Are you interested in a trip to the picturesque Manizales Colombia during your visit to the coffee region?
Manizales has a unique and friendly atmosphere, maybe because it’s a university town. If visiting the coffee district, I highly recommend going there.
Approaching by Car
Approaching Manizales from Pereira by car, is a spectacular and exciting trip. The roads in this region are some of the best in the country due to the amount of tourism (not excessive though).
Chances are, you won’t spot the peaks of Nevada del Ruiz due to cloud cover. However, on a clear day or early in the morning you can see the glaziers up in the clouds. We spotted them from far down in the valley when driving back to Medellin from Pereira. Spectacular!
Where to eat
There are two good areas to eat. There’s the El Cable area that is high up in the city by the old cable station and right at the top, is the up-market Manila area. There are several good Italian and Argentine/ Italian restaurants in the Manila area on the main road that is peaceful and lined with trees.
Calle 77 21-116L-b Milan
tel: (6) 886 7799
Italian/ Argentine. Good food, great setting, friendly service. Run by an Argentine.
The Coffee Region
The coffee region (also known as The Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis) consists of 3 of the smallest departments in Colombia, located to the South of Medellin:
Manizales Colombia is capital of Caldas. The area is exceptionally beautiful.
Hacienda Venecia – Coffee Hacienda operating tours
We visited Hacienda Venecia on our way up to Manizales and I can’t emphasize enough, how interesting their tour was. You can also spend the night.
If you want to understand the history and facts about growing coffee, they share fascinating insights during the tour. You also witness the entire process from picking to drying the beans.
They operate with style and charm with espresso served after the tour. We didn’t spend the night, but I’m confident that the stay would be pleasant and see only positive reviews on Tripadvisor.
Hacienda Venecia – www.haciendavenecia.com
Cell: (57) 320 636 5719
- tours in English and Spanish (COP 30.000 / US$ 15 )
- budget accomodation (COP 30-40.000 / US$ 15-20 per person)
- boutique hotel in guest house (COP 180-300.000 / US$ 90-150 per person)
20 min drive from Manizales.
Use Jeeps terminal at Main Market or taxi:
- Jeep “Ruta Hacienda Venecia” (COP 3.500 / person)
- Taxi from Manizales: COP 35.000
Geography and Climate
Manizales lies in a mountain region atop steep slopes leading up the city.
Geographically, it’s stunning. You can sometimes see the ice-capped mountains as well as lower lying forests and valleys. The city’s elevation is 2,150 meters above sea level. Average temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius during the day and 11.5 degrees Celsius during the night. (It’s roughly between Bogota and Medellin in altitude, which means it has a comfortable climate)
If you’re a photographer, the light and surrounding landscape are very picturesque. There’s a Neo-Gothic cathedral designed by several architects from 1854 to 1988 due to new additions and damage from an earthquake in 1938.
Getting there by air or road
- La Nubia airport
- New airport in Palestina
- Bus from Medellin (COP 32.000 / US$ 15)
La Nubia Airport located 8km southeast of central Manizales, serves domestic flights only and, weather allowing, operates exclusively during the day.
There are plans of opening a new international airport toward the end of 2011. It will be located in the municipality of Palestina, which is 15 minutes from Manizales Colombia.
Traffic is much more curteous here than other cities. I don’t know why, but they didn’t beep their horns and drive caerfeully.
If you decide to take a bus and travel to nearby Medellin for example, which is around 5 hours away, it costs 32,000 Colombian Pesos (About US$15).