Pereira On a BudgetSituated in a small valley in the western Andes, Pereira is the capital city of Risaralda, Colombia. The city is surrounded by coffee producing agriculture and sits in the middle of a triangle of cities including Bogota, Medillin and Cali, each of which is about a three to five hour drive away.
The city itself is very much student oriented, as there are many universities around town and at least one quarter of the population is made up of students. There is also a very European vibe to the city and you will find the area beautiful with many parks and museums.
Pereira's economy is based on government, agriculture, manufacturing, logistics, trade, commerce, and tourism. Agricultural products include sugarcane, cacao, rubber, cereals, coffee, and livestock. Apparel is the main manufacturing product, along with aluminium goods, motorcycles and telecommunications technology.
Pereira is found in a warm moorland area with an average temperature of around 72 degrees. The temperatures remain relatively consistent throughout the year with highs in the high 70s Fahrenheit to low 80s Fahrenheit. Low temperatures are usually in the low 60s Fahrenheit. Rain is heaviest during the months of April and May as well as October and November.
SightsSights in Pereira include Matecana City Zoo, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Poverty, Lucy Tejada, the Museum of Art, Jaime Mejia Archaeological Museum, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, Noah's Farm Eco-Park, Los Nevados National Natural Park, the Botanical Garden of Marseille, Plaza de Bolivar, and Victoria's City Square Mall.
NeighborhoodsPereira is found in the Central Cordillera, or mountain range. It's located in a valley that is formed by the river Otun and the Cauca River. To the north of the city is La Virginia and Marseille Dosquebradas. To the northeast is Santa Rosa de Cabal and to the east is Tolima. South of the city is Quindio and Valle del Cauca. West of the city is Balboa and Valle del Cauca.
There is no shortage of budget hotels around town, but you'll also find some options if you're looking for something more luxurious or comfortable. Many of the hotels are downtown, making them convenient for many of the city's popular sights as well as any public transportation connections.
ActivitiesThere are a handful of shopping malls around town if you're interested in doing some shopping. You'll also find some great theaters, discos, and concert halls. Pereira also has several sports teams. The main football team in town is the Deportivo Pereira. They play in the Categoria Primera B. The city also has the Hernan Ramirez Veillegas Stadium, a velodrome, a skating area, and an Olympic swimming pool and motocross track.
Every year the Fiesta de la Cosecha is celebrated to recognize the anniversary of the founding of the city. It is fun to be in town during this "Harvest Fest".
Food and DiningDining in Pereira is a very pleasant experience. Much of the cuisine comes from the Antioquia region to the northwest. During lunch you'll likely enjoy a plantain soup, followed by a rice and meat plate which includes either fried pork, beef, or chicken, and a cabbage salad on the side. The meal is usually served with a fresh juice made with mangoes or perhaps an unfamiliar local fruit variety. The meal may also include either coffee or dessert.
TransportationThe best airport to fly into is Matecana International Airport. This is the largest airport in the region and it receives flights from several domestic locations and two international destinations, Panama City and New York City.
Buses that arrive in the city usually go to the main bus station, Terminal de Transporte de Pereira.
The easiest way to travel around the city is either by bus or megabus. Megabuses are a more comfortable and relaxed option, although slightly more expensive. It is also relatively easy to find a taxi around town.