It seems like everyone today can rattle off the average temperature and precipitation of Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. Pereira eco-systems are stunning and unique in their appearance and biodiversity. Not to mention that there are four climate zones that fall within the city of Pereira and its suburban areas (or municipalities).
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Telling the story of Pereira Weather and Climate is a small, yet important, part of the puzzle, for the would-be expat and visitor. It is even more important to give a detailed account of the regional climate zones because each one is unique. You might even want to carry a few extras while you explore the city.
Pereira Weather and Climate
Pereira has several micro climates to choose from. To one side we have the central corridor of the Andes Mountains, another we enjoy a breathtaking view of Sierra Nevada de Tatama, and towering above everything, yet far in the distance is the stratovolcano Sierra Nevada del Ruiz. We aren’t completely boxed in, more like cornered up against a mountain that sends us much of the rain we receive on a regular basis.
The result of these different terrain types are the various micro-climates of Pereira and Dosquebradas. Note: Pereira and Dosquebradas are like peanut butter and jelly. The conjoined cities are closely related both economically and politically. We made the following infographic to better display the climate types of Pereira.
Pereira Climate Types & Temperatures
Let’s take a deeper look into the Pereira Weather and Climate, plus a general idea of what to expect from each one, and recommendations. First, some basic Spanish regarding weather and climate:
- Que es la temperatura? What is the temperature? Make sure you know your numbers beforehand.
- Que dia tan ESPECTACULAR! What a SPECTACULAR day! Say it with bravado and pride!
- !Esta lluviendo! (Jew-vi-endo) Its Raining! !Ai, No! Oh shucks!
- Esta haciendo mucho sol. Its very bright and sunny out.
- Donde esta mi sombrero? Where is my hat?
- Como es la clima hoy? How is the climate today?
- Que frio! It’s so Cold! Que calor! It’s so Hot!
- Tango calor! I’m hot! Tango frio! I’m Cold!
- Necesito agua caliente en mi ducha. No me toca en eso. I need hot water. Don’t mess with me on this.
American Advisory: Temperature is commonly measured in Celsius, NOT Fahrenheit. Don’t embarrass yourself by coming unprepared. Here is the equation for converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit: Multiply by 9, Divide by 5, Add 32. OR, download an app to your smartphone, and do it the easy way.
Generally speaking, Pereira is a tropical climate with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius or about 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its close proximity to the equator the seasons consist of wet and dry. These seasons affect each part of Pereira in different ways. Altitude is the main point of reference for climate because the terrain is rolling hills to the west and mountains to the east which are part of a much larger volcanic mountain system.
Hot Climate: The western side of Pereira drops in altitude the farther you go. It also gets hotter and dryer. Ravines, creeks, damp gully and small canyons help to maintain a higher relative humidity and tend towards fog in the early morning hours depending on season. This area is generally known as barrios named: Cerritos, Mercasa, Galicia, Cuba, Via Alta Gracia.
Moderate Climate: The heart of Pereira, el Centro, and its surrounding areas are a warm moorland. Due to a large profusion of concrete it is much drier and the uv rate is higher due to the reflection off the concrete. This area which includes the neighborhoods or barrios of Centenaro, Providencia, el Centro, 30 de agosto. Here you will enjoy plenty of hot sun when the sun is out and warm to cool on rainy or cloudy days.
Cool Climate: The eastern side of Pereira is part of the Sierra Nevado del Ruiz mountain system. Nevado del Ruiz, is a stratovolcano which last erupted in 1984 with lahir flows which wiped the village of Armero off the map killing thousands. Pereira is not in the direct path of any lahir flow valleys, and is relatively distant from the epicenter of the volcano. The resulting weather systems come from a glacier and create a cooling effect. Don’t worry about the volcano part, there is a seismography/volcano monitoring station in Manizales and embedded sensors that will give us about an hour head start. Areas which tend towards this cooler, rainforest climate include La Florida, La Bella, Manzano, Via Armenia and Dosquebradas. It rains almost every day, nights are cool and cloudy.
Cold Climate: Almost 18% of Pereira is a colder mountain climate known as Paramo. This is a very special eco-system which is believed to be the cradle of life due to its fragile ecology. At this time mining interests are threatening the ecological balance of many Paramo eco-systems of Colombia. The main area that falls into this eco-system are La Bella, and Lago del Otun which is much higher up the mountain than La Florida. This area is a beautiful backpacking destination. Check with your hotel for expeditions and planned trips from Pereira to the Paramo areas. If you are in Pereira the first Wednesday of the month, you can even buy organic Paramo cheese (cheese made up in the paramo eco-system) at the UTP farmers market (Located near the planetarium of Universidad Technologica de Pereira)
By now you are probably asking yourself: Is The Expat Lifestyle for You?
Packing Tips & Recommendations for Pereira Weather and Climate
Have you ever visited a place only to find yourself wishing you had left behind half the stuff you packed. Or, even worse, to have left behind the stuff you really need! Let us help you avoid some of the mistakes that we made, plus some tips to help you pack more effectively.
Bum wipes, foot powder, deodorant, hand cleaner and soap. Cotton bandanas are nice to have tucked in a pocket or bag. Pereira is usually quite temperate. On the average day you won’t really feel too hot or too cold, when inactive. That changes with activity due to a high relative humidity which hovers around 70%, expect that anything you do will affect your winter-starved North American, Canadian or European complexion. Try not to smell bad, even if you have to shower twice.
Pant or shorts, undershirt, light shell or over-shirt and a hat. Comfortable shoes that won’t damage easily from rain. Flip flops, for cold tile floors which are pretty much everywhere in hotels, hostels and houses. Stilettos are great, if you can navigate uneven sidewalks like a drunken acrobat and not fall down or find yourself stuck in a hole. Most of the time you will feel comfortable in a tank top or short sleeved shirt.
If you go across town in a bus, stay out late or get up early, then an over-shirt will be best.
Carry a decent sun hat. This could greatly affect your energy levels and help prevent serious burns or heatstroke. Our sun is very intense resulting in high UV index. Especially during the dry season, plan outdoor activities for early to mid morning and mid afternoon to evening. Hydrate frequently!
Bathing suit, microfiber travel towel, sunglasses, umbrella, bug spray, sleeping aids, allergy medication, motion sickness pills, and a LifeStraw water bottle. Any bug spray works, however for the chemical-sensitive, peppermint essential oil will actually help to keep away mosquitos, no-see-ums and ants. Unfortunately, we don’t have a fast and easy solution to cockroaches, they are everywhere in South America, Colombia and Pereira.
One of the number one sources of travel-related illness is due to the water you drink on the airplane, in the restaurant and from water bottles. A good filtered water bottle, could mean the difference as to whether you spend your vacation out exploring, or in your hotel room worshiping the porcelain throne.
Pereira Weather and Climate, is a wonderful mix of flowering greenery, dense jungle, semi-dry tropical savannah, paramo, rainforest and tropical forest. Each different area is special and unique in its topography, temperature and weather-driven architecture. The eastern side of the city will find houses which are more closed in, chimneys and plenty of hot water. On the western side you will see traditional architecture with high breezy ceilings/roofs, open floorpans, and plenty of air circulation.
In a space of only 20-30 minutes you can change temperature by up to 10 degrees! People who visit often marvel at our comfortable average temperatures which allow for shorts year-round, and sandals or flip flops almost always!
On the “cold” days depending on personal body temperature, shorts and a sweatshirt are perfect. Once in a while we have to wear the wool socks at night or grab a quilt, but never a space heater or heavier insulation. Which is why most buildings here don’t need air conditioning nor heat. Pereira a little bit of something for everyone, but never too much of anything for any one.
Pereira Climate Information: http://es.climate-data.org/location/5681/
Personal ExperienceOwner/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.