Pereira Travel Guide

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Pereira City

Pereira is the center of the traditional coffee growing region, or zona cafetera. The city is at an altitude of 1600 meters and annual temperatures are in the range of 18-24ºC. Pereira is located between Armenia and Manizales, and there are a number of interesting places to visit nearby: Parque de los Nevados, Valle de Cocora, Laguna del Otun. You can arrive by car from Cali or Medellín (approx. 3 hours) or by plane from Bogotá or Medellín (approx. 45 mins).

With the last nation-wide census in Colombia happening in 1993 it is hard to assess accurately the current population. This is especially exacerbated by the fact that many emigrants that left Colombia to live the US, Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica are known to come from Pereira. Colombia's national institute of statistics (DANE.gov.co) ran a Pereira-specific recount on 2004.

The population is believed to be of approximately 576,329 inhabitants as of 2005, making it the sixth biggest city in Colombia . Pereira also has a twin city, Dosquebradas (1 min. in car),of approximately 200,000 inhabitants and a series of satellite cities: Cartago (15 min), La Virginia (15 min), and Santa Rosa de Cabal (10 min.

) that together reach the 210,000 inhabitants, the total amount of inhabitants in the nearest influential area of the city is then, of about 986,000 making the area one of the most crowded urban areas in Colombia. Pereira, Dosquebradas and La Virginia conform the Metrolpolitan Area Of Mid West, these thre cities will be conected via a massive transport system of articulated buses called Megabús ; which is projected to be expanded later on to Cartago and Santa Rosa de Cabal, and to count with a series of aerial tramway car sistems to comunicate several other areas between Dosquebradas ,Pereira and Santa Rosa de Cabal.

Pereira, known as the city without doors and as the pearl of the Otún, is the main development center in the coffee zone. This is a booming country with friendly people which offers the visitor enchantment and a pleasant climate. Pereira the capital of Risaralda was founded in 1863 by colonists from Antioquia and the Cauca river Valley headed by Father Remigio Antonio Cañarte, on the banks of the Otún river. In a short time, and due to the drive of its people, Pereira became fifth in industrial development in the nation, where it predominated the garment industry and iron mills. It is the most industrialized city in the coffee zone. Pereira has an important Convention Center and first class hotels. It is located between the Central and Western mountain ranges. Its main plaza contains valuable sculptures such as, Bolívar Desnudo and the Monumento a los Fundadores, executed by one of the most famous Colombian sculptors, Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt. Pereira greets tourists with a warm pleasant climate and nearby lodging which preserves the Paisa colonial architecture. These are coffee plantations where the visitor can experience the environment of the region and discover the world of coffee. Some of the outstanding plantations are the Amparo, at kilometer 9 between Pereira and Cartago; and the Ibérica, on the road to Armenia. These have a capacity for between 20 and 25 people, places for camping, lakes for fishing and excursions on horseback. Among the main attractions of Pereira are, the Museo Arqueológico Jaime Mejía on the Quimbaya culture, the Lago Uribe Uribe, the Gobernación building, the Gothic style church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, and the Matecaña Zoo, across from the airport with numerous species such as, the spectacled bear, the puma, the jaguar, the harpy eagle and the exotic "ligre" a cross between a lion and a tiger.. From Pereira you can take a trip to the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, where you can see the snow capped mountain Santa Isabel and the lagoons of Otún, Negra and Leona.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: Airport international Matecana Pereira

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