Pereira y Los Termales

Pereira is one of the three cities known as the Coffee Triangle (along with Armenia and Manizales). The city is the most industrious of an already very industrious area, and moves at a rapid pace.

Pereira Main SquareThough relatively short on attractions, the city benefits from a great nightlife and from the nearby Termales de Santa Rosa and Termales San Vicente (hot springs), which are a great way to spend the evening relaxing, especially after a trip to Cocora Valley.

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During August the city celebrates the Fiestas de Pereira. It’s a great time to visit since the whole place is taken over by the spirit of the fiesta. There’s live music, dance shows, parades and much more.

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VISITS AND ACTIVITIES

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It’s essential when visiting Pereira to head to the Termales. Santa Rosa is definitly our prefered choice for its magical location under a 30m waterfall.

Termales de Santa Rosa cost around $25,000 to get in. You’ll need to take a taxi or a jeep ($20,000) to get there and you should aim to get there around sunset, when the views are spectacular. These termales are sourced from nearby hot springs, and water of varying temperatures (including freezing) cascades from three separate waterfalls. The terms close late at night so you can go there after a long day and rest in one of the 3 pools or get a massage.
There is a bar and a hotel ($95,000) on site so you can relax with a beer and, should you wish to, stay the night. There are also cheaper accomodations on the road justbefore getting to the Termales, cheaper than the hotel there.

Termales San Vicente cost about $20,000, are further away and feature a campsite ($100,000 approx). A little like relaxing in the Swiss mountains, the pools are completely natural, served by a nearby stream which you can also bathe in.  There’s mountain biking on offer as well as rapelling, paintballing and hiking. You’ll need to visit the Pereira Booking Office to organize your trip here.

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ACCOMODATION, HOTELS AND HOSTELS

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Hotel Mi Casita
Calle 25 # 6 – 20. A lovely, intimate little hotel that has Wi-Fi and is in a good location.

Sweet Home Hostel
Kr 11 # 44 – 30. A great, welcoming hostel that’s cheap and well located.

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EATING AND RESTAURANTS

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El Mirador
Entrada Avenida Circunvalar, Cll 4. Outside of the city with great views is El Mirador. It’s Argentinian themed, so expect tango at weekends and delicious steak.

Mama Flor
Cll 11 No 15-12. Typical food served in an intimate environment. Great meat dishes, and decent fish, too.

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NIGHTLIFE, BARS AND CLUBS

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Musicians on a Street of PereiraLa Cantera, Zona Rosa
Don’t get too drunk since this club is set on the edge of a cliff. Playing a selection of Western and South American music, it’s the place to go to rub shoulders with the Pereira youth.

Mango Biche, Zona Rosa
Salsa is the name of the game here, although you might hear some merengue. A nice, big building with a lot of atmosphere.

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GETTING THERE

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Getting to Pereira is relatively easy. From Bogotá it takes almost 10 hours ($45,000), and you may have to take a bus from Armenia to Pereira, but check in Bogotá. From Medellín it takes about 5 hours ($30,000) and from Cali 4 hours ($22,000). Again, there’s a good chance buses will go to Armenia or Manizales, so be sure to check what to do before you leave.

To get to the Termales, you will be able to take jeeps and taxis from Pereira, Armenia and Manizales that shouldn’t cost much more than $30,000. The ride is usually a little over an hour.

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