Pereira is a laid-back Colombian city with excellent restaurants, lively nightlife and easy access to one of the country’s best nature reserves. It’s the unofficial capital of the “Zona Cafetera” coffee-growing region and will surprise you with its excellent cultural attractions and beautiful botanical garden.
Things to do in Pereira
Museo de Arte de Pereira is one of the region’s top art museums. There’s a special focus on artists from Colombia, though you’ll also see masterpieces by South American heavyweights. Exhibits are diverse and feature everything from abstract paintings to colourful street graffiti.
Jardin Botanico is set on the grounds of the city’s main university and is filled with plants from across Colombia. Well-marked trails wind through the gardens and take you past lush palms and rainbow-coloured orchids. Look for hummingbirds zipping around the flowers.
From steakhouses to plant-based restaurants, Pereira has a thriving culinary scene. The trendy downtown district is filled with bars and nightclubs. Enjoy live music at a local bar and dance the night away at a salsa club.
Pereira is a stone’s throw from Santuario Otún Quimbaya, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Colombia. The latter is a 45-minute drive from the city and boasts incredible biodiversity, with the chance to spot howler monkeys, black-billed mountain toucans and dozens of butterfly species. After a hike in the cloud forest, head to the tiny town of Santa Rosa to soak your muscles in a thermal hot spring.
Getting around Pereira
Pereira is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Taxis are a quick and comfortable way to get from A to B. You can also hire a private driver for the day to visit surrounding sights and attractions. El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport in Bogota is a seven-hour drive away.