20 plans to do in Manizales
To travel around it is to encounter one surprise after another. On every corner of Manizales are to be found things that are diametrically opposite to what you saw on the previous one. The center takes you back to yesterday, with the republican architecture of its buildings and churches and the narrow, cobbled streets. The east, meanwhile, is where a university population has had a major influence on the area’s development, with bars, cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers. And on the outskirts, where mist seems to be an additional inhabitant, nature rules in all its magnificence: birds, thermal springs, snow- capped Ruiz Mountain… life beyond the concrete.
1. The Polish Corridor at Our Lady of the Rosary Metropolitan Cathedral
At the very top of the church, at a height of 102 meters, is a viewpoint offering a 360° panorama of the city. The main visible architectural feature is concrete. Located in the city’s downtown.
2. Los Yarumos Ecoparque
A spot to relax amid natural surroundings and contemplate the scenery, but where you can also enjoy hiking, rock climbing, zip lines, balancing tests (on the rope circuit), and other open-air activities. In Minitas neighborhood.
3. Libélula (Dragonfly) Bookshop
The place to go for a local coffee, to choose a good book, and to let the literary expertise of the owners guide you. Carrera 23A No. 59-104.
4. Kaffe Florida
Architect Natalia Uribe never returns to her home in Manizales without a good stock of different international teas. She sells these, amongst other things, at her Kaffe Florida, which is adorned with lots of flowers and plant pots. Calle 65 No. 23B-24.
5. Cyprus Panoramic Tower
One of the biggest attractions is the corridor that runs right round it and which you can walk along as you view the city. A 53-meter walk at a height of 40 meters.
6. Santo Kaffeto
One of the Cyprus Tower bars. An explanation is given of the coffee process and the many different ways coffee can be prepared. Avenida 12 de octubre, Torre Panorámica de Chipre.
7. Cablecar Trip
This means of transport is also useful for tourists. Anyone interested in viewing the southern part of the city can do so from the air. The journey lasts approximately 16 minutes; it starts from Los Fundadores station and ends at the Bus Terminal. The cost is approximately one dollar.
8. Area for Thought
Contemplation is the name of the game in this natural spot. The trip begins on the chairlift, with 12 minutes to view the 190 hectares of cloud forest. A stop is made at the bird viewpoint, to see some of the 27 species of hummingbird at close quarters, followed by visits to the butterfly farm (38 species), the Japanese garden and the orchid gene bank, where here are 285 varieties of the flower.
9. Juan Sebastián Bar
This jazz, blues and rock bar has been a favorite spot for the last 21 years for anyone who enjoys having a chat and a good drink. One tip is to drink a German beer, washed down by some of the hors d’ouevres off the menu. Carrera 23 No. 63-66.
10. Tango Street
Right in the heart of the city is a street with a line of six tango bars. One of them is Los Faroles, which has been there for 42 years. If you have not mastered the steps of this dance, there is an expert who will guide you skillfully. Calle 24 entre carreras 22 y 23.
11. Érase una vez (Once upon a time)
This barbecue and music venue is on the outskirts of Manizales, after crossing Punte de la Libertad. Ideal for adults.
12. Los Nevados Nature Park
It has an area of 58,300 hectares in Risaralda, Quindío and Tolima provinces. The ascent to the snows includes stops to view the vegetation and wildlife of the moorland (paramo) ecosystem. If you would like to take the tour, go to the corner of Calle 25 and Carrera 25 and take the bus that goes along the edge of Nevado del Ruiz glacier.
13. Restaurante del Mercado
Irene López has opened a restaurant in Altos de la Camelia neighborhood that has a free salad bar, with 28 products including vegetables, fruit, meat, nine vinaigrettes and dried fruits. Calle 70B No. 23B-07.
14. Chorizos de Gallinazo
The best chorizos in the region, handmade by the local inhabitants, can be bought on the road that leads to the village of Gallinazo, 30 minutes from Manizales.
15. La Casita de Chocolate
Piedad Hurtado had half a dozen children and decided to take care of them in her own home. She therefore started to take cakes, and years later to distribute them from shop to shop, before opening her Little Chocolate House. The rownie with ice cream and a Milo coating is fantastic. Calle 69B No. 27-105.
16. Vino y Pimienta (Wine and Pepper)
Jorge Mario Londoño has established a restaurant in Milan neighborhood where native flavors are combined with Mediterranean ingredients. Try the bean dessert with a subtle taste of ginger and macadamia ice cream. Calle 77 No. 21-74.
17. ‘Migas de Arepa’ at the Airport
These are but one of the traditional dishes exclusive to Manizales: a mixture of crumbled corn cake with egg, tomato and onion. La Nubia Airport, Vía Magdalena, km 7.
18. El Otoño Thermal Springs
Barely 10 minutes from Manizales is this place with three thermal pools, rooms for resting, and a cloud forest.
19. Visit to Venecia Coffee Farm
You have to visit a coffee farm if you are to fully understand the local culture. At this one you can see the production process at firsthand, taste different types of coffee, and be enchanted by the scenery and the brightlycolored houses.
20. Manizales Fair
The city’s biggest festival is held from January 3 to 12, when you can enjoy a famous bullfighting season, an international coffee-queen beauty contest and numerous concerts.
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