Discover nightlife, waterfalls, gastronomy, and freshly brewed coffee in the Pearl of the Otun River – Pereira! Also known as the City Without Doors, this is the biggest city in the Coffee Axis of Colombia and the capital of the department of Risaralda. Here we present to you the long time coming and carefully researched Pereira Travel Guide!

The Pereira Travel Guide 2019

This travel guide is the culmination of over six years of experience and exploration in the City Without Doors, our beloved Pereira. It is a beautiful but modern city full of hidden corners and interesting possibilities. Welcome!

History

Cartago Viejo was founded on the site of what we now call Pereira prior to 1540. When a better town site was discovered (and river shipping became a thing), the pueblo moved to what we know as Cartago in the present day. Pereira would remain dormant, and wait until the year 1862…

In 1862, Francisco Pereira Martin, the city’s name-sake, gave some land, once known as La Villa Robledo to some colonists for a town site. Some houses and a small church were built around a central plaza, known today as Plaza Bolivar. Situated on an important crossroads, Pereira became a very progressive city over time due to the pass by traffic it has always received. The first transcontinental call to Paris was made from Pereira. There was even a mass transit trolley car option, called the “Transvia.”

Today, Pereira is a thriving city whose lifeblood is a combination of coffee, local business, factory production and tourism. To say it is a mecca of diversity is an understatement as a lot of agriculture and local products also have competitive advantages due to farmers markets and demand.

Where to Stay

El Lugar Nordico is more than a nice bed and a good view. It’s an experience in every sense of the word. True foodies, relaxationists and intrepid globetrotters will appreciate the quality of this high end boutique hotel which features only three bedrooms. Pampering is customized to your every need from the moment you are received until the moment you reluctantly wander out the door. El Lugar is also a favorable wedding and event destination which has exceptional facilities.

Their concierge service will create a custom experience based on the sights you want to see, the food you want to taste and the style of welfare you are seeking to achieve. With the number one restaurant in Pereira, even if you are only able to drop in for lunch or dinner, it will be an experience. From European favorites to your own personal cravings, the options are virtually limitless from our personal chef. Come stay a night and try our famous breakfast which features homemade marmalade, artisan bread, high quality coffee, pancakes, eggs, fruit and whatever else you really can imagine having on your morning plate.

For more information and reservations, call +57 > 321 558 4848/036 313 2276 or email info@hotellugar.com Follow the on social media: Facebook.com/ellugarnordico/

Hostal Kolibri is more than a hostal, it’s an entire environment where travelers can go to rest, recuperate, socialize and even eat a good meal. With full facilities including hot water, fully stocked kitchens, social spaces and a game/TV room, you won’t be found needing anything. Hands down it is the number one hostal in Pereira both in our blog AND even Trip Advisor. For more information contact them today to make your reservation. Call: +57 321 646 9275/+57 036 331 3955  or email: info@kolibrihostel.com and via their website: www.kolibrihostal.comAnd don’t forget to mention that we referred you!

Where to Eat

Pereira Travel Guide

Discover gourmet at el Lugar Nordico…

Finding well-prepared delicious food, isn’t always as easy as looking up TripAdvisor. In fact, call us crazy, but some of these sites are so full of advertising and fluff, its easy to get off-track! On this list are restaurants which we have hand-picked for our readers. Enjoy!

  • Spanish and Mediterranean Cuisine by Spanish foreign residents > Be sure to try El Olivo! Located west of Pereira in C.C. Cerritos del Mar.
  • Authentic Italian Cuisine by Italian foreign residents > We recommend La Trattoria Located only one block off of Calle 21, near Lorenas Casas apartment complexes, just west of Centenario neighborhood.
  • Great Italian Pan-Crust Pizza by Italian foreign residents > We recommend Da Giorgio’s Pizza and Pasta, located in el Centro only a block and a half south of Plaza Lago Uribe on Calle 24.
  • Authentic German Cuisine by German foreign residents > We recommend Biergarten Aleman located one block south of Avenida Circunvalar on carerra 14 near Sante Bleu gym.
  • Great Well-Made Hamburgers > We recommend La H – Hamburgueseria, by locals who have traveled and perfected their recipe and ingredients, at a great price!
  • Movie Themed Stuffed Hamburgers by Venezuelan foreign residents > We recommend AlexTremo located near La Trattoria, one block off of Calle 21 near Lorenas Casas Apartment Complexes, just west of Centenario neighborhood.
  • Authentic Peruvian Cuisine by Peruvian foreign residents > We recommend Tradiciones Peruanas located in Dosquebradas in the Santa Monica sector only a couple blocks east, off the main road.
  • Authentic Nordic/French Cuisine by Danish foreign residents > Event planning available (up to 120 people). We recommend El Lugar Nordico located in Cerritos in front of the Super Inter – see the sign indicating the entrance. About 300 meters off the main road.
  • Fine Upscale Dining with plates curated by a local award winning chef > We recommend Ebano Cocina de Autor located on the second floor terraza of Movich Hotel on Avenida Circunvalar.

Attractions

  • Botanic Garden walking tour at Universidad Technologica de Pereira.
  • Cascada de los Frailes waterfall hike and the Yarumo Blanco birdwatching and nature area.
  • Estacion Pereira, you can ride a marrano (single track train), natural swimming pools and scenic route.
  • Don Manolo coffee farm tour, it’s the best and also the most famous in this area!
  • La Florida local municipality with art, culture, music and food attractions.
  • Kamala Exotic Garden tour, every Sunday.
  • El Rincon Clasico for over 8,000 vinyl records of classic music and time-capsule ambiance.
  • Free performance of the Pereira symphonic band every Friday at 4:00 pm.
  • La Cuadra, art walk and local product market, the FIRST Thursday night of each month, at 8:30 pm.
  • Galicia Arepas, a local vereda (or rural area) where you can eat the BEST sweet corn arepas and cheese, cooked with wood fired ovens.
  • The Biggest Skate Park in Colombia, with half-pipes, swimming pools and tons of fun skate obstacles for all types of experience levels.
  • Museo de Arte Pereira, our very own art museum with special exhibitions which change monthly.

Where to Drink Coffee

We have put together a couple new coffee shops which we haven’t previously recommended on our site, which we feel you need to know about! Here they are…

Salvador Cafe is one of our secret favorite places to work remotely. With a fun and colorful ambiance, a barista chick who has this fun positive energy and a menu which is nothing short of delicious – we know you are going to like it! Their menu features specialty coffee preparations, delicious cold drinks like smoothies, fruit juices and craft beer. Did we mention that they also offer breakfast and a small but delicious lunch menu? Go here, don’t even question it!

Visit them at Carrera 6 #23-10 Local #1  Or follow them on social mediafacebook.com/salvadorcafebar1/

Unique Bars in Pereira

Pereira has a unique sort of nightlife environment. It isn’t as heavy as Medellin or as dangerous as Bogota. Things happen but those who stay vigilant rarely have issues. You can dance, drink or chat the night away with people who share your musical style and interests. For more information about the unique bars of Pereira, click here:

Pereira City Tour

Our exclusive VIP experience which is curated for YOU! Come along with us as we show you the secret hidden places as your personal Pereira Travel Guide.

We will meet you in a central location and take you on an adventure of your choosing:

  • Gastronomy: where we will taste exotic fruits, street foods from vendors we trust and the best coffee shops!
  • History: where we will show you important landmarks, sites of interest and stories which even some of the locals probably haven’t heard!
  • Art & Culture: where we will take you on an exclusive home tour which will take visitors to the early days of Pereira. When you step inside this place, you will find yourself transported to another environment entirely. Garden, home and gallery tour by prior reservation only and limited to owner availability.

For more information: email “Erin” at: pereiracityguide@gmail.com or Whatsapp: 312 794 8245

Cost: 150,000 per person for an afternoon (2-3 hour) walking tour.

Recommendations: Wear comfortable shoes, bring an umbrella as needed and carry small amounts of money for coffee, souvenirs etc…

Pereira Tropical Dance Tour

Our customized VIP experience is curated for the footloose music lover who can’t sit still! Experience the dance scene of Pereira in a safe environment which offers you and your friends a way to go out, enjoy and  actually have someone to dance with (who knows what they are doing). All levels of dancers attended with care and attention!

We will meet you in a central location and take you to the best dance clubs of Pereira:

  • Salsa & Merengue: Whether your focus is solely salsa, or a variety – in Pereira this is a must!
  • Bachata: A lesser known dance in this area, our taxi dancers know all the moves which you were hoping to bust out – they might even be able to teach you something new!
  • Cumbia & Costeno: We dance all the tropical rhythms, come enjoy with us!

For more information: or to schedule your tour email Erin at pereiracityguide@gmail.com or WhatsApp: 312 794 8245

Cost: 150,000 + cover fees, for an evening of dancing and fun!

Note: Cost includes one (1) dance couple who will teach and/or dance and accompany you to ensure the best experience possible! 

Expat Life

Living here has tremendous benefits, but you must also take the proper precautions to ensure the best experience possible. We can recommend visa agents, properties which are for sale and opportunities for teaching.

  • Our Recommended Visa Agent: Luz Dary Ballesteros of Emigrando, a great woman who is very smart and able to sort out almost any type of situation you might encounter.
  • An Apartment for Sale by Owner: This upper-strata apartment is located in the popular Pinares neighborhood. It is situated near to shopping, food and attractions.
  • A Condo For Sale in Pereira: For a warm climate, great amenities and future opportunities, this might be your dream home!
  • Start Your Own Business: With the help of a local lawyer who is fluent in English and all the legal ramifications you may need to know about in order to start your dream business!
  • Decide if Pereira is Right for You: With an article we wrote talking about the Realities of Life Abroad in Colombia. It isn’t for everyone!

Conclusion

The Pereira Travel Guide is a conglomeration of 6 years of experience, plus 3 years of experience in writing this blog. It is the ultimate result of our investigations, happen-stance and stumble-upons which we have collected into one place. Our hope is that it will, for you, be the definitive reference for all things Pereira. Be sure to share it with your friends, pin it to the top of your page and keep it bookmarked for future reference!

As always, you will see that our recommendations follow our belief in #BuyLocal, #SupportLocal and #EatLocal where we will encourage you to patronize businesses whose profits return to the local economy.

Thank you for choosing us as your #1 source for all things related to local lifestyle and tourism in Pereira!

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.

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