(Source – perfectpod)
They say this is the “City among the Clouds,” and once you are there, you will understand why. Its lofty location is nothing short of mesmerizing. But what makes this place truly special is the vibrant culture and rich history that have shaped its unique identity.
Today we are going to take a look at the city of Manizales. A city in Colombia’s Andes Mountains. Close your eyes and imagine yourself standing at an extraordinary elevation of roughly 2,160 meters (7,086 feet) above sea level, surrounded by stunning vistas that seem to go on forever. This is not an ordinary city; it is filled with South American beauty yet to be discovered.
As you explore this city, you will find it’s more than just a city; it’s a fascinating blend of metropolitan modernism and natural beauty. It is not only the Caldas department’s capital but also one of the important cities in the Coffee Triangle, an area known for producing some of the world’s best coffee beans. So you can be sure your morning cup of joy will taste extra wonderful here!
This is only the tip of the iceberg. In the following parts, we are going to look more into the city’s rich history, involve ourselves in its lively culture, explore its gorgeous scenery, and find the numerous reasons why you must visit the city you won’t want to miss out on everything this city has to offer.
Why You Must Visit Manizales?
A City in the Clouds
Let’s have an imaginary tour of the place where all wanderlust souls want to visit at least once in their lifetime. Here are some highlighted points that all tourists should know about this Colombian beauty. There are many cities in the world offering you the best experience of the place to be on earth. But, this city has its own way of taking you to the cloud number 9. Being the heart of Colombia, Manizales greets them with open arms and a wide smile.
Now, picture this: Manizales sits way up in the Andes Mountains, at a jaw-dropping altitude of 7,000 feet above sea level. That’s almost like living among the clouds! As you climb higher into the city, you will feel like you’re ascending into the heavens. The air gets cooler, and the vistas become even more breath-taking.
On top of that, sipping the finest blend of coffee in the morning while gazing out over an ocean of clouds. The higher you go, the more the landscape unfolds before you, like a magnificent painting coming to life. This town truly is a place where you can experience the world from a different perspective, and it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.
Manizales, a lovely city high in Colombia’s Andes Mountains, boasts a special microclimate. A place where it feels like spring all year round! With temperatures averaging 68-73°F, it’s never too hot or too cold. Rainfall is frequent, making the hills green and the coffee tasty. Fog and mist often hug the city, creating a heavenly atmosphere.
In the heart of this vibrant city lies the captivating Nevada del Ruiz volcano, a symbol of nature’s awe-inspiring beauty and power. Its majestic snow-capped peak, often veiled in a gentle mist, draws both locals and visitors into its spellbinding presence. Access to the volcano may sometimes be restricted due to safety concerns related to volcanic activity, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing everyone’s safety.
The City of Open Doors
(Source – itinari)
Whoever visited this city started calling it a “City of Open Doors” because people in this city are known for their warm hospitality. It’s like visiting a close friend who can’t wait to show you their favorite places. This makes not just a city but also a place with open hearts and doors.
Savouring Manizales: A Gastronomic Delights
In Manizales, you’re in for a treat with Colombian cuisine. Don’t miss the local favorite, “bandeja paisa,” a hearty dish with beans, rice, meat, and plantains. The city’s street food scene is a bustling hub of flavor, offering tasty delights like empanadas, arepas, and much more.
From hearty stews to savory snacks, Manizales has something for every palate. So, prepare your taste buds for a gastronomic journey through this delightful city, where every meal is a chance to savor the essence of Colombian cuisine.
January Delights in Manizales: Feria de Manizales
If you’re lucky enough to visit Manizales in January, mark your calendar for the Feria de Manizales. This vibrant festival is one of Colombia’s liveliest and most exciting.
Lasting a whole week, the celebration fills the city with parades, concerts, bullfights, and traditional Colombian dances. It’s a colorful and lively experience that showcases the heart and soul of Colombian culture.
From the rhythmic beats of traditional music to the dazzling parade floats, the Feria de Manizales immerses you in a whirlwind of sights and sounds. It’s a chance to join in the joyful spirit of the city and witness the rich traditions that make Colombia special.
Where to Go? What to Do? Explore Manizales!
Here are some of the top tourist attractions:
- Pretty Church: There’s a beautiful church called the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. It looks like a big, fancy castle with colorful windows. You can visit it and take pictures.
- Cable Car Ride: You can take a ride in a special car that goes high up in the air. From there, you can see the whole city and the tall mountains around it.
- Nature Park: In a place called Los Yarumos Ecopark, you can go for walks in the forest and see butterflies and pretty flowers. It’s like a big garden in the mountains.
- Coffee Farms: In this city, they make really good coffee. You can visit farms where they grow coffee, learn how they do it, and taste yummy coffee.
- Gold Museum: There’s a museum where you can see shiny gold ancient things. It’s like going back in time and looking at treasure.
- Big Square: There’s a big open area in the middle of the city called Plaza de Bolívar. People go there to sit, eat ice cream, and watch the world go by.
- Hot Springs: Nearby this city, there are warm pools where you can relax in the water. It’s like a big, cozy bath in the middle of the mountains.
- Nice Park: In Parque Caldas, you can walk around, feed the pigeons, and enjoy being outside. It’s a calm place to take a break.
- Nature Escape: El Recinto del Pensamiento is a peaceful spot with gardens, butterflies, and birds. It’s a quiet place to be with nature.
From Point A to zZZ:
Transportation and Accommodation in the City
In this chapter, you’ll get to know how you can reach and what the accommodation options for staying in this magical city are.
From Air to Rail: Getting to Manizales is an exciting journey, whether you’re a tourist looking to explore its beauty or a researcher interested in its unique microclimate and culture. To reach this charming destination, you have few options. The most common way is to fly into La Nubia Airport, which serves domestic flights from Bogotá, Medellín, and other major cities in Colombia. From the airport, you can easily take a taxi or a shuttle service to reach the city center, which is about a 20-minute drive away.
Roadway to Manizales: If you prefer to travel by road, you can take a bus from major Colombian cities like Bogotá, Medellin, or Pereira. The journey is not only scenic but also offers a chance to witness the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes Mountains. The bus terminal in this city is well-connected to the city, making it convenient for travelers. Another option is taking the cable car, known as the “Teleférico,” from the outskirts of the city, which offers stunning aerial views as you descend into this Colombian beauty.
The Best Places to Stay in Manizales for Every Budget
(Source – tripadvisor)
- Luxury Retreats: Now, let’s talk about where to stay in this town. The city offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. If you’re looking for a taste of local hospitality and culture, consider staying in one of the charming boutique hotels or guesthouses in the city center.
These accommodations often provide a cozy and authentic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s unique atmosphere. For those seeking more upscale lodging, you’ll find modern hotels and resorts that offer comfortable amenities, including restaurants, bars, and spa facilities. These options are often conveniently located near popular attractions and business districts.
This town has a variety of hotels ranging from budget to luxury. Some popular options include:
Hotel Estelar Las Colinas: A luxury hotel with beautiful views of the city.
Hotel Varuna: A mid-range option with comfortable rooms and good amenities.
Hotel Carretero: A budget-friendly choice located in the city center.
- Budget-Friendly Stays: This beautiful town also has options for budget-conscious travelers, with hostels and guesthouses offering affordable rates without compromising on comfort. These places are great for backpackers and those who want to stretch their travel budget while enjoying a comfortable stay.
If you are conducting research in Manizales, you might consider accommodations near the city’s educational institutions, like the University of Caldas or the National University of Colombia, Manizales campus. Many researchers find it convenient to stay in university-affiliated guesthouses or apartments, which can provide a conducive environment for academic work.
Hostels: If you’re looking for budget-friendly options and a chance to meet other travelers, hostels are a great choice, you can refer few of them as follows:
Hostal de La Montaña: A cozy hostel with dormitories and private rooms.
Hostal Kaleidoscopio: This place is known for its friendly staff and vibrant atmosphere.
Mountain Hostel: Offers a mix of dormitory and private rooms with a social atmosphere.
In short, Manizales is a special city high in the mountains of Colombia. It’s famous for its coffee, beautiful views, and friendly people. You can explore museums, enjoy festivals, and try delicious food. Even though it’s not as famous as some other places, Manizales is like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. So, if you want to experience the beauty of nature and the warmth of Colombian culture, Manizales is a great place to visit. It’s a little piece of paradise in the clouds!