you can learn hands-on principles and techniques related to Bamboo construction.
Kamala Jardin Exotica
Did you know that the tallest aloe-vera plant in the world lives in Pereira? And, that over 40,000 species of exotic plants (with their own passports) are housed in this little farm-ette, just outside the city limits of Pereira? Get an up-close experience with a pair of the largest turtle species in the world, kiss a bearded dragon, or take a whiff of an exotic Amazonian flower that will make you dizzy, or even hallucinate, if you inhale too deep.
This is an exclusive, little-known destination for Intelligent Tourism in Pereira that only offers one tour per week on a reservation basis. Call ahead for tour info and reservations: 036-329-9888 Tour length is 1.5 hours with limited reservations for up to 30 guests.
To get there you will need to take a bus from the bus pick-ups in front of Plaza Victoria facing the Jeep-yard. Look for a card in the front window that says “Combia.” Or, catch a jeep or taxi. Average taxi cost is 15,000 to 20,000 ($5-$10 USD) pesos, be sure to bring a couple friends along to share in the costs.
The dry-tropical forest is a very special eco-system that unfortunately only exists in only 2% of the worlds land-mass today. In Pereira, this forest is almost extinct due to cattle farming and development. Now you can visit a very special eco-reserve where work is ongoing with volunteer programs and community enrichment events. Help conserve and reforest this very important eco-system area for future generations and local inhabitants…
Contact Information: Call for prices and reserve your visit. Share their page on Pereira City Guide for a special discount on guided hikes and therapies. English or Spanish (036) 332-9539 Paid or Volunteer Exchange lodgings available.
Now, you too can experience natural healing and remedies through special workshops and therapies offered at the Reserva Cauquita visitor center. Johanna will guide you physically and spiritually to find your balance with la Madre Tierra. With special women’s therapies, temazcal, or sweat lodge ceremonies and more. Now you can experience a greater equilibrium with nature which can lead to stress relief, disease remission, and can even help individuals with weight loss and diabetic problems.
Santuario de Fauna y Flora Otún Quimbaya & Yarumo Blanco
If rainforests, waterfalls and fun but hour-long and easy nature trails. Then Santuario de Fauna y Flora Otún Quimbaya, is going to make your vacation a pleasure. Featuring a visitor center (named Yarumo Blanco), which features a restaurant and lodge for visitors. This is part of the federal network of national parks, and an area which is carefully protected by conservation and wildlife experts. Bird-watchers, this one is for you due to sighting opportunities and a very robust wildlife presence.
Website: www.yarumoblanco.co Call to Reserve 24 hours prior: 314 674 9248 Hours: 8 am – 5 pm M – F reservas@yarumoblanco Cost: Seasonal Lodging Prices. Call for current prices. Bicycle rentals. Rubber boot & poncho rentals also available as needed depending on weather.
The best way to get there is to take a Chiva bus from Plaza Victoria to the drop-off point in front of the visitor center. Ask for Vereda La Suiza, Yarumo Blanco, and they will be able to help you get off the bus in the right spot. Cost is 4-5,000 pesos via bus. Taxi is not recommended, jeep can be costly but viable if you have a group of 4 or more as fare can be around 80,000 pesos, or 20,000/person.
Jardin Botanico UTP (Botanical Gardens of the Technological University of Pereira)
This is a nice, and surprisingly large, botanic garden. The information about it online is limited at best. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go! This eco tourism destination in Pereira is semi-secret nature that you will enjoy the privacy and tranquility of a morning hike through nature.
Website: www.utp.edu.co/jardin/ Call: (036) 321 – 2523 Cost: 1-3 persons 20,000 each. 4+ persons 6,000 each. Zipline must be reserved for a group of 10+ visitors @ 20,000 pesos/person Tour Length: 1.5 – 2 hours
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8am – 4 pm (for tours) Sat/Sun/Holidays 9 am – 2 pm
Founded in 1983, the Botanic Garden UTP is a vital green-space in Pereira. The main attraction is a forest that is undergoing reforestation and conservation. Visitors can enjoy a 1.9 Kilometer nature trail, a zip line, a blind “sensation” trail and a hummingbird garden. The visitor center is a newly constructed sustainable construction that utilizes natural light during the day with a low environmental impact and footprint. The entire facility is powered by solar energy.
Did you know? A new project called Silvicultura Urbana (or Urban Jungle-culture) is being undertaken as part of a green-space initiative to study the impacts of this forest on the air-quality of Pereira.
Club de Golf Santa Barbara: Public Golf Course
One of the most popular destinations in Pereira is the Rio Barbas park areas and river canyon corridor. The Barbas river is a protected wildlife area which features howler monkeys (mono aulladores), sloths (perezoso), and countless species of migratory birds and local exotics. In this same corridor, you can find Club de Golf Santa Barbara, an eco-sustainable golf course.
Santa Barbara features a 9-hole course with yardages ranging from 120 yards up to 500 yard pars. With a small putting green and a simple club-house on top of a hill, you won’t believe the view! The golf course itself is a bit hilly, but caddie services are available. The course is surrounded by Eucalyptus crop forests and natural jungle areas. You will hear the cry of the howler monkey and the call of the popular exotic bird called Barranquillo. For local residents there is even a golf school with private instructors and groups ranging from children and teenagers on up to adults. This is a beginner friendly course which is open to the public and members.
Monthly Membership w/unlimited play: 90,000 individual and 140,000 family membership.
Caddie Service: 18,000 pesos (18 holes or two rounds of the course)
Day Rate: 40,000 pesos
Golf Club Rental: 6,000-10,000 pesos
Ball Rental: 3,000 pesos
Call ahead to make your reservation: Landline: +57 (036) 330 9973 Cell: 311 789 4855 ~ Open Daily
Directions: Via Pereira – Armenia KM 15 – Estacion de gasolina Brio – Entrada lote a la derecha 4 km – Campo de golf Santa Barbara
We hope you enjoy these Eco Tourism Destinations in Pereira. As of this moment the city is not well-known as a popular tourism spot. We are working hard to change that through careful research and study. Every week we are bringing you a new story that will reveal the City Without Doors!
And always remember, respect the environment by taking out whatever you take in and to never harass or bother the local wildlife and plant-life. We love these places and hope that you do too! If you know of a place that we need to visit, be sure to reach out to us and let us know so we can document the attraction for our readers.
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.