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Pereira is the capital city of the department of Risaralda in Colombia. It is in the center of the western region of the country, located in a small valley that descends from a part of the western Andes mountain chain. It is an urban center in the coffee producing region. Located in the middle of the triangle formed by the 3 main cities in the country : Bogotá, Medellín and Cali and about 3-5 hour drive from these cities.
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Points of Interest in Pereira
There are many things to see. This is a beautiful university city, famous throughout Colombia for the numerous private and public universities. It's reported that 1/4 of city (pop. 300,000) residents here are students, females seem to outnumber males by margin of 3 to 1. So students can be seen everywhere, either walking to classes along Avenidas Las Americas, 30 de Agosto, Circunvalar, or sitting in the myriad cafes along Avenida Santander after class while chatting with friends and watching others strolling along the avenue.
The city has a real European, small city feel to it, like being in Switzerland or the Alps. In winter season it rains a lot (almost every day, but not for too long), but you can find very dry days on summer season. The air is always fresh, good temperature, and can be balmy depending on which part of city you're visiting.
Pereira is also famous for being one of only with 8 separate micro-climates in world, depending on which elevation and barrio you're in. For example, it's possible in just 10 minutes to go from a spot that's cool and foggy to one that is warm and balmy (like La Olympic Villa)
Cathedral "La Pobreza", In this city it's easy to see why the Spanish would choose locations high up for planting cities, and why the later Colonialists from Medellin and State of Antioquia who founded this city choose this relatively high location to mount a new city 130 years ago. The climate is moderate and very healthy, and nothing like the humidity and heat you'll find in valleys down below!
There is a beautiful park called 'Olaya Herrera' on a mount overlooking the city and beautiful coffee rich valleys down below. The view is 360 degrees, and to east, north and south are views of city that's nestled up against the western side of central Cordillera (Colombia, in the western part of country, is basically divided into sections by three large, wide mountain ranges) and to west are views of the valleys, rivers and coffee plantations down below which contain the famous coffee cities of Santa Rosa de Cabal and La Virginia.
The city has a important eco-park called El Cedral. It contains beautiful views overlooking the city and affords views of mountains. There are many hiking trails and nature walks, and city just completed a new indoor ice skating rink, which has a great music system! Also, there is also a large conference center and restaurants.
There are two main plazas : Plaza Bolivar and Ciudad Victoria, where people can go to sit and to chat with friends, or to shop and to watch others in afternoon and evening. Plaza Bolivar contains the Municipal Palace administration buildings, as Pereira city is also the seat of Risaralda state.
- Zoo Matecaña (located near the airport). Has a lot of Colombian animals from various parts of the country ( monkeys, bears, snakes, parrots..) as well as african animals (lions, elephant, rhinoceros..). Includes the Museum of Natural History. Adults : 13,000 COP / Kids :6,000 COP.
- Museum of Modern Art.
- Orchids and Catleyas Garden.
- Bolivar Square (Plaza de Bolivar).
- Museum of Technology in the Univeersity U.T.P.
- Museum Gilberto Toro García.
- Gold Museum at the Republic Bank Building.
- Cesar Gaviria Trujillo Viaduct, Av 30 de Agosto, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia, ☎ +57 3248179 () .
- Centro Cultural Lucy Tejada, Cra 10 No. 16 - 60, Risaralda Pereira Colombia., ☎ 3116544.
Popular events in Pereira in the near future
Motto : "Pereira con Vida"
City Population : (2005 est.) 576,329
- The city has a municipal auditorium and theaters where you can attend concerts, operas, and listen to symphonic music. There are lots of night clubs, discos, and bars that serve up lively house, trance, rock, salsa, and tango music.
- Pereira offers an exciting nightlife along the main avenue Simón Bolivar, where you will find many of best discos and restaurants, but there is another smaller in upscale residential neighborhood located in south part of city. On weekends, starting on Thursday night, this is where many of younger crowd and students like to gather. There are many fast food restaurants in this area also.
- Pereira is also home to famous football (soccer) club, 'Deportivo Pereira'. Viewing football is a very important activity here and Once fans pack the 30,000 seat stadium to cheer for their team.
- La Popa, a hill, gives you a scenic view of Pereira.
The traditional food comes from Antioquia, the region to northwest and famous for the city of Medellin. Lunch-time meals usually consist of a soup made from plantain (a variety of green bananas), followed by a plate of rice and selection of fried pork, beef, or chicken, with small cabbage salad in vinegar dressing, a natural juice drink made from mango, or if you are adventurous, try one of native fruit flavors, they are delicious but hard to pronounce, this will usually be followed by a coffee. Sometimes, you might be offered a dessert called mazamorra, which is corn and milk with local sugar, called 'panela'. They also use panella and water in making coffee, but don't recommend it, as the taste is very sweet, actually coffee served here is exceptionally sweet and unless you are a fan of sugary tasting coffee, ask for coffee made from plain water.
If you're visiting the 'Los Nevados' Natural Park, ask for 'aguapanela con queso' while going there. It's a hot beverage made of sugar cane served with cheese. Also look for cheese ice cream, chorizos from Santa Rosa and obleas.
- Kilaba. Delicious Arabian food on Circunvalar avenue. Their lovely owner Sammi will make you feel very welcome! $$
- Sayonara. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and much more. Colombian Style of Course. Try the Pepper burger. $$
- La Estancia. International food. Try the Trucha Marinera
- Mamá Flor restaurant. Offers local food and drinks, nice balcony in a quiet location. Opens late. Do not miss the traditional Sopa de Guineo, a tasty soup made with an unusual type of plantain, served with avocado, ground beef and rice. $$
- Delight, a great display of dishes in a bar, mostly for lunch. Burgers and lasagna for dinner. Not very light, but savory. Two locations: Victoria shopping mall and near Avenida Circunvalar. $$
- La Gran Manzana, Cra 7 No 23-74. An Ice Cream Parlor where you can find the best fruit salad of Pereira and surroundings.
Paradise Calle 12
- Bristol. A nice beer house located right downtown in an old colonial house. Nice home-made beer, music and clientele. Address`: Carrera 7 at calle 22, near Parque de Bolívar y Parque El Lago. Two blocks from Megabus station. $$
- El Rincón Clásico, also know as La Tienda de Olmedo after his owner's name. A tiny bar with thousands of vinyl records, mostly tangos and Spanish music. Carrera 2 at Calle 22. Near downtown. $
- Zanzibar Club, Centro Comercial Bolívar Plaza (downtown), ☎ 334 6955. Until 2AM. Cocktails, beer and food served. Pool tables. Terraces with great view of the Plaza de Bolívar. $$.
- Parque Arboleda. The newest, most modern and biggest mall with a large variety of shops, supermarkets a cinema and many more. Located at Circunvalar Avenue 
- Victoria Plaza, Centro commercial. Located near downtown and a big Exito supermarket. Cinemas, clothing, cafes and restaurants. Indoor parking. Near a Megabus station. 
- Unicentro. A with a large variety of shops, a Carrefour supermarket. Located near the airport. 
- Pereira Plaza. Located just behind the Hotel de Pereira and the convention center. Houses upscale stores. 
- Bolivar Plaza. Downtown location, right on Plaza de Bolivar. Many shops and also cinemas, food court, cafes, indoor parking. 
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Pereira on Wikivoyage.