Pereira is the capital city of the Risaralda Department of western Colombia. With a population of more than 500,000, it is an important economic and cultural center. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the "Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia".
Lake Otún is a small lake at 12,000 feet in the Andes. It is an important breeding ground for many birds, and visitors can fish for rainbow trout.
This dramatic volcano is popular for its spectacular views, hiking, and climbing.
Ukumari Biopark is the largest theme park in South America, focused on the preservation of the animal and plant life of the region.
The city has an interesting mix of modern, colonial, and republican buildings, especially around Victoria.
Pereira has a vibrant nightlife with lots of bars and clubs, especially in the Avenida Circunvalar area.
Pereira enjoys relatively stable temperatures of around 70 degrees all year. Spring and fall are rainier than summer and winter.
Matecaña International Airport (PEI) has flights across Colombia and international services from New York and Panama City. The 10-minute taxi ride into the city center will cost around COL$9,000. The bus fare is COL$1,800.
You can reach Pereira from Bogota in seven hours on the Ibague Armenia road. The trip from Medellin on the Cartago-Buga-Cali route takes four hours.
Pereira's main station is the Terminal de Transportes de Pereira. There are services from most major cities in Colombia. Bus fares from Bogota are from COL$32,000.
Hotel Benidorm on Calle 21 offers good budget accommodation in the downtown area, while Movich Pereira on Carrera 13 offers luxury modern rooms and an outdoor pool in a good location.
Victoria - this is a central neighborhood around Plaza Victoria, with some of the city's best architecture and some good hotels and restaurants.
Boston - this is just to the south of downtown, close to the bus station. You will find plenty of budget accommodation and local shopping.
San Nicholas - this is an area to the west of the city center, with good shops and close to all amenities.
Pereira has extensive bus services along all major routes and into the suburbs. Fares are from COL$1,800. The Megabus service has dedicated lanes and is comfortable and fast, with fares from COL$1,600.
Taxis in Pereira are plentiful and cheap. Meter drop is COL$1,100 and the fare is then COL$1,400 per mile.
Driving in Pereira can be a little challenging and traffic is busy at peak times. Car rental is available from COL$88,000.
The area around Plaza Victoria has a number of upscale boutiques, while the Bolivar Plaza on Plaza de Bolivar in downtown has lots of mainstream stores and food outlets.
A quart of milk in Pereira costs COL$2,200 and a loaf of bread is COL$2,800.
Mama Flor on Calle 11 offers traditional Colombian dishes, focusing on grilled meats. With a hilltop terrace, it has great views and mains from COL$18,000. Vegetarians will prefer Vegetariano La 23 on Calle 23, with mains from COL$6,000.