A Visitor's Guide to Manizales, Colombia

Bogotá, Republic of Colombia, August 3, 2015. -- Girls are feeding pigeons in front f Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá in Plaza de Bolivar.
Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

The Colombian city of Manizales is best known for being at the heart of coffee production in the region, but for visitors coming to this beautiful part of the country, there is a lot more to the city than just a hot drink. Manizales is also known for being a city with a very young and vibrant atmosphere, as it is home to several universities and it is believed that around a quarter of the city's population is made up of students.

Location And Geography

Manizales is the capital city of the small department of Caldas, which is located in the west of Colombia close to the western end of the Andes mountains. The mountainous terrain in which the city is located is almost an ever present factor for those living in the city, with the steep terrain of the Los Nevados National Park being located only a short distance away from the city, and visible from most places in the city.

Attractions In Manizales

One of the most popular and attractive buildings in Manizales is the cathedral, which is a large and impressive building with a central spire that stretches up over a hundred and ten meters into the air, making it the third tallest church in South America. The church is located on the Plaza Bolivar, which is a popular open space in the city, and during the evening the cathedral is a particularly dramatic place to visit as the building is well lit and looks especially impressive.

As a city with a young vibe, Manizales has plenty of activities to enjoy, with the Rose Zona being the place to go for those looking for good night life. The nearby Los Nevados National Park is also a popular place to visit, with activities such as fishing, hiking and mountain biking all offering and interesting and fun change of pace from the city center.

The Transport In And Around Manizales

The city is served by La Nubia Airport which receives regular flights from the capital of Colombia, Bogota, with most international visitors flying into the capital and then on to Manizales. The road links of Manizales are also quite good, with two coach companies, Coomotor and Expreso Bolivariano offering coach services from cities across the country.

The transport network, once you have arrived in Manizales, is quite good, with a network of bus routes serving the city and available for very reasonable fares. For those traveling into the outlying areas of Manizales, there are also smaller buses and jeeps that are able to traverse some of the rougher roads in the area.

The Climate

Because Manizales is a city at an altitude of over two thousand one hundred meters above sea level, the temperatures here are warm rather than hot, with a significant amount of rain for much of the year. The subtropical highland climate has given Manizales a rotation of essentially wet and dry seasons that alternate every three months, with October generally being the wettest month of the year.

The Interesting Aspects Of Manizales

The city has recently developed two new cable car lines to offer an additional way to get around the city, with a third line also in development. The cable car system has been integrated with the rest of the transport network, with one cable car terminal located at the main transport terminal in the city. Because of the steep slopes of the valley surrounding the city, there are several older cable cars located in the area, with an estimated seventy miles of cable car routes used for transporting coffee and other freight as well as people around the city.

One of the most important institutions in the city is the main football club of Manizales, Once Caldas. Having won the Copa Libertadores(the South American Championship) in 2004, and Colombia's top division three times in the last decade, Once Caldas are currently on a high, regularly drawing crowds of forty thousand or more to the Estadio Palogrande. On a match day, the city is buzzing with excitement, with the crowds creating a great atmosphere to enjoy.

Was this page helpful?