Founded in 1849 by migrating paisas, MANIZALES developed in the late nineteenth century with the growth of the coffee industry. One legacy is the numerous Neoclassical buildings in the city centre, which has been declared a national monument. This high-mountain city (altitude 2150m) sits at the base of the snowcapped Nevado del Ruiz volcano, which, on a clear day you can sometimes see burping vapour from the bridge in front of the Teatro Los Fundadores. Manizales owes its hilly topography to the geologically volatile earth beneath it, and earthquakes occur with some frequency.

Much of the town’s charm lies in its large student population, who help create a festive atmosphere, with night-time entertainment centred mostly on Cable Plaza. The party comes to a head in the first weeks of January during the Fería de Manizales, when there are colourful parades, a beauty pageant in search of a new Coffee Queen and bloody bullfights staged in the Plaza de Toros (C 8 and Cra 27). Manizales also makes an excellent base for exploring the surrounding coffee farms and the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Colombia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 reasons to visit Bogotá: South America’s underrated capital

6 reasons to visit Bogotá: South America’s underrated capital

Polluted, rainy and business-orientated. Let’s face it, a trip to Bogotá hardly sounds appealing. And many travellers don’t bother to probe much further th…

18 Apr 2018 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Colombia meets Jamaica? Not quite, but two competing images loom large over the Caribbean island of Providencia: Bob Marley, adopted saint of the local Raizal p…

11 Mar 2016 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right